Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tearing up Taiwan

Both myself and Jay have been out here living in the factory for the last month or so working long hours 6-7 days a week to get the latest production frame to the distributors, so when an opportunity arose to go riding with some locals (Alan and Eric, both banshee fans!) on Sunday we snapped it up.

We grabbed some bikes from the factory show room (not Banshee's as we wanted to check out how some other bikes rode just for research purposes) grabbed some good wheels and very roughly tried to set up the suspension to our weights.

First stop was a 120km drive to the Giant Cup DH track, which was fun, but very very short. Jay will be racing there this weekend, so he wanted to scope some lines. The course was fun to go fast on, but not exactly challenging. Was great to be out of the office and on a bike however, even if it was somewhere around 35C with 110% humidity!

After an hour or so shredding the short DH course we piled back into the van and headed off in search of a local free ride spot (a pretty well hidden one at that, without our local guides we would never have found it! Even they seemed to get a little lost a couple of times! haha).

The top secret riding area was cool, it basically consisted of a tight single track style DH run surrounded by massive creaking bamboo Forrest's, with some jumps, tight loose turns and drops, that lead into a more open area where the jumps and drops got a bit bigger and faster, and the builders had been busy building steep tech lines into a ravine at the bottom. So a cool place with lots of variation. Big shout out to the trail builders... you know who you are!

After an hour or so of trying all the lines suddenly a massive group of other riders suddenly appeared, maybe 30 in total. and they seemed to like nothing more than seasoning a stunt as a group and pushing each other to go faster, higher and further. haha I love this kinda of vibe, so I did my best to represent, although the bike I was on was set up for someone about 20kg lighter than me, so it made things interesting. My derailleur snapped on one little rip and so the day became a fast but quiet chain less day.

By the end of the day we all had varying levels of heat stroke from riding in the tropical conditions. I'm still feeling a bit ill 3 days later, ha, Scottish people are definitely not made for the heat! I think this photo has caught me in early stages, check out my pastey white complexion!

All in all a great day was had by all. thanks again to our guides. It was great to be out on a bike, and really good fun to ride some new spots with some local guys and get a feel for the vibe over here. It rocks!