Set for SSMM

Team are in this year’s SAAB Salomon Mountain Mayhem. The team listings are now appearing on the official website. We didn’t race last year, but this year the original (and now defunct) Team Jelly squad will be reforming under a new banner and looking for a good placing. Damn. Going to have to do some real training now.

Team Jelly (left to right): Conrad, Cris Paul & Jed
Prior to the Red Bull Mountain Mayhem 2001

The UCI are considering banning radio communications between the pelotons riders and team cars. The UCI official who is calling for the ban on ear-pieces, jersey-mikes and back-pocket transceivers is Jean Wauthier, the same official who rubbed the bike trade up the wrong way by freezing road-bike design and banning go-faster components.

Moreau is back, Pettachi suspects Cipo is playing a tactical move with regard to his level of fitness and Armstrong is going to sit out the 95th Milan-San Remo. The near 300k race doesn’t fit into his plans for a sixth Tour win. More at cyclingnews. Actually I don’t fancy the thought of riding nearly 190 miles this saturday either. Although I am sure Lance’s alternative plan doesn’t involve drinking beer in a pub somewhere, which mine definitely does.

On-line retailer Wiggle have had their wrists slapped for *discounting* (sorry this link has been pulled from the Bikebiz website) the prestigious ABG products (that’s Merlin, Litespeed, Tomac, etc). The question has been raised already: why were they given an account in the first place? There seem to be a fair few interpretations of this article from different people. I’ve bought stuff from Wiggle and been very happy with the service, but maybe they had this coming.

Now on the global markets metal prices have been on the rise since the end of last year. At the beginning of this year the out look still looked bleak and now things in the Far East have reached the point where the factory where Alex rims are manufactured has twice been robbed at gun-point and over 20 tonnes of steel stolen and man hole covers are being stolen from the streets of Taiwan. The forecast for the coming summer months and 2005 bike ranges is looking to be one of massive shortages and price hikes. Eeek.

So what happens when you steal someone’s custom built and immediately recognisable bike and then take it back to the paint shop where it was sprayed, where the painter is a friend of the frame builder? Well you can find out in this account from 26inches (you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader).

Now we get some unsavoury customers through our doors and I guess it just goes with the territory of working in a big city that you’re going to get a fair cross-section of the cycling and not-so-cycling community in at sometimes or another. Most are no bother, some are quite welcome and others I’m sure we could happily live with going somewhere else. This has become obvious to even some of our newest members of staff (long thread gets interesting about two-thirds of the way through).

Fortunately we have not yet had to resort to physical violence as a means of serving mutually beneficial customer/retailer relations, but I think that it is in the small print that this may be permitted under special circumstances. That said we have not been given any specific customer service training, so when pushed, anything may happen. Fortunately laughter, dry wit and sarcasm are excellent tools of the trade.*

And on that cheery note I am off to the Yorkshire Dales for the weekend.

(*All or part of this paragraph may not be true).

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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