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Italian E Bike Adventure

E Bike Adventure in Italy!

On a recent road trip to Italy, we visited a well know cycling area on the beautiful Adriatic coastline called Riccione. We booked The Hotel Dory, which turned out to be a cycling hotel with a fully stocked Scott bike hire facility.  We couldn’t miss this great opportunity to hire bikes for a couple of days and as a proud owner of a Scott road bike and a Scott mountain Bike the stars were aligned. I emailed the hotel ahead detailing the road bike I required i.e. the same as my current rig, but somehow my request got lost in translation so I decided to sort it out when I got there. Before heading off I discussed the holiday with Shaun, upon which he asked me if we were hiring E-Bikes? Nooooo I said, of course not – we’re getting road bikes!!!

However, during the flight I relayed this conversation to my wife (who is road bike obsessed) and asked her if she fancied giving an E-Bike a go if they had any? Fast forward to check in, we are invited to go and select our bikes, so we head off to the bike shop in the basement and there in front of us are 2 Scott E-Bikes, specifically E-Sub Tour Bike. Needless to say we decided to give it a go for a laugh.

 

We went prepared and had already downloaded our routes on the Garmin 1000, our first route being the panoramic coastal route heading south to Pescara, so with fully charged batteries off we set. The Bike was extremely comfortable and the deployment of the pedal assist power was totally intuitive with 4 power options; Eco – Tour – Sport – Turbo. Being unsure as to how long the battery would last and how far we would travel, I mainly kept the setting on Eco and moved up to the Tour setting for the more difficult climbs. There was however one occasion on a 25% gradient that I put the bike into the Turbo setting to see what it could do! I have to say it was amazing. Using the power settings to take the edge off the steeper climbs makes a huge difference and throughout the day I was grinning from ear to ear as the ride was just superb. I had the pre conceived notion that Ebiking is cheating a little but I have to tell you that you still have to work hard and you are still burning lots of calories on an eBike, you just go faster with the power assist and therefore further. In 5 hours, with a long lazy lunch, we completed 50miles, and every mile was brilliant. We were actually unsure how long the battery would last for and therefore conservatively kept the power on Eco mode for the majority of the ride and this used 2 bars out of 5 on the battery gauge, so we could have stayed out even longer.

 

The second day we rode out towards the beautiful Sangiovese area following another pre planned 50 mile loop. I could feel the previous days ride in my legs but never the less off we set. This ride was a little tougher but again the bikes were great and we felt confident that the batteries would see us through so when needed to, we nudged the power up to Tour on the long steep climbs.

 

So who should consider buying an eBike? Everyone in my opinion. If you want to cycle faster and further, if you want to inject more enjoyment into your cycling, if you don’t want to feel like your going to vomit at the top of a hideous climb, if you just want to get fitter, then an eBike is definitely for you!

 

The E-Bike phenomenon was a complete revelation to me and I am so glad I tried it, and let’s face it as a bike shop owner I should have tried it sooner. It was that good I am a complete convert and have just taken delivery of my new E-Bike , a Trek Powerfly 7 WSD 2020!!!

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Trek Supercaliber 2020

Trek Supercaliber 2020

The year’s most anticipated XC bike is finally here. 

Trek Supercaliber is a radically new short travel XC, with no compromises! Its a bike that bridges the gap between hardtail and full suspension race bikes with IsoStrut integrated suspension. With 60mm of rear travel, riders get better traction and control than a hardtail without the complexity or weight of a traditional full suspension bike.

OCLV Mountain Carbon ensures just the right blend of flex and strength in the pivot-less rear end while the Straight Shot downtube makes the front of the bike extra stiff for a more responsive, confident feel, especially in high-torque situations like fast climbs and intense sprints. Trek Knock Block protects the frame from spinning handlebars, and there’s even room in the frame to carry two full-size water bottles on most sizes.

Since the Trek Supercaliber is a dedicated XC race bike, it uses 29-inch wheels on all frame sizes, including the small for ultimate momentum-preserving speed.

