X4.009 – SWEET.OLD.VLAANDEREN.SUSSEX

POWERED.BY.KTM.HELLY-HANSEN&THE.ÆIGHT.BICYCLE.CØMPANY

Sometimes I rides and thinks… sometimes I just rides…

Sussex and Flanders, there’s a place in my heart for both. Wednesday was a rare day off for me and naturally involved a ride into the Sussex countryside. I’m often reminded by how lucky I am to live where I live. If I had pursued a career as a pro I would have definitely emigrated to Flanders where some of my family come from, and in particular the Ardennes. Big mountains are all well and good but for me the devil lives in the little punchy climbs.

One of those climbs finished off my old warhorse about six weeks ago – a 2003 Scott R1. The Saunier-Duval team bike met it’s maker on the way up past Chiddingstone Hoath, when a birch branch sent the rear mech through the frame. Gutted, but at least now I had a reason to purchase a new bike! I’d lusted after one of the new Scott Addict’s since I first heard about them being back in the line up and the 10 had my name all over it.

The Addict 10 features a full HMF carbon frame (Scott also produce a slightly lighter HMX frame as well as the silly light HMX-SL, available as framesets or bikes), along with a full Ultegra 11-speed group and Syncros finishing kit. At 7.2kg for a 54 with pedals and cages on it’s no heavyweight – it’s not designed to be particularly efficient into the wind, but what it does fantastically well is send it on the climbs. You really can feel every little ounce of energy flowing through that rear wheel to the tarmac.

The tarmac which is, at this time of year, smashed up like the cobbles in Belgium – This is where you really feel the difference between a half arsed Chinese carbon knock-off and the real deal, and believe me I’ve ridden both! The Addict seems to just grab the bumpy terrain by the scruff of the neck and demand grip.

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And that’s the beauty of Sussex at this time of year – flying through a corner with your elbow touching the cowslips you’re constantly keeping an eye on where the next hole may be or the next patch of gravel that’s just waiting to relieve you of that front end adhesion, and the skin that relies upon it! Arm warmers are constantly being raised and lowered as the little Sussex bergs test your early spring legs, whilst your wind vest zip is up and down as much as your heart rate. The winter’s mud has dried on the road, along with the cowshit, and has now turned to dust which searches out your lungs and covers the back of your bike in a sandy black paste.

Little swathes of bluebells dance in the wind that blows through the sunny chestnut glades and the farmers are busy in the fields and you could easily find yourself on the roads around La Roche in Belgium. It’s only the drivers, who sometimes fill the correct side of the road, that remind you of being at the bottom of Yorks Hill. At that point everything leaves your head for a few moments, except the sound of the blood pumping which only finally leaves as you crest the top and return to blissful miles in the sun, dreaming of all those summer rides to come!

Photo and video by Scott Sports.

Glen rides a Colnago Master and races a Scott Addict at local road races. He races a KTM Aera Pro 27.5 hardtail in the UK National Points Series, the Eastern XC Series and the Southern XC Series. He receives personal sponsorship from Helly Hansen, KTM and THE.ÆIGHT.BICYCLE.CØMPANY. He’s also supported by Lazer helmets.The KTM team is supported by Continental Tyres, Torq Fitness and Four4th Lights.

T   H   E   .   Æ   I   G   H   T   .   B   I   C   Y   C   L   E   .   C   Ø   M   P   A   N   Y

 

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