Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sanity Cruz

Welp. Got here, and having a quiet few days on account of being a bit stiff around he middle with the burns healing...but managed a wee pedal out on to the cliff top road with fine views of the wharf, the elephant seals, and the surfers who look kind of like seals dotted around the break...all good.

Found a good coffee spot, 2 good beer spots, some very interesting and lovely local folk, popped into the Santa Cruz factory and met a legend or 2 and today we are heading out to one of the nearer local parks.

I'm stocking up on americana bike parts...king cages, wtb 29er tyres, phil lubes and other oddities and just enjoying the time with my wife.

The rest and sea air seems to be doing the trick with the skin, and the constant lubing is keeping it from cracking so i have no doubt i'll get a proper ride in or 2 before the end of the fortnight.

The SSWC 07 announcement went down with the expected flurry of e mails and 'yays' so we're pretty stoked about that. Now a different sort of work will commence.

Trina is beginning to snap off some photos, with a new lens coming from B+H which should add a new dimension too, see her flickr linked through mine.

My Eriksen seat pin is en route, and oddly i am *just* going to miss Kent as he will be at the NAHBS which i'd love to see, but its just too close to the end of this trip...ach well, will wait for the photos...

Ok. we'd better hit highway 1 ...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

There goes my hero

We all have a hero, more or less. At least i think we do. In different parts of our life i would think they could be different people too...Gandhi, dave grohl, Einstein, swamp thing etc etc.

In terms of bike racing my hero has to be travis brown.

Music collector, singlespeed racer, side burn grower, product developer and renaissance man.

Monday, January 22, 2007

4 am

No work for a week. No exercise for a week. Minimal movement from the house. Minimal movement in the house. Brain turning to mush. Awoke at 4am. Couldn't sleep and i am not tired. i'm not using any energy. i'm eating really well, lots of vitamins and minerals. It is all going well, the scars are healing. The itch is terrible but it is a small price to pay.

Watched kranked pregression. Kirt Voreis section was wonderful, Ryan Leech (although still gravity and physics defying) less so. Odd. Thought it would be the other way around...there you go...

Off to look at rOsHaMbO... think i'll still take it away, think i'll be able to ride soon...if slowly with no falling off whatsoever.


Friday, January 19, 2007


Pretty sore today. i think my skin is at that stage where it is beginning to heal, but everytime i stand up or move it feels like it is splitting....not nice.

Still, it'll be fine, so no worries.

Been checking out this:

It may be the chance to do a decent 24 solo...we'll see....

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Over the last couple of years one of my distractions has been trying solo 24 hour races. They are as tough as you want them to be. You can go to bed, you can race in the daylight and dry only. Or you can tough it out to the level of your own pricipals.

A successful solo 24 hour *to me* is 24 + hours of racing, with no more than 30 min stopping, no sleeping, minimal sitting (yep) and ideally no support.

This is not a recipe for winning. It is not a recipe for everyone. However, it is what i aim for. Obviously as the last couple of years has shown, rain and foul conditions couped with none weatherproof courses (are there any other kind?) can easily scupper this paradigm.

At some point in my life (and that may well be this year, in Italy) i hope to squeeze out a decent performance. If i do, then i'm not sure i will rush to do many more. On the whole i prefer long rides which aren't many laps of a course i.e 100 mile races, and then moving to self supported bigger loops.

I am very much looking forward to watching this (if you don't have quicktime, try another). The battle between Gordon and Eatough was one i followed in real time via the internet and on the web and magazines after. Humbling, exhilarating and almost unbelievable physical performances by both men.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Strathpuffer ~ more!

Andy the vegan singlespeeder slapped down a massive 15 laps for 5th place solo...That man deserves a serious beer and a hand shake.


It's been a day of fixing. Fixing me and fixing gadgets and fixing bike things. The early part of the morning was spent in Canniesburn burn unit at the Royal Infirmary in Glasgow. There, the dead surface layer of skin was peeled off my leg and hip and more bandaging layers applied. Everything seems to be beginning to heal, but i suspect my initial optmism of being back to work (and, soon after, riding) by the end of the week was a little, uh, optimistic. Still the wee chap is healing well, and lets face it thats all that matters.

