After the first shock of oversleeping last sunday (I woke up at 09.05, I guess right around the time you guys took of), I discovered the even bigger shock of you having a very very cool ride last sunday. This was especially not cool since my Merida is set up with some new stuff and I'm dying to try it out.
Check out my new old bike:
Initially I was thinking of buying a completely new bike this year, but being able to work on the bike is even nicer and less costly. So first came the wheels: Mavic Crosstrail 2010. After a first ride I was amazed how much difference a new set of lighter and stiffer wheels is to your bike. With a smaller tire in the back for speed and a slightly bigger in the front for stability it works out great.
All happy about that, I was doing some maintenance on the bike as our president tells us to and I changed my old worn chain. But the new chain was jumping all over the place when I was trying to shift. This meant I needed at least a new casette... and that opened the door to more upgrading. I did not go all the way and bought top of the line parts (the new bike idea is gone for now, but I'm guessing not forever...) and since I already had quite new Shimano SLX brakes (and happy about them), I decided to complete the SLX group with the shifters, derailleurs and pedalier. This is easier said then done, but with the help of a friendly neighbour who is bike technician in his spare time (really handy such neighbours, you should get one of those!) it all came together.
Now I'm not the world biggest bike technician, but even I can see that Shimano completely redid the rear derailleur. You can tell by the way the cable runs to the derailleur. There is no longer a big bend from the cable to come up to the derailleur from behind, but it runs straight down. Looks nice, doesn't it? Another advantage is that the derailleur itself does not "stick out" to the right as much as his predecessor.
So I still need to go out and test it for real, but at least it looks great and I'm happy how it worked out. Looking forward to see you all guys again soon in the forest!!