Hopetechwomen Basic Mechanics Course
Last weekend I joined a group of Hopetechwomen at Gisburn Forest, for a basic mechanics course and social ride. It was safe to say that the weather gods were not smiling as I rocked up to the Gisburn Forest Hub on Saturday morning. It was a gloomy, rainy and cold day and to be honest with you, I was not looking forward to getting out of the car, I was cold just watching Mr Betty put my bike together through the car window. Despite the urge to stay warm, I joined the other soggy ladies as I thought it was high time to fill the holes in my knowledge, I can’t rely on Mr Betty to fix those trail-side punctures, what if he gets eaten by a wayward trail badger?
After a first cuppa we ladies were ready to start learning the mechanical wizardry that kept our bikes in good shape. There were four stations; how to change a tube, bike part names 101, “M-check” and general bike-setup. Each of the four stations represented a learning opportunity and to top it off I finally managed to change tyre on my own (i’m not sure I should be admitting to this). The “M-check” is a full bike check that you should do before you set off on a ride. Our instructor’s “M-Check” was far more detailed that I had learnt before, and the setup tips given by hope technician have improved the way the purple one handles out on the trails.
It would also be remiss of me not to mention that I managed to get my leg over Hope’s amazing prototype HB.211 bike. I understand that Hope intend to produce a limited number of these amazing carbon enduro bikes later this year, having seen it in the flesh I am pretty sure they will sell out instantly. The prototype I got my hands on came with Ohlins suspension and was naturally kitted out with Hope goodness from top to bottom. It was really something to behold.
There were no stupid questions (or so I am reliably informed), there was lots of tea and the attendees received a lovely handout (with stickers obviously!) just in case you forget all the details from the day. I went home clutching the lovely Hopetechwomen keyring that we all have received. I felt sure it had manufactured in the Hope factory, as it had this lovely freshly-lasered feeling to it, and was therefore sacred. I understand Mr Betty was able to prise it from my claws and set it down some time in the night.
After a pitta pizza (what a beautiful, unholy concept) in the excellent Gisburn Cafe, we set off out into the rain for a ride around the Gisburn Forest 8 Loop. There were two rides for the ladies to sign up to; one which mostly stuck to the blue and the other one which followed the red route. With the pitta pizza filling me with cheese and confidence I decided to join the more challenging red route group. As always the lovely fit ladies started climbing those hills seemingly with little effort and I resigned myself to falling in at the back. Everyone in the group was supportive and despite feeling like I might be holding the group up everyone was kind enough to pretend otherwise.
I would strongly recommend going on a mechanics course, and the Hope Tech Women course is an ideal opportunity to learn a few things, make some friends and enjoy a group ride together.
January 30, 2017