Mountain Bike Shenanigans

White Outside
January 28th, 2004

Last night it snowed. This caused everyone to be really excited for about half and hour. Then they started complaining about how cold and wet it was.

Today the majority of the city’s pavements have been turned into ice rinks and everyone is complaining about how dangerous it is. God help us if we ever get a real winter in this country. Everything will probably grind to a halt, but even if that resulted in the a huge tragedy, I’m sure Teflon Tony would talk his way out of it. I mean he seems to get out of every other important situation by the skin of his teeth doesn’t he.

The very nice Mr. Andy Armstrong has relaunched the Singletrack Rogue’s Gallery. You can now put faces and real names to the pseudonyms here.

Finally Dirt Rag are asking for readers to comment on the editorial style and content of the esteemed US mountain bike magazine. Have your say over on their forum.

Easter Eggs in January?
January 27th, 2004

I had my first Cadbury’s Cream Egg of the year today, which means that Easter must be getting close. I ate it in one go. I’m sure I’ve read something, somewhere about how you eat a cream egg and what that says about you as a person. I know what it tells me, no messing, I was really hungry.

Hans Kellner has some interesting photos up on his site these days, he seems to have just been through a bit of a fungus phase. Fortunately these San Francisco sunsets more than make up for it, nice and beautiful.

Following up the news of Nico toasting his chances of a superb entry into this years World Rally Championship, MBUK has a report on his crash. I tell you, watch Nico, he’ll be back.

Now a few years ago, I remember seeing a Cannondale that had been specially made for Shaq O’Neill the American Basketball player, that like this one below, was one seriously big bike:

Titus Cycles’ Chris Cocalis showing that they cater for riders of all sizes.
More over at Mountain Bike Action.

What does third place in the Red Bull Rampage get you apart from glory and a loyal following of groupies? Well for Northern Irishman Glyn O’Brien, it gets you a sponsorship deal with Cove Bikes. More over at NSMB, although I bet Rob Warner would have something to say about their claim that he is the UKs leading freerider. But then Rob Warner wasn’t invited to the Red Bull Rampage was he…

Trans Portugal
January 25th, 2004

No riding today, I have to get some work done. To catch up on what’s been happening over the last few days check out the archives.

Ten times Mountain Bike World Champion Nicolas Vouilloz now has a new ambition – to attempt to steal the thunder from the big names on the World Rally Championship circuit. And in typically Nico style he’s not doing things by halves. At the end of day one of arguably the most challenging event of the year and season opener, the Monte Carlo Rally, he was just over a minute behind the leader in 10th place.

Then in the first stage of day two:

The day got off to a shaky start however when Peugeot privateer Nicolas Vouilloz – running ahead of the works cars due to the regulation running order reversal – crashed his 206 WRC half way through the first stage, blocking the path of the oncoming cars.

Confusion reigned as some drivers posted times minutes slower than others. The organisers took the wise decision to annul the results for the cars affected by the accident. All drivers were given the time set by Ford privateer Antony Warmbold, the last man to get through the stage before Vouilloz.

You can be sure there’ll be more about Nico in months to come. More from the WRC here.

I’m going to claim this as an exclusive report, as I haven’t seen anything about this anywhere else. A 1200km Mountain bike race in Portugal sounds pretty cool to me. Full details about the race can be found on the event website, but this is a brief synopsis of what to expect:


The ultimate endurance race, by GARMIN

After last year successful edition, this year the SuperTravessia Garmin is held from June 24 to July 4. Participants (in limited number) will ride 1200 km on a mountain bike, competing in the ultimate endurance race crossing all of Portugal , from the northeast border (Bragança) to the southwest most point of Portugal and Europe (Sagres). In between there will be 11 days of racing with a daily average vertical climb of 1937m. The length of each stage varies from 64 km (min) to 170 km (max).

Big ride in Portugal then

In the SuperTravessia Garmin , participants are guided by the participant’s GPS receiver installed in his bike handlebar (the stages GPS tracks are daily uploaded by the organizer Ciclonatur), making orientation simple and intuitive and allowing an effective way of controlling the race. Having Garmin , one of the top brands in the GPS world, as the main sponsor of this event, makes it possible for participants to get a GPS receiver under unique conditions.

Prizes for the top finisher places include an Atlas titanium frame, a carbon Pace suspension fork and a Garmin GPS . Inscriptions are possible till May15 and there are three distinct packages (depending on the level of logistics contracted with the organizer). The entry fee starts at 300 €.

