A few weeks ago I went for a mountain bike ride. It started out cold with a hint of mizzle in the air, but as we rode it got progressively wetter, muddier and colder, and more miserable, to be honest. By the end there was mud lodged in the corners of my eyes, between my teeth and all over every inch of me that was exposed to the elements. If I had hair it would have been matted with mud and rain – score one for hereditary baldness.
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So when we got back to the car, a brand new Land Rover Discovery, it was a relief that the car had been fitted with Landy’s new ‘Cycling Pack’. What’s that you ask? Land Rover has launched a range of new lifestyle packages, officially called ‘Gear’, that can be bought with your new Discovery or ordered later, and the Cycling Pack is the first one to be made available.
What’s in the pack?
The first part of it takes care of your bike, be it caked in mud or merely dusty after standing in your garage since your children were born (I might be speaking from personal experience). There are two bike-rack options: roof-mounted or tow-bar mounted. Made by Thule, each rack carries two bikes. I know you can buy these from any outdoor fitment centre, but there is a pertinent point that few of us think about: tow-bar bike racks plug into the electrical system of your vehicle, and in theory can damage it. One of the benefits of Land Rover Gear is that all items are factory approved and covered under standard vehicle warranty periods, so if your Landy-approved bike rack shorts the car’s computer system, it’s covered by the warranty.
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But the Cycling Packs aren’t only about your bike, and include a set of rubber mats for the first and second seating rows, and a waterproof Loadspace Liner Tray to protect the cargo-area floor from the mud and grime picked up during a long day out on trails. And believe me, they paid for themselves when I threw my now virtually disposable cycling kit into the boot, then placed my still dripping feet onto the rubber mats.
Front and rear mudflaps are also part of the deal (yip, Discoverys come without mudflaps as standard), as are black or silver wheel centre caps. The final, clever, touch is a first-aid kit.
Another interesting point is that Landy has made these cycling packs cheaper than they would be ordinarily, with savings of between R3 000 and R6 000.
The cost of all these Gear items would add up to a maximum R28 791 if bought individually but bundled together, the Cycling Pack is priced at R22 500. The package is available to existing new Discovery owners, or can be built into the finance agreements of one bought from the showroom floor of any Land Rover retailer in South Africa.
Words Stephen Smith