Mountain Bike Shenanigans

No Biking
November 30th, 2004

So another exciting weekend slips by and lots of stuff has happened but STILL no riding. This weekend. It has to happen. It is no longer funny. I have to get out there and ride some trails and big hills. It’s one of my favourite times of the year to be riding and I’ve missed most of it. Winter is nigh.

Keep track of your work colleagues/loved ones/dangerous liaisons/St. Bernards (with phone in brandy keg). Yes the big bad world of communications has opened up a publically accessible channel for triangulating the location of mobile phones. I am not sure this is good news.

This article is just a really bad piece of journalism. ‘MOUNTAIN bikers who destroy protected wildlife habitats in Scotland will be fined up to £40,000 under a new law that comes into force tomorrow.’ As has been pointed out elsewhere it is almost as amusingly ill-researched as the “Thrill seeking night riders face near certain death” article which appeared in Scotland on Sunday last year. There’s a (much better) article on the new Nature Conservancy (Scotland) Act in today’s Herald.

The Act itself is accessible via the link (along with the SE press release and explanatory notes) if anyone fancies a gander. I’ve quite possibly mixed up the order of all those. Any way at least Scotland has a reasonable access law. Here in the UK you’ve just got to be cheeky.

I posted some stuff about this at the time, but across the pond, as has recently been pointed out by Chris thanks to the lovely Republican National Convention at the end of the summer, you can now get arrested for riding in a group in Manhattan. Of course, this is against the request by the city that was rejected by the court that would have made carrying a permit necessary. Basically, the NYPD are in contempt. Pictures here.

I haven’t looked at Big Jonny’s site in a while but I bet the big man has some words on the whole situation. Apparently he has some cheeky wrist bands up for grabs too, LiveWrong or something like that.

Then there’s this from the Guernsey connection:

From: Katie
Subject: Right Up Your Street

The Silent Treatment

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day he would need his wife to wake him at 5:00 AM for an early morning business flight.

Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, “Please wake me at 5:00 AM.” He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn’t woken him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, “It is 5:00 AM. Wake up.”

Men are not equipped for these kind of contests. God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece.

Any suggestions for a suitable counterstrike to such a situation are welcome. In the meantime I depart with the return of a worthy recommended link. Yes the man with the guide dog, the man behind the allegations, as Sugar Ray would say they love to build him up and they love to see him fall. Odds on any shit sticking to Teflon Tony?

November 27th, 2004

So I finally managed to get back on top of things over the last week. Life has just been mental recently.

The PhD is over. Viva a success and I have 12 months to make the corrections required to my Thesis and resubmit. Thank f*** for that. It’s been like a lead weight around my neck for the last few years and now it’s been lifted I feel a lot better.

I’ve updated the Singletrack Archive. I think the mag is getting better, even if the covers seem a bit dull compared to the lovely landscapes and arty photos in the earlier issues. Maybe it’s just me and the geographer in me missing those seasonal landscape shots. At least the Calendar is, as always, looking fantastic.

I finally fettled the new singlespeed into shape. There’s a dedicated page here.

Yes the old one is still up for sale. It’s destickered, cleaned up and pretty much ready to roll. I’ve just fitted a brand new steerer to the Z2 forks too so it’s up for sale with both the rigid blades and a sensible-geometry pair of bouncy forks. If you’re interested or know someone looking for a nice 19″ Singlespeed mail me – the address is at the top of the page.

Singlespeed Action
November 21st, 2004

After far too long I have finally managed to get IF#2 to a built state. It’s not quite finished and I still haven’t managed to get out for a ride on it. By the time it was ready to take photos of it this afternoon the light was fading and the photos came out really crap. I’ll get some more taken when I get out on the beast.

It’s custom geometry (built to fit), with custom paint and panels and brazings. The team at IF did a fantastic job on the panels and they turned out just as I hoped. The finish is almost like that photoreactive paint you get on TVRs, it changes hue depending on the light. I’m really pleased with it. So a pair of singlespeed disc wheels are next, although I haven’t finalised the spec for those. I’ve got some of the new hope floating rotor discs on the way and probably a few other bits and bobs that need tinkering with.

Here are the photos:

IF#2 _ IF#2 _ IF#2

The old singlespeed is still waiting to be sold on. I’ve even got a pair of Bomber forks for it with a brand new steerer waiting to be fitted on. I’ll try and sort that out over the next few days, but with work, the upcoming viva and other stuff I don’t feel I have much time for doing much these days.

