We had a Scott training session today that started with some information on setting up the bikes and details of the 2012 models and finished with a ride. The high point for me was seeing the new Scott Foil(if I wasn’t flying back from the Pyrenees on Tuesday Caroline would have given me one to race – shame!).
The two Pauls couldn’t make it so that left Gav, Will and myself to ride with Nick and Caroline. Caroline has just been crowned Master cross country national champion (great for her after years of being either second or third). Nick has retired from the World Cup circuit but as a vet he still managed 6thin the last National Points Elite race. We were in illustrious company.
Caroline was on her race bike, a Scott Scale Contessa 20, Nick was on his Genius custom, Gav chose a Genius 20, Will was on a Spark 20 and I was on, you guest it, the Scale 29er Pro. The plan was to get as much single track with the least amount of climbing (for Gav) in 2 hours. Except for the steep climbs I was allowed to lead. Thanks guys. We eventually found our selves hitting the rooty entrance to a trail that will remain nameless. I had the edge here as the 29er ignored all the roots and the run in was a cinch. I waited for the regroup and then hammered off. The advantage for me, leading, was that I had to clean every jump. On my own I’d whimp out of most of them. Blazing the trail the peer pressure meant that I had to jump everyone. Thanks guys for giving me the confidence. The 29 inch wheels and compliant carbon frame instil a level of confidence akin to a long travel bike. I was feeling invincible despite crashing (my chain popped off).
I tried to ensure that everyone got the best of the single track but that meant a lot of climbing even though the route was designed to reduce the ups (sorry Gav). What a great night? Perfect trails, warm weather and some very talented riding company all added up to a fairly brisk ride. I hope that Gav will still be speaking to me tomorrow.
Nick Craig rode the World Cup circuit for longer that almost any other rider whatever their nationality and so proved to be a real inspiration for Will. I know that I’m not that young but I am in pretty good shape and yet young Will can just ride away from me at any moment – no problem.