Today I went out on the Charge, with the main goal of going to the bike shop to buy a new cassette and seatpost for Junior. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that today is a public holiday (the Spanish take their public holidays on the exact date, rather than the nearest Monday, which is what we usually do in Britain), and so everything everywhere is shut. Rats.
The best thing about the Charge though, is its flexibility. I have taped him up to make him look less attractive to thieves (see pic - although it still looks quite badass unfortunately), and so use him for commuting and getting to and from places all the time. But today I took the the long way home from the bike shop through the Olympic Port, and ended up putting the saddle down for a good two hour's worth of street riding. The Olympic port was redeveloped and renamed for the 1992 Olympic games, held here in Barcelona, and this was where the Olympic village was, with all the accommodation for the athletes. It has now been converted into a modern housing estate which, while very safe (and actually quite upmarket) is actually quite soulless, in the way that all thrown-up-overnight sort of places tend to be. Fortunately for some, such places also tend to be very good for interesting street furniture, and the Olympic port is no exception! There are "lines and lines and lines and lines" (to quote a character from the League of Gentlemen TV series); pretty much everywhere you look, every corner you turn, you stumble across another possibility. From easy gentle wall rides to big-ass gaps that will brook no error, there is just so much to do. After an hour I was knackered (the heat is particularly draining, it's 30° today), but I kept getting diverted on the ride home by more cool stuff. In the end I had to stop as my tiredness was forcing mistakes, which eventually and inevitably result in a face-pavement meeting if left unnoticed, so I stopped before having any nasty crashes and headed home.
I'm getting used to the Charge now. The rigid forks in particular took me some time to adapt to, but I'm actually quite happy with them now and it makes me a more careful rider. I'm also finally getting better at manuals and a couple of lines today involved some pretty long manuals (for me that is, not Aaron Chase) across various bits and bobs. I even managed a decent "Manualeeeeeeeeeeeeeroooooooo" under my breath at one point!
The only disappointment of the day was that I didn't get my parts for Junior. Not to worry, it is only Wednesday, so plenty of time for me to sort it out before Saturday when my mate Raoul and I are heading up to the Vallnord Bike Park in Andorra. Oh yeah! Here is a shot of Junior 'work-in-progress' build: