Monday, April 30, 2007

A sonsie ride

Today i *needed* to get a big ride in. It had to happen. The kettlebells are driving the hams and quads hard and i havent felt much for riding recently. But it is only 2 and a bit weeks to finale and so miles had to be carved out.

In order to feel a bit of a fire for riding, i decided not to drive any where. I like riding from home, its a particular pleasure when you get back. The route was perhaps ambitious given one or two big climbs, but that is exactly what the body needed. This way it wont be such a shock riding for 24 hrs.

So, out door, hit the side of the river kelvin and boot it to the town of milngavie. From there hit the west highland way and spin out to drymen at the base of loch lomond. Instead of continuing along the WHW, take the mustard route (tm) over towards aberfoyle, and then take the red loop off that and then re loop around and out to loch arklet and stronachlachar. From there, drop down to inversnaid, take the lovely technical singletrack down to balmaha, with one meaty climb and return to drymen via conic hill.

Conic hil is never nice. It is a walk one way due to ruts from water damage and a portage the other way. The legs were feeling it as i topped out in a high head wind. Drop down, and take the WHW back. 85 miles. Lots of climbing. Pain and anguish as i finish my last sip of water 10 miles from home.

By coincidence bump in to trina in street and stand there like the broken man i am, and then get fed and watered, and yes a few beers. Tired now. Bleeding a little. Sore legs, but satisfaction.

I am as ready as i need to be...i could be fitter, but it'll go now.

  • 6.5 litres of water.
  • 2 cereal bars, one fudge flap jack, 1 powerbar, a flask of energy spooch, one pineapple and pistachio bar and a can of coke.
  • one slipping thomson seat pin..bah!
  • 9.5 hours.
  • one creaky bottom bracket.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Man down

My brah shaggy was hit by a car on his commute today. Beaten up and "the mother of all dead legs" but otherwise in one piece. Bike? dunno...

Lets keep on keeping on being careful out there...sleeping/staring off into space/mobile phoning/lip gloss applying motorists are everywhere now.

The image belongs to simon barnes. Check his site. Ace.

Random drivel. The cast of 300 used kettle bells to get in shape for the film. I am using kettlebells to get in shape for racing. I am not looking like i could be in 300. Damn.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Cheap and nasty

pic pinched from fuzzyjohn blog

Trina left for London tonight. I pedalled down to Oddbins (a distance of, oooo!, 1/3 mile) and picked up some cheap and nasties...tonight = a couple of cervezas and an early night. I always feel a bit sad when trina goes somewhere for a few days...even after over a decade together. So in some ways i like it if youknowwhatimean. It would be weird if i wasnt a bit sad.

Cohutta 100 was just done. The first in the NUE series (National Ultra Endurance) in the U S of A. A few fast times (cough) Eatough won in 6.45 and change with Danielle Musto sprinting for the ladies win in 8.34.36.

Singlespeed saw fuzzy, 2 places ahead of 'one of our own' - Dejay Birtch - taking around 8 hours. That is f a s t. Good write up as well as a pic of Harlan Price's new 1.5" head tube/headshock IF ti deluxe on:

So - which one next year....Shenandoah i think...

To be honest Dalbeattie sxc this week end isnt lighting my competitve fires, but they really need lit soon...

Sunday, April 22, 2007


I posted up on mtbr about the jeff jones/merlin frames which are going to be made available. All sorts of ridiculous and outlandish statements were made.

I can't help but feel that i agree very much with the people i agree with. I also deeply disagree with those i don't agree with. That may seem like it 'goes without saying', but i find myself nodding with those who say sensible things, in an informed and non-inflammatory way, and i can feel my blood boil at those who just open their mouths and spew all manner of idiotic words. There seems to be very little middle ground. Is it just because i have a closed mind and a blinkered outlook on life?

Why is it so polarising? Do people need to make such exaggerated counter points in order to feel their voices will be heard? or paid any attention to?

I just don't know. It is interesting sociologically and psychologically.

I'm just glad i agree with characters like don ferris of anvil bike works...reassuring.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Grapefruit from the fridge

And coffee. And sunshine. And mouthmusic. I broke out the vernier gauge last night. Some numbers for you: but first as in any proto~scientific study, a method description.

  1. drink glass of vino tinto
  2. carefully 'zero' and fix vernier gauge (i have an analogue version that measures to the 0.01mm)
  3. take multiple measurements from the steerers of the forks i have in use currently. detail: use flat sections of 'arms' of gauge rather than 'bladed' section in order to try and minimise lack of perpendicularity (my word, and its a good one) and use a 3 point contact on the steerer.
  4. take multiple measurements and average.
Think thats it. Figures:
  1. Black Sheep ti fork 28.55mm
  2. Pace carbon 28.60mm
  3. custom steal Rick Hunter 28.60mm
  4. Project 2 28.60mm

You could be forgiven for think Ah ha! the black sheep is undersized, hence the thomson stem issue!

So i went the chris king website in order to try and find out a little more about tolerances etc.

This is a quote: " 8. The steerer tube may be undersize. Steerer tubes should be ±.025mm (.001") of the nominal size. We often see steerer tubes as much as .25mm (.010") undersize. Solution: Replace the steerer tube."

What is that nominal size? 1 1/8" or 28.575mm

So i have one steerer that is *just* undersize, and 3 which are significantly oversized, according to these criteria.

