Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Remedy 9
April 25th, 2009

I miss riding my Remedy. I need to get out on it more and throw it about…

Biking in the Alps
Photo by Jamie Carr

Poem Bench
April 19th, 2009

Ace day riding in the Dark Peak today. Discovering this bench on the climb up to New Allotments was a highlight:


Which over looked this:


414 Kiting
April 15th, 2009

Chris has been in touch to promote what 414 Kiting are doing for this coming season. After a very successful season last summer running kitesurfing courses from April through to September on Lake Como in Northern Italy, 414 Kiting will be open again at the end of this month on 25th April. The ‘Breva’ thermal wind has already started to kick in and with 10% off all lessons in May it is time to start planning your Kiting trip this summer.

Whether a complete beginner looking to get your first taste of this exciting sport, a freshly hooked kiter looking to improve on existing skills or an advanced rider wanting to hone that latest trick, IKO-affiliated 414 Kiting and Lake Como offers the perfect safe environment and friendly approach to achieve this and more. Chris and Ben are both IKO level 2 qualified instructors with extensive experience teaching on Lake Como, who will ensure progression at whatever pace suits you.

414 Kiting on Lake Como, Italy
414 Kiting on Lake Como, Italy

At 414 Kiting we are delighted to continue our excellent relationship with F-One kites and we will again have a full range of brand new high quality kites for this season. We have the much sought after Bandit Dos and the beginner friendly Revolt for those in the know to get excited about! As well as our two comfortable 5m RIB’s for teaching from out on the on the lake we will also be adding a jet ski to our teaching fleet this year and have more high quality wetsuits, harnesses and all the safety equipment required.

We are also delighted to have Katherine with us full time this summer, who as well as bringing an extra pair of hands to the kitesurfing courses will also be using them to work her magic as a qualified Sports Masseuse for those for whom an exhilarating day out on the lake needs to be offset with a therapeutic massage or as a more sedate alternative for non-kiting group members. Katherine will also be running the 414 apartments and bringing that much needed feminine touch. The apartments are perfectly located right opposite the school, 200 metres from the lake, and offer ideal kiting accommodation for couples, families or combined for larger groups.

With a range of Easyjet, Ryanair and BA flights into Milan’s three airports, Bergamo, Malpensa and Linate and an easy drive of less than 90 minutes from any of these it couldn’t be easier to get to us at Gera Lario on the truly stunning Lake Como. There are also train and other public transport links and ferries will take you wherever you need to go on the lake. Remember it is not all about the kiting; the Lake Como is a destination in its own right with a plethora of other things to do and see in between or instead of kiting and of course some fantastic Italian food and wine to distract you!

So check out our website at and drop us a line to book or with any questions that we would be delighted to answer!

Chris tel.:
Until 24th April +41 7873 27295
After 24th April +39 333 203 0399

Ben tel.:
Until 24th April +44 7970 597 816
After 24th April +39 335 828 6958

Creaking Banished
April 14th, 2009

Stripped the bottom bracket area of the singlespeed down at the weekend. Didn’t bother taking the Phil Wood EBB out of the shell as there is very little that can go wrong with this simple, but brilliant design. The left hand cover on the XT Hollowtech II cups that was fitted came away with the non drive side crank and it was clear that the o-ring seal was shot. The Phil Wood bearings inside the cup seemed to be still spinning smoothly but were a bit dirty externally. I’ll have to get around to cleaning them up and try them in a different bike to see if they’re the source of the creak.

Fitted a Hope stainless steel bottom bracket and cleaned up the Race Face Deus Cranks. There was a bit of grit in behind the crank bolt and extractor cap, but otherwise no signs of any damage from them having been ridden loose. Phew. Also changed the spindles over on the Candy pedals, taking the Titanium ones out and putting some steel ones in. Creaks had all disappeared on the ride this morning so at least all the fellting seems to have done the trick.

Into the Peak
April 6th, 2009

Fantastic weekend of riding with friends in the heart of the Dark Peak. Based out of Bamford we had two good rides over two days with a big group and lots of banter. It was great.

Jenn Hopkins
More Photos

Not so great was my singlespeed. Last weekend when riding it I noticed something was wrong with the front chainset, further inspection revealed what appeared to be a bent chainring. Given the the whole drive train was up for replacement, I wasn’t too bothered about this, so ordered a new Salsa 34T chainring and dug out an unused Chris King sprocket and spare chain.

Fitted them on Friday night only to find the problem was still there, which I took to mean that I’d bent the Race Face Deus Cranks. Anyway riding on Saturday revealed that the actual cause of the problem was that the 10mm Allen key locking bolt had come loose so the whole crank was wobbly on the axle. Two 5mm Allen keys combined as a temporary means of tightening until we reached the Derwent Cycle Centre on Ladybower where the very nice staff dug into their tool box to find a proper tool for the job.

Anyway even after all that the bike spent the rest of Saturday and all of Sunday creaking like a Halfords Special. This is now pointing the finger of blame at either the pedals or bottom bracket and although I’ll replace the axles on the former just for piece of mind, my money is on the BB. This is running on the upgraded Phil Wood bearings and it was only last week that I was proudly saying they had done four years without problem. That’d have cursed it to fail on the next ride then…

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