Arrived at Cocklet Hill straight after work for my Bikes first proper shakedown. Car park was nearly empty which I was surprised at given the weather.
Straight away my eyes were streaming getting the bike out and I got going as soon as I could. The run down to Stocks was nice and fast, Pikey's corner now has shit loads of tyre tracks heading into a very big ditch. I reckon there will be a few broken people courtesy of that little obstacle.
The view over Stocks was nice and I managed to grab a quick phone shot.
Passed the only two other bikers I saw all night here on the climb up to the quarry... the flies were buzzing all over me on the climb, was a real pain in the arse. Obligatory picture stop at the top of the climb with the new bike...
Through the quarry and over the woodwork, the track up to Whelpstone has now been repaired and its a massive improvement. Volunteer built and very stable, made the switchback climb doable for a change.
I didn't bother with the slab as I aint got a QR for the seatpost yet and CBA dropping the saddle with an allen key. The Berms down the next fire road were ace though. Hulley Gully was next... more braking bumps but the berms are sufficiently high to keep off the brakes for most of them. I went a bit cautious as I knew they had repaired the gully recently so didnt know where to expect the loose stone, still managed to hit the top of every berm though. Got to the bottom with a big fucking grim on my face, so turned right and climbed back up for another go. Battered it this time and was whooping at the bottom. Great fun.
I always think the rest of the ride is a bit of a disappointment after the gully, but hit it as fast as you can and there is still a lot to keep you on your toes. Did the 1st leg of the skinny, but bottled the second one. I'll save that for when I come with riding mates... always helps when your being egged on.
Fast blast back to the car park and I was itching all over... major pollen count, just wanted to get in the car and get out of there.
So, the new bike. Lovely and stiff... pedals very well, so well in fact that it feels like I have a smaller chainring on. I need to sort out pressures on both the fork and shock. I forgot to take the shock pump so I couldn't really play around with the settings. With hindsight though, I should have gone to Lee Quarry. Gisburn is good, but its just not Lee, where there are so many different lines, rocks and tracks to carve up. Initial feelings are though, that while its a great bike, its just not as fast as the old one. I cant put my finger on it, but for out and out speed for some reason it feels slower. Maybe this is due to the fact that this is a medium and has a smaller wheelbase and I'm not as stretched out, I'm not sure. Early days yet. It took me about 6 rides to set the RP23 up on the old one.
Lee Quarry with a shock pump needs a visit soon.