 

All four models feature SRAM Eagle 1×12 drivetrains, including a SRAM AXS option at the highest end. Lightweight OCLV Carbon Bontrager Kovee wheels are tubeless ready, quick to get rolling, and feature Rapid Drive hub internals for nearly instant engagement when you stomp on the pedals.

 

Trek Supercaliber is already causing a stir on the World Cup circuit with numerous podium

See below each model from the Trek Supercaliber 9.9 AXS to the Supercaliber 9.7.

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2015 Bike Sale

We have some amazing deals on 2015 bikes, from Trek, Giant and Scott that we can guarantee are the best around.

For example we have the Scott Speedster 30 down to £550 from £749.

the award winning Giant Defy 1, now £700 from £899.

Trek Emonda SL5 now £1350 was £1900.

We have more too, take a look on our sale page for the full list – http://www.cooksoncycles.co.uk/sale/

along with our final 2015 bikes, we have reduced the 2016 Stache 9 to £2000 from £2700 and the Trek Farley 5 £1000 from £1300.

These offers are only available on stock bikes we have in store – be quick before they are all gone!

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Whinlatter Forest 2015 – Nutcracker Round 1

Round 1 Whinlatter Forest

I headed up for round 1 of the nutcracker series up in Whinlatter forest in the lake district, early Sunday morning with enough time to have a practice lap for my 1st race of the year!

They provided a pretty tough course, Some pretty steep long climbs and I was glad I choose to run a 32 tooth front chainring instead of a 34.

As usual at a trail center they didn’t use a lot of the man made trails and put in a nice slippy techy rooty descent.

It was my first time racing in expert a step up from last year so was ready to get my ass whooped.

Expert category set of with Elites and Juniors so right from the start it was flat out. I knew a few people racing elite so used them as markers and manage to stay with them for a lap before they left me in there dust. After that I just set myself a hard pace and managed to keep it up till the end.

Wasn’t expecting a great result but managed ending up taking the win, was quite surprised with myself as I didn’t have a clue what position I was in.

Chris Lever 1st place expert - Whinlatter Forest

Raced on my Scott Scale RC with the new 11 speed Shimano XTR groupset on which worked superb, as expect from Shimano!

The next nutcracker race is at Dalby forest, if you fancy giving it a go you can enter it on the britishcycling website 🙂

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Cookson Cycles Navigation Training Day Hope Valley

We started off at Ladybower Reservoir 9 am the weather was a perfect winters day 6 degree with clearing summits with sunshine giving us absolute cracking views through the day.

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All though the terrain was rather muddy wet and generally sloppy, it added for some awesome descents with a nice, loose fun flow for that bit more adrenaline.

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A few minor miss navigation to add to the adventure of the day.

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The day was packed with technical descents, climbs and gave us some of the best trails hope valley Mountain Biking has to offer; alongside some of its stunning views.

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Nutcracker round 3 Aske Forest, North of England Champs

It was a hot day, was doing my best to drink lots of fluids before the start, crammed a gel down me as well on the start line. There’s no gridding at the nutcracker its just one long line and its the first to the end of the field gets the lead.

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Had a good start and lead across the first half of the field my chain over shifted and dropped off causing me to loose a place but i was happy sitting in 2nd up the climb and into the descent. Had a little fall on a root and dropped to 3rd place.

1st and 2nd raced off and i was unable to gain on them. Came through lap 1 in 3rd and went as hard as i could on lap 2, closed the gap to 2nd and overtook him and finally caught 1st back up and struggled to shake him off my tail for half a lap.

Finally lost him and used the rest of my energy i had to create a gap. Another gel kept me going for the 4th and last lap and I Managed to win the race by a minute and a half over 2nd.

Over the moon having the title of 2014 North of England MTB XC Champ, went and celebrated by having a massive mixed grill.

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Thanks to everyone who came to support me, especially the girls who stood there passing me drinks.

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Midlands XC Round 2

Tough fast course in the dry, Tougher slow course in the mud. It was muddy.

I watched the Vets race which was before mine, Took a few pics and watch Chris Smith struggle with the mud trying to claw his way back into the Vets Cat after setting off in the wrong Group with the Grand Vets.

