All pictures courtesy of @furtherjournal
Cycling has long given me the freedom to explore. It has given me independence and an opportunity to expand my horizons, literally and metaphorically. It also serves as a wonderful antidote to our increasingly cluttered and sideways world.
It’s a truly brilliant thing, allowing me to escape and disconnect from the madness and immediacy of the digital world whilst ensuring I can remain firmly connected to the wonders of the natural world.
Most of my riding experience to date has been on tarmac. I have tackled a few mountain bike trails over the years but I’ve never felt comfortable on a mountain bike. The position just doesn’t feel ‘right. The connection to a drop handle bar is strong and it is aboard a road bike I am most at home.
However, I often find myself spinning along an asphalt road marvelling at my natural surroundings, wishing, wondering what it would be like if I could turn the bars and literally head off into the wilds. Living in the Pyrenees, the wilderness is vast and I figure that the further I can get, the more connected to nature I will be.
Then, along came a Mason Cycles ‘InSearchOf’ and things changed.
When I saw the bike, I’ll admit I had reservations; the tyres were enormous, the frame shape looked a bit weird, the handle bars were flared and it was running a 1 x drivetrain. It’s basically a mountain bike, I thought and it’s going to ride like one. Or, is it?
Ah, non. Not in the slightest; the moment I clipped in and turned the pedals it became apparent very quickly that this bike turned convention on its head; a rutted goat track – yep, a rock strewn pass – yep. a fast tarmac descent – yep, a classic Pyrenean ascent – yep. a ‘I need to get home fast chain-gang’ – yep.
I don’t know how it does it but everything I asked this bike to do, it did. It actually blew my mind and the position also means it’s ridiculously comfortable; everywhere and anywhere.
It made me smile…a lot…that’s infectious. It even allowed me to share liver sausage and a bottle of wine atop a mountain. This bike is class.
Thanks to the ISO, my desire to explore beyond boundaries is now stronger than ever and the Pyrénées wilderness gets closer and closer. Merci Mason Cycles; you’ve designed and built a bike that allows me to go further and get increasingly connected to nature. It really is a truly unique machine. Chapeau.