Saturday, March 31, 2007

SSWC entry

As the time draws nigh

O soul, we have positively appear'd--that is enough.” ~ Walt Whitman

The entries for the singlespeed world championships 2007 will be open on Sunday first April 1st from 00:01 (british summer time - BST).

Places will be limited only if interest is extremely high. Don't fret, most if not all, will get in.

Entry will be through a paypal account.

The full instructions will appear on from March 31st (evening) BST. Follow them and all should be well.

The cost will be £25 (uk pounds). We had to raise the entry cost slightly, but the race will be non-profit and if there is any extra we promise to buy a round at the bar. Hope this is ok.

We would like to take the chance to thank all the sponsors for being so generous:

Sycip Cycles    Female winner custom frame!
Black Sheep Bikes Male winner custom frame!

Bontrager Components
Bothy Bikes
Brian MacLeod
Cairngorm Brewery
Charlie the Bike Monger
Custom inc
Endless Bikes
Jo Burt Enterprises
One Speed Revolution/Graveltech
Phil Wood
Rockstar Racing/Carver Bikes
Singular Cycles
TF Tuned Shox
The Outcast

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Is getting close...

Who is gwadzilla?

An interesting blog. Good content, interesting pics...lots of words.

pics lifted from:

respectively respectfully.

Monday, March 26, 2007

North by north west

This week end trina and myself popped down to Chester for the Chester Head rowing competition. Mostly eights, with the occasional four. 4 mile course, with a brisk breeze. The Hollingworth Vets were in full effect, including my dad.

My dad used to row a lot, in the same way i'd say i cycled i s'pose. Social life, physical fitness and friends all rolled into one.

It was ace to meet all the names i'd heard so much about over the years. A lot of strong wills there, a good group of folk. Varied in work and personality but bound by a love of the oar, the pint and fun.

It was a cracking day and they went well especially given they havent rowed together for (in some cases) 40 years!...hope to do it again soon.

Last night after the drive up we went to see '300', the film of the Frank Miller was good. Not fabulous. Well worth seeing, and the use of cgi was for once in keeping and added rather than took away from the sets.

Over the week end i have had a cold, bilateral conjunctivitis and a sore throat. But to be honest sometimes you just have to say 'get a dog up yer' to circumstance and do what you need to do. So it was i headed to Ardgarten for the infamous peninsula route. 22.2 miles with in excess of 1300m climbing per circuit. It was the first time i had ridden there for oooooooooooooo nearly 2 years, and i was pretty stoked to see the trail had been improved and a god section of singletrack added. The loop starts with a long 50 min or so climb alongside Loch Long, with excellent views out to sea, and the weather was ace. Sun, a breeze and dry, dusty trails. You then cut back on an improved stalkers path to the new singletrack section across the slopes of Carn Glas, and descend to Lochgoilhead. From there it is a long sustained climb up to the rest and be thankful in Glen Croe and back down to where you started after a wee tasty bit of singletrack technical descending. All in all a good loop. The aim was to do it 3 times. 66.6 miles with ~4000m of climbing.

Ouch. I managed, despite the bug and the headwind up the climb in Glen Croe, but it wasn't pretty. Still, apart from being broken im pretty happy to have got my arse out for a decent ride. Hopefully the transcendence into a bike racer won't be too far into the future...

Also, the alpenglow caused by the snow still present to the east and the Arrochar alps was pure joy.

Bicycle Path - peninsula at

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Psycho billy snow ride night gents

Hectic hectic.

Been up north sorting some stuff out. Rode in the snow, drank too much beer and discovered a penchant for psychobilly...

The seasons are changing and as the sun creeps from hibernation there is a quickening. The sap flows in the trees, i dont come home in the dark, the promise of long rides and road trips are tantalising.

The first Pirate Bike event will be soon. So far, it is looking like around 150miles, starting Fort Augustus and ending either in Glasgow or Edinburgh. Details tba.

Take deep breaths. Stretch those lungs. You will need them soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


So how is the exercise program going?


Yes, hmmmm.

Went to the gym today. Banged out 21.30 for 6 km on the ergo at max resistance. Then hit the climbing wall and problem solved for 30mins...ended up with a tricky 6B. I'm enjoying climbing again, even if it is top roped and short..still excellent mental and physical work.

Dynamic core strengthening was next. Now? well now i feel wabbit.

