11 July 2005

The FOSTFOLG Beastie Road Test

I got to take the Flouro-Orange-Shading-To-Fading-Out-Lime-Green Beastie out “in anger” today. Steven “Frame Breaker” Hanley I’m not – even uphill slopes you could barely see were quite noticeable, and the “aerobic&rdquo part of the exercise plan was depressingly easy to achieve.

All in all, despite that little embarrassment, it was quite an enjoyable ride, just a couple of klicks down to the local supermarket and back. It’s amazing how much heavier a 9kg pack full of groceries feels than one with just a digital camera and phone in it. I can no longer just stand up and fling myself around in the course of accelerating, I have to carefully moderate the pedal-pushing lest the bag fling me off the bike.

The FOSTFOLG Beastie itself is much nicer to prod along than the temporary Blue Beastie. The thicker tyres, for starters, drastically improve the ride. The gearshift feels precise and new, and each click on the handlebars corresponds exactly with a gentle rattle and clunk from below and behind as the derailleur shifts the chain onto the next cog. The front rim has just a shadow of rust which makes braking a little uneven and scuffy-sounding, and for some reason the bike wants to tilt left when riding hands-free, but in general the handling is very light and precise, very confidence-inspiring, and everything operates silently and efficiently as you’d expect.

Now to re-learn how to breathe, shed 20kg and keep it off.

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