Mountain Bike Shenanigans

Just for Clarification
July 21st, 2003

First off to settle some confusion (and to confuse those who don’t understand):

“Are You The Judean People’s Front?”
“Fuck off! We’re the People’s Front of Judea!”

I had an appointment with the Physio this morning He reckons that the damage I sustained to my back over two years ago can be effectively treated to prevent the pain reoccurring in future. Good positive vibes, although I guess telling people that they’re body is bust out of shape probably goes down like a shit sandwich. So what he told me is the stuff I’ve been wanting to hear. I’ve come to the conclusion that going through the windscreen of cars is definitely not good for the constitution.

Lance was on fire today. Will it be enough though or is it too little too late? Big Jonny reckons ‘this is the best Tour in ten years. Maybe even more than ten years. It’s unreal’. I thing he’s on to something there, I reckon this Tour is doing big favours for the popularity of the sport, as having spoken to a few people not normally interested in such things, they’ve all commented that they’ve enjoyed following and watching events this year.

I found David Visintainer’s Bike Cafe site today where he says:

To many, cycling might be looked at as simply the hardest endurance sport in the world in which the racing is tough, the season long and the glory is held by but a mere few. On the surface this may hold true but at its core, cycling represents many aspects of life that are easily overlooked. In reality, cycling mirrors life in many ways. Further examination brings to light that cycling encompasses all of the key elements of life; Man vs. Man, Man vs. Nature, and most of all, Man vs. Himself. For there is no other sport in the world in which the thresholds of competition, mental challenges and physical pain are pushed to their limits on a daily basis both in training as well as racing.

Pretty much sums things up. For those with an inclination to race up bloody big mountains these tips for adjusting effectively to altitude might be useful (I’ll make a note for next time). The infamous Zap has been rambling about everything from Greg Lemond to the new SAINT groupset over on Mountain Bike’s site and these guys have apparently being voiding warranties by gravity alone: Team Fat Bastard.

Tour d’Afrique
July 20th, 2003

Le Tour is turning out to be the stuff that the grand races should be made of. Nail-biting, tense, action-packed and uncertain. I don’t know if Lance will still be wearing yellow in Paris, but he’s going to really have to fight for it if he wants to keep it on his shoulders. For those of us without the benefit of cable or satellite, Eurosport‘s live coverage on their website offers some sort of substitute. Two more days in the Pyrenees to go.

Team rothar continue to tumble down the rankings. Next year I’ll possibly take the whole thing more seriously. Then again…

6,600 miles, 120 days, deserts, risk of disease and possible death and an $8,000 entry fee. That’d be the Tour d’ Afrique then, well more like a race across Africa. Mental. How long before there’s a race around the World? And this – is outrageous! I’ve expressed my dislike for 29ers before. Now they’ve been sanctioned. Where will the madness end? Mr Gary Fisher has a lot to answer for. Talking of UCI things this year’s MTB World Champs are in Lugano on the Swiss/Italian border. Biker might be making it over for some of the action…

I’ve been pretty impressed with tubeless tyres so far. These guys have obviously had a rough time, because this just isn’t the work of satisfied customers. And on that note and because I don’t want to talk about customers, I’m off for some beer and to design some jerseys.

GM Crops
July 17th, 2003

Last night’s ride was a blast, over before I knew it. Corty managed a low speed not-looking-where-he-was-going stack into the back of another rider and then unceremoniously toppled over into the road much to the amusement of some on-lookers. Good riding, but I had inexplicably tired legs.

I’ve been meaning to link to these photos for some time. Some very nice photography on show, from some unusual angles too. There’s also some nice mountain biking photos over at Shitshifter. Then there’s this, this is RHS’s site – secretsinglespeeder.

As for Le Tour, well its make or break for Lance tomorrow. Time Trial day followed by the mountains. My money’s still on him, but I reckon this is going to be the closest finish for a few years. As for the fantasy team, what a pile of crap. Four of the riders chosen from those on offer don’t even seem to be even riding. Other tan my lack of research and team knowledge, what the hell’s that all about?

Busy day to day, but I reckon I have finally ironed out some of the bugs that have been blighting the site since I made some behind the scenes file structure changes a few days ago. I just wish FTP would work the first time around. Dammit there’s even a guest book up here now.