Of course, you have always known tolerances have always been in a range, and the bike industry is seldom a precision industry. I think what i have here is one of those unfortunate incompatibilities occurring as a result of the lack of high precision standards. No ones fault and thus nothing to moan, whine or complain about.

Interesting. Makes you realise why shimano rule he roost so often. They utilised a machine on the initial cartridge bb's to measure to the nth degree the size of the cup race and the bearing size and put together the most appropriate combo for each bb. Outstanding detail work from an industry giant, and well received. The UN-72/3 was always a special bb.

Ok, im done. This is prolly the reason i have 6, or maybe 7, unread magazines lying around the house...

(revised figures after re-reading and re-adding...)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

When the sun shines....

We went to the hills this week end. Rode with trina on saturday. Rolled down by the river and then back via the cycle path network in glasgow. Sunday saw us up early (cough) to climb up Ben Vrackie. The view from the top was tempered a little by the heat haze, but it was a fair climb to 850m and well worth a pint at the Moulin Inn. Unfortunately, we couldnt as we had to drive down the road...ah well, another time.

Monday saw a comedy of errors finally see me leave the house sans helmet and sandwich. As i was only just away i decided to return and pick them can never go hungry when you are training...As i got to the starting point for the ride (cardrona forest nr peebles) i realised i had forgotten my compass/watch and my pack bladder also. Hmmm. Not wanting to give up i stuffed a 2 litre bottle of agua and a bottle of iron bru in the wingnut and set off. An excellent ride it turned out to be, despite the stem issues i was having (see prev entry and once i have played around w the venier gauge a more thorough post). I took all the better routes around cardrona, elibank and traquair and yair forests. There were many long, steep climbs and an excellent array of singletrack from the sublimely buff forested and loam to the rckfck that is the innerleithen black loop (see photo).

43 ish miles, and strong legs. I couldnt ask for more.

We also went to see the curse of the golden flower. Very good, typical of the lush beautifully paced hero and house of flying daggers. Slightly more morally challenging. Well worth seeing.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Thomson woes

I dunno, every Thomson bit i have used has had a problem, except 2 inline 410mm seat pins i no longer have. Snapped bolts, coming loose, too little adjustment range (way less then claimed) etc etc.

Its a shame and it may just be looks good and is well finished...but.....

Thursday, April 12, 2007

I must not comment, i must not comment, i must not....

Mtbr takes it full on the jaw, yet again, for the most ridiculous posts of pseudo scientific bullshit. Amazing these people can actually affect others choices with their heretic waffling...

Go on, have a read, then tell me im being harsh...

R.I.P Kurt Vonnegut

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Green ham and an egg


More please

Just about to go off an be tortured by my personal trainer. Yup, it seemed like the best thing to do in order to maximise (or at least increase) any benefit i could get from going to a gym. If you are going to do it, do it properly.

Family Bacon were here: we ate drank kite flew hunted for easter eggs saw barenakedladies laughed and rode inthe sun and dust.

Couldnt be better.

A lot of confirmations have gone out for the worlds. It will be busy, it will be cosmopolitan. Hopefully a short hiatus now before the next lump of activity. Afterall, i need to get squared for Finale.

What else? Shaggy has got a flickr account, including some excellent pictures of which i have pinched for this via my flickr over there, on the right.

Saw Danny Boyles new one, Sunshine. Its ok...Cillian, of course, shone. Whatever trina says, he's a good looing man...

Anyway, more coffee, then mo'pain...

Friday, April 06, 2007


I saw a guy today who was displaying his collection of owls and birds of prey. iI like owls.

Red boxes

Its been a super busy week. Busy at work with Easter coming. Busy with the worlds, which has received a *lot* of entries. Busy with riding...3 rides, 50 mile road, 50+ mile off road, and technical rock and root ride. Also i had my first personal training session. I decided that if i was going to go to the gym, i might as well learn what i need/should do.

Needless to say i am sore and tired. But its all good.

I also spent some time feeling a little fragile this morning after Hamish's birthday pint session. Thus i moved very slowly around the flat tidying things and putting the big red box in place...

Monday, April 02, 2007

Rock and roll

This week end saw a high pressure weather system bringing some much needed sunshine to the whole of scotland. Of course, when it is sunny, with cold air and only a light breeze, you need to ride. Yesterday i decided to go back and see an old friend. Well, maybe friend is not the right word. Not so much an enemy but perhaps a respected opponent?

The Devils Staircase is a section of trail built by the english army to access the highlands proper without having to trail around the peninsula, through Glencoe, to Kinlochleven and then on to the garrison town of Fort William. It rises from near the base of Buchaille Etive Mor, to the shoulder of Stob Mhic Mhartuin and then down to the service road for Blackwater reservoir. I usually ride from bridge of orchy, over white corries ski area - including the most vibration inducing trail in the known universe (general wade's military road) - and then follow the west highland way up and over to reach the access road. I then went up to the dam, crossed and descended the blackwater decent. This is a trail that the word 'rough' does not define. It has probably been 2 years since i rode it, and it is even rougher than before. I have never ridden a 29"er on it, and i'm sure the rolling ability helped somewhat but it still took nearly an hour to decend to kinlochleven, including the last section with fires licking my pedals on both sides of the hill side where the heather was being burnt back. Exciting and smelly.

I took the road to glencoe village and then the off road trail up glencoe, past Altna feadh and back to rejoin the WHW at kingshouse over the white corries and back. 7.15 hours, 53+ miles a lot of climbing and glorious sunshine.

I can feel some strength returning...

Entries for the sswc are going well...not entered? want to ?