Mountain Bike Shenanigans

May 30th, 2003

Well I’ve finally made it into the pages of Cycling Weekly, unfortuantely not because of my fantastic race results. BY chance there’s a picture of me in the 31st May edition in an article called Hardest of Them All. Thanks to Jed and everyone else who spotted it and let me know:

BMXers are known for the abuse they dish out to kit so when this came in we were ready for the standard issue, “Well I was just riding along…”. The story wasn’t quite so simple though.Off back to Norfolk tomorrow night for an epic along Peddars Way on Sunday. More about that when I get back.

Project Bike Hot Rod
May 28th, 2003

Read about Project Bike Hot Rod here. The clunker classic race is coming, but I won’t be back from Switzerland in time for it. I had been thinking that I might have to dredge something out of a canal to take down there, supermarker trolleys can be found in abundance but a bike might be a bit harder to find, but I’ve just checked the dates and its a no-go. Anyway here’s the info:

From: Charlie
Subject: Clunker classic update

Hi there clunkers.

Final preparations are being made for the second annual clunker classic (beer and a rotten old bike), and everything is looking cool.

We still have a bunch on world champs attending, we still have a kick arse 4 mile downhill course. I rode up it last weekend on a 32:16 proper mtb and it took almost an hour to get up it – and its looking meaner than ever, good levels of errosion over the winter. We have “atheletes” coming from Spain and the US of god damn A, and even Sussex., Who knows how many will race, but we have 40 something on the email list, and many of them represent whole bike gangs.

Steedwise: Man it’s all going on, we have drawn every cycling deviant out of the woodwork, you name it, its being raced: choppers, shoppers, postie, lowriders, bedsteds, BMX, tall bikes, longbikes, bedsteds, and a load of scrounged crap gaffer taped together.

The camping is NOT at springfields, as that campsite turned out to be a figment of my ale stained imagination, but at Sparkhayes campsite (turn right down a narrow lane before you get to the church – if approaching from the east).
Many folk will be arriving on Friday night, but the race proper starts at lunchtime (ish) at the Ship Inn, which is down the other end of the village. We’ll start gathering early and no doubt have lunch there, before setting off up the big hill (not racing), and then a picnic (bring a picnic), and then we race back to the pub for the prize giving.

Its all in Porlork, and more info on the area can be found at

Remember guys, this is not a proper legit event, so look after yourself, wear a helmet and don’t die, There are no marshals, officials, paperwork, indemnities, insurance or medics. Just a bunch of folk on bikes.

E me with any issues or questions, or tent/lift share requests, I’m surfing for two weeks, but will get back to you soon.
All the best, and get rummaging in those skips.

Spread the word


Sat 12th July
Ship Inn

Just back from tonight’s little sortie. It was too nice not to go out, so I hauled the mud covered FSR out, popped into work to scrounge some Cross Country lube and headed out of town. Good ride complete with step descents, steep climbs, a drop-in, two stream crossings, muddy bits, dry bits, sand, gravel, grass and a bit of street. The FSR is unfortunately poorly – the lower shock bushes have developed a lot of play. I also managed to bottom out the whole bike doing an 18″ drop-off to flat landing, so that’ll be a case for new heavier weight fork and shock springs then. I’ll be phoning Mr. Flooks tomorrow from the bike shop.

Mary Towneley Loop
May 26th, 2003

Yesterday I rode the 47 mile Mary Towneley Loop in a charity event organised by the Rossendale Harriers. It’s an event that’s stirred up some discussion elsewhere as these two links demonstrate: It could have been nasty and some positive notes. Here’s some pictures.

The weather started off looking bleak but improved during the day. I have to say that I had a really good day out, even though I was completely toasted by the time I arrived home. The FSR is sitting next to me none too impressed with it’s new mud coat and I have to say I was none too impressed to realise I had forgotten to fit a Lizard Skin over the rear shock only after I was about 10 miles into the loop – which was probably the muddiest bit. Cutting the seatpost down and fitting a quick release proved to be a big asset when it came to nailing a few descents, it just makes the whole thing a bit more chuckable. Good times.

A big thanks to Andy (Burger) for keeping me company especially when I hit the wall climbing up out of Hebden Bridge and for putting up with me walking a lot of the bits that he powered up. Maybe I should use that granny gear more, but I put it down to that old cyclo-cross mentality I established in Guernsey, if you can walk as fast or faster than you can ride you might as well stretch your legs. On the other hand having a Santa Cruz Superlight and being in much better shape than me probably helped a lot too.

Boocock Returns
May 23rd, 2003

Laura is back. The cunning plan for extra leg-room on the plane worked and I’m impressed.

