So between brunch and lunch (the joy of working from home) I zipped out on the bike for a quick ride up an old trail. Kerloch which I remembered of long ago as being really good was not so nice. On the ride I remembered that the last time I rode here i was pretty disappointed and alas this was to be a repeat.
Its a long slow grind up – but forestry roads so pretty easy. Not that many bits are washed out and ultra-sandy and the Carver coped fine … difficult to compare it to anything else as it was almost a year ago that I last rode here.
At the top of the hill there is a hideous descent fire road again but completely washed out with mini canyons snaking all across it and a 1 foot ditch goin across the road every 50m to smack into. It is also really steep about a 30 degree pitch. Went down this and thought – this is hideous, felt really unsafe and top heavy on the bike an area that the Carver is supposed to be better at ….. Then when I got off a bit nervously at the bottom with the disc brake tinkling away as it cooled I realised that the saddle was about 3cm higher than it should have been.
The ascent had been fine and I hadn’t noticed it (just automatically moved forward on the seat)
So dropped the saddle and press on – 2km later there’s a completely washed out section – it meant a 100m ascent and descent on foot if I wanted to see the top of the hill but it wasn’t rideable in any way, shape or form.
So turn around muttering again and drop into the good part of the ride – tight singletrack path through heather, very wet with lots of little technical sections and the odd rock to throw one off balance ….. BUT
The Carver rolled through the whole section really sweetly. I can finally see why they praise those 29″er wheels. It just rolled over everything with me getting bumped off the seat as the rear wheel followed.
So I was smiling – through some boggy sections that almost sucked the whole bike in, then down the last bit of man made berms and little jumps on the way back to tarmac.
Not the longest ride 1h 20m, 17.6km and only 700m of climbing. Still better than a kick in the teeth I guess.