Today might be Blue Monday (‘officially’ the most depressing day of the year) but no day can be blue when you’ve been riding bikes, right? And the BikeRadar Team has indeed been out and about riding through mud, rain, road and trail over the last seven days, for both business and pleasure. Some of us even managed to boost big air on a cross-country mountain bike. Skills.
I’ve been busy planning the test schedule for the upcoming women’s road bike of the year and women’s trail bike of the year awards, and looking forward to putting some top bikes through their paces.
Sometimes you just gotta #strikeaposeJack Luke
Happily, I also managed to squeeze in some actually bike riding too. On Monday there was a photoshoot for the new Liv Hail at the Forest of Dean. In fact, I’ve been in the Forest of Dean A LOT this month. I was back there again on Saturday, but this time for a social ride with some of the team, which of course involved some quality posing.
Joe Norledge — videographer
Joe gets boosting the big airJack Luke
Saturday, saw myself and a full crew of BikeRadar testers / writers / videographers head to the Forest of Dean for some mountain bike fun. With a wide variety of bikes / styles everyone had their chances to shine on the varied terrain, and being on my longterm Cannondale Scapel meant I was loving the climbs. But we still found a few jumps to send in the afternoon, making for a most excellent day out on the trails.
Riding bikes at the Forest of Dean
Reuben Bakker-Dyos — videographer
Reuben’s mile-crunching aero positionJack Luke
On Sunday, that holy day for bicycling group rides, Jack Luke and I set out for a fairly decent 70-mile ride through north Bristol and into Gloucestershire. Jack was further testing his semi-long-term Fairlight Strael road bike, while I was giving MCFK’s trick carbon wheels a test out on the road paired with the super plump 32mm Clement Strada LGG tyres.
Mucky funJack Luke
I’ve been a convert to larger-than-average volume tyres for a while, but these were just something else! At around 60psi they handled the rough country lanes Jack thought would be fun to take us through well enough to not worrying too much about the sheets of mud that covered the roads (it was genuinely really fun, though).
Though we ended up riding closer to 80 miles by the time the sun was setting in Bristol, we’d explored new roads, eaten some good sugary treats and posed for those all important Instagram photos.
Jamie Beach — deputy editor
The bike, pre-punctureJamie Beach
The kids were packed off to their grandparents last weekend and the stage was set for a hard four hour ride with a friend… until multiple punctures scuppered our plans. The first one struck barely 5km from home, a pinch flat caused by hitting a stone in a poorly lit tunnel, while the second one came shortly afterwards via a thorn through the sidewall.
The third puncture involved an inner tube valve being torn off in our haste to repair puncture #2, which was all our spare tubes gone and a whole lot of riding time lost — and only one bike operational. Cue a fast ride to the nearest bike shop to buy more tubes and a resolution to henceforth never leave home without at least 10 about our person.
Russell Eich — Tech Writer
Moose spottingRussell Eich
I’m continuing my fat bike adventures, experimenting with tire pressures and wandering in the woods. I ran into this lady during a quick lunchtime outing. She appeared to be pretty young and thankfully her mother was nowhere to be seen. Even with that, I did a quick 180 and went back up the trail I had just ridden down. Never mess around with moose. Never ever.
Aoife is an experienced journalist, editor and product tester. With 6 years’ experience of reviewing bikes and kit, she’s ridden and rated nearly every women’s road and mountain bike available on the market. She enjoys putting the latest products through their paces, helping riders find the right kit for them and sharing the best advice, hints and tips to help them get the most out of riding.