140mm of travel is overkill for round the woods really. I usually prefer the hardtail but the Ibis pedals well and it's light weight and suspension soon had me feeling like I was "cheating" a bit!

Baz led the ride and did a good job of doing some mixing up of some of the regular trails by riding them a different way / in a different order. To be honest it was all a very nice change for me with a different bike and different trails compared to recently.

I was expecting my lack of fitness to leave me hanging off the back but Baz set a pace that worked well for me. The singletrack was dry and flowing nicely but the summer bramble and nettle growth has not died back yet. My legs were soon scratched and tingling with stings.

I had one problem with my new chain device when I clonked it crossing the railway line and it moved a bit. This is always a potential problem with bottom bracket mounted devices. After I got some abuse for trying to move it back with a lump of concrete The Show Onion showed me how to do it with his bare hands!

It was great to be riding twisty singletrack in the dark again and I really enjoyed the ride. I was even in the mix for the final sprint which was a surprise to me! Perhaps my fitness is coming back?