Mountain Bike Shenanigans

If the shoes don’t fit…
April 30th, 2007

After destroying the last pair of race shoes through use, I’ve invested in the latest version. I’m not convinced by boa type systems that use a wire or vectran cable to close the shoes, so the S-Works versions didn’t appeal, although I can’t say I am a fan of the horrible red soles in any case. So  I’ve gone for a new pair – 07 Specialized Body Geometry Pros with the carbon soles and very nice they are too.

BG Pro Carbons

I have one niggle with them. On the inside of each shoe on the arch side of the foot I can feel the mounting point for the X-Link strap. This seems to be because there is little (if any) padding between the inner mesh fabric and the shoe outer into which the buckle and strap mounting points are attached.

I had thought it might be the screw (being too long) that holds the strap to the strap mount on the shoes, but it’s definitely the plastic mounting for the strap. The lower part of it below the screw is the bit that is causing the problem.

Although on the first ride this didn’t seem an issue, on the ride to work they were really uncomfortable to wear because of the pressure point this creates. I had a think about what I could stick on the inside of the shoe to stop this from happening and after trying foam and rubber and various options decided that if the shoes don’t fit make them fit.

Out came the scalpel and just before I started operating on them, I decided I’d remove the cross link strap completely. I was quite surprised to discover that this immediately made them more comfy to wear. A closer look revealed why – below the lowest eyelet was a 15mm strip of strap that protruded into the inner of the shoe creating the pressure point. With the help of a burly pair of sharp scissors I chopped off the excess strap material and refitted them to find it had cured the problem.


I’m fairly sure other riders must have had this problem too or are at least putting up with it. It seems such a little thing, but is has made all the difference.

Blatant Advert
April 26th, 2007

I spoke to the team at Independent Fabrication with my IF Owners’ Club hat on. We’ve decided to get some joint publicity via a new biking publication. This is what we came up with:

Independent Fabrication

If you ride fixed, commute or have to deal with urban city biking on a regular basis we think that you’ll like the new ‘zine. The Indy Fab fixie in the photo belongs to a nice guy from New Zealand who has not one, but two rather special bikes.

Chain Gang Riding
April 23rd, 2007

Yesterday was a road ride in a chain gang with the University team. This is quite a big development as I haven’t been out on what is a proper roadie bike ride for about five years. Sunday’s ride took in Swiss Hill up the back of Alderley Edge and the cobbled climb up from Bollington to the top of the Brickworks. Cracking climbs and some ace descents too. It was good to get out and home again before the rain.

I bumped into Femke van Schelven‘s dad on Saturday. Since finishing her physiotherapy degree and qualifying she’s made the highly sensible choice to take a year out and race. She’s used her dutch roots to make a base in the Netherlands and is racing extensively in the Benelux region for the Moving Ladies team. It seems a long time since we worked in Harry Halls together, but I’m stoked to see she’s mixing it up with the pro women.

Jeff Guerrero and Brad Q. from Dirt Rag have parted ways with Karen and co and gone on to setup their own fanzine – Urban Cyclist. I suspect that Maurice will ensure that Dirt Rag goes on without them being involved and will continue (I hope) to represent a quality mag run by nice people. I ain’t going to be cancelling my subscription because of it. I’m sure the changes in staff will allow some more cool people to get involved in DR.

I think that Jeff and Brad’s new venture is just going to fill a fairly unexploited niche in the market. I’ve an article I’m going to fire over to Brad and some pics from my trip to Boston last year for Jeff. We’ll see what happen’s next.

New Mag Archive
April 19th, 2007

Now up to version four the new website for the former Singletrack Magazine Information Bureau (a reference resource of the magazine contents), is now live.

Mag Archive

There’s a host of few new features including a page with all the covers on, more information (including cover and contents photographer credits for each issue) and better search facilities and product test categorisation. Check it out if you want to find out when that product you’re thinking of buying was last tested.

The Rules
April 18th, 2007

I’m updating the Owner’s Club Website today. I’ve decided that Porter Pink and Carbon go well together too.

Following on from reading Alex’s post the other day about the company he works for made me ponder the following. The employer in question is currently on the cusp of a new ‘Green Environmental Policy’. Alex points out his firm makes nothing but money and burns nothing but graduates. It made me wonder if the following leaked memo is also from them:

Company Policy: Effective from January 2007

Dress Code

It is advised that you come to work dressed according to your salary. If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise. If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise. If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days

We will no longer accept a doctors statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Annual Leave Days

Each employee will receive 104 Annual Leave days a year. They are called Saturday & Sunday.

Bereavement Leave

This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend to the arrangements. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Toilet Use

Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offence, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the Chronic offenders category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sanctioned under the company’s mental health policy.

Lunch Break

Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy. Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure. Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that’s all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplation’s, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.

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    is a mountain biking blog currently based in the North of England.

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