Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Stadiums
June 30th, 2003

As I sit here there is a stadium power light beaming into both the rooms of the flat from the car park outside where some filming is taking place. It’s like it’s 8 o’clock in the morning, except it’s almost midnight. That plus the intermittent crackle of walkie talkies and people shouting through a megaphone. Inconsiderate bastards.

The suitcases which the FSR is going to fit into for the trip to Switz arrived this morning and are now suitably lined with cardboard. The wheels will fit if the tyres are deflated and the rear end and forks are going to have to be taken off the frame to get it to fit into the other case, but otherwise not much more disassembling than would normally occur to pack a bike into a cardboard bike box. It’s a cunning plan that might just work. Plus they both have wheels on which means they can be truckled around unlike a cardboard bike box.

Current thinking is that a trip down to TF Tuned is on for Wednesday and I’ve ordered some stiffer fork springs this morning. Bit last minute but there we go.

I’ve also been working on some team kit and t-shirt designs in preparation for a rothar.com team entry in Sleepless this year. Black and white seems like the way ahead to me, just like Guinness and Team Evil.

Some good results to report. Steve Peat is back to winning ways and Fionn Griffiths and Tracy Moseley are up on the podium too. The national road race results weren’t too surprising and this just goes to show that some people need the sort of assistance that isn’t allowed:

From: cyclingnews.com
Subject: Rumsas fails B test

Lithuanian cyclist Raimondas Rumsas has been confirmed to have tested positive for EPO during the Giro d’Italia. The results of the counter analysis were identical to the first test, which was performed on a sample taken on May 16. “The second test proves Raimondas had taken erythropoietin, also known as EPO. This is very sad,” said Rima Berloviene, a spokeswoman for the Lithuanian Sports Federation to AP.

Rumsas has yet to be sanctioned, but he could be facing a long penalty unless he can prove his innocence. After the first positive test, Rumsas stated that if the counter-analysis was also positive, “I would suspect my doctors…Everyone knows that I am under special observation. How then could I take EPO after what happened at last year’s Tour de France?”

Rumsas finished third in the Tour de France last year, but on the last day his wife Edita was arrested under suspicion of carrying doping substances in her car. She was jailed for two months before eventually being released. Rumsas always denied taking banned substances, and said the products in his Edita’s car were for his mother-in-law.

Riding Hard
June 27th, 2003

New revised and hopefully looking better for those of you on smaller screens

I pretty much buried myself this week. Tuesday evening plus the Breakfast ride and a play up in the Hills above Hebden Bridge and Todmorden finally took their toll and I overslept on Thursday, waking up at 09.30. My ability to get my shit together in no time at all meant that I still managed to make it to the Doctor’s appointment that I had ten minutes later.

After almost two years since the RTA that killed the De Rosa, the lower back pain I’ve been having was investigated with an MRI scan a few weeks ago. The results show that I have a couple of discs that aren’t in a very good state. Doesn’t seem to be much that can be done about it, but some physiotherapy may help.

It’s been an interesting week at work, but not always for the right reasons. Some things never change. We had a customer in today that we’d gone out of our way to accommodate and had ended up doing a lot of work for no profit, yet they still queried the bill and made a massive fuss. Some people just don’t know when they’re onto a good thing. Wouldn’t have been so bad had it not been for the attitude, it really spoilt the atmosphere for the rest of the day for me.

Trying to get organised for Switzerland. I leave next Friday. I have a cunning plan for getting the bikes on the plane adopted from this thread on the Singletrack forum. I’m also just about to plough through the multipage small print of the Snowcard insurance that has been suitably recommended.

Bike is pretty much sorted, but I’m still undecided about the rear shock and probably need to get the fork springs uprated. Decisions, decisions.

I always thought the original Ultimate’s were pretty cool, but technology moves on I guess. Oh and a well done to Dave (360) from the Breakfast ride, who set a time for the South Downs Way last weekend, on his singlespeed. A hardest bit? whole thing looks like hell, I reckon it’s going to take some beating.

Riding with Corty
June 24th, 2003

The Corster and I rode out tonight, managed to clock up fifty miles in Cheshire. Guess we should make the most of this good weather while it lasts and it was good tonight. First time out on the road bike in a long time. Always feels weird going back to narrow drop bars after riding mountain bikes with risers.

Team Jelly weren’t at Mountain Mayhem (I keep wanting to call it the Red Bull) this year, but Martyn was up for another crack at it and managed to pull a team together, building upon his pairing from last years Dusk to Dawn. This race report made its way into my inbox:

This year saw Martyn Taylor as team captain, with Ian Jones, Ian Warnes and Ian Freeman as the team members. Ian Warnes crashed on his 2nd lap when someone passed but “didn’t leave enough room” and he hit a tree. Hurt his knee and back. Ian Freeman crashed on his 4th lap at night when crossing the water rutts beside the lake. He always took the lefthand line but went off course slightly and came off and landed on a tree stump. Obviously Stadiums weren’t bright enough.

It seems that there was some arguing and bitching in the team and the end result was to be placed 129th. Surprising really because with all those e’s you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d be wired out of their heads. Talking of 24hr endurance Jed and I have been accepted into the pairs category at Sleepless in the Saddle. That is going to be either good fun or complete carnage. Hoping it’s not going to be the latter.

5th Element shock for the FSR. Should I, shouldn’t I? Decisions, decisions, if I get it I’ll need it before I head to Switzerland next Friday, which is going to necessitate a trip down south.

Breakfast ride and Calderdale night ride tomorrow. It’s going to be proper ‘bo.

Bike Porn
June 23rd, 2003

Saab Salomon Mountain Mayhem Results here

Well whilst people were riding all weekend down in West Bromwich, I worked my first full weekend in the shop. No riding, but I have managed to go through all of the various little tasks that have needed to be done. Filing paperwork that kind of exciting stuff.

Bit of fettling with bikes here and there. Talking of which there is a new project to be worked on, it’s of the skinny tired variety and will necessitate some paint stripping and checking the structural integrity of some finely brazed 531. More as and when.

Whilst tidying up I found this collection of pictures.

Fat Chance Titanium _ Raleigh M-Trax Team Issue _ Proflex'i'

Stumpjumper M2 _ S-Works Steel

Bike Porn from the Plymouth Grundig World Cup Event in ’95.

Breakfast Ride
June 20th, 2003

Wednesday’s breakfast ride went well and the rain kept at bay, so dusty trails prevailed once again. Six made the 5am start this week. The forecast rain did arrive later in the day, but by the time the evening ride in Calderdale came around, the weather was back to a finer state.

Some pretty good riding around there (increasingly one of my favourite places to head out to), but it’s meant riding stuff that’s made me realise that whilst the rigid singlespeed has been fine for most stuff so far, it does have it’s limits.

It’s been good going back to a rigid set up, it was a change that I used to make for each winter race series, only putting suspension forks on for summer. I guess I just crumbled at the prospect of being beaten down the descents I’d earned on the ups. So the Singlespeed now looks quite a bit different to the original photos and spec listed. It’s a work in progress. Update soon.

The Saab Salomon Mountain Mayhem (SSMM) is this weekend. After two years of it, it seems weird not to be there this year. I guess new things are pretty much across the board this year. Good luck to all those riding. Hope you avoid mechanicals and that your lights don’t pack up midway through.

Jed and I have put an entry in to ride as a pair at Sleepless in the Saddle (SITS) in August. This should be an interesting experience that’s for sure. I’m just hoping that we get in. There’s also the possibility following a phone call from an old friend that I’ll be revisiting my old trail stomping grounds. Fingers crossed on that one.

Next years Shimano stuff looms closer, not too impressed by the looks of Dura Ace, but the new XT still looks pretty fine. That and more here. Robbie Bourdon’s had a nasty prang. And then there’s Tara Llanes, mmm, mmm, mmm. Finally I’ve been meaning to link Trailbreak for a while so here’s that too.

Riding Sunday. Somewhere.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides