It’s all about the bike

15 weeks to joBerg2c

Things are progressing, slowly. I have a new pair of cycling shoes. Very pretty, they are, and now all that I need – well not all, but the most urgent thing to get on with – is a new bike to match those shoes.

I’ve had to consult my guru about the bike. I say my guru, because he’s the guy that knows all things about bikes. His name is Will, he owns Hammoon Cycles in Shaftesbury (have to give the shop a shout-out) and runs Okeford Hill bike park (used to be known as Bike Park UK in a previous universe). Anyhow, Will and I sat down and did some serious studying of the joBerg2c course. That is, we watched hours of YouTube videos. My inclination was to go with the herd and ride full-suspension, but Will convinced me otherwise. Now Will won’t mind me calling him a bit of a nutter (just don’t let him know I call him that) but he’s the kind of guy who rides a hardtail on Megavalanche, one that he’s built the frame himself. That’s the kind of thing he does – none of this namby-pamby cross-country or road riding. And in all the hours of joBerg2c that we watched, there was hardly any right-on downhill to convince us that a full-susser was necessary. There’s lots of fire roads, a good deal of climbing, some lovely single-track, all that a nice, lightweight hardtail would be ideal for.

Now, if someone was to offer me a carbon Specialized Epic S-Works, I might reconsider. After all, I rode my first Cape Epic in 2005 on an Epic S-Works, and I paid out a load of dosh for that. It was good for the ride at the time, but in 2009 I was given a Boardman hardtail for the Epic, and there was only one downhill where I seriously thought I would be better off on a full-suspension. My old Epic has since been sold, not without sadness, but technology has moved on, and so I must move with the times.

So we have settled for a GT Zaskar Carbon. As soon as it arrives, we will strip it down and replace the 160mm Shimano brakes with 180mm Hope, the SLX 1×11 drivetrain with XT 2×11, and the standard wheels with a set of Mavic Crossmax SL. Plus a few bits of Hope bling, just to match the shoes.

So that’s it. Progress. Oh, and on the riding side, my mileage went up considerably this week, although if you knew the base that I’m starting from, that hasn’t been difficult. It is still cold, so I’m having to count my toes after every ride.

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