Just cleaned the Deluxe for the first time. Several weeks of commuting made up a bit of filth, but an truly fantastic Tuesday night ride in Calderdale really meant that a full clean up was in order. This may have been very appropriate timing as Iâ€™ve just realised I never put any sort of chainstay protector on and Iâ€™ve been lucky not to have scratched and chipped the frame to bits.
A classic nightride taking in legendary trails like Stannyâ€™s Drop and Gibson Mill Up and Downer also seems to have proved a few things. The Stadiums are passed their best. Itâ€™s time for some battery recovery techniques and Iâ€™ve just ordered some of these bad boys as a replacement setup. Not quite the â€˜jesus, thatâ€™s brightâ€™ power but plenty (twice the burn time) of fantastic white light and a whole host of recommendations from people riding them. Less is more and thatâ€™s certainly true of the weight â€“ Iâ€™m looking at a 2lb weight saving. New lights mean that the CX Worlds trip is off which is a bit of a bugger, I was hoping to catch up with Nige.
The recent ride has also shown that itâ€™s not quite bike enough for the Calderdale trails in itâ€™s current guise. A quick release seatpost clamp and some more appropriate tyres are in order. That means either some Big Earlâ€™s or Blue Groove and Nevegal combo are likely in the near future too. Need to have a bit of a play with the forks too. Theyâ€™re too quick on compression at the moment and need a bit for air in the spring to give them a bit more range. Other than that itâ€™s a sweet ride.
Hereâ€™s a couple of top links. MBUK was the first mountain bike magazine I ever bought and Iâ€™ve still got that 1991 Christmas Special. These days a lot of people only buy MBUK for the legendary Jo Burt cartoon Mint Sauce. When I did a massive clear out a few years ago, I cut out all the old mint sauce cartoons, but now it seems that there was no need as Jo has teamed up to launch a dedicated website: this is why. So now you can read all the cartoons and consider the sanity of a cartoon based around animals riding mountain bikes. The artwork is as beautiful as always.
Not everyoneâ€™s taste so here are links to the photos of two friends from the local area whose photos have an international audience. Dan Barham has the contents picture in the latest edition of Dirt Rag and his shots have really been developing over the last few months. As an alternative hereâ€™s a link to Steve Makinâ€™s Flickr photos. Steve’s black and white shots really are timeless and I think heâ€™s a great eye for good composition and contrast. Steveâ€™s shots have featured in many mountain bike publications including Singletrack.
Finally, we all know that Christmas can be a stressful time and that silly arguments are likely. It may be worth noting however that falling out over telephones may invariably lead to trouble.