Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Critical Massive
August 30th, 2004

Well it’s been the leanest month on the site since its inception in terms of updates. I could probably write a lot about Quercetum mixtum, sere-based succession and the impact of environmental change on a midwest region of Ireland about now, but it’s hard to switch off and get into bikes. Talking of which I haven’t been near one since Sleepless. There just ain’t time.

I did watch the Olympic mountain biking. Well I streamed it over the t’internet and listened to it rather than watched it. Kileen’s ride was textbook (well apart from the start). Next time he’ll be a marked man, which ain’t a bad thing. What was Frischi up to? Riding a 29er with tubs and knobbly treads glued on, which led to the following conversation:

Thingy: I hear Thomas Frischknecht is using a road tyre with a mountain bike tread glued on.

Gary Foord: Yes, but I can’t see him, he doesn’t seem to be doing very well.

Thingy: Perhaps, that’s because he’s using a road tyre with a mountain bike tread glued on. [cue onscreen guffawage]

Still the swiss vet still placed 8th. The guy is a legend.

Critical Mass gathered so much critical mass in NYC recently that things went, er, critical. Yep, the cops steamed in arrested lots of peeps on bikes. Drivers stormed in and ran over peeps on bikes. Then in the aftermath, in a knee-jerk reaction, the police arrested a ‘conspirator‘. Yeah, like, whatever, as some one has pointed out:

HOW THE FUCK COME THE POLICE ATHLETIC LEAGUE GIVE KIDS CHALK TO WRITE ON THE SIDEWALK AND THE PARKS DEPARTMENT GIVE FUCKING CHALK TO KIDS TO WRITE ON ASPHALT AND DURING MUSEUM MILE EVERYWHERE, THERE ARE BOXES OF FREE CHALK PROVIDED FOR EVERYONE TO DEFACE 4 FUCKING MILES OF 5TH AVENUE?

More here. America’s not looking like the land of the free so much these days.

On a more cheery note here are some nice photos. Turn you pop-up blocker off and make sure Flash is up to speed. Sterling work.

Who said Flash websites were dead? Check out Armstrong’s latest Nike video here. Select Fuel and then the longer of the two Piano films.

Former Kona man Joe Murray’s latest bikes. I have lost all respect since I heard that those at the recent SSWC in Germany had to pay to go on a ride with him. What the…? Anyway photos of the event are up here.

I’ve been listening to a lot of tunes recently and whilst my copy hasn’t arrived yet, I’m looking forward to getting the new Prodigy album, because having just listened to Fat of the Land again, it’s reminded me how some of their stuff is just exceptional.

Lance Wraps it Up
August 25th, 2004

It looks like Lance has it in the bag for another year after yesterdays demolition exercise. I really do hope that next year he broadens his horizons and rides other events and I’m sure some other riders are thinking the same. His ability is no surprise to some:

From: Cyclingnews
Subject: Hoban: “Other riders should try harder”

Barry Hoban, the British former pro whose career spanned the Anquetil, Merckx and Hinault eras, says he’s mystified by the way today’s Tour de France contenders fail to match Lance Armstrong’s preparation.

In an interview with the BBC, Hoban made the pretty safe prediction that, “unless something catastrophic happens Lance Armstrong will win a record sixth Tour.” He went on to compare Armstrong with other top competitors. “Michael Schumacher is a good example,” said Hoban. “These sportspeople are perfectionists, they prepare carefully and they are meticulous. That’s why I can’t understand the other riders. If Armstrong is so meticulous and talented then the others should try even harder. But riders such as Ullrich get so out of shape that it takes them most of the season to get their fitness levels back up.”

Hoban rode 12 Tours de France between 1964 and 1978, winning eight stages. Now 64, he still rides his bike.

Take one remote control offroad car, one quarter pipe, a house, a few friends with video cameras and add beer, sunshine and a sense of adventure and this is the result. Now that is cool.

Do you think the photographer was fit?

My new phone plays MP3s. Since Winamp have to totally bollocks up my upgrade to the pro edition, I’ve been looking around for something to play on it. And about the best thing I’ve found is this website with loads of free music on it all by unsigned bands and artists. Some of the stuff’s average, but some of it’s really good.

And this is the Singlespeedoutlaw once again.

Steaming
August 23rd, 2004

Hot diggity damn it’s busy around here. ifrider.com is just going mental at the moment, with nearly 200 bikes added to the site in six months. I’m absolutely stoked that it’s been so successful and I’m looking forward to developing the site in future.

Was Brad vs. Brad the race of the Olympics so far? I think so. Awesome performance by Wiggins to take Gold.

For the runners though what an Olympics. Kelly Holmes was sensational, but what about Radcliffe? I don’t think anyone can possibly comprehend how bad she must be feeling.

The guys from Howies are in Manchester at the show. I fancy popping down to take a look at some gear.

Back from SITS
August 16th, 2004

Sleepless in the Saddle. It rained nearly everyday for two weeks before the event. As I drove down to the event on the M6 doing 40mph the rain was lashing it down. I took the rigid single speed, two lots of mud tyres and a few spare sprockets. Of course the weekend once we’d all arrived and setup camp was dry, which was actually a good thing, because there was already enough mud and the course was that slow you down sticky mud in a lot of places – akin to treacle.

Rigid singlespeed may sound harsh, but it could have been rigid fixed singlespeed with daft handlebars. Hands hurt the most, even with carbon bars. Perhaps I should have tried harder to get a steerer for those Z2 forks before the event. Anyway the lap times were respectable in my book – no prizes for guessing the night and breakfast laps. More results here.

After another brief spell of ‘I don’t think we can go on’ and ‘I feel like I’m going to be sick’ and ‘I fell off and hit something in the dark but I don’t know what and now my chest hurts’, a trip to the medical tent and being prescribed a bit of kip in the night, the rothar.com team emerged revitalised (sort of) and more motivated (slightly) and actually went on to finish a respectable(ish) 38th in the pairs class. It’s definitely the most fun I’ve had at a 24hr race and it was great to catch up with some old friend and put faces to some names. There’s a rather shonky photo gallery in the racing section of the site.

Code Blindness
August 11th, 2004

I think I have reached code saturation point. Too much typing. Well it’s made me realise I need to do something with this site yet again. It’s still in the works and I’m absolutely no further forward than the last time I suggested doing something about it. Maybe I’ll have sorted something out by Christmas. Maybe.

Sleepless in the Saddle is this weekend. I prepared gracefully today by maxing out at Burger King. I now feel ill. I’m sure it and a whole lot else will be sweated out over the coming weekend of muddy carnage. Not sure if I am looking forward to this one. I don’t feel ready that’s for sure.

Tim from BlueCollarMtb has linked me up so it’s only fair I return the favour. It’s a tidy little site and it’s sponsors number more than those on here. Guess that’d be because there aren’t any on here. Hmmm.

I’ve a lot of respect for people who manage to get out in the mornings before work. In the past I’ve done it a few times and have decided I’d rather have the sleep and get out in the evenings. That way you don’t get people still half asleep trying to run you over and kill you. In the evenings you just have to contend with the ones who are trying to do it on purpose.

Is it me or is there an new issue of singlespeed outlaw on the web? I might have missed that first time around. On the theme of singlespeeds, this bike caused a bit of a debate.

The US government forgive and forget. I wonder if they drove the van to the ceremony or if they flew whether or not they had to drug Mr T with some milk?

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides