Mountain Bike Shenanigans

TransAlp Invitational
September 29th, 2005

So the first ever Independent Fabrication Owners’ Club in association with invitational is fully booked. Organised in conjunction with the wonderful Mary Kirkbride from Ride the Alps, riders Jed Southwood, Nige Harris and Jam Price will be joining me and a handful of other people for a summer epic in the high alps next summer Chamonix to Zermatt over a week in a fully supported epic adventure. It’s going to be great and then there’s the extra riding we want to fit in too. So all we need to do now is persuade Jed to get an IF so he doesn’t fit left out…

One person who’s not feeling left out is Wee Ben, who’s riding like a bit of a legend up north of the border.

From: Benjammin
Subject: Westcoast100

ey up,

Hows it going?

I’m doing pretty good, fitting into country life pretty well, enjoying the more relaxing slow pace – its all good.

Got myself a litlle van (m reg renault extra) which is sweet, you can get two downhill bikes in it easy (with the wheels in – bonus for bolt through owners), so i’ve kinda been jetting about in that since i got it. First up was checking out my mates trails in inverness (glen urquhart bike park), which are dope, the bike park is well good with a whistler style jump box, a little road gap thing and loads of north shore skinny’s. There’s also a secret trail if you’re in the know – which is such good fun, steep, rooty, rocky and slidy. And it boasts (i kid not i’ve seen it) a 30 foot gully gap (gap being easily 25 foot down onto rocks), which i didn’t do. Nae chance.

check out pinkbike put ‘glen urquhart‘ into location, i think, on the photo page and its mostly there.

Went to the fort bill world cup too which was great fun, saw my old mate rich, aka cunny, (see the newest dirt – he’s the ugly one doing the road trip) and saw peaty win which was pretty special, he was the last man on the hill and the crowd went nuts.

Anyway, we’re off to innerleithen in about a week for the next uplift, soooo looking forward to that new dh course it looks like fun.

Any way i’ll get some photo’s up soon (the site doesnt like mac’s, and my pc’s dead), you’ll have to bare with me though.

laters dude

Anyway there were a few who wanted to be involved but couldn’t quite make it, so I’m proposing a multi day Trans-Wales Epic sometime around Easter next year. The usual suspects are all invited. More details soon, but it’ll probably be a variation on the IMBA UK route.

Loads of mountain bike stuff out at the shows, including lots of carbontastic stuff from Specialized and a new Trek Madone Mountain Bike, the 9.9 Hardtail. So all those people who said the hardtail was dead a few years ago will be gutted to hear that if anything the hardtail is definitely still alive and now fighting the substantial full suspension market with the latest composite materials, but they’re far from the do everything bikes of ten years ago. These latest bikes from the big players are 100% cross country racers – you’ll not find the downhillers racing these bikes. If you want something that’s an evolution of bikes from back in the day check out the Surly Pugsly. 10 Psi tyre pressures anyone?

So here’s a great bit of PR, but for who? Not all news is good news that’s for sure. Finally, do you know anyone from Northern Ireland?

I’m Ill
September 26th, 2005

Freshers Flu has taken me down and my computer has a virus:

Dear Receiver

Bejaisus! You have just received an Irish Virus. Since we are not so technologically advanced in Ireland, this is a manual virus.

Please delete all the files on your hard disc and send this mail to everyone you know.

That’d be grand.

Tanx, Paddy O’Hacker

So after a year and a half off the bike David Millar is now looking at a return to racing. With Armstrong’s departure the peloton next year is going to be an interesting spectacle and Millar will be an interesting addition into the pick and mix of possible stage winners in the big races.

David Millar, whose two-year doping suspension ends in June 2006, is looking to come back as soon as possible. After rumours began that he was in touch with a number of teams, including Quick.Step, Liberty Seguros and Illes Balears, it looks like he has found a place at Saunier Duval-Prodir. Team manager Mauro Gianetti said over the weekend that the team was preparing to sign Millar. “As far as we’re concerned, the deal is perfect. The contract can be signed within the next few days,” he said, adding that it was possible Millar could even ride in the 2006 Tour de France, which starts nine days after his suspension ends (Cyclingnews).

The Sexmidget has been busy in Wales.

Another IF
September 22nd, 2005

This looks like a fairly good place to start this update.

From: The Darwin Awards
Subject: Surprise Attack Surprise

(3 January 2005, St. Maurice, Switzerland) It was the first week of a weapons refresher course, and Swiss Army Grenadier Detachment 20/5 had just finished training with live ammunition. The shooting instructor ordered the soldiers to secure their weapons for a break.

The 24-year-old second lieutenant, in charge of this detachment, decided this would be a good time to demonstrate a knife attack on a soldier. Wielding his bayonet, he leaped toward one of his men, achieving complete surprise.

But earlier that week, the soldiers had been drilled to release the safety catch and ready their guns for firing in the shortest possible time. The surprised soldier, seeing his lieutenant leaping toward him with a knife, snapped off a shot to protect himself from the attack.

The lesson could not have been more successful: the soldier had saved himself and protected the rest of the detachment from a surprise attack. The lieutenant might have wished to commend his soldier on his quick action and accurate marksmanship. Unfortunately, he had been killed with one shot.

Normally I’d talk bikes here, but most of the stuff I’ve been looking at recently has nowt to do with bikes at all so it’s not a particularly bike orientated post at all. Well apart from the fact the best saddles in the world just got even better – check out the Bel Air RL. So I guess that’s the saddle for the new IF sorted then. Oops guess I let that one out of the bag eh?

The Independent Fabrication family has grown and there’s a shiny new addition to the collection. If I was like the characters in Dear Wendy I’d probably have names for them all but I don’t. At the end of the day they’re bikes. Very nice bikes, but not as valuable as people and especially someone you really love and care about. Bikes can always be replaced, people can’t be. Anyway this particular new bike is still languishing in a fairly big cardboard box awaiting some fairly fundamental components to bring it to life, pictures will follow when it lives.

I read this a while back and it sounds like a pretty good idea. How many times do you wish you could watch that show you missed when you were late back from biking at the weekend:

From: Steve Malone, MacUser
Subject: BBC to offer legal free downloads of TV shows

The BBC is to allow British online users to legally download TV and radio programmes from the Internet up to seven days after their transmission. The announcement was made by Mark Thompson, the BBC Director General, in a speech at the Edinburgh Festival over the weekend.

Under the plans announced by Thompson, it is hoped that the new service called MyBBCPlayer will be launched next year. In addition to recently broadcast material, the BBC also hopes to include more of its archive online as downloads as well.

With some programmes, the BBC may go one step further. As well as offering downloads at the same time they are broadcast, some shows may even become available online before they appear on TV. In a pilot, the BBC Three comedy The Mighty Boosh has appeared on the Internet before TV. The corporation says that the comedy Titty Bang Bang, the sitcom ‘Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps and the Johnny Vegas vehicle ‘Ideal’ will be made available on the Internet first.

The BBC has already trialled a service of radio programmes and was surprised when it put the Beethoven symphonies online and received over 600,000 downloads.

The programmes are to be limited to British online users – who finance the corporation through their licences only. The BBC says it has gone to some lengths to ensure that Internet users from the US and elsewhere do not get a free ride.

The move is likely to infuriate online purists who will say the point of the Internet is to allow access to content from anywhere in the world. However, the BBC is looking for additional ways to add value to the licence as the government is currently scrutinising the licence system as part of the charter renewal process.

That said, the move is also likely to inflame those who say that the BBC will be encouraging the so-called ‘digital divide’ of those licence payers who will benefit by having a broadband connection and those who do not.

And Finally

From: Mike T
Subject: A Little Chuckle

A Jelly Baby walks into a bar and starts talking to a smartie. After a few beers the Smartie says “Ere, a bunch of us are heading to that new club, fancy tagging along?”

The Jelly Baby says “No mate, I’m a soft centre, I always end up getting my head kicked in”

“So?”, Smartie says. “Don’t worry about it, I’m a bit of a hard case, I’ll look after you”

Jelly Baby thinks about it for a minute and says “Fair enough, as long as you’ll look after me”, and off they go. After a few more beers in the club, three Lockets walk in. As soon as he sees them, Smartie hides under the table.

