Yesterday’s explore of some new (to me) bridleways done in -5 c and very icy trails was just brilliant.
I dropped Dan off at school at 0830hrs and cracked on.
Up Brake Lane past Fay’s School then turn off left into the countryside.
The weather was grey but dry and as I said, very cold and very icy. A good opportunity to see if my Specialized FSR designed in California, where I’m told there isn’t much mud, ice and snow could cut the Mustard in typical Northern European Winter conditions.
The photo above was pretty much typical of conditions for the entire ride. And with the rutted bridleways I had confirmed a minor irritation with the bike. I have fitted Tioga Flatties as the mud encrusted conditions earlier in the month have made SPDs virtually unusable.
When the supension bottoms out and I’m pedalling hard the pedals are catching on the ground at their lowest point. It doesn’t happen with SPDs, but a bit of ‘mare none the less.
Anyway, with careful pedal planning and even more careful line choice it was kept to a minimum. Which sort of negates the point of full suspension!
I had planned to go to a bridleway I’d pedalled with my old army buddy Jeff back in the 90s but go the opposite way, this meant belting over towards Blakedown and careering past the the local Equine population.
I found the correct way with a bit of map reading and help from my Garmin and went for it. But the grounding pedals were starting to piss me off a bit!
My gloves parked on a gate post while I took the photo above this one, the little sign underneath is highlighting the Monarch’s Way. Click the link for a bit of History!
This is the bridleway I was looking for (I’m sure there’s a Star Wars joke in there somewhere), this went from Blakedown to the Kidderminster Road.
I was perfectly warm though, base layer, fleece etc, plus the effort of pedalling all made for epic toastyness.
You may have seen this on Twitter yesterday via
@j4m1eb Jamie Bishop’s #bikeandgate
After this trail a bit of road work to the trail to Belbroughton and it’s Mill Pool.
After around 14 odd miles home. And the remnants of the trail still attached to my bike.
I had one of Specialized’s original FSR’s back in the day, multi link suspension, box Y frame, Banana Yellow in colour, you may remember them.
One of these actually.
The thing is, when conditions were good it was a great bike and much like my modern FSR it suffered in UK conditions. After my much loved and effective Marin’s simple single pivot swing arm suspension, I’m convinced that that is the way for British MTB’s as per Orange’s 5.
So, I’m now looking to sell the FSR frame and transfer the bits onto an Orange 5 frame which I’ll buy, as I did with my original FSR and my Marin.