Someone with more technical knowledge than me has hacked the Howies site. I’m boycotting Levis. The world is a big place, there’s room for both of them, but I’d only buy stuff from one of them – the one that sponsors up and coming riders, is trying to become ever more environmentally understanding and produces brochures you’ll want to keep.

Some people just know best and no matter what you tell them, they either don’t listen or don’t want to listen. Life must be great. Please, just don’t come back complaining when you realise that what you’ve purchased isn’t ideal for what you wanted it for. Somehow you just know that they will.

This is just a laugh, but what comes next is just plain scary. They’re organised, they have worked out how to use computers, they can communicate with each other, but they just don’t get that they are despised. Scallytastic. It’s like well heavy and well light innit?

Biker phoned today trying to tempt be out to Switzerland. There’s no need I’m going. More mountain adventure is offered by Pyractif and they want some one to redo their website…

Don’t Call Me
May 22nd, 2003

It’s eleven-thirty and I’m just updating the site, trying to chill out after a phone call that shouldn’t have stressed me out, but did. It was one of those I don’t want to be talking to you right now, but it’d be rude to say so situations. Meanwhile whilst half listening, outside it has temporarily stopped raining, but there are enough ambulances and police riot vans shooting past, sirens blaring to think that central Manchester is in the grip of some major disaster.

Fortunately, Zero 7 are now providing some relaxing melodies in surround sound and by the time I finish this post, I’m sure that I’ll have forgotten what it was that really annoyed me. I think the weather has a lot to do with it, I managed to get soaked just riding in to work this morning and it rained all day. The Mary Towneley Loop ride this weekend is going to be a bit muddy I reckon.

Well the launch of the Singletrack Magazine Information Bureau seems to have been a bit of a success. Thanks to everyone who has offered compliments, support and constructive feedback. I’d just like to say thanks to Chipps, Mark and Shaun for putting so much time, effort and financial commitment into the magazine and the Singletrackworld website – I’m sure I’m only one of the few that appreciates the end result. It’s a work in progress and since launch there are now a few links to full on-line bike reviews, including this Soulful little number…

The Information Bureau name is actually ripped-off The Designers Republic which is ironic given one of their bits of artwork is entitled: talent borrows, genius steals. They have a rather radical concept of design that is nicely summed up by there remark: All Art is Shit. All Shit is Art. Apparently they in turn stole it from Terry Gilliam. I’m not surprised. In a similar vein, take a look at this.

I downloaded a copy of Stopadoodledoo on Wednesday and have to say that if you haven’t seen a copy yet, that you should check it out. I think the concept is great, the content amusing and the writing style representative of a new era in journalism. Take that any which way you want. I’m looking forward to the next instalment.

The 661 rep was in today. I didn’t know that they used to be Axo UK, this brought much amusement as we reminisced about day glow Axo Pony’s. I also now know that 661 is the area code of the part of California in which the company is based. The fact that the numbers add up to 13 is coincidental. Anyway some interesting stuff from them, I’m particularly taken with their full-face carbon lid, which might be suitable for a bit of boarder-x use. I’m contemplating a purchase.

Well there’s a fair few links to report tonight. The latest from James Annan (if it really was him that posted it) abot QRs and disc brakes is here, as you’ll see it didn’t meet with everyone’s tastes. Forum regular Ben Haworth has some nice bike-related photos for your viewing pleasure over at his site, Richard Barton has just finished fettling with the Stirling Bike Club site which is now back up and there is sad news from the Giro, Cipo has stacked it and is out, but Simoni is still in Pink. I’m not sure that I like the colour and I think matching shades is just going too far. Finally Mike Porter over at Pink Bike needs some help in keeping his sanity whilst he’s off the bike and Laura’s in the Jet stream over the Atlantic on her way back as I type:

From: Laura
Back in Boulder

Ahhhh it’s my last full day in Boulder! It’s about 80 outside! Just to rub it in that I’m leaving the sunshine I feel! But I’m heading up to my research site to finish that stuff off so get to be out in it all afternoon! Whooopeeee! Have to find something to do that doesn’t cost money as I spent the last of it yesterday! Oooops! Doesn’t feel like I’m leaving tomorrow! I’ve come up with a cunning plan to get a legroom seat on the plane! I’m going to wear my shorts and put a bandage on my leg so it looks like I’m injured and then get the sympathy vote for the legroom! How cunning am I?

speak to you soon


Returning from sunny Colorado to West Yorks in the current weather is going to be a bit of a downer I reckon. Odds on getting rumbled on the plane scam are pretty high in my book, but good luck.

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