Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Trees Down
August 31st, 2009

Went up to Llandegla today for the first time in ages. Managed to arrive before it became too busy, but still ended up in the overflow carpark because numpties with 4x4s need to occupy spaces that you could fit two cars into. These people need to learn how to park as it was pretty shocking the number of times it had happened.

The forest has been transformed by recent clear cut felling of vast areas and what used to be fast flowing woodsy sections are now open and exposed. It makes you apprecaite the layout of the valleys and hills around the site. I wonder how the trails will fair with some winter weather now they’re not quite so protected.

The new red section is fantastic. The singlespeed was in seatdown pedal like your feet are on fire attack mode and it was great getting some air and floating over the jumps. There are some new sections else where that have opened including some new short and cheeky black bits that are a bit of fun and there’s some much bigger sections that are due to open very soon. We’ll definitely be heading back. Finished up with a BBQ at the ‘trailhead’ visitors centre and managed to avoid the rain, in all a top day out!

Technology Fail
August 24th, 2009

With the commuter bike in the office since Friday, this morning was another run into work. My last run a few weeks ago was somewhat scuppered by the fact that I left the iPod touch in the office so the Nike+ had nothing to talk to. So this time I was more organised and had everything I needed at home. Still this run was ruined by the fact that the Nike+ transmitter wouldn’t talk to the iPod. In the end I ran in with music and discovered after some fettling over lunch that an iPod reboot seems to have made them start talking to each other again. Which is frustrating because if I’d know that was the cure this morning, I wouldn’t have had to hop around like a loon in the rain trying to fiddle with the Nike+ sensor from my shoe trying to work out how to power cycle it.

Tired Legs
August 18th, 2009

It’s been windy the last few days, but I’m not sure it’s windy enough to explain how tired my legs feel. Mmm. Hope it’s not me coming down with something. The smell of autumn is in the air. Summer never really seemed to happen beyond two nice weeks in June here in the UK. I’m just glad that I’ve been able to get over to Europe to see some sunshine and feel some heat. Swimming in the Med is great.

August 17th, 2009

For the first time ever went up to Rivington. No bike this time, just hiking boots and great company. The route I think can be summed up as: Up past the hall to the Pigeon Tower, Belmont Road and then the foot path up to the ridge on Winter Hill, past all the masts and then down across the bog and up to the Pike and back to the car. It was nice, but windy – ended up with a hood up to stop the ear-ache. Would like to go again when it’s less busy with bikes.

August 14th, 2009

Last month I picked up a Cotic Roadrat under the Bike to Work scheme where you make a salary sacrifice but then save a good percentage of the cost via a Tax break. It’s an interesting bike and exactly the kind of thing I wanted to replace the Harry Hall as an all year round workhorse. I’ve had a few niggles with it that I’m still trying to solve. The first is that the wheels just feel dull. I’m not sure if it’s the tyres or the actual spoke and rim combination, but they don’t feel as comfortable or sprightly as the S-Works tyres on the Bonty wheels I had previously.


The other niggles are firstly that the chain seems to be easily derailled off the chainring – annoyingly when starting off from a standstill (usually from traffic lights in rush hour). Despite using the chain tensioner to try and dial out the slack that is allowing this to happen, I’m still being irritated by this. Secondly, when you slam on the rear brake, the wheel gets pulled in the drop out to the non drive side. Which is annoying because you have to get off and undo the quick release to put it back in it’s place. I’m thinking that a new set of QRs or Allen key skewers are the way forward with that one.

Other than that it’s a great bike. The extra length certainly makes a difference when riding it so in all it’s a better riding position. Now it has some custom graphics on it and a few stickers, it’s certainly unique.

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