Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Visited Tim and crew at Sideways this week end. Ordered the tIF. Blueprint at some point. Tim as ever a bastion of sensible advice in a world of super shiny bike exotica, where it is so easy to be blinded...

More soon.


Go East young man

Back from Eastbourne. A very good trip indeed. There was car-nage on the roads, due to hideous conditions. Lots of motorway food, very wet trails and a hangover.

And do you know what? it was perfect.

full write up once I have slept. Meanwhile Steve Makin was there, and he took some characteristically superb photo's....enjoy!


Thursday, March 23, 2006

What is Haggis?

The Quickening

Can you feel it? It's the Quickening. Light, energy pulses through the hills and trees. Mother nature is getting ready to awaken from her slumber.

As the Spanish peacock Juan Sanchez Villalobos Ramirez would say, "You have the manners of a goat. And you smell like a dung-heap! And you have no knowledge whatsoever of your potential!"

Lets hit the road!



Monday, March 20, 2006


Rode today. A measly 2.5 hours. A cold for the last week, too little sleep and - in places - nearly 6 inches of snow on the trails has curtailed the Spring push for form. Nevertheless, the air temp (without windchill) was 6 degrees, so things are looking up.

2 layers of merino wool from Spot Brand and Icebreaker had me pretty cozy too.

Hellfire and damnation

Seems as though you have to be on your game to get into UK solo 24 hour races these days. I was going to send my entry to Saab Salomon Mountain Mayhem on the Wednesday. However, by the Tuesday it was full.


Still, I have a solo entry into Pat Adam's sister event, which is in the Global 24 hour series backed by Kona, at Sleepless in the Saddle.


In addition, my niece nearly made her Uncle happy as a clam. Out of the blue, she flashed the 'more metal' sign with both hands. I was pretty stoked about this as I have been trying to instill a punk rock ethic since she was 3.

My sister set me straight. Elisabeth (my niece) and my sis can sign, and it means 'I love you' in sign language. Ironic and perhaps a teeny bit disappointing.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


Looks like an I.F is in my future pretty soon.

Here is a taster, someone from mtbr is the owner. Mine will be...a bit more...grey.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Extract from an Outcast spraff

'Ever wonder whether the sort of person who exercises in an ‘enduro’ fashion chooses to do so because of their personality? Or whether they become a certain way due to the effects of endurance exercising?'

This bike is a pipe bomb

So we all know about the initial panic caused yes?

More, always, always more...


oh, and just in case:


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Monday, March 06, 2006


Its been a tough old week. Work has been stressful, which has left me a little frayed. I have also needed to recover from the 2 longer/tougher rides I managed to finally get in. So, when i went out today, i decided to have 'fun' and just ride the route i wanted as quickly as i wanted, and not watch the clock. What i wasn't expecting was 2-3 inches of snow at my chosen destination. Fortunately, and for the first time ever i might add, the snow was pretty consolidated. This meant not only could you ride but the traction was actually pretty good. In addition, the snow had packed down into the braking bumps, leaving the trail significantly more rideable. A good thing, as the snow did tend to 'shear' when pushing it through corners. Couple of comedy both-wheel slides there then.

3 hours, moderate climbing and the legs felt strong, like there was actually some strength there. At last...The climbing was almost like resistance training as the snow added to the effort required. All worth it as the hills looked beautiful and clean under the sun and wrapped in a gown of white.

The other interesting aspect was the effect the snow had on making the trails seem unfamiliar...Which was good.

Point yer keyboards towards the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. Truly gorgeous work from all concerned. The following links are lifted from mtbr, and the pic comes from one of those sites (ta!).


and of course:

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bike room...

Training log: stardate 1:3:06 point 11

So, I managed to go out for a ride. Drumlanrig Castle grounds. Aim: 4 laps of red route. Well, I have done it before, its mostly swoopy, technical singletrack through trees - right up my street - but not too much climbing. I figured this was do-able. Around 80km I think.

However: stomach cramps; weak legs; a bonk; stopping every now and again to tighten things I replaced the other day; all led to 2.5 laps.

This sounds a trifle poor doesn't it? But, the red route has been extended with several 'eight ball' sections of more 'extreme' riding. Mostly harsh cornering short steeps, inbetween trees. Up and down. All good, but time consuming and definitely a 'grunt' of effort rather than spinning smoothly for a distance. So I'm not too disappointed.

Mostly, it was interesting. I have *no* glycogen stores in my muscles. Its incredible. I have to eat constantly to keep riding anywhere from an inch over 10km, otherwise I bonk. I have very little absolute power. No muscling up climbs, or forcing through bad line choices. All very interesting. I also have very little ability to deal with the cold. It was hovering around freezing point today, and I needed ear warmer, 2 thick wool tops and a gilet, and wool socks. If I had had my druthers, I would also have been wearing my foot covers. In the past I have never worn more than a thin + a thick wool top and gilet. Sounds trivial but it is a real difference.

So what am I getting at? welp: there is a long way to go until fitness. I'm not sure whether it is my usual let-things-slide over Christmas habit, or my continued downtime due to holiday, or mental attitude. Needless to say, I need to turn it around soon.

Otherwise: the bike worked sweet, as ever. The tyre swap to 2.1" rubber afforded a considerable increase in safety margins for hitting rocks. The turning is slower, but I'm adapting rapidly. I am also into my second season on a Selle San Marco saddle. Apart from a tendency to catch the crotch of the cycling shorts in 'off the back' situations, it is very comfortable and durable. The lorica covers combined with the tubular ti rails is a winner.

Ok: off to bed early. I'm pretty wiped out...But ill leave with one last comment. Anejo tequila is aged for around 2-3 years, when compared with reposado at 1 year and gold and silver / months and 'not' respectively. 100% agave is the concentration of blue agave succulent plant (they are very beautiful: we drove past a crop-field in Mexico) as opposed to the combo of fructose/cane sugar syrup and agave in mezcal.

Ok for now.