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I got myself sorted and did a warm up lap, it wasn’t as bad as i first thought just the 1st half of the course which was draggy slow and very muddy. To my surprise i was gridded in 1st, so managed to get a good start and stayed at the front for the 1st lap, on the 2nd lap 2 people came past me and i couldn’t stay with them.

I rode all the climbs but maybe it would of been quicker getting off and running with my bike they were that slow and slippy, I enjoyed the descents they were out of control mud slides which were fun.

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I got myself in a rhythm for the rest of the race, didn’t really push myself as hard as i could but didn’t relax either, i could talk after the race instead of having a crazy coughing fit which is how i now gauge how hard I’ve rode, managed to finish in 3rd place which kept me happy.

Nationals round 2 next week

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Nutcracker Round 2 Gandale

After the practice lap I had decided that this wasn’t going to be a course for me, I found it hard, short steep climbs, long flat drags with mental headwinds that nearly brought you to a stop and loose gravel that gave hardly any traction out the saddle.

Didn’t wimp out though and placed myself on the front row, the race started at a slow pace everyone was waiting for someone to make a move to go on the front into the wind.

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I sat myself in behind someones wheel and then made a break for it on a technical river bed section, came out in the lead with quite a good gap. Lead the race for 2 laps when power house Keith Murray from Scott Bikes caught up to me on the headwind straight I was pretty goosed by this point and was pretty sure i had lost my 1st place position when he got a flat.

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Went back into the lead and got myself to recover on lap 3, pushed as hard as i could on the final lap to finish the race as the winner.

So much for it not being a course for me!

1st Win of the season for me so well chuffed.

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Chris and Carl both raced in the Vets class as well and both rode hard enjoying themselves, Chris Got a flat and had to run for half a mile to get a tube and pump, next time he’s carrying co2 and a spare tube!

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Ian rode in the super vets finishing in 2nd place

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Thanks to all the girls for sitting in the cold handing out drinks, taking the pics and cheering us on.

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National XC Round 1 Codham Park

Wasn’t prepared for the pace at the start of this one or the summer temperature, Proper fast from the gun. Got to the top of the 1st climb in 3rd position and had to slow down before i blew up. Legs were screaming at me, and i was really hot, slipped back many places and got myself to recover.

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The course should of suited me really but i struggled with it, was pretty much full gas all the way with not much let up even in the single-track it was flat out pedaling. Loved the techy descent and there was even a BMX track thrown in for good measure to, right up my street with some good jumps on it.

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Found my legs at the end of lap 2 and pulled a few places back, managed to finish all 5 laps in 8th place which was good, as i went wanting a top 10 finish.

Carl had a good race in the vets cat and really enjoyed the course.

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Time to get a bit more hard training in i think to get ready for round 2 in Cornwall next month, hopefully another course which i should get on with.

Thanks to Liz for taking all the pics and standing in the feed zone.

 

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Thetford Winter Series Round 3

Pretty long drive down to Thetford from here in Manchester, but there seems to be a lack of winter series up north unless your into your CX.

After registering i got out for a practice lap just making it back in time for start, seemed pretty dry and fast which was a surprise after the weather we’ve had. I was gridded in 20th as i missed the 1st round, I knew the weather forecast was going to change to extremely grim so i had a waterproof jacket on, my shimano goretex winter boots and fully waterproof gloves, all i was worried about was getting cold feet and hands.

As the race started so did the rain, and straight away someone rode into my rear wheel snapping a spoke, sorted it out and started to race, a few lads got away out front and i was sat in a group behind. Around 3/4s round the 1st lap i attacked and got a gap on the group and managed to pull a nice lead on them.

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The 1st 2 laps were quite good and i held my 4th place position, as the 3rd lap started the course had been churned up and was starting to become a mudfest, i had a few close calls coming into corners to fast but managed to keep upright and keep my position.

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On the 4th and final lap 3rd place had a mechanical enabling me to take his place and with a comfy lead over 4th managed to finish the race in 3rd. I was 5 mins down on 1st with a time of 2 hours 26mins.

Shaun managed a very reasonable 12th place.

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Top event and hopefully will like to make it down to the final race next month.

Thanks to Liz and Emma for coming down and standing in the rain and taking pic’s.