It couldn’t have been more of a change. Jimbo arrange to meet me at 6:30pm. We would be going to Stanmer. I don’t ride at night very often so at 5:30 I realised that I didn’t have any lights. I found some but then discovered that they needed charging. Not very organised! When we got to Stanmer it got worse. My front tyre only had about 15psi, the shock was too soft and the saddle about 10cm too low. Who’s been riding my bike? Faffers annoy me so I can’t imagine what Jimbo was thinking.
I was in for a treat, Stanmer single track with my own guide. This was going to be a different sort of ride for me, first off there was no climbing, no down hill, no long open stretches in other words none of the bits that I spend so much time on trying to link one bit of single track with another. All we had was swoopy, fast or technical twisty narrow trails. Some were super technical, others full of surprises with logs and trees (fallen) to jump and others was really flowing. On these whole sections could be ridden without pedaling. It may not be heaven (word is that that is in Whistler somewhere) but it was pretty close to it. It was bone dry, amazing. It got really interesting when we rode Buzz Light Year (Thanks to Big Si this is a great trail!). I was allowed in front for this one.
Last time I rode here was in the middle of winter and it was a mud fest. Tonight was just like last June (my previous visit). Winter may have been crap but this is the nicest Spring that I can remember and I have to pinch myself to remind me that just wearing a light weight jersey can be a rarity even in June. Tonight was magnificent.
Here isn’t the ride. Sorry its too secret to publish.
What about the kit? The jersey was a wool Kona number from a previous era. The bike was a medium Marin Riftzone XC8, I have customised it buy fitting an 80mm stem and 600mm flat bars. The last time I was here I was on a large Riftzone with 685mm bars and all I did was smash my knuckles on every other tree. This time I didn’t have a problem. The bike could not have been more perfect as it was so easy to keep it flowing through the bends. Grip came from Crossmark 2.1 Lust tyres. I’m a lucky guy.
I’ve attached the ride sent by Jimbo. I’m amazed at how high the average speed was considering the terrain. That’s pretty quick Jim!