Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Einstein’s Theory
November 23rd, 2005

So the latest fad isn’t almost getting killed when you’re commuting it’s actually breaking your commuter through sheer brute force. Hence this public service broadcast:

The gauntlet has also been thrown down for the new Twentyfour12 Endurance Event. The completely new, purpose built venue of Lodgewood Park, Ellesmere in Shropshire, is a totally private estate and has a fully serviced campsite complete with water and of course, enough toilets and showers for all. The Twentyfour12 will take place here on the 22 nd and 23 rd of July 2006, with both 24hr and 12hr races being run concurrently, both races starting at midday on Saturday. Singlespeed. Solo. 12 hours.

A local 12 year winning streak at La Ruta de los Conquistadores was finally snapped last weekend when Thomas Frischknecht became the first foreign rider to win the three-day event. The Marathon World Champion bounced back from a disastrous second stage (three flats on the final descent caused him to lose 15 minutes) to Costa Rican Marvin Campos. On the final day the 126km stage featured 1785m climbing. With nearly 7400 metres of climbing in their legs from the previous two stages, Frischknecht worked with Jeremiah Bishop) and defending champion Paolo Montoya toisolate Campos from his team and then ride far enough away from him to take the win.

This Wade Simmons video is worth a look. I think the zip line camera shot as it follows a run from the tree canopy is stunning.

It’s Been A While
November 10th, 2005

Update time because I need a break from what I’m supposed to be doing. There’s a bit of news too. Firstly, Keith Bontrager has put a few words together to describe his efforts in this years Three Peaks Cyclocross race. They’ve been up on the Cyclingnews site for a while now, but here’s the link.

Jed has procured his new ride and Alps bike. I think he was intimidated by the IF prospect and has sensibly opted for some classic Ti in the form of a rather svelte looking Merlin Oreas. Seeing as Nige and Jam are probably also taking similarly fantastic bits of expensive metal, it looks like the Trans Alp bike isn’t decided just yet… Jed has also been ribbing me about SITS too. Third time lucky is the quest, but this 24hr business as a pair is fairly hardcore stuff. I’m game. Just need to sort out food and drinking on some big rides in the UK first.

Outside of the UK, Macpuppy has been finding some sweet trails. Don’t click if the last lot were too painful. yip groof wuff awooooooooooooo indeed.

Crazy dude Nathan Rennie has been busting himself up trying to get in the Guiness Book of Records. Nathan was gunning for the World Record in terms of long jumps and was towed in by a motorbike at 96 km/hr (60 mph) into this monster ramp. He managed to hold onto his Santa Cruz V10 for the 121 feet from the take off ramp to landing. He flat landed the front wheel and “blew up” three quarters of the way down the landing ramp. Nathan separated his shoulder and smashed his prized Troy Lee full face helmet, as well as sustaining cuts and bruising to most of his body. So that’s a repeat on the cards then…

Tyrell sent in this link to Supercycling. It’s a South African Equivalent to Cyclingnews. There’s a lot on there including details of the forth coming XTERRA race. I’m not sure Ned Overend will be contending, but in any case it looks sure to be a great race. It’s a damn sight warmer in SA this time of year than it is here thats for sure.

Don’t steal bikes from people is the simple message here. Ahearne Cycles were featured in the latest edition of Dirt Rag and the man behind beautifully crafted bike parts can be tracked down here. The Spaceman Bicycle Flask holster is clearly inspired genius.

The Sexmidget has some photos from his trip to the Alps here. Snow and no sunshine in these shots from June. Catch up with Cyclenaut here – she’s still working on the road in the US for Trek. The Coogle is broken (hand again) – his website’s here. The Samuri hasn’t been having much luck with his opticians then… Finally Tim’s the proud owner of a bike shop with a sorted website. No need for a stock listing that needs constantly updating. He’s even got a shop blog

Finally here’s a couple of Apple Mac links. First of all I can’t help thinking that this will look crap once it has all the necessary wires plugged in. The Mcmac site on the other hand is just plain cheeky. Front row has indeed left the iMac and works just as well on any other OSX10.4 Apple. All you need to do now is find a way to get the remote control to work…

As Busy as a…
November 6th, 2005

Mid week posts aren’t really looking like a likelihood until some point next month so you’ve been warned. The best bit of news from the world of rothar.com is that the Trans Alp bike is built up and ready to rock. Welcome Indy Fab #3 – photos are here. It’s taken a while to get the build to this stage and I’m still waiting for one of the new SDG Bel Air RL saddles and some more Candy Ti pedals – in the mean time the Singlespeed’s been pilfered for bits.

Havind departed Scotlandshire and headed over to the land of the French, the Macpuppy has just reported in:

From: Macpuppy
Subject: A commute of two tails…

Bonjour smellee British peeps,

Rumour has it that the common wolf was hunted out of existance and hasn’t been sighted in the Vercors national park for over 30 years but ‘le Daupine post’ reported this week that although no sightings have yet been confirmed rumours of howling, barking and pawprints are circulating amongst shepherds in the high pastures …… methinks Mushers been out exploring !

But that’s beside the point, I was going to tell you about my first true commute to my new desk.

After a week of un-seasonal sunshine, warm winds, high temperatures and settling in to the new environment, I finally pulled the skinny tyred machine out of it’s bag and headed for work at 8am yesterday. The sky was still crystal blue, the temperature was dropping and the weather looked set to turn nasty so I thought I’d better get this done before it becomes impossible until the spring.

Now I’m no roadie …. but on the strength of this first descent – 26Km, 35mins, -2800ft, a few bends and two rows of fly spattered teeth – I could be converted. It’s a strange feeling hurtling at 45mph towards a hairpin looking down at 18mm tyres with pathetic wee brake pads when your used to the stopping power of Mono M4’s working through 63mm Weirwolfs but somehow we always manage to get round the bend and blast out the other side before grabbing the levers as the next hairpin approached. Near the bottom a car stutters out of a driveway onto the road ahead and we seamlessly drift to the other side of the road and pass before the driver scrabbles for third gear. Ooof that was fun and the flat section at the bottom of the hill is probably still as far as the old commute in Edinburgh was.

Lunch came and went, e-mail was read and sent, meetings endured, coffee inhaled, brief snippets of bad French – the weathers still solid blue but as 4.30pm approaches monster black clouds suddenly tower over the Vercors and all hope of getting home dry is gone.

I’ve been worrying about this first ride home all week, not because it’s long or steep or long AND steep for a long long way but because there are no street lights for 20Km of it and every time I’ve driven up it it’s full of loons dirfting and cutting corners and I’ve never seen a cyclist ride it in the dark. Strangely the French, those people who live on their bikes don’t seem to keep riding when it get’s dark and cold. They put their bikes away for months !

So I headed off out into the rain – soaked to the skin in the first couple of Kms but feeling good. 15mins later I’m at the bottom of the climb and the end of the streetlights and the inky blackness swallows evarything except the 12Watts worth of Lumi spot dancing up the road in front of me. My thoughts drift back to the loons in the cars are they going to see me in time ?

Well I have 3 rear lights deployed, 2 flashers, 1 steady and one of them is on my helmet, so if they do push me off the side of the mountain my tombstone can at least testify that I tried to warn them off …. it seems to work as every car that comes up behind me flashes it’s lights to let me know they are there and then pulls over to the wrong side of the road to overtake, they even slow right down and wait patiently on the bends – how cool is that ? One bloke comes alongside, rolls down his window and jabbers at me in some strange tounge – he’s pointing frantically at the tailgate of his car with one hand, fag in the other and steering round the bends with his teeth (still on the wrong side of the road) there’s a bike rack on the back so I guess he’s offering a lift, I politely decline and get back to the job in hand.

It’s tipping buckets, the Lumi’s are now trying to punch holes in thick cloud and one of my tail lights has drowned but I’m no longer worried about the cars so settle into the climb and suddenly realise something wierd has happened. I’m sitting in the saddle spinning and continue to do so for mile after kilometer after mile ….. eh but as you know I only ever climb out of the saddle !!!! Mind bending stuff for sure but 25Km, 1hr 20mins +2800ft and 2billion gallons of rain later I’m in the village home and ‘dry’ :o)

Merde !!!! ….. I forgot the last Kilometer and bonk :o( …. but that’s what roadies do, not hairy ersed mountainbikers ?????? Schecht the world is swimming before me, someone has stolen my legs and I’m cold and wasted. Five whole minutes to cover the last click but I get there and stuff shortbread down my face as fast as possible. Another five minutes later and I’m thinking about heading back to the office to retrieve the pen I left on my desk :o) At least I now know ‘the bonk’ is just a 10 minute roadie thing.

I’ve just ordered a Lumicycle tail-light and a spare battery …. now looking forward to heading back to work on Monday and surfing for a Garmin USB cable for the GPS so I can download the tracklog for you all to enjoy.

What tyres for Alpine hairpins ??????

Ohhhh. How jealous? Sounds like a great way to start and end the day. He’s going to be getting seriously fit with that bad boy on the schedule everyday.

Meanwhile IMBA and CTC have agreed to disagree over the clauses prevenning byway claims by motorised vehicle users. CTC regards any restriction of motor vehicles as being good for cyclists, while IMBA recognises that if groups like the TRF are prevented from making claims, then some thousands of potential routes will be lost – as no other group has the capability to fill the gap. IMBA has written to Minister Jim Knight to warn him of this consequence, noting that the more important task is to manage vehicular byways so that routes are not trashed by inconsiderate and unsustainable use.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides