Our week on two wheels

From the Tour Down Under to teaching kids how to ride

Updated with what you got up to last week…

Welcome to another week! We hope you spent plenty of time on the road or trails.

Last week saw the BikeRadar team spread across the globe riding for work as well as for play. We’ve been busy befriending marsupials, testing a drivetrain in the rain, exploring the woods on fat bikes, building new bikes, training through the cold and finding joy in watching toddlers take on two wheels.

Colin Levitch — staff writer & Josh Evans — social media and communities manager

When Josh Evans wasn't reporting on the Tour Down Under he was babysitting a joey
When Josh Evans wasn't reporting on the Tour Down Under he was babysitting a joey

Between chasing mechanics around the pits, shooting pro bikes and trying not to melt in the heat at the Tour Down Under, Josh Evans got to experience some of the local wildlife.

Matthew Allen — senior technical writer

This was exactly as fun as it looks
This was exactly as fun as it looks

I spent several days in Calpe, Spain, hanging out with Shimano and riding the lovely Dura-Ace Di2 groupset. You can read my first ride review here.

Calpe is surrounded by some stunning riding and it's a popular destination for pro teams to hold their early season training camps because the weather is generally mild, even in January. Not so on this occasion — all three of my rides were freezing and wet, and to be perfectly honest, I just hadn't brought sufficient kit with me.

The groupset was great, but I came away chastened, vowing not to be caught out again like a rank amateur.

Russell Eich — staff writer

Russell's local trails are snowpacked
Russell's local trails are snowpacked

Since the weather remains cold and snowy, I'm continuing to explore where fat bikes can ride and what tire pressures feel right.

When not outside, I've been messing around with wheels, tubeless set ups, and some fancy new valves. At least I think they're fancy.

Josh Patterson — US technical editor

Josh made the best of bad weather to work on a personal project
Josh made the best of bad weather to work on a personal project

Snowfall followed by warm weather has turned my local trails into a muddy mess. I’ve used this break from mountain biking to build up a new personal bike.

One of the best bikes I road in 2016 was the Santa Cruz Tallboy 3. It’s the perfect tool for my Front Range trails.

Some highlights from my Tallboy build include a SRAM XO1 Eagle drivetrain, Race Face Next SL crankset, 130mm Fox fork with a 150mm Fox Transfer seatpost and SRAM Guide Ultimate brakes. The rest of the build will be a revolving cast of components that we have in for testing.

Ben Delaney — US editor-and-chief

The bike paths in Boulder, Colorado allow riders of all ages to commute to work and school
The bike paths in Boulder, Colorado allow riders of all ages to commute to work and school

The big news on our block this week was little three-year-old neighbor Camille riding her 12in Islabike home from school for the first time — with no training wheels.

It's a testament to the benefits of starting out on a Strider/balance bike to get the confidence and balance down before hopping on a pedal bike. She rocked it!

My daughter Stella is now in 4th grade and is on her third Islabike. Our whole neighborhood is sold on the brand.

Reuben Bakker-Dyos — videographer

Frozen beard, frozen sunglasses and frozen eyelashes. Rule #5 accomplished?
Frozen beard, frozen sunglasses and frozen eyelashes. Rule #5 accomplished?

Sometimes winter based miles can be fun, sometimes they can be terrible and sometimes they can be a bit of both. And it’s that last one that summed up mine and Jack's 80 mile Saturday road ride.

The first hour or so was spent carefully dodging ice patches through the freezing fog of south Bristol, though Joe was riding with us, he turned back to Bristol leaving Jack and I to forge on bound for the hills of the Mendips. A double puncture by both me and Jack lead to a change of plans which, rather serendipitously, lead us to discovering a very nice bike shop in Wells (Bike City, if you were wondering) where we restocked on tubes and the correct PSI in our tyres.

As for kit, it’s been hard to get Jack onto a different bike at the moment as he’s racking up the mileage on his Fairlight Strael while I was giving GoPro’s latest HERO5 Session camera a run out in some pretty harsh conditions. The coldest temperature our Garmin clocked was a chilly -6C (21 F)!