Meanwhile here in the UK the general consensus is that this coming week is going to pretty cold and there’s snow on the way. As they haven’t been able to forecast much accurately recently, we’ll have to wait and see.

January 24th, 2004

This news on the future of what to many people is London’s most important cycling venue is just in from British Cycling:


At a meeting held in London on Friday 9 January 2004, British Cycling’s President, Brian Cookson, Chief Executive Peter King, and Facilities Officer Dave Cockram, met with 11 representatives of all the main user groups from the Eastway cycling facility in the Lee Valley Park. These included local BC officials, as well as representatives from local youth-based clubs, LVRC, TLI, London Cyclo-Cross Association, MTB representatives, plus BMX and Speedway which are not currently practised at Eastway.

Concerns had been expressed about the impact of the Olympic and Velopark plans and the disruption or reduction that would be caused to the existing road and off-road cycling facilities.

Under the chairmanship of Roy Gardiner of the Hainault Roads Club, the meeting heard from Peter King and Dave Cockram about the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority’s exciting plans for a multi-use Velopark, and how this fitted into the possible use of some of the site in connection with the London Olympic Bid.

Peter King confirmed that BC were working hard with the LVRPA to ensure that the funding would be in place both for the capital investment in site redesign and facilities construction and for the continuing running of them. He emphasized that a commitment to minimum disturbance during the construction of new facilities had been obtained from LVRPA due to the level of interest and commitment expressed by the cycling community. He confirmed that the LVRPA were fully behind cycling at Eastway.

Dave Cockram said that the proposed Velopark development would be the largest and most comprehensive cycling venue in the world and a great advertisement for cyclesport. He confirmed that the Velopark is being planned so that all users (road, MTB, BMX, speedway, track) could be there at the same time, and that all of the facilities are being planned currently to Olympic standard. As part of its development strategy, BC will use Eastway as its South East England base and would have its offices and staff for the region based there.

The representatives agreed to support the concept of the Velopark and the Olympic Bid, providing that:

.the existing road circuit was replaced by a similar or better facility, capable of adaptations to suit different users.

.the area of land available for off-road use remained the same with a variety of circuits of up to 3 miles in length possible.

.the new facilities were integrated in ways that did not cause conflict between users and were available before the existing facilities were removed from use.

.the integrity and safety of the cycling facilities were not compromised by any other uses, or changes to surrounding land uses.

The Eastway Group agreed to support wholeheartedly British Cycling in its efforts to secure this facility The group also agreed to meet again, and to set up working parties to draw up more detail on the specifications for the individual facilities, using both British Cycling’s Facilities Guide and local Eastway expertise.

BC President Brian Cookson said, “The meeting was both timely and useful for all concerned. I am very confident that, by working together with all the interest groups, we can ensure that the Velopark concept is successfully implemented to provide a new future for Eastway and a superb facility for London and the South East that will be the first of it’s kind in the world!”

Chair of the meeting Roy Gardiner said, “BC top officials coming to an Eastway Group meeting shows they mean business. Combining the national body’s standing and expertise with local knowledge will enable us together to achieve the finest possible cycling venue. Anywhere”. More >>>

Heli Biking
January 23rd, 2004

Now Heli-biking has been growing in popularity as people have been pushing the limits of freeriding and downhilling. Now most people have been using the helicopter for shuttle runs up and down, but now some crazy guys are taking the concept developed from snow sports and are actually leaping out of the chopper before it lands. Mentalists. More over at nsmb.

helicopter jump

What else is happenin’? Well in case you didn’t know Raleigh are relaunching the infamous Chopper bike, this time sans the gear shifter on the crossbar. Will it be a success? Will it be a big seller? Seems that the response has been favourable, but with most buyers reportedly asking for the bikes to be kept boxed, there may not actually be that many seen out on the streets, which is kind of sad. What’s the point?

I wonder how many blokes in their thirties will buy one and realise that actually bike technology has moved on leaps and bound and that Choppers are in fact a stinking pile of crap and what they really want is a Rocky Mountain Switch

A naked crusade through rural Britain by an ex-marine who now has an intimate knowledge of a number of prison cells has finally come to an end. More over at the beeb. They’ve also posted a report with the headline “Web Music Piracy Fight ‘Working'”, yeah right.

And this is the penguin game. Pick your target and swing.

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