Following on from yesterday’s post here’s part of my response to the GM Nation debate. I feel that large corporations eager to capitalise on new technological advancements have introduced the issue of GM crops into the contemporary political and public arenas of debate. Pursuit of this goal by well-funded, large multinational corporations has circumvented traditional and approved scientific means of testing.

This has meant that the scientific impacts of the introduction of these crops into the environment, has not been investigated. I am especially concerned that there is the possibility that food free of GM material may become increasingly hard to procure in future due to cross-pollination between species, ultimately leading to a situation where there is no alternative to produce containing GM material.

Whilst I have a good understanding of the potential benefits that genetic engineering may hold for the human race in future, I feel that the wealth being invested in current research could be better spent improving the current growing methods and yields of traditional crops, which are often grown in sub-optimal conditions. I am also concerned that the adoption of GM crops by farmers will lead to long-term risks of dependency on crucial key crops. Past experience has shown reliance on single strains to be fraught with economic and social problems.

It is my personal and informed professional opinion that the continued use of a variety of natural variations within a crop affords a greater chance of a successful harvest and provides more protection against the various forms of possible crop devastation. I feel it is my right to be able to choose GM-free produce in future and at present I do not feel that safeguards are in place that will allow this outcome.

Genetic Modification
July 16th, 2003

Missed this morning’s breakfast ride with the South Manchester posse, due to getting a flat half a mile from home from some broken glass. Took it as a bad omen and went back home to bed. To make a mends I’m meeting up with Cortos later to do some roadie mileage.

Saw Matt Szabo this afternoon who I haven’t seen for ages, he’s filled me in on what he’s been up to and told me about this:

The Government’s GM nation debate web site has been live here for sometime, but I’ve only just found it.

The information is pretty basic with views for and against on a variety of topics.

There are only a few days left to respond with your views using the online question form available at the following link

There are 15 statements that you can rate as follows:
A – Agree strongly
B – Agree
C – Don’t know / unsure
D – Disagree
E – Disagree strongly

There is also space to say what you think. So please let them know!

I don’t normally get involved with things like this, but I think that GM is such an important issue (if you’ve read George Monbiot’s Captive State you’ll understand why) that everyone should make their views heard.

Clunker Classic
July 14th, 2003

Alexandre Vinokourov won today’s stage of the Tour, a stage in which Beloki crashed hard and almost took Lance with him, more from the BBC.

Full Switz trip report now up here. I really underestimated how long it would take to do that, but it’s done now. Those crazy Germans have been finalising their plans for later this year, this came in last night:

From: Phaty
Subject: Singlespeed Made in Germany – GBBC Berlin!

Hello Ladies,

We are done! The website for the GBBC-race in Berlin is online! And it is bilingual! We already got quiet some interest from STW – thanks to the performance of Team Germany in Thetford … Well maybe not! We will try not to disappoint you!

So here is the link and I ask you to spread the word as much as possible! Andy maybe you could write a little on! And Chipps if you let me I would write something for STW!

Ah yes, as soon as we receive the first registration from the UK – which actually already happened – we gonna call it the “German Open Singlespeed Championships”

Ein verfickter Gang!


Bit far away to plan this bad boy, but I’ll keep it in mind. And while I was away Charlie’s Clunker Classic took place, there have been a few e-mails and photos floating about today, most seem to involve fire and flames and not much riding… This came in this morning:

From: Lonebiker
Subject: Clunker Classic Pics [now WITH pics]

Hi All

Here’s some lo-res pics from the classic. I have these as 5mb hires [when
open], so if there are any you like, just mail me back.

Thanks to Charlie for getting us all together and thanks everyone for making
a great fun weekend.

See you all next year.

Oh, please email me with any good digi photos, I’d love to put them up on my
website. Make sure you give me your name, codename or callsign so I can
credit you.



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It seems these days that the mountain bike on-line world has become ratings obsessed, everyone trying to claim their place in the world of on-line rankings for number of hits and most popular. Any way these guys reckon they’re the third biggest in the UK: MTB-Wales. I guess that’s behind Bikemagic and Singletrackworld.

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