Thursday, December 29, 2005

Pedal, dammit

Why are bike messengers so cool?

enjoy the clips... especially the fixie hop between the busses


Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Strathpuffer approaches

Very soon there will be a gathering of the clans. Strathpuffer approaches. It will be cold, dark and brutal. The soloists really do deserve all the usual comments of "yer bonkers...".

Will we look back and wonder at our stupidity? or will the glow of achievement replace the agony of the temporal quickly enough to make it an annual hit?

Watch this space...

A Christmas story

Well, I spent a few days at my folks house over Christmas. Mostly relaxing and yapping.

I also flicked through some of my old mtb magazines. Old mountain bike action and mountain bike international and such like. Some cool old bikes and articles, always good to look at again. There really was a golden age during the nineties.

Just to prove Zap hasn't lost his edge I saw this pic on mtbr (I think) ... hardcore, I think you'll agree?

Second flight

Seems as though Mountain Goat are to be rekindled. See

Pinched from another...

Check out

Can you say fast?


Seeing as I have retired from cycling for the Yule-time, alternative forms of exercise have been utilised. Firstly I went climbing for the first time in, oooh, 18 months maybe?

My mum and my niece who is 5 came too. My niece has never climbed, my mum climbed back in the day with a group called the Yorkshire Gritstones.

Needless to say we all had a top time, even my niece (Elisabeth, a.k.a 'trouble') who (I suspect) scared herself a little by getting up so high on her first climb.

Next to come: gliding.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

For your diary


How to open a Rogue Dead Guy Ale

Vampira (a.k.a. Maila Nurmi) Born on 21st Dec 1921

Seen somewhere...

Useful addition

Deepest, darkest. Today is the shortest day. It would be fun to be night riding, but it ain't going to happen. After a week or two of feeling a little run down, I have a bug and the sensible thing is to lay low for a while.

So we are going to have a homage to the dark things in life, with a little associated irreverence.

Enjoy the winter

Monday, December 19, 2005

Missing in action

Some more words about tyres. Changed out the WTB Exiwolfs for the Continental Vapor ProTection today. Conti list them as 790 grams which I suspect (for once) is overstating the case. Speedgoat get them at 590 grams which the hairy-hand scale would agree with.

How do they feel? F A S T. Very. Joyfully responsive. Good grip, even on wet roots. Tend to let go on small wet stones and when in hard fast off-camber cornering situations. But it is very predictable indeed. Rolling resistance seems almost non existent. Clean while rotating well, too. Bad sides? Well, they are very narrow and small in terms of casing. This drops wheel overall diameter and shock absorption. They may well lead to more pinch flats, but we'll see. Wrists can take a little battering.

Overall? LOVE them. To bits. Are they better than IRC Mythos II? Jury is out. They may be. But they are not as big.

They are staying put for winter though.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Strange places


Who likes Mike Mignola? yup, me too. Seems there is or will be a new Hellboy book (Strange Places'), and a new B.P.R.D comic ('Dead') out soon.

Can't wait

Seasonally affected

And again. And again. Waking in the dark. Closing my eyes in the dark.

A veil has drifted across the world and I am detached.

Feed the dark heart.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Capital offence

So Tookie Williams is dead. If you don't know more about the self proclaimed founding member of the Crips gang from L.A then a quick Wikipedia search will do it.

There has been a media frenzy around this execution like few others, as the rich and famous have joined the voices raised to ask for clemency in his case. Citing work for children (refuting the glamour of gang banging) and the effort to negotiate a truce between the Bloods and the Crips and other gangs in 1992 as signaling redemption.

Was he guilty? Perhaps. If not of the 4 murders he was found guilty of, then certainly he would have perpetrated some crime as a gang leader. Was he a fall guy? Maybe.

Should he die for his crimes?

The answer to this question is quite clearly no.

Any reasonable human being, from Desmond Tutu to former Crip Snoop Dog, know this to be so.

How can a civilised Western super-power even claim to be such when people are still killed by the state in the name of Justice? How can an individual working for the state live their life after setting the drip to deliver pancuronium bromide and potassium chloride to stop the criminal's breathing and heart?

I don't know. It disgusts me.

Stanley Williams is not the only man on death row.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Meaty, beaty

Tyred out

Here come my thoughts on perhaps the most heralded tyre since the Nanoraptor got the 29incher machine rolling.

The Exiwolf, from WTB, is the supposedly the biggest and most rough-and-tumble 29incher tyre available. It is designed to be robust, offer a lot of grip in a lot of different situations and roll relatively well. The trade off for this is weight.

Oddly the WTB site claims something around 630g for the tyre, but this is nowhere near the real weight. We are talking more like 850g plus. This is not only a blatant mis-representation of the weight, it is incredibly noticeable on both hefting the wheel, hefting the bike and whilst riding.

Good points: it grips; it rolls well, it has a confidence inspiring, robust feel to it - all as advertised then. In addition the weight lends the spinning wheel huge gyroscopic stability.
Bad points: it is heavy; it seems to slow steering down and is somewhat imprecise in wet mud.

So overall? The traction really is good, but the trade off is the high weight. This seems to negate any benefit the traction affords a rider, as the average speed s/he can ride at is reduced due to the larger rotational weight. Consider that rotating weight is oft quoted as being the equivalent of 4x the actual static weight. At 200g per wheel over my current favorite tyre (IRC Mythos), this is an enormous anchor.

Rider seeks tyre: heavy rider, with suspension on her 29incher, who doesn't mind going slow and likes rocks, drops and roots.

Monday, December 05, 2005

More knickers


Seems this is the name for long shorts/three-quarters...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Let it bleed

Grapefruit for breakfast

Woke up and had a big yellow acid fruit for breakfast and a lot of coffee. Kick start. Want to ride, badly. Far. Fast.

It has been too long. I need to race, to compete. Unleash the demons and pour aggression into the cranks, into the ground. Let my soul fly and taste blood in the back of my throat, tear, grind. Hurt.

But recently I have been lazy, fat and slow.

So breakfast is grapefruit. And coffee. And desire.

Soon, I'll ride. Soon, I'll race again.

My wife

THE WHO - My Wife Lyrics

My life's
in jeopardy
Murdered in cold blood is what I'm gonna be
I ain't been home since Friday night
And now my wife is coming after me

Give me police protection
Gonna buy a gun so
I can look after number one...

...All I did was have a bit too much to drink
And I picked the wrong precinct
Got picked up by the law
And now I ain't got time to think

Ha. Good song...

MY wife this morning said something beautiful and scary - all rolled into one. As her phone went off in the dark, and the wee square screen lit up I yelped "there is a square of bright white light". The reply: "maybe it's heaven".


Good fridge

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Answers on a ... blog site please

I did a quick review of the singlespeed orientated blog sites on bikeblogs. Seems the colour of choice is black.


Thoughts, please...

Bike blogs?

Living vicariously?

Here you go: