Thursday, 20 December 2007

Looking back

As 2007 draws to a close I guess a short recap of the year is in order (well everyone else is doing it!) The biggest event was undoubtedly the MTB Himachal race and the amazing people and places that it involved. Such an undertaking was pretty daunting but with the help of a lot of people it was manageable. Becca for letting me go and not burning the house down when I was away, Dhanajay for organising the overseas riders and putting up with the endless emails. Amanda at Chocolate Fish and Chris at Endura for the clothing and Kenda for the tyres. Asif at the Spars Lodge Shimla for the floor of his cafe and the great food...I will be back there. Ray and Joe for being great friends and putting up with an OCD Brit singlespeeder. Dickie Boy for the encouragement and being a damn nice bloke to everyone, I wish more people were like him. Alan, Luca, Matt, Roopak and all the other riders for the camaraderie and banter. John for showing me what it takes to race the GDR (no time soon for me!)

2007 also saw Solitude close its doors due to other commitments, it was a tough call to make but with training, wedding plans and a full time job I could not fit in the time needed to email customers / design bikes / fettle the finished frames etc...and I really did not want my reputation to suffer. That did not put a stop to my BikeCAD addiction and I am still throwing ideas about and I'm looking for a micro-brand to take on my new 29er design. My Solitude really had a thrashing in India and still came back for more, the fit is 100% spot on and I am really struggling if I ever need to upgrade / change anything. I did flirt with freewheels and suspension but with that out of my system I am back on the rigid-n-fixed path. Slower, more difficult but I am smiling more and wrenching bikes less :) A 185mm front disc and a powder coat finish are on the cards for January.

So what's planned for 2008? Well the wedding in September is the big one but I am planning a 3-4 day "stag ride" probably from north to south Wales on dirt (as much as possible) and get to use my bike packing kit some more some time in june / july. Might try and make the SSUK for a weekend of beer and friends depending where / when it is. More local rides, less worry+stress and fingers crossed some good weather!

So I wish everyone a happy Yule and see you net year :)

Alex

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