New boys on the Lyndhurst block The Woods Cyclery rolled out last night for their first evening shop ride. I dug out the ’94 ‘dome and went along.
The ride left the shop at 6:00pm sharp so me being me, and getting stuck at work, I was five minutes late. This resulted in a hurried couple of calls to Tom (one of shops owners) to find out where the group were and subsequently a few Strava segments at over road bike pace on a mountain bike to catch up!
On my own and with the night drawing in fast my eBay special lights weren’t cutting the mustard up front, but my Aldi ‘bikemate’ rear light was stunning! Maybe I should have ridden backwards? Luckily I caught the group and the ride was on, I wouldn’t have gotten around much further with my candle powered torches! I can’t believe how the technology has come on in headlights, some great beam patterns and burn times now.
Shortly after catching up we hit a little misdirection….. ending up on a boggy path, and then handling bikes over a style! But the ‘lost’ was short lived and we were back on track.
The 15 mile route was pacey at points (with a few nice climbs) giving the opportunity for some to stretch out their legs, this spread the riders out slightly but stopping at the gates along the way allowed us to regroup. No one got left behind!
No off-road night ride would be complete without a bit of a tumble and, about a mile from being home, a couple of guys collided on the trail. Luckily it was only pride that was damaged (maybe a shoulder?) and we were back on the bikes after all involved gave the thumbs up.
The ride was a nice little midweek test, and the 22 year old Kona (yes 22!) kept up with all the new tech. 26 inch wheels, 8 speed, and v brakes for the win!
I haven’t used this bike in anger since riding Queen Elizabeth country park a couple of years ago, its rides beautifully so maybe I should more often. Looking at hard tails currently on the market they are all setup with slack head tubes and short rear ends, giving great climbing and solid descending. Well I think chucking 100mm Z3 forks on a frame set up for rigids and 26″ wheels fits that bill! My modernising of a classic paid off.
Post ride we all filtered into the Fox and Hounds for a pint and chat. Biggest surprise of the evening? Sierra Nevada pale ale on tap, gorgeous. Beer and bikes results in happy cyclists all-round wanting to know when we would do it again, and me wanting to know when we would be back for more IPA!
After a succesful first turnout the guys at The Woods want to try and run the rides fortnightly from the shop in Lyndhurst with conversation also being had over a weekend road ride. Great news all round! I’m keen to get out on the Kona again and I don’t need an excuse to ride the road bike so maybe I’ll see you at both!