I got a modest refund from my tax return for 2005/6. I have been wanting a mountain bike for a little while so I had a bit of a look around for the last few weeks. I also wanted to get one for the lovely mrs. You can certainly get a nice bit of machinery, and you can also spend many thousands on it. Anyway rather than spend crazy amounts of money and not being sure that I will like it (and be serious enough about it), I settled on basically the best (read most expensive) bike that BigW sell. Anyway for the mammoth total of $298, I ended up with a quite nice bike. It is a softtail (I only learnt that term during my recent research – it means it has rear suspension), and of course has front fork shocks. Alloy frame, and 21 speed Shimano controlled by grip-shift. What I thought was pretty good was this it has disc brakes as well as deep rims. The brakes look cool, but I think that will especially well in the wet, as the brake system is well away from the tyres.

I have already tricked it up a little, I bought LED lights as well (it might mean that I can do some exercise during the week), as well as longer seat post (being 183cm meant that the existing post and frame forced my legs to be a little to bent at the longest stretch.)

(Oh, and so as not seem too self-indulgent I bought my wife, a ladies’ model!)

Apart from a few laps around the village, I hadn’t really put the bike to any test. So I decided to go exploring around some of our local firetrails. And have been have a great time. I’ll publish some GPS tracks very soon.