Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Coming Back
December 27th, 2012

Same ride as last week today. Nice to do it in daylight and not to get rained on. Felt loads better once I warmed up and ended up 20 minutes quicker around the same loop and felt much more focused. Only got off and pushed the Singlespeed twice which was a massive step forward even if just psychologically.

One bit was unridable with my 2:1 gear. The secong bit was just lack of legs. Really impressed with the Strava iPhone app, especially now I have the dame ride twice and can start to see where I was slower and faster. Even put the Heart Rate monitor on today, but tried not to look too much, but having had a look at the log now home I was ‘in the zone’ for 2 hours out of a 2 hour 45 minute ride.

Christmas Reading
December 25th, 2012

I did even know this book existed which makes it an even better gift :)

Happy Christmas everyone!


Power Gone
December 19th, 2012

Back on the bike today for a ride, decided to head out and do a familiar route but in reverse, getting a good technical descent but a long road climb. The plan was ambitious, my last big ride was the 18th December last year. As with these things, the ride started off okay, but within 30 minutes I was questioning the sense of an evening into night ride. In Manchester. In winter.

The first incline had me worried. I used to power up this sat in the saddle today it was hard work out of the saddle. Things did not improve. Of course there was a headwind, my brakes were probably binding a bit, tyre pressure wasn’t optimal and the ground was too sticky under tread. I was able to find plenty of excuses, but no real explanation for how my riding form had evaporated in the last year. Clearly power walking to work for 15 minutes each way every day is not a substitute for exercise that necessitates breaking a sweat.

In no short order the ride was eventful in that:

  • One drug deal going down out the boot of a Clio (Tesco bag of Cannabis being exchanged for a big wad of notes)
  • Two new components being tested SLX cranks and XTR pedals.
  • Three times I thought about turning around and going home early.
  • Four sections of santisied trails – thanks for ruining some great trails morons.
  • Five hundred metres of climbing and I felt every one.


Any way I used the Strava app for the iPhone for the first time. What a great bit of kit, no more Map my Ride messing about for me! Like garlic bread, this is the future. It even allows you to compare times against other riders on the same sections of trail. Ace.

So the aim is to now try and maintain a regular riding mentality and get back out on the trails more often. With my power gone, stamina and a mediocre level of trail skills seem to be the only assets I have left and I’m not too happy with that prospect. At least I am not totally destroyed tonight after a 3 hour ride and 46km.

Titanium Crown Jewel
November 25th, 2012

Finally finished the build during the week and with a break in the gloom and some sunshine this afternoon here’s a few pics of the built up new road bike.




The paintwork is Ruby Red Pearl (which was brought in specially as it is no longer a standard colour option) with Freshwater Pearl to make up the ‘jersey panels’. The Independent Fabrication graphics are hand-painted by Chris Rowe. Few more photos here.

This is a special bike with a paint job inspired by my old Harry Hall which had a Dave Yates paintjob. Although tipping a hat to these old school names, it is very much a state of the art chassis in Titanium.

It tips the scales at just under 17.5lbs. Full SRAM Red, Ultegra Carbon SPD SL Pedals, Deda Newton Bars, Thomson post and stem and Selle Italia SLR saddle. Wheels are classic Mavic Heliums – some of the lightest factory wheels they’ve produced. I’m sure this build will evolve….

Oakley Airwave
November 4th, 2012

This is very cool.

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