Pete Basinger is the Independent Fabrication rider that placed second at this years Great Divide Race. Not deterred he’s doing it again next year and has set up this website. Look Matt Chester’s doing it too! Big respect to Pete and all the riders signing up for this event, it makes RAMM look like a walk in the park. Pete has also suggested:

I understand you do some endurance races over there, so you should consider this one.  If not the GDR, there’s some good winter races in AK that seem to be pretty popular with the Brits (I hope that’s not considered derogatory) and

Endurance racing in Alaska. In winter. Team Rothar? There’s an idea to consider over the Christmas break…

Finally this one is for the girls:

From: Katie
Subject: 20 Reasons

20 Reasons why a girl should call it a night

1. You have absolutely no idea where your bag is.

2. You truly believe that dancing with your arms overhead and wiggling your bottom while yelling “She Bangs She Bangs” is truly the hottest dance move around!!!

3. You’ve suddenly decided that you want to fight someone and you  honestly believe that you could do it too.

4. In your last trip to the toilet you realise you now look more like Lily Savage than the goddess you were just four hours ago.

5. You drop your 3:00 a.m. kebab on the floor, pick it up and carry on eating it.

6. You start crying and telling everyone you see that you love them sooooo much.

7. There are less than three hours before you’re due to start work.

8. You’ve found a deeper/spiritual side to the geek sitting next to you.

9. The man you’re flirting with used to be your biology teacher.

10. The urge to take off articles of clothing, stand on a table and sing or dance becomes strangely overwhelming.

11. Your eyes just don’t seem to want to stay open on their own so you decide to keep them half closed and think it looks exotic

12. You seem to think that it’s a really good idea to get your mates to push you down the street in a shopping trolley.

13. You yell at the bartender, who (you think) cheated you by giving you just lemonade, but that’s just because you can no longer taste the vodka.

14. You think you’re in bed, but the pillow feels strangely like the kitchen floor.

15. You start every conversation with a booming, “DON’T take this the WRONG WAY but…”

16. You fail to notice that the toilet lid’s down when you sit on it.

17. You’re hugs begin to resemble wrestling take-down moves.

18. You’re soooo tired you just sit on the floor (wherever you happen to
be standing)

19. You begin leaving the buttons open on your button flypants to cut down on the time you’re in the bathroom away from your drink.

20. You take your shoes off because you really believe it’s their fault that you’re having problems walking straight.

Kirsty Jones
November 17th, 2004

What fantastic weather we’re having up here at the moment. It is seriously wet. Even by Mancunian standards. Any chance of a let up in the near future? Before it starts snowing?

Since I doubt the weather is going to get better anytime soon here’s some photos form somewhere warm, sunny and beautiful. A few pictures from Barbados:

Bathsheba from the hills _ Tropical forest, northern Barbados _ The Soupbowl, Bathsheba

Inland tidal river _ Silversands beach after storm _ Big waves below the cliffs on the northern peninsular

So while we were in Barbados we had it fairly good. Not a huge amount of wind for kitesurfing, several bottles of rum, lots of beer, sunshine, chilling and chatting with the locals. Highlights: The girls hockey team from Ballymena, the Oxford four, hiring a 4×4 and offroading accidently on purpose, seeing turtles out near the reef, the animal crew and the adidas swimsuit photoshoot, recovered stolen goods. Lowlights: Stolen iPods, hangovers and heat, jellyfish stings, tie-dye sunburn, flaky passports, leaving.

Big respect for the animal crew out there doing the photoshoot for next years gear. Special shout to Kirsty Jones, the girl that deserves to be a pin-up across the land. She kites, she surfs, she’s stunning. Next time I’m down near St Davids I’ll be looking out for her kiting in the bays. Oh and as for her kiting across the Irish Sea, I think there’s little doubt she’s an endurance athlete too.

I Wanna to Ride Now!
November 13th, 2004

I’m back. I feel more into bikes that I have for a long time and I think that’s partly because I’ve had a bit of time to actually read about bike related stuff and catch up with what’s been happening. I finally managed to read Lance Armstrong’s book ‘Every Second Counts’ whilst I was away. I suspect that I’m not the only person to have thought this latest bit of litetature was a good insight into The Boss and I’m sure few people will be surprised to observe that Lance has taken this publication to be another opportunity to proclaim his views on doping and reaffirm his innocence.

