Phil Inside

Well my last day off was spent visiting Tim down at Sideways and getting in a last bit of riding before the big return to work. I’ve just picked up a pair of the new IRC Mibros. In the 2.25 version they’re about the same sort of size as Verical Pro 2.3s. Great thing is they’re a fraction of the weight and have an agressive tread design that looks the business. I’ve replaced the not-very-impressive Trailrakers that are on the geared hardtail and chucked them on and it now looks loads better. I suspect that if Tim’s words of wisdom on their performance are right that they’ll be a great Calderdale tyre. Seems like a fairly soft compound, so they should bee pretty grippy.

Tim also has some custom Phil Wood bearings in that are for replacing the standard units in either Race Face or Shimano Bottom Brackets. Combined with a special tool for doing the job I had a super smooth set of bearings in the Ti Deluxe in about 20 minutes (well in the bearings cups that live in the Ti D anyway). So I guess that means that I could get some of these stickers made up?

Phil Wood's legendary bearings: Available for your external BB.

Anyways after doing some home work and having a chat about IF #4, Tim and Judith gave me some directions and I legged it cross-country to Delamere. For some bizarre reason having been in Manchester for all this time I’d never been to Cheshire’s equivalent of Thetford. Tim said he thought I might find it a bit shit, but I have to say it was ace. They even have some wooden elevated bits were a bit smaller (i.e. not as much of it as I’d hoped) than they’d looked from the photos I’d seen.

The main (big) bit was fine. I rode that both ways straight off and the skinnier dog-leg bit first time, but I had a complete mental issue with the bridge over the stream. I had to do about four run ups the first time to be happy that I had a good line. I think it would also be fair to say I was not ruling the dirt jumps, but I rode them anyway. It was a lot more up and down in a hilly-kind-of-way than I’d thought and there’s clearly a huge amount of trails to explore.

I’m thinking that once the clocks go back I’d be quite up for doing an offroad route from Sale Water Park towards Lymm (river run), backroads to Delamere fitting in cheeky bits and bridleways. Stop at the Cafe for food and then ride the forest and ride back. Probably 100+ miles. Good training for this year I reckon.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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