The sun was shining for the third National Demo Day in Thetford Forest on Sunday and it went down a storm. After recovering from the excitement of all the Easter eggs we'd managed to eat before registration opened at 10am, we were ready for a day of demos.
This Demo Day had a different feel to the others we've done so far because it coincided with the first round of the 2007 British Mountain Bike Series - there was a great atmosphere with pro racers, amateur racers and Demo Day riders all getting stuck in on the day. Although it's difficult to compare like-for-like [only a mobile catering van was available at Thetford] the bacon sarnies were, by our standards, slightly below par at Thetford. They did their best with what they had though...
There was a waymarked Demo route in the forest which allowed riders to make the most of the time they had on each of the bikes. Many riders double-booked bikes for over an hour, they were enjoying themselves so much.
See below for pics from the day.
Chris Lupton and his 11-year-old son, Seb from Ipswich. Chris was riding a Demo Bionicon Golden Willow here and was impressed with the on-the-fly geometry changing facility. "It's obviously not as light as the carbon Trek Fuel 9 that I had a demo ride on earlier, but my own bike scares the hell out of me on steep downhills and the Bionicon would be ideal."
Here's Chris again blasting through the forest track on the Golden Willow.
Steven and Alan Munns came from North Hertfordshire to try out some of the Demo bikes. Here's Steven [right] after a ride on the Gary Fisher HiFi Pro, and Alan after a ride on the Gary Fisher Paragon 29er. Steven enjoyed the day and was impressed by the different bikes on offer - he's looking to upgrade his bike and said: "This sort of thing is great, it's much better than riding around a car park - like you have to do on a 'demo ride' in most bike shops. The guys on the stands are really helpful too."
"Don't worry, answer a few questions and we'll leave you alone...Oh, and don't look so worried."
41-year-old Andrew Grimmer from Ipswich said that the Demo Day was a superb idea. Here he is after riding a Gary Fisher HiFi Pro. He said: "This Demo Day makes you realise what else is about. The Felt Virtue 3 I rode earlier today was awesome! You could ride that all day long around here."
Ian Phillips from Norwich told us: "I wasn't looking to buy something new, but after today I might just have to think again!" Go on, you know you want to Ian...
No seriously, he's really a friendly young scamp...