A bike, a bike, my kingdom for a bike

My intentions this year had been to get a long travel 29er full suspension bike, so something around the 140mm travel at each end. This was going to be both my ‘big bike’ and also the choice for the Trans-Savoie multi-day enduro in August. However, there are not that many available from the majority of manufacturers (2013 models), particularly when you take out the expensive options available from Santa Cruz and Specialized.
A couple of bikes touted for delivery in the early part of 2013 failed to materialise, and as July rolled around, I realised I was actually going to have to get myself organised and source something for the race itself, and then look at a purchase in the future. A few people helped (thanks Andy Guerin at Purple Bike Shed in particular) in trying to find something to use for the event although unfortunately most options failed to materialise, and I tried a few shops and other sources with no luck.
However, luck prevailed and Alex at Canyon Bikes UK has bailed me out with the loan of something ideally suited to the event, by providing a Canyon Strive AL 8.0 which had just come back from being reviewed with Future Publishing. It’s very similar to the bikes that some of the pros will be racing at the event, and while they will be racing at the sharp end as part of the Canyon Factory team, I’ll be hoping to finish each day in one piece, enjoy the amazing trails that have been put together for the event and try and get as far up the non-professionals list as I can.

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