A super cold morning turned into a beautiful afternoon of winding our way through the Mendips (we also met up with our very own women's editor Aoife Glass and production editor Helen Cousins — cheers for the coffee and biscuits, Aoife!) and around the coast near Weston-Super-Mare. It’s hard to get lost in these parts and the riding here really does hold its own against other parts of the UK.

Joe Norledge — videographer

Joe spent some quality time training with Reuben and Jack
Joe spent some quality time training with Reuben and Jack

It was two road rides for me this weekend, although I was riding my mountain bike due to the cold frosty weather. 

Sunday was two hours with intervals in the hills with Reuben, followed by sweet treats at our favourite bakery, Parsons. Saturday was much colder, so I turned back early leaving Jack and Reuben to forge on. It looked like a good decision as they both had punctures after I turned off. I don't think my frozen extremities could have handled removing a mountain bike tyre. All in all a top riding weekend; cake, hills, friends and some intervals, just what I like.

Helen Cousins — production editor 

Helen and Aoife bound for coffee in Weston-Super-Mare
Helen and Aoife bound for coffee in Weston-Super-Mare

On Saturday, Aoife and I arranged to meet up for a ride around the Somerset Levels. We set off from a very chilly Weston-Super-Mare and I was grateful for my overshoes and to be wearing something that covered my ears, brrr. 

I hadn't been out on the road bike for a few months so it was great to ride some pretty flat and scenic country roads at the start. It turned out that we weren't riding too far from Reuben and Jack so met up with them in Wedmore where they joined us for the ride back to Weston. In the end we rode about 31 miles, which is a good distance for me.

Aoife Glass — women's editor 

It's always rewarding to help the next generation get hooked on our sport
It's always rewarding to help the next generation get hooked on our sport

After a week spent mostly organising things for our upcoming Women’s Bike of the Year tests — super exciting! — it was nice to actually get out riding bike at the weekend. After a lovely, sunny but cold ride around the Mendips with Helen on Saturday I switched to knobbly tyres on Sunday to go riding with my partner’s niece and nephew. 

Both were total daredevils, happily tackling the mini-table tops in the skills area of our local woods. I reckon the youngest, who has no fear, is probably ready for a bike with pedals and brakes now. Her helmet says ‘future world champion’ and I don’t doubt it for a second!

BikeRadar readers

We asked our BikeRadar Facebook followers what they've been doing on two wheels and had some great responses. Here are our favourite five:

Greg Spencer

Greg Spencer completed a charity bike ride #‎hffridetoadelaide2017
Greg Spencer completed a charity bike ride #‎hffridetoadelaide2017

Greg Spencer completed an 840km charity ride across Victoria and South Australia over six days for the CASA Herbalife Family Foundation‬.

Owen Kelly

Owen Kelly enjoyed the rather warmer climes of New Zealand
Owen Kelly enjoyed the rather warmer climes of New Zealand

Owen Kelly took on a casual paced tour (or rather pub crawl) of New Zealand to escape the UK winter.

Albert Kikstra

Albert Kikstra had fun on a fat bike
Albert Kikstra had fun on a fat bike

While Albert Kikstra made the most of the winter weather on a fat bike.

Garg Elfing Dulljiöt

Garg Elfing Dulljiöt was bikepacking in Bavaria
Garg Elfing Dulljiöt was bikepacking in Bavaria

Garg Elfing Dulljiöt also battled the snow while bikepacking in Bavaria.

Paul Parker

Paul Parker got out on his bike round the Berkshire lanes
Paul Parker got out on his bike round the Berkshire lanes

And Paul Parker was enjoying the chilly weather too in the UK on the icy back lanes of Berkshire.

Josh has been riding and racing mountain bikes since 1998. Being stubborn, endurance racing was a natural fit. Josh bankrolled his two-wheeled addiction by wrenching at various bike shops across the US for 10 years and even tried his hand at frame building. These days Josh spends most of his time riding the trails around his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
  • Discipline: Mountain, cyclocross, road
  • Preferred Terrain: Anywhere with rock- and root-infested technical singletrack. He also enjoys unnecessarily long gravel races.
  • Current Bikes: Trek Remedy 29 9.9, Yeti ASRc, Specialized CruX, Spot singlespeed, Trek District 9
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following, a custom Moots 27.5+ for bikepacking adventures
  • Beer of Choice: PBR
  • Location: Fort Collins, CO, USA

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