SSUK05

As Andy Armstrong has so eloquently put it “If you haven’t got anything interesting to say, say it anyway!”. This apparently is one of the fundamental rules of blogging along with “do not blog”. American think-tank Pew Internet reckons that a new blog is created about every 6 seconds, so obviously blogging isn’t that hard, but it’d be interested to see some sustainability rates. According to a recent article in The Times, however, people who don’t blog should not be tempted to do so. Perhaps it should also be pointed out that most people who are good at blogging (like the Sexmidget – check this rant out) most of the time can’t be arsed to do so, because there is usually something much more exciting to be doing, which in Jon’s case will probably involve an activity that will lead to him forgetting why it was he had put off updating his blog in the first place.

There were 70 billion blogs in the world yesterday, there will probably be 70 billion billion by next week, and as the article says “what crazy hubris makes you think you have anything new or interesting to say?” Yet people in sheep like fashion assume that their blog will be one of the tiny fraction that is brilliant. So the only good advice that current bloggers can offer are a few invaluable tips to stop the novice embarrassing themselves, ruining their love lives, alienating friends and getting the sack. Fortunately because this is a website about mountain bikes you won’t be getting any of that rubbish here.

And talking of bikes the Singlespeed UK and Euro champs are both is weekend. Check it out:

Singlespeed UK Champs 2005 – June 12th, Machynlleth, Wales

Machynlleth, home of the Dyfi Enduro, is going to be the venue for the 11th annual UK singlespeed championships. The fun will start in town around 1pm on the Saturday, when there’ll be a guided couple of hours spin from outside the Holey Trail bike shop in the middle of town.

Later on, from 6pm-9pm there is a monster pizza frenzy at the Event HQ, the Wynnstay Arms, again in the middle of town. £10 gets you all the wood-fired oven deluxe pizza, garlic bread and salad you can scoff until 9pm, when the back bar will open up to allcomers.

There is camping available at the rugby club/sports centre with basic facilities (ie a loo) but showers and civilised things available for a small fee at the leisure centre on the Sunday. There will be opportunities for a bit of scratch racing, derbying, silly bike sprints and whatever during Saturday evening as well as a chance to chat, catch up, ogle bikes and er, probably sink a few beers.

10am on the Sunday, the riders will leave en-masse, again from the Holey Trail, to the race course, an easy five mile spin out of town. The pace will be mellow and if you don’t feel that into racing, you’ll have the chance to slack a little while still enjoying the great trails there. The winners will do a long, hard course and the just-for-funners will have the option of a little less pain and more heckling…

Entry fee will be £20, with any profits being redistributed in the form of a post-ride beer. There’ll be a cool Howies T-shirt available in limited numbers for £12 featuring the ace logo above and there will be an enormous heap of prizes from Solitude Cycles (a custom frame), Surly (a frame), Hayes, SRAM (giving gears away to the slowest rider), Easton, Topeak, Continental, and lots of other people that I wrote down on a list somewhere… It’s looking like being a top event and if you don’t have fun there, you can’t be that fun a person… See http://www.summitcycles.co.uk for a little more information.

Now onto the Euros and here’s what our Dutch friends have to say about their great sounding event.

Singlespeed Euro Champs 2005 – June 12th, Arnhem, the Netherlands

After a succesfull Dutch Open Championships in 2004 Park Klarenbeek in Arnhem will be the location for the Singlespeed Euro Champs 2005.

Last year riders from four nations entered to race for the title, this year we hope to have at least representives from 8 European countries

The event will start on Saturday June 11th on a local campsite. From here there will be several complementary rides. There will be some off road biking around Arnhem and some city biking in Arnhem. At night there will be a party in one of the local pubs.

Sunday June 12th will be racing day. At 10am (This is no typo!!) the riders start for their 30km ride (4 laps) and at the end we will know who is the new European champ! After the ride there will be the Awards Ceremony (and remember: not only the first three are the winners in a singlespeed race…)
There will also be some more contests and a big raffle.

The race will be part of one of the biggest Dutch one day mountainbike events, the Bergrace Off the Road, also featuring the Dutch Students Championships and lots of other races. The course is very challenging and has all the ingredients for a perfect race: steep climbs, fast downhills, singletrack and enough space to take over (or being taken over, as you wish).

More info on the European Championship Singlespeed 2005 you can find here.

Finally recent racing in the Mountain Bike World Cup seems to have turned a little bit farcical with the UCI doing a fairly good job of cocking things up and upsetting the riders. Why they could not just postpone the event and make alternative arrangements is beyond intelligent thought. Scroll down to the bottom to read more.

And finally spare a moment for the Canadian mountain bike and outdoors community who have lost one a friend and colleague:

Bear kills mountain biker

Canadian mountain biker Isabelle Dube has died after being mauled by a grizzly bear. Dube, who was third overall in last year’s TransRockies Challenge, was running on a trail near Canmore, Alberta on Sunday with her racing team-mate Maria Hawkins and friend Jean McAllister when the three encountered Bear 99, a male grizzly that had been trapped and removed from the area only a week before.

According to the Edmonton Sun, Dube climbed a tree while Hawkins and McAllister went for help at the nearby golf course. They found fish and wildlife officers who were led to the scene by McAllister.

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development spokesman Dave Ealey said the officers found the bear over Dube’s body. “The bear moved off the body and our staff recognized that it had killed the person, and they took one shot and killed the bear,” he said.

Dube was married with a young daughter and was well known in Canada’s endurance mountain bike racing community.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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