Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Rebuilding
March 30th, 2005

I’ve added quite a lot more from the old site back into the new version. There’s more to come over the next few weeks.

Today’s is going to be a none bike related post. I’ve been having a lot of problems with the site guestbook since I relaunched the site. It’s the fourth piece of guetbook software I’ve tried over the years and I’m currently using Matt Wright’s simple guestbook. The problem is that this seems to be a known favourite with spammers, which has meant that over the last few weeks a number of spammers or spam robots have made entries.

Now these have tended to be adverts for drugs and given this is a cycling website, that might not be so out of place, but as it’s now reached irritating proportions a fix was needed. This has come in the shape of Junkeater, a tidy little PHP utility that filters entries for spam origins and also includes a nice little javascript confirmation utility. First impressions are that it seems to do work, so I’ll have to see if it solves the problem over the next few days.

Langsett
March 29th, 2005

Photos from yesterdays Langsett ride are now up here. The weather wasn’t great and so the pictures are tinged with that grey overcast tone, that I think is the reason that British weather has received unfavourable stereotypes with foreign visitors. It was warm for the time of year and the moisture just ended up being trapped as low cloud.

Rock Shox have launched their new forks in the wake of Manitou‘s not particularly inspiring new line up previewed last week. It looks like Rock Shox is going to claw back some sales with the new additions, but this will be no simple task with recent market share increases for Fox and Marzocchi. I think they have a good chance of regaining ground in the XC and Freeride (as opposed to all mountain) markets, to the detriment of Marzocchi and Manitou, manufacturers who seem to have become associated with other aspects of the market in the last two years.

This is the current Trek Fuel OCLV Carbon XC race bike, probably one of the most materially advanced full suspension bikes on the market.

Peaks Action
March 28th, 2005

The choice today was either to head over to North Wales and ride some man made trails or to stay local and try and tackle a new route in the Peaks. The peaks option won through and I ended up heading up to Langsett and doing a big ride around the reservoirs in that area. I took the singlespeed out again and it’s the first time I’ve chosen it for a big ride in the Peaks.

I’m still running 34:16 from Thetford, which if you get enough weight behind, is okay for most of the riding on offer. There were a couple of highlights like riding the Snow track that runs to the Summit of the Woodhead Pass and a few other well constructed tracks. The rest of the ride was a mudbath, traversing poorly drained moorland and bog.

The winter boots proved their worth once again, but there were a couple of times the front wheel sank up to it’s axle and pitched me into the mud over the bars. In all there was enough good riding to make it a worthwhile route, but I don’t think I’ll be going back there until we get summer drought conditions for a month. Most of the trails just seem to double up as wet weather streams. Photos will be added soon.

The Search
March 25th, 2005

Went local today looking for some new riding spots. I hooked up wit the Fallowfield Loopline and headed east and took the trail as far as it currently goes, ending up at Debdale Park. Whilst it isn’t a mind blowing place to go there’s enough varied riding to make it a suitable alternative to the Trans Pennine Trail along the Mersey, with singletrack riding around the reservoirs and out by the golf course.

I even found a jump spot, carved out of a bit of waste land by some motocrossers, that with a bit of playing about on demonstrated another great characteristic property of the Deluxe Singlespeed – it’s a great bike in the air, almost like a 26inch BMX. After finding an alternate way back, through the Park I tried to link up with the Trans Pennine Trail by riding into Reddish Vale and looking for the Country Park.

Despite riding around for 30 minutes, I couldn’t find it and ended up going home the way I had arrived, but later consultation of the map showed I had only been one street away from finding the road that leads down to the Cafe. In future there’s now a way of linking in some interesting additional riding to the normal river run.

I found a link to this Singlespeed website earlier in the week. It’s the first time I’ve visited the site and it looks like there is some interesting stuff on there. Might be worth taking a look.

Oxenhope
March 24th, 2005

Last night saw nightriding by moonlight up on the moors above Oxenhope with some friends. Chris is back from the US for a week and Mike Ferrentino is over at the moment doing some research. It was a great night for riding and there were a few beers along the way too.

I’ve updated the site with the Zermatt pictures. I’ve relected the best and resized them a bit bigger than before, there’s going to be some more stuff added to the escapism part of the site soon.

The new Howies catalogue is out now. You can find most of the new stuff on the website now.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides