Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Back to Bowland
August 30th, 2020

Time does a lot to your memory, back in 2006 I did a big ride out of Dunsop Bridge in the Forest of Bowland. With a new bike, I decided it was time to revisit it, but after the ride the gift of Strava reminded me I’d been back in 2010 and re-ridden some of it.

Dunsop Bridge, August 2020

The epic steepness of Bowland wasn’t forgotten. The difficulty in following the trail was, that and the knee deep mud. There’s only one time I’ve done more pushing and pulling a bike and ended up quite so physically tired after a ride.

Dunsop Bridge, August 2020

Views are still epic. Even if the wind on the tops was strong enough to blow you over, the rain was horizontal and it felt more March than August. 

Dunsop Bridge, August 2020

Still the sun came out for the last descent of the day. The endorphins kicked in and the sense of being utterly worn out by an epic day (6 hrs to cover under 45km) was temporarily dispelled by hammering down a lush green toboggan run…

Dunsop Bridge, August 2020

August 21st, 2020

Last December I went to California. I rode for the first time in the USA. I had a good chat with the folks at Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito as I was passing by (new Specialized road lid and some gloves picked up) and took a good look at the Santa Cruz line up.

Having some saddle time on a 29er led to the Chameleon and after clocking up 600km on that I’ve been loving the dynamics and fit. To the point that riding the Genius just felt cramped and after my last outing over the reshaped trails of Llandegla I was decided. New bike time.

Start Fitness in Newcastle provided the goods. Standard prep and upgrades commenced. Rockstop inserts this time rather than Procore, refurbed the XT Trail pedals, swapped the 36s and Transfer post over and invisiframe wrapped the whole thing (that took about 5 hours but looks great). Ready to roll…

Santa Cruz Megatower

More photos here

Time to go back to the Forest that is not
August 17th, 2020

I’m feeling the need to revisit this


Wear It Out
February 9th, 2020

Many moons ago when Levis tried to put the squeeze on a little British company called Howies. It put them into the national news. Since then and for a long time before I have been working fulfilling a Howies philosophy – wear it out. Last week I had to retire three pairs of jeans and trousers, some more than 20 years old. Time for a new pair, but none of this skinny jean nonsense.

Howies Jeans

Howies Jeans

Howies Jeans

Howies Jeans

February 4th, 2020

So after going to California, riding a 29er hardtail and spending time in Mike’s Bikes in Sausalito, I decided that it was time to make some changes in bike ownership and get a Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Chameleon 29er

Whilst the Carbon option looks lovely I’m not sure it’s justifiable to pay the premium to save 1lb in weight. So the alloy frame it was with a combination of repurposed parts of other bikes to personalise it.

Forks off the Scott, Push Tuned by TFTuned with external lockout. Front wheel rebuilt onto a Hope Pro4. Hope headset to replace the Cane Creek one before it gets wet and seizes solid. Hope Race Brakes and floating rotors. Forged and CNC’d stem. SDG Saddle. XTR SPDs. Sensibly Helicopter taped. A tad over 29lbs for the lonnnng XL frame. More photos here.

Winter trail exploring bike sorted. Question is how long can I put up with the vague SRAM NX (not exceptional?) shifting.

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