Shot down to Melbourne for the weekend, to catch up with a good mate of mine, Craig, and his girlfriend Kristy.
Craig was an Albury resident until the start of this year, when work took him to the big smoke. Some readers may have met Craig on Nail Can at some point - he was the rider that got cleaned up by a trail bike rider last year, snapping his frame in two (and very nearly him at the same time).
Plans were hatched for a huge weekend, but they didn't really eventuate. Thank God, I can hear my wallet breathing a sigh of relief.
Saturday morning, we headed out to the You Yangs (halfway between Werribee and Geelong) for a MTB ride. The area is managed by Parks Victoria, and Geelong MTB Club have access to the land for track building. They've done an awesome job, with several state rounds & regular club races being hosted there. A national XC round is mooted to be hosted there in the near future.
The tracks were excellent - very free flowing, fast, smooth, almost like a speedway trap. A few token log rolls, a monstrous boardwalk - with a tabletop built in the middle (all of about 50cm wide), some great berms, and a real tricky technical section as well. I think we only got to ride about 20% of what was there. If you're in the area, take a bike, and check it out - you will love it!
We intended to head out for a large night on Sat, thank God we changed our minds, and slobbed in front of the TV and heater instead.
Sunday saw us (attempt to) hit a few bike shops, as I'm considering an upgrade later in the year - well as soon as the budget allows. I thought I'd be organised, I'd listed all the shops I wanted to visit, checked that they were all open on Sunday, and off we went.
Well of 7 stores:
# 3 open
# 3 closed
# 1 mysteriously disappeared.
# And I think we circumnavigated the entire CBD on foot as well.
Of the 3 open, 2 were useless, and 1 was pretty darn good (Brunswick Street Cycles). They had a great range, and we got to have a fairly extended yak to one of the sales guys.
So, on the list:
# Yeti ASR 575 (12kg 5 inch travel monster)
# Felt Virtue (need to sus the spec levels)
# Cannondale Rush
# Kona Hei-Hei or Four Supreme
I'm real keen to get something at a good spec level, I don't want to do the same as I have with the XTC, and sub parts in and out, at some expense.
So looking at what's about, and the spec level I'm after, I'm not seeing much change coming out of $5K. That's gonna be a lot of slush fund!
Better start scrimping and saving I guess...