Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Playing with an angle finder and digital scale. Need to spend more time on the fat front 29er wheel. Issue - it weighs 100g more than my usual *rear* wheel. Translated over a significant distance, it would have to offer significant comfort/control advantages.

What else? about to gear down. Deano schooled me on some climbs the other day: sat and spun away. Now he's pretty damn swift on a bike, but it was also clear that my pile driver pedal stroke is not the most efficient as gradient increases. So, initially 34:19, then as my spin improves (the 39:16 on the fixed is helping...) move to 34:20. I may use this gear for bