New wheels Specialized Rockhopper Evo Pro

(Scroll down for review)
You know when you are a kid, and as you grow up one of the markers is getting a bike with bigger wheels than the previous one! Well I guess I’ve grown up a bit this week as I’ve moved from Mountain biking on 26″ wheels to moving onto the new standard, 29-ers, oh yes!
This is my new rural assault weapon …. rolling past (fast) on a Bridleway near you!
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Review:
November 30th
Ok, I have been riding this for a month now and feel able to fully review the 2014 Specialized Rockhopper Evo Pro.
It’s a good looking bike with a fine range of componentry and contact points; Brakes and gears doing their job beautifully. I’m really liking the Sram 2 x 10 set up with the ‘X7′ rear Mech, whilst the 29er wheels roll very nicely indeed especially at battle speed’ (they do feel marginally slower’ to accelerate). In theory then I should be delighted but I am having some difficulties with the handling. The frame design which has a ‘more relaxed geometry’ allied with longer stiffer 120 mm travel forks seems to me to need more weight distribution to the front as I have had a couple of times where the front end washes out. This may be a tyre issue though and it just makes it feel less planted at the front? Will keep experimenting. It’s great at straight line though and an able climber.
(Just noticed that MBR were ‘underwhelmed’ by this model in their review so there maybe something of how the front end doesn’t perform in their experience too)

Job Opportunities

Greyfriars Church in Reading are looking for a Children’s worker, whilst their partner project “New Hope Church” is looking for a Youth and Childrens Worker. They are both full time roles and the details can be found here: Greyfriars job adverts.docx

Micro climate

I have a meeting today at a coffee shop (not unusual I know!) but this is the picture from the link that my colleague sent me to confirm the venue/location. Hoping that this obscure village doesn’t have some sort of bizarre localized micro climate.
coldweathercoffeemeet.jpg
Obviously I have set myself the traget of seeing how many snow related words I can get into our discussion without it being noticed …. if you get my drift?

Bio angst

I have been asked for a Bio’ for a conference I am speaking at next year. It is SO HARD to write something that is a useful summary of yourself that doesn’t come across as either, a bit pretentious or instead, too flippant!
Errrr ……..
Ian Macdonald is a youthful middle-aged geek who seeks to serve his twin passions of Stand Up Comedy and Youth Ministry usefully (one of which he pays to do, the other he gets paid for). He feels very blessed to have four sheds, three teenagers, two bicycles and one wife.
Ian Macdonald is a Contemplative Christian Activist seeking to redefine Orthodoxy (partly because he doesn’t fit easily into any particular category). When he is not enabling Youth Ministry or Mission in the Diocese of Oxford he can be found out in THE cathedral, either cycling, hiking or kayaking.
Ian Macdonald is an amateur ecclesiologist and a professional youth worker. He finds a home in the Mission department in the Diocese of Oxford helping churches to engage with young people and community. He is interested in everything (which makes a bio difficult to write) but is currently very excited that he is to be speaking on a ski trip, meaning he can claim his ministry is going downhill!
Whilst taking comedy very seriously, Ian Macdonald retains a sense of humour and playfulness in his approach to theology and spirituality. He works within the mission department of the Diocese of Oxford focused on youth ministry, emerging culture and discipleship. He has recently returned from speaking overseas and finds that this experience of the Isle of Wight has completely changed his geography.
There are well over a million entries relating to “Ian Macdonald” on Google, nearly all of which aren’t him. If you are patient enough though you can eventually find that he is a Christian, a cyclist, an expert on Creosote (don’t ask) and works for the Church of England in the arenas of Discipleship and Youth Ministry.
You see?