My son, our neighbour and a Merida Big Trail 800

I’ve always felt blessed, but never more so when I found out that my neighbour owns a couple of bike shops!!

When I was young I always loved going to the local bike shop, the smell of oil mixed with new rubber, and a shop owner who knew everything about everything to do with bikes. Mitchells in Swindon is no different. The shop, set on two floors has more bikes and accessories than should fit into the space. Its like Dr Who’s tardis but much more interesting and way more exciting.
Today I had to go and get my Rockhopper serviced. It needs some new gear parts, and while I was there Andrew Mitchell introduced me to the Merida Big Trail 800, a new mountain bike that defies everything I always thought a mountain bike needed. My thought was the more gears the better, the need to have a saddle that drops was critical and tyres need to be big but not too big. The Mierida Big Trail 800 only has 11 gears, it has a seat that pops up, and tyres that are slightly above average. ‘fancy borrowing it for a few days?’ hell yes! So home it came with me in preparation for a few miles along the Ridgeway tomorrow.

When I arrived home, I decided to show it to my son. He looked at it with awe and slight trepidation! ‘give it a go’ I said. He didn’t need to be asked twice. Now here is where it became fun. Not only is the gearing quite magical; you can literally be spinning your feet as fast as you can and hardly moving, but the breaks are more aggressive than the south African rugby back row! It looks like a monster, acts like a monster but gives you a warm and fluffy feeling as soon as you sit on it. I couldn’t get Josh off. All he wanted to do was go up and down the road, pulling wheelies with the biggest smile on his face.

In Micthells when Andrew introduced me to the bike he told me I needed one of these Big Trail 800. I scoffed at him. Oh how wrong was I? Don’t tell my wife but when I’ve earnt some money lending out my bikes on byyker its next on my shopping list.

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