I’ve just had a bit of a spending spree. While the frame of my mountain bike is pretty good and I’m happy with it (a last generation Orange Clockwork), I’ve gradually been upgrading all the components on it. By a year ago I had replaced the bars, shifters, brakes, levers and chainset – which was about 300 quid in a flash. As I’ve been doing a fair amount of biking lately I decided to finish the job. My suspension forks were pretty terrible, so I ordered a lovely pair of air-oil ones from Marzocchi with 100mm of travel (which are utterly superb, by the way).
My wheels were the oldest parts on my bike so I’ve replaced them too with some lighter and stronger ones (and I can remove the tyres without needing metal tyre levers! result). I also got some cooler biking tops (far less fluorescent and far less tight) so I don’t look quite as much of an idiot on my bike as before. All in, with a few other bits and pieces, that was another 500 quid of spending.
You might argue that I could have got a new bike for the amount I’ve spent replacing everything except the frame. And you’d be right. But it wouldn’t be anywhere near as good a bike as the one I’ve now got. And it’s not as though I’m not going to get my value for money. The title of this piece is “New Kit, New Enthusiasm” and I’m not kidding. When I bought a top notch 4-season sleeping bag a few years ago I spent the first few nights sleeping in it on my bed. My rationale is that if you’ve got something, you might as well use it, and you need to get your value for money (I’m Scottish after all).
So you can expect me to be writing quite a number of pieces over the coming months about my mountain biking exploits. I’ve had a few years in the doldrums where I’ve not had the enthusiasm I used to have for biking, but I’m back. I’m keen and loving it again. My fitness has come back to its old level and as my confidence comes from my fitness, I’m feeling ready for anything. All I need is some decent weather this summer and it’ll be perfect…
In case you’re interested, I still haven’t got around to killing off everything in my garden. But I’ll get round to it eventually! Honest.