Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Halloween
October 31st, 2007

Forget all the marketing nonsense and tacky gimmicks and the Eve of All Hallows has some really great traditions associated with it. The night before All Saints Day is a chance to carve some pumpkin lanterns.

Jack

Makes good soup too, best served with a nice oven warmed focaccia and some freshly ground black pepper and paprika.

Harry Hall RIP
October 31st, 2007

Harry Hall the founder of Manchester’s finest bike shop has passed away. Back in the day he opened his first shop in 1957 and worked hard to establish a name in the British Cycling scene through hand-built in Manchester own-brand frames. Harry Hall bikes went onto feature in many World Class stage races, including the Milk Race.

I never met Harry that many times, but my most vivid memory was working with him at a demo day up in Mellor where he was insistent on doing all the spanner work on the bikes – fettling brakes, swapping pedals and getting mucky. Harry of course was a famous bike mechanic, providing support services to pro races from the 1950s onwards, often from a Mini. He was mechanic to Tom Simpson during the 1967 Tour de France in which Simpson famously passed away.

Since 1989 Harry Hall Cycles has been owned by Harry’s son Graham, who took up the challenge following Harry’s retirement. Harry used this change in his life to focus on racing and became a successful veteran cyclist, winning numerous medals, including a World Championship. He was without doubt a major player in the development of cycling and the trade in the UK and was a popular figure in the North West, which was the home and training ground of the professional British rider long before the building of the now world famous velodrome.

Don’t Forget…
October 30th, 2007

Your lights. First ride home of the year last night since the clocks went back, so something had to go wrong and of course I managed to forget a front light. I’ve been carrying rear lights for the last couple of weeks because if it’s been over cast or raining I’ve needed some extra illumination. In the end I drafted a van most of the way home and then chanced it through a couple of leafy streets before making it safely home. I’ll dig out the Light and Motion HID for tonight. There ain’t going to be no fool saying they didn’t see me with that bad lad strapped on the bars.

Back from the Lakes
October 29th, 2007

First ride in a long time this weekend with a trip up to Ireby in the Northern Lake District and a ride on Saturday around Bassenthwaite Lake. The weather was changeable as you’d expect from the Lakes at this time of year, but it was warm and we made the most of the last days riding of the year before the clocks went back on Saturday night.

Crummock Water

Found some time to visit Keswick, Cockermouth and Carlisle, although the latter was only because a trip to the Audi dealer there was needed. The car alarm went off randomly the entire time we were away which woke everyone up on the first night at 1am until I drove the car into the middle of nowhere and then walked back to our B&B, the very nice Woodlands Country House.

So on Saturday it was whisked off to Carlisle Audi where they were supposed to have disabled the alarm horn, but unexplainably seem to have failed in even this simple task despite charging for the work. There’s some explaining to be done there then. Despite the woes it was a great weekend away and I can’t wait to get back out on the bike again.

Few more photos up here 

What’s the Crack?
October 14th, 2007

Friday took me down to London for a social engagement at the Savile Club, so I used the rest of the day to drop into the Royal Geographical Society, Science Museum and the Tate Modern. It would have been criminal to go and not check out the art form that has so many different people talking about it.

Don't fall in...

One thing that is hard to appreciate is the sheer scale of it and the fact that the crack really do tail off into micro cracks in the concrete. Even though the Guardian exposed the construction methods last week, it really has to be seen to be appreciated.

In other news, not much riding going on. Went to rugby training today and still feel reasonable so I think I’ve finally recovered from the lurgy. Fingers crossed anyway. My prediction for the Rugby World Cup Final: England vs South Africa.

IMBA: Long Live Long Rides