Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Berwyn Mountains
May 30th, 2004

I’ve been busy recently and that has meant not much time for riding. After watching all the beautiful weather we’ve been blessed with recently from behind a desk, when it was another bluebird day when I woke up this morning I was determined to get out and make the most of it.

I’ve been riding lots of new places this year and this was another opportunity to broaden my horizons. I choose to ride the Berwyn Mountains Wayfarer Loop ride as featured in Issue One of Singletrack. It’s an 57km route and the timing given was spot on, with a stop in the pub at Llanarmon Dyffryn Ceiriog it was just under six hours before I returned to the car.

_ Berwyn Mountains _ Berwyn Mountains _ Berwyn Mountains _

_ Berwyn Mountains _ Berwyn Mountains _ Berwyn Mountains _

_ Berwyn Mountains _ Berwyn Mountains _ Berwyn Mountains _

Although it rained on the way there and the way back I was lucky enough to have rain-free ride, although the river crossings mean that keeping dry isn’t as easy as you’d think.

There’s something very special about riding in the Welsh countryside. I think it’s the complete silence of human activity that is most stunning that and being surrounded by towering real mountain landscapes.. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and riding again soon.

Giro Result
May 30th, 2004

Cunego won the Giro leaving a lot of people wondering who he is. Cyclingnews produced the goods with an insight into the Italian rider many are hoping will be the next great Italian all-rounder. Interesting to see that he hails form the same town as Paola Pezzo.

There is once again to be a Tour of Britain. News about it has been varied but basically its to run over five days between September 1st and 5th. It will be the first national pro tour in the UK for five years when the PruTour saw some interesting stages, least not the riders all getting sent the wrong way…

Anyway it looks set to start in the UK capital of cycling, here in Manchester and will be followed by stage in Yorkshire. The third stage will visit cities in the East Midlands, with the fourth stage centred on South Wales. The finale will be a criterium in London’s Westminster area. The BBC has secured coverage rights.

How about this for a piece of kit? How long before it is being used for all the wrong reasons. Swear words an’ everyfink.

I’ve posted a few links to kev’d up motors in the past. This one gets extra marks for the fact that some people appear to have taken it seriously. The good news is that the car in question is now dead. The better news is that there is another one in the pipeline…

SITS: We’re In
May 27th, 2004

Did I say we’re into Sleepless in the Saddle again this year? I think I forgot to post that yesterday. Jed and I are going back for another attempt at the pairs class. I’m hoping for slighly cooler weather than last year and will not be using a Camelbak bladder that has been breeding nasty bacteria for several months.

There’s less than a month left now until my last day in the bike shop, after well over ten years working in the bike trade I’m going to be moving on to other things. It hasn’t all really sunk in yet, but I know I’m going to miss working with some great people, good friends and being involved in bikes. Ironically I may have actually more time to ride – something which I’m looking forward to.

The Penguin game mk. IV seems to have been a reasonable hit, but arguably this is even better: Red Bull’s latest campaign.

GT’s parent company also owns Mongoose who are now developing their own spin on the i-Drive suspension system. Bikemagic have taken a look at it. For some bizarre reason I actually quite like the look of that.

On the Radio
May 26th, 2004

There are some more results from Madrid over at MBA. Interesting to see Ryder Hesjedal so far down the finishing list. There’s a substantial age gap between him and Thomas Frischknecht and a substantial gap in their respective placings. Miguel Martinez’s time out from Mountain Biking doesn’t seem to have worked in his favour either.

I don’t know whether Travis Brown won the recent Big Bear event on his Singlespeed, but it is fairly certain he is a rather impressive rider.

Along with Singletrack’s Mark Alker, I was on Radio 4s You and Yours programme today to talk about the global shortage of certain raw materials and how this may impact on the bicycle trade. There’s more about it on Singletrackworld and Bikebiz.

My point is that new season bikes don’t all appear on a certain date. The launch of bikes in recent years has been staggered across many months, spanning from July through to January. Different models appear at different times and if a particular style of bike from one manufacturer isn’t available, it’s fairly likely that another company will have a similar product that is available.

The advantage for many small IBDs is that there is a certain amount of flexibility in being able to move between suppliers to meet demand. I still think that the coming months will be a real test of the on-demand ordering and supply chain that certain elements of the industry seem to have adopted. I think the coming months are veiled in a certain amount of uncertainty partly due to many of the manufacturers playing their cards very close to their chests.

Price increases which seem to be due, are probably the biggest variable over which uncertainty remains. Increases as high as 20% have been rumoured, but quite what level of increase arrives is unclear. Further some manufacturers may lower the specification on bikes to retain certain models at certain key price points. Again it’s a case of riding out the event to see what happens…

There ain’t no drugs for you to find here. I imagine there are a few people pleased about that fact.

Pedantic or a just decision due to a flouting of the guideline? The decision to strip Marcus Gronholm of his victory in the World Rally Championship is a controversial decision and one that has undoubtedly resulted in some harsh words in the Peugeot technical team All this because of a little bit of plastic.

Results
May 24th, 2004

Meirhaeghe won in Madrid, beating his nearest rival by almost a minute and a half and covering 48km at an average speed of almost 24km/h. That’s fairly rapid. In the womens class Paola Pezzo finished 6th in her first big race since coming out of retirement to compete for olympic gold. The results are here. Race two of the series is in the Belgian Ardennes this coming weekend.

The Giro continues and there is a round up of the Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon over at Cyclingnews. Armstrong took the last stage, Moreau won overall and Cadel Evans was disqualified. Summary here.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides