Wednesday, 2 May 2018

The Ultimate sacrifice

after 3 days great riding and good weather there always has to be some payback. those trails Gods need something in return for keeping us safe and excited so one of us had to pay the ultimate sacrifice. the ceremony took place on an alter in Winlatter Forest near keswick whre we popped on our way home.
a great few days with great company.roll on the next one!
ride 23
4 miles
Total 549

Dam it with a sausage!

Day 2 in the big not really, Day two started with me nearly chocking on my breakfast after hearing Ben tell Ian he needed to dan his egg form touching his beans with a sausage.. "dam it with a sausage" became the phrase of the trip.
Today was spooky wood day and despite Ben's plan for him to be left on his own at the jump area we dragged him all the way up to the start.
Spooky wood is always great and the berms and table tops didn't disappoint but i always prefer the 2nd and third sections which are much more natural and rooty and rocky. the Trek i was riding was in it element and I got a super smooth ride, bettering my times from previous trips on lots of sections. We did the full red route, had a play on the jumps again, did all the blue descents and the climbs twice.
after a cup of tea at the cafe Ben and Ian headed back to the B&B while Dan and i went exploring via Nashy's cafe (OMG the leek and tattie soup!)
We went looking for the Golfie trails and some of the route used by the Tweedlove Enduro, what we found we the UK Gravity Enduro routes including a still under construction stage that we pushed up. it was scary! big rocks, very tight corners after big drops and would need full commitment. i don't mind admitting it was totally out of my comfort zone. it wasn't long after this we got lost and had to ask some horse rider how to get home! we need a local to show us some trails to get our eye in before chucking ourselves down something completely blind.
we made it back tot he B&B as a heavy rain shower started and boy were we glad to be back, a hot shower and food and the knowledge that we'd sleep well tonight!  
ride 22
33 miles
Total 545

Scottish shindig

First day in Peebles, Scotland after a 6 hour drive. and after the previous days "easy" road ride the legs were a bit rusty up the first long steep climb to the Glentress freeride area. i took the time needed to pedal up there to dial in the demo bike I was using, I'd already added my usual saddle and adjusted the shocks to my weight so I was pretty much good to go. There are some tasty natural trains on this route up Janet's brae and i gained and lots altitude trying the various routes. there are way too many trails built by locals to go and try them all so we stuck to the plan and after a steep pull arrived at the free ride area.
I set the scene for myself by hitting the "funbox" straight away. this inspired Ian to do the same and he then confessed he's not ridden over it before but thought if i could do it anyone could!.
We filled our boots on all the choice trails such as berm baby berm and the jump section at the freeride area. after a couple of hours the fatigue of the journey caught up with us and we took the blue descent to the cafe and a reviving slice of cake.
refreshed from the calories we left the trails and headed for the Cardrona pump track. a tarmac track near a posh housing estate just off a cycle route. 
A full suspension 29er might not be the best bike for a tight little pump track but it was great fun, even when i slipped a pedal and smashed the pins into my shin opening a hefty gash!.
we began to flag a biot then and the pub was calling so we rode back to the B&B
ride 21
14 miles
Total 512

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

just a quick spin before a cycling holiday

Off to Scotland for some mountain biking tomorrow so how about a non damaging easy ride on the road? perfect. so why did we do 26 miles at full gas into a head wind? madness!
ride 20
26 miles
Total 498

Wednesday, 18 April 2018

thar she blows!

spring seems to be dragging it's feet, wet, head wind and dead legs, long ride cut short due to me not being arsed to pedal any further into that gale
ride 19
23 miles
Total 472

the Puppy's new bike

they say a picture says a thousand words, so all i'll say is, this is the Puppy's new bike, i think he likes it
ride 18
18 miles
Total 449

who needs a gravel bike anyway?

I'd love a gravel bike, i think it would suit 70% of my riding down to a T. riding back lanes and branching off down interesting looking off road routes whilst out, something capable of riding through the mud and pot holes but not as slow as an MTB on the smoother stuff.
I work in a bike shop and have access to bikes at staff rates. i also get support of a number of companies and i love to help promote their products and way of doing things, companies such as Cube, mudhugger, beerbabe  rad8 sunglasses, Wren forks, Smokestone etc. the guys and girls who run these companies have been awesome. I'm no racer, i'm no superstar, just an ordinary rider doing the things others do or may aspire to do. if i can inspire just one person to get out on a bike, no mater how short or long the ride then i feel it's been worthwhile.
Cube's gravel bike is so new and so popular i've not been able to get my hands on one the right size. I've sold loads of Nuroads though, they look like an awesome bit of kit "pro" reviews back this up too. so, as much as i'd like to try one it's just not possible so I've had to look elsewhere, bikes such as Trek's checkpoint, now Trek are a massive company sponsoring super athlete's so they don't really need my help to sell  and develop their bikes. there is another company my shop deals with and they have have always, in my eyes been about the real rider. riders doing epic but attainable stuff and run by riders too. their frame has also had some great reviews too so i was hoping for a discussion with them about how i could help and of course how they could help me. now nothing is free in the bike industry, times are hard and i fully expect to have to pay for anything i receive. that's how these things work. all the above companies give me a discounted rate and communication has been excellent. i've approached hundreds of companies and usually there is a polite reply stating how they can't help or aren't in a position to send anything at that time, i've always replied thanking them for even considering me and wishing them well. I've sat in board rooms with chief executives, spoken to giant global company's GM's p.a (hi to the lovely lady at Tunnocks!) and not every time come away with anything but a warm feeling and the proof that these companies are not just about the money. 
however, this is the first time i've not even gotten a "sorry we can't help you" reply, nothing, nada. maybe i'm disillusioned and the outward appearance of being a cyclist friendly company promoting this brand is all just clever marketing and I've fallen for it. i think you can tell i'm disappointed, the bike doesn't matter in the end, just the politeness of a "i'm sorry" reply would have been enough and i'd have moved on, fully supporting the brand to our customers regardless of whether they had been positive or negative in their reply. now though i'm not sure i can have the confidence in them to suggest their products as an option.
I know this will make zero difference to he company in question, i'm a very very tiny fish in an ocean but if they treat all their prospective customers like this it does make you think. I won't name the company as for one i don't write this lightly and it's not in my nature to slag people off and for two i don't want to promote them indirectly with a google hit.
so i've been using my 28mm slick tyred road bike as a gravel bike and learning the bike handling skills that only come with using very inappropriate tyres and brakes in the sort of conditions we have at the moment
i still want a gravel bike though :-)
ride 17
45 miles
Total 431

These animals may bite!

more play time on the new bike, some team car sticky bottle action up the lane but no strava PRs. new calf, beef sarnies and riding in the drizzle, welcome to spring
Ride 16
13 miles
Total 386


some trailbuilding-lite going on on todays ride. There are so many trees down blocking favourite routes so we've started to adapt them so we can keep on riding. amazing what some mud, dead logs and pathetic building skills can produce!. one note though, old rotting trees are more slippery than a hot buttered snail!
Ride 15
23 miles
Total 373

Dialling it in

First ride on the new bike, i'd been waiting for better conditions but i think if i'd waited for that i'd not ever ride it.
So i manned up and got it dirsty within 2 minutes. once it was muddy that was it, there is no going back, it'll never look like a new bike again. I had to make a few tweeks to saddle position and height but overall i'm pleased how it went.
Ride 14
14 miles
Total 350