The Lockets take one look at jelly Baby and start kicking him, breaking cola bottles over his little jelly head, lamping him with little sugary chairs, and generally having a laugh. After a while they get bored and walk out.

Jelly Baby pulls his battered Jelly Baby body over to the table and wipes up his Jelly Baby blood. He turns to Smartie and says “I thought you were going to look after me!” “I was!” says Smartie,” But them Lockets are f**king menthol”

Back On-Line
September 18th, 2005

So two weeks without Internet, massive deadlines at work and a whole heap of stuff going on in addition to moving house equates to not enough time for website updates.

Mikey T sent me this link. It’s the Channel4 trailer with alsorts of TV people saying their favourite swear words. Not really safe for work. well not unless you’re having a REALLY bad day…

From: Michael Moore
Subject: Vacation is Over… an open letter from Michael Moore to George W. Bush

Friday, September 2nd, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush:

Any idea where all our helicopters are? It’s Day 5 of Hurricane Katrina and thousands remain stranded in New Orleans and need to be airlifted. Where on earth could you have misplaced all our military choppers? Do you need help finding them? I once lost my car in a Sears parking lot. Man, was that a drag.

Also, any idea where all our national guard soldiers are? We could really use them right now for the type of thing they signed up to do like helping with national disasters. How come they weren’t there to begin with?

Last Thursday I was in south Florida and sat outside while the eye of Hurricane Katrina passed over my head. It was only a Category 1 then but it was pretty nasty. Eleven people died and, as of today, there were still homes without power. That night the weatherman said this storm was on its way to New Orleans. That was Thursday! Did anybody tell you? I know you didn’t want to interrupt your vacation and I know how you don’t like to get bad news. Plus, you had fundraisers to go to and mothers of dead soldiers to ignore and smear. You sure showed her!

I especially like how, the day after the hurricane, instead of flying to Louisiana, you flew to San Diego to party with your business peeps. Don’t let people criticize you for this — after all, the hurricane was over and what the heck could you do, put your finger in the dike?

And don’t listen to those who, in the coming days, will reveal how you specifically reduced the Army Corps of Engineers’ budget for New Orleans this summer for the third year in a row. You just tell them that even if you hadn’t cut the money to fix those levees, there weren’t going to be any Army engineers to fix them anyway because you had a much more important construction job for them — BUILDING DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ!

On Day 3, when you finally left your vacation home, I have to say I was moved by how you had your Air Force One pilot descend from the clouds as you flew over New Orleans so you could catch a quick look of the disaster. Hey, I know you couldn’t stop and grab a bullhorn and stand on some rubble and act like a commander in chief. Been there done that.

There will be those who will try to politicize this tragedy and try to use it against you. Just have your people keep pointing that out. Respond to nothing. Even those pesky scientists who predicted this would happen because the water in the Gulf of Mexico is getting hotter and hotter making a storm like this inevitable. Ignore them and all their global warming Chicken Littles. There is nothing unusual about a hurricane that was so wide it would be like having one F-4 tornado that stretched from New York to Cleveland.

No, Mr. Bush, you just stay the course. It’s not your fault that 30 percent of New Orleans lives in poverty or that tens of thousands had no transportation to get out of town. C’mon, they’re black! I mean, it’s not like this happened to Kennebunkport. Can you imagine leaving white people on their roofs for five days? Don’t make me laugh! Race has nothing — NOTHING — to do with this!

You hang in there, Mr. Bush. Just try to find a few of our Army helicopters and send them there. Pretend the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast are near Tikrit.


Michael Moore

P.S. That annoying mother, Cindy Sheehan, is no longer at your ranch. She and dozens of other relatives of the Iraqi War dead are now driving across the country, stopping in many cities along the way. Maybe you can catch up with them before they get to DC on September 21st.

Meanwhile Blair has been accused of slating the Beeb by that Murdoch. It was front page news over the weekend in some of the papers interestingly, the BBC tucked it waway on their website.

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