Friday, 30 September 2011

Exposed in the Woods

After an "interesting" performance in the Kielder 100, I was rewarded with a rather nice Exposure Joystick. Tonight, I organised a little group ride over Thetford Forest with some very nice people from Iceni Velo, and really wanted to test out my new "toy". Didn't start too well - bit of a rush to get there, ended up 10 minutes early, but everyone else was there way before that, and had come prepared. Hmmm...not a good start! I quickly attached the helmet mount for the Joystick, as well as getting the rest of my gear together. At first, I had the light pointing way too forward, which meant that I was lighting up the ground directly in front of me. This was rather off putting. Fortunately, we were sessioning bomb holes in perp for Dusk 'til Dawn, which is just a week away, so I had plenty of time to adjust the light. Ended up slotting it on the side, pointing more towards the front.

I've always enjoyed a good Thetford night ride in the weeks leading up to D2D - usually a case of riding around the fireroads looking for openings in the woods, and freshly cut singletrack. We picked out some sweet little trails and got in some good miles on the connecting fire roads. For once, I felt confident on the bomb holes, even when I realised my back brake really wasn't bedded in as much as it really rather should have!  Once I had the Joystick adjusted correctly and hit a nice singletrack section, it was unreal! Have enjoyed night riding for a good two years, but always used a handle-bar-mounted flood light. Enjoyed that, but having a good head mounted lamp just opened up the trail - it made picking lines so much easier. A tiny light, and I didn't notice any extra weight on the helmet (or an imbalance towards the mounted side).

As well as riding with the very lovely Iceni Velo guys and girls, we also bumped into the very jovial chaps from Team Cambridge. Got some serious envy tonight, in the form of a titanium Cotic and a Grey LeMond era, Mondrianesque jersey.

If the weather for D2D stays anything like it did tonight, I can't wait to put the Joystick through it's paces for 12 hours. Can't wait!

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