After collecting a large bag of wrapping and spooching stuff, i got the tube home. Walking is not an option, either is driving and cycling is obviously out. So i jolted around and had everyone stare at my impressive limp (which is half from pain, and half from the amount of bandaging i need) and went home to inspect the remains of my bike. i popped the rear wheel out and pulled off the casette body, easily (one of the many benefits of DT hubs). Everything was a bit dirty but no issues/wear or roughness to the bearing. The axles feels a little dry in the hub. After a quick chat to the fountain of all bike knowledge that is honest, sensible and insightful (dave at alpinebikes) i will book the wheel in for a bearing check and re-grease. It feels fine, not gritty - just dry...dave reckons this may be from the grease getting melted out on the disc side from all the fruitless braking at Strathpuffer. He should know, we were team mates afterall.

The next thing needing my attention was my mp3 player. Unfortunately as often happens when a liberal dose of chaos and mud is mixed with 5 blokes in a camper van, my mp3 had got a bath in beer. Guess what? it wasn't working so well! so in a fit of confidence, i decided i'd strip the bugger and clean it out with isopropyl alcohol. Finding all the tiny screws Sony had used to hold the thing together was tricky, and there was the usual "oop! a bits dropped out, where the hell did that come from?" but it seems to work now, so i'm pretty stoked...

Tomorrow off to see my GP and explain myself...and prolly cabin fever. least i'll heal.

Strathpuffer photos up

See Northsport: some good/some scary.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

New post?

Out with the old, in with the new...

The Moots post will be gong on the Seven cross/road/thing. the in line Thomson just doesn't work with the h bars on the 120mm stem. A 130mm stem is too long, so there you go. the layback will give a nice position for singlespeeding as i prefer a slacker effective seatangle for transitioning between seated and standing climbing: lets you use different sets of muscles.

To replace it on the IF there will soon be a Kent Eriksen seatpost. same idea, better clamp design, and longer (400mm) so it'll have a little more supoort in the frame.

Of course a bit of tlc will have to be lavished to get the IF working after a fairly heinous Strathpuffer as mentioned. Certainly needs a brake strip and possibly new cables....yes, the Nokon seals were indeed insufficient against Scotland's worst...but to be fair, anything would have been other than hydraulic...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Strathpuffer suffer

Back from potentially the hardest 24 hour race in the ?world. January Scottish winter conditions. Moonless night. Technical course with 18 or so hours of darkness. It was excellent. We rode under the banner of team Singletrack Savalas. Team roster: Johnny Dangerous, Dave Macdonald, the Marquis of Darkness, and Enrico 'Jesus' Gonzales. We ripped, quite frankly, to a 7th place finish despite 20 hours of (heavy) rain, snow and hail. The course ate brake pads for breakfast: for us a set of sintered pads was lasting 2 laps. Granite grinding paste will do that. The mostly fireroad uphill gave way to a rocky and technical downhill which had exposed slabs to narrow bridges over ever filling streams with rocks like marshmallows in chocolate. Only harder. Much harder.

Our man Phil the horse, racing solo singlespeed, had an excellent start and then the reality of a stomach complaint, the battering weather and changing disc pads near every lap bit home. At the rate he was going I would have predicted a win for sure, but as is the way with 24 hour racing it is unpredictable.

There will no doubt be fuller information on Singletrack and the Strathpuffer website (see linkys to the right). Me? I'm nursing around 2 square feet of burn after a litre of coffee upturned into my lap due to stupidity and bad luck. A day in Raigmore A&E left me with a midriff of swaddling to soak up the exudate from the burns and peeing out of a hole cut into an extra from "the Mummy Returns". Ach well, its not as bad as it could have been...

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Back in the day

This was it. From Yeti shorts to razor blades. Axos to bum bags. Wow.


Got my new J mac knickers. They are indeed the 'bomb'. Wore them for the whole hogmanay period recently in Aviemore (except, oddly, when actually riding. And yes i did sleep in them).

If you are not reading 'how to avoid the bummer life', then you really, really ought to be.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Music week

From Gilles Peterson's epic 2 hour tribute to James Brown on the BBC's radio1 , to me finally tracking down a nd buying a copy of Ape vs Mo wax, it has been a week about music.

My personal listening has roamed freely between Slipknot to Depeche Mode, to The Roots.

Trina also finally purchased a speaker system which - through a transmitter which can be plugged into either a computer, stereo or an MP3 player - will produce good quality sound from a portable speaker (albeit one that has to be plugged into a power source, which is worth it for improved bass sound).

What else? working on 0UtCaSt stuff....issue 19 soon...