I’ve been interested to see what people have been saying about kitting bikes out for the Alps. I’ve ridden out there and done some epic and rocky descents on nothing more than v-brakes and front suspension. In fact not so long ago some one went to a french hypermarche, bought the equivalent of a Â£99 bargain and then rode the Les Gets downhill course. So why is it that you now need a 6″ full suspension bike with 200mm discs with phenolic pistons and floating calipers? I reckon it’s all a marketing ploy to make people buy more bikes and bits. There’s a great thread on Singletrackworld about it. Jed and I are quite taken by Colin Burgess’s comment:
I should think you’ll die horribly, screaming down the hill with your brakes spontaneously combusting, and your wheels resplendent as firey discs from hell, to a chorus from onlookers chanting ‘you should have bought avid juicys, they cure cancer’.
I am also a big fan of Alex Leigh over at Pickled Hedgehog. I have a lot of time for his accounts of real life. i can particularly concur with his views on riding while under the influence. I had always thought that riding off road when drunk was bad (particularly at night, during beach parties and along cliff top paths), but come to think of it Al has a point. Urban riding has that added danger of traffic…
Riding whilst drink has much to commend it. Firstly it renders you immortal by sheathing your squashy bits in what I like to think of as â€œlager armourâ€. Secondly it engenders a certain raffish approach to risk. Rather than assess the many and potentially fatal hazards awaiting the unwary cyclist, one can throw the entire risk management system out of the window; although a more apt description would be â€œin front of an oncoming carâ€
Thirdly, it grants you god like riding skills. Well thatâ€™s not entirely true of course, you think you have magically attained god like riding skills otherwise why would you attempt to craft a cheeky manoeuvre of placing a 24inch handlebar in a 20inch gap? As I wobbled down the Strand, it became increasingly clear that while I had no issues whatsoever powering the bike, steering it was quite another matter. Still what with being immortal, immune to risk and infused with divine bike skills, my progress was serene if a little erratic. It put me in mind of that old joke â€œIâ€™ve never been in an accident but Iâ€™ve seen quite a fewâ€.
IF have just bought out a rather nice courier bag and I added it to their on-line store yesterday. It’s made by those very nice people over at Crumpler in Australia. They have a fantastic flash website. The videos of people trying to swap beer for other goods in the US are hilarious. I also had a look over at Paul Component Engineering‘s website too. I always wanted one of their custom made rear derailleurs…
I never really was bitten by the surfing bug, I tried it a few times. I tried windsurfing too. I actually quite liked cliff jumping, but really all the friends I made were just cool people to hang around with. Still I follow it occassionally and recently came across what big man Laird Hamilton has ben up to. Biking and Paddling from London to Paris. Good work from the big guy.
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Since I discovered Alex’s RSS feed his writings have been a ray of sunshine at my otherwise dull and dreary desk.