The thing that struck me most was that he not particularly subtly side stepped the whole issue of his break up and separation from his wife. I don’t know why he avoided it, maybe Lance felt it asn’t appropriate in a book largely about riding bikes and maybe that’s fair enough.

From: Katie
Subject: Beer Scooter

How many times have you woken up in the morning after a hard night drinking and thought ‘How on earth did I get home?’ As hard as you try you cannot piece together your return journey from the pub to your house. The answer to this puzzle is that you used a Beer Scooter. The Beer Scooter is a mythical form of transport, owned and leased to the drunk by Bacchus the Roman God of Wine. Bacchus has acquired a large batch of these magical devices. The Beer Scooter works in the following fashion:-

The passenger reaches a certain level of drunkenness and the “slurring gland” begins to give off a pheromone. Bacchus or one of his many sub-contractors detects this pheromone and sends down a winged Beer Scooter. The scooter scoops up the passenger and deposits them in their bedroom via a Trans-Dimensional Portal. This is not cheap to run, so a large portion of the passenger’s in-pocket cash is taken as payment. This answers the second question after a night out, ‘How did I spend so much money?’

Unfortunately, Beer Scooters have a poor safety record and are thought to be responsible for over 90% of all UDI (Unidentified Drinking Injuries), such as skinned knees and a sore spot on the top of your head. An undocumented feature of the Beer Scooter is the destruction of time segments during the trip. The nature of Trans-Dimensional Portals dictates that time will be lost, seemingly unaccounted for. This answers a third question after a night out ‘What the hell happened?’

With good intentions, Bacchus opted for the REMIT (Removal of Embarrassing Moments In Time) add-on, that automatically removes, in descending order, those parts in time regretted most. Unfortunately one person’s REMIT is not necessarily the REMIT of another’s and quite often lost time is regained in discussions over a period of time. Independent studies have also shown that Beer Goggles often cause the Scooter’s navigation system to malfunction thus sending passengers to the wrong bedroom, often with horrific consequences.

For the family man, Beer Scooters come equipped with flowers picked from other people’s garden and Thump-A-Lot boots (Patent Pending). These boots are designed in such a way that no matter how quietly you tip-toe up the stairs, you are sure to wake up your other half. Special anti-gravity springs ensure that you bump into every wall in the house and the CTSGS (Coffee Table Seeking Guidance System) explains the bruised shins. The final add-on Bacchus saw fit to invest in for some Scooters is the TAS (Tobacco Absorption System). This explains how one person can apparently get through 260 Marlboro Lights in a single night.

P.S. Don’t forget the on-board heater, which allows you to comfortably get home from the pub in sub-zero temperatures, wearing just a T-shirt.

Yep. There were some moments over the last two weeks in which the beer Scooter could be identified as the transport home. I think on at least one occassion our beer scooter was driven by a guy called Elvis who had a DVD player built into his dashboard. Exciting stuff out in the Carribean. That and hot-rod minibuses anywhere on the island for 50p (Complete with roof top spoilers, go faster stripes and rally mudflaps).

On a similar note there’s this:

From: Jed
Subject: Loaded Bike

Check out the bike in this link

This probably isn’t particularly PC. If your insulted I’d love to hear it. Complaints will be dealt with by the complaints department:

Learn Chinese in 5 minutes

That’s not right – Sum Ting wong
Are you harbouring a fugitive? – Hu Yu Hai Ding
See me ASAP – Kum Hia Nao
Stupid Man – Dum Fuk
Small Horse – Tai Ni Po Ni
Did you go to the beach? – Wai Yu So Tan
I bumped into the coffee table – Ai Bang Mai Fa Kin Ni
I think you need a face lift – Chin Tu Fat
It’s very dark in here – Wao So Dim
I thought you were on a diet – Wai Yu Mun Ching
This is a tow away area – No Pah King
Our meeting is scheduled for next week – Wai Yu Kum Nao
Staying out of sight – Lie Ying Lo
He’s cleaning his automobile – Wa Shing Ka
Your body odor is offensive – Yu Stin Ki Pu
Great – Fa Kin Su Pah

I think that about covers it for this update.

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