Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Through singleswizzle, i just hooked up with the wiki-wiki-wiki report. Go look...

Dejay, friend of the hairys and the scots is in joint first place with fuzzy for the NUE.


W 101

It has been hard for me to keep my eyes off the screen what with the NUE series heating up, and the imminent trip to the USA for the SSWC 08 and the SM 100. Sometimes it is hard to open yourself up and say "i am committing to this race - i want to do well" but there we go. The SM 100 is the one thing i want to give my all to this year.

I enjoyed the W 101 so much that i suspect if an when i can, ill be heading back to take in more appalachian beauty.


See, sometimes it becomes apparent that taking the passive route may not be the best route. I rode to work the other day, then to the PO box, then back to work. A grand total of 1 mile riding. Twice, drivers clapped eyes on me and then pulled out right in front of me. Once, someone didn't even look and pulled out. If i was a) less capable b) looking at something else for a split second - BAM!

When the 5-oh get in on the act, like this example taken from the gothamist/urban velo, weeeeeeelll i dont know ... you wonder what humanity is coming to.

JG Ballard often writes about the degradation of humanity within a split second of normality taking a back seat. A theme that another gotham resident is often tied up with.

Seems it is so very close to the surface sometimes.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Epic designs can craft you a purposeful, custom super detailed and robust bag.

These are mine. See: epic gallery.

Give him a call.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Flux capacitator.

So they *haven't* switched CERN on yet. I got a mail from the loveliest of bikie chicks to let me know there have been some issues getting the bugger down below 2 kelvin. 2 kelvin by the way is colder than the near-vacuum that is outer space. Really fecking cold indeed.

I have been following the CERN Large Hadron Collider thing for awhile. In essence, they are trying to look into the finer aspects of sub atomic physics by accelerating particles at each other as fast as possible and noting the effects of the collision, with particular focus on working out the relationship between electromagnetism, strong and weak nuclear forces. This is part of trying to ascertain a Grand Unification Theory. I wont go into details, but its all pretty fascinating. As a side effect, or perhaps the word would be additional effect, there is the chance they will create black holes which should allow study of what is currently theory once you pass the event horizon (see last paragraph regarding 'beyond general relativity), prior to their theorized evaporation.

Pretty cool stuff. Except, once you think about it, and cogitate the creation of mini black holes, you get a bit freaked. The question arises, is there a precedent for this? I mean is it safe?

Well, theory is that these mini black holes are being created all the time, evaporating super fast and as such dont cause any problems as far as we know, so ones *we* make are likely to be fine too....

Cool eh?

Its got that de lorean time machine thing about it...


Monday, July 21, 2008


Despite still being under the cosh of a mild bug, i decided to head out and try and get some miles in. The weather was best east, so off i went to spend the day in the pentlands. Initially, and as is my want, i headed up stoorie b to get some technical riding in. Needless, to say the fact i couldnt get the heart rate over 170 without feeling like i was going to pass out hampered my moves. Blah. Managed to drop a few slidy trails and pop over a few rocks, then headed out to cammo and from thence to the pentland hills.

A peaceful day in the hills, except for the incessant creak and knock of the fork. I tore the headset apart the other day as it is the source of the creaking. The pace fork steerer is notched from headset play, so the Foskett-set will be nary too soon. Meanwhile i have to put up with knocking and juddering despite perfect preload. Ah well.

On the way up to Harlaw, i found this wigwam. The trails leading to it are amazing, the woods would make a great bivvy spot too.

Climbing up, up and away with the top of caerketton hill as my far spot, before turning round and then down and following the water of leith back into edinburgh via spylaw. All in all, 50 miles, 6 hours and some heavy legs. Shenandoah is creeping up fast. So far i know what bike i am taking, and what pack/food/hydration i'll use. My fitness may be good, but if it is, it is well hidden at the moment.

We'll see.

Monday, July 14, 2008

K tree

Is chewing tobacco UCI legal?

Thursday: pack lots of stuff into bags, ti bike is out of commission as i havent had the time to sort brakes or forks which are sounding creaky with the headset. Pink bike put into action by removing racks.

Friday: run around like mad, pack up stuff into car and belt down to Kirroughtree. Meet up with Dave, Hamish, Damo and marty, Anja and Phil and after a late evening phone call Mel and shaggy turned up about 4am. Oddly, the last of us had gone to bed not long before that in a late night beer frenzy.

Saturday: against all the odds, sunshine. The course was rockier, and even less forgiving than last year, but somehow managed to be even better in terms of quality riding and singletrack. The climbing all seemed to be hidden in short sharp rises, and there was the fantastic, swooping final decent all present and correct.

3-4 hours in: 4 laps done, hadnt seen many kent faces on course, but i had seen several broken chains for others. Amazing. I have never snapped a chain other than at the same event last year. In total, i saw 6 snapped chains. Indeed andy, who was racing with shaggy as replacement for an absent team member, snapped a chain, fixed it then re-snapped it in the car park, causing the inevitable knee/concrete interface and bam, he was out of the game.

Meanwhile, jac was plugging away, as was marty resplendent in the VC Moulin colours, joining anja+phil in mixed pairs, and andy wardman and steevo going for the win with the pairs also for VC Moulin.

Damo, knackered from building a huge bridge across the Tyne, and dave, were just about to tuck into their first beers, chilling in the sun and considering further laps.

Hour 8 or so: 7 laps done, a huge dehydration collapse* and a very sore back. Jac looking like a win, marty unknown, anjaphil duking it out for somewhere around 6th in pairs, whilst comfortably winning the mixed pairs, and steevowardman still fighting it out for a pairs win.

Hour 10: eventually, i got it together to go out and do an 8th, jac came in a fine first, marty clocked up his 7th and winning mixed for anjaphil and steevoandy taking second in pairs.

Needless to say, the fine mix of marinated meats, salads and beer trina, mel and heather had waiting barely touched the sides and we had a long evening, chatting and enjoying the sun. Hamish, shaggy and myself closed the celebrations down around 3 am.

A top time had id say.

`*huge dehydration collapse.

This race was acting as a prep for the shenandoah 100 in september. I was trying to race with several new routines.

Water only.
Energy spooch only.
No wingnut, just bottles.
A lower gear.

Pretty much all of the above were less than ideal. Still, i have gained some important knowledge.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Soon, the web will have its own beautifully crafted and cerebral version of the coveted magazine.

The Ride

It's been a while...

So. Here we are, Russell's stag do has been and gone. A top time had, with go kart racing at Knockhill, too much beer and meat, and table tennis, boxing and laughing on the side. All good.

The rain has been falling pretty continuously - great prep for this weekends 10 at K-tree. Always good. I had fitted some Avid bb7 road discs to the bike in order to ustilise the cantilever paul brake levers. These have a nicer profile compared to the 2.5 finger v brake levers i usually use, but need the road discs as they have less cable pull. It works, but to be honest, even with a 185mm rotor, they dont have the best modulation. With a smaller wheel, a lighter rider or different levers, the story may be different, as it stands im going back to the standard bb7's.

In saying that i aint going to have time to do the swap before K-tree, so ill ride the be honest, after slogging it out last time in the mud, i may well appreciate the lower gear i generally run on it anyway...

Why in such a rush? I have been devoting the spare time to organising to have some packs made by epic designs in alaska, as i have settled on a general luggage system for touring. So, 3 bags are to be ordered and ill go into details when i get em.

Jenn has been rocking the GDR and despite a bout of giardia, she is still knocking out the miles - twiglet legs and all. I know there are lots of us on the edge of our seats rooting for her...its a few hundred miles to go, which in the scope of the 2700 miles or so she is set to do, is a small percentage and rumour has it the riding is easier, but nothing is for free...

I have also been spending a bit more time with shaggy and niggle on the king headset project. It looks like we may have got the bugs sorted. Next step, whirring up the lathe...again, more as i have it...