Buuuuuuuuut. There is the hint of a little steeliness there. Somewhat of a tempering going on. The rowing was better. Hit full capacity at 450m out and managed to maintain a fair clip.

My issue is i have no base miles in the legs. Its 9 weeks 'til the Finale solo 24 and i reckon i'd be lucky if i could handle a 100 miles mixed at the moment, let alone with sleep deprivation and gradient thrown in.

We'll see...

Yet again the forecast for this week end is bitter winds, severe with 80+mile gusts and snowfall with white out conditions possible from 800m up. Rough. Not perfect for rolling lots of miles.

So mixed feelings. Still, as long as i can increase the miles steadily, without getting ill, i may just squeeze some form out.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Speed of thought

Things are moving fast, including me. The 24 hr solo for this year is Finale in Italy, 9 weeks or so...i can barely ride 6 hours, so that needs some work.

We are accelerating our work on the SSWC...seems to be that time where 'shit needs done' as they say. So 'shit is being done'. Off to Aviemore this week for 3 days to press flesh, view things and sort things. The jury is out on whether we'll be camping. I'd like to but most of the north is under water right now, so it may be silly.

Got 6 hours under the belt on monday. Forecast: 'sunny with occasional showers'. Reality: rain, heavy to moderate for 5/6ths of those hours. Still 60 miles is ok, but i feel like there is a steep slope to climb. Vitally, it seems like the slope is worth climbing ~ my motivation is rising and i think this is the biggest need to ride just seemed to lesson with the transition from autumn to winter last year, and then getting burned led to a long lay off. I need to open my self up and welcome the pain again.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Uh huh

As you will be well aware there are some fantastically stupid comments made by people who demonstrate their ignorance in full public view. One can immediately quote george w for example, or even our very own tony.

The world of mountain biking is no different.

I was poking around here today, and was astonished to read this:

"The Titanium is able to flex without failing for a very long time. How long? I don't know, but as Titanium is used in aircraft and space station technology, it seems that the chances of it breaking are very slim."

What are your thoughts on that one?

See the picture? Uh huh.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

20.9 lb

Is that light? am i a weight weenie?

IF 29"er singlespeed, built for solidity over time in harsh environs.

The road rat with ...changes...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Michael Browne is just about to leave the dirt rag building. I'm sure he will be missed. He is a top bloke, approachable, interested and always seeking to tell it like it is. I'm sure he will continue to do so at trek. All the best.

The first reports on this years north american handmade bike show have now been posted and a flickr search reveals some beautiful work. The amount of effort involved is truly staggering ~ a real credit to the handmade bike movement in america. There are so many interesting frames from the bohemian tandem (which boggles the mind) to the wolfhound with adjustable rear drop outs and press fitted 50mm bb bearings, to the purity of the sachs track bike. Feast your eyes and your mind.

(pic pinched from aquaholic - see mtbr)

My own fleet has gone through some change. I have started bending stainless steel tubing to fit the Black sheep fork onto the IF, which should all be done over the next few days, and the road rat is now graced with a cut down set of profile airwing tt bars, cane creek bar end brake levers, and avid cantis. The latter required some bodging with a cable hanger bolted onto an extended bolt on the seat tube collar: the rack eyelets didn't give the clearance for dangling...will post pics soon.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Art of noise

Just back from Am Ploc, and we rushed out to see Eagles of Death Metal. They rocked.

Fortunately i had time to grow a quick mustache before we left so jesse wasnt flying the hairy lip solo.

Heard the skull and cross bikes round 2 went off well, naked ness was a feature and i believe beer was too. All good.

The road rat has had a makeover. More when i can post pics of the handiwork.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Summer shape

32:16 pic-bless.

Well, 13 stone 3 today...easy-peasey. Fitness? maybe not rock bottom, but certainly not climbing fast. Races? Mountain Marathon 10 entered. Could it be the very last for telly savalas players' club? as it was the first? who knows... but i sense a party atmosphere developing for this one, as do the singlespeeders of would seem there may be some sort of competition on here, and i can bet its not going to be about how many laps we do...

Also got my 'ok' for the jewel of italian 24 hour races is added to the schedule.

Trina's birthday tomorrow...woop! we are off to Plockton to have a chilled week end and to celebrate with the odd mick coe or IPA.

Then on monday, its time for the eagles of death metal. Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready to rock?

Finally, this.