Yep, finally back on the bike after a 3 week hiatus (bar a session on the turbo!) Felt good to get out on the bike and ride...quit stressing about work, kit, visas etc... My new BBB prescription glasses are working well with no steam issues on climbs and the grey lenses take off the glare but don't blind me when the sun goes behind a cloud.
My trip to Brum was only partially useful (got to see Chris, Nigel and the accountant) but the Indian High Commission was a loss. If you don't start queing at 7am you have NO chance of getting a vias that day. They are open for 3hrs and its a take a ticket and wait system. They only hand out 200 visas a day and the screen was showing "Now Serving 415" I waited for a bit but the lines were not moving and midday was approaching so I relented and posted the application instead :)
Kenda (and the UK importers Moore+Large) are sponsoring me some Kenda Small Block 8's for the race. The small, close spaced tread should be great on the dry dusty forest roads and tarmac that I will be on 95% of the time. I have a spare too incase I trash one too bad for the tyre-boot to fix.
I am also going to be trying a Wingnut Hyper 2.5 hydration pack. The Wingnut low-rider system sits the weight low on your back, has side pockets that you can access with out taking it off (2 zipped, 2 mesh pockets) plus room for a 2.5l bladder. Light weight sail-cloth and waterproof zips are the main construction with mesh straps for low weight and comfort. All the reviews I have read are great and as a "Hydration-hater" I am sure the lower c-o-g will solve the neck and shoulder problems that all the other hydration packs out there.
Subject to a long test I will carry the bulky but light stuff in the Wingnut (clothes, food etc..) and pack the tools+tubes in the Jandd frame pack.
My friend Phil is coming down tomorrow so I can show him some local trails, although given the rain today I think the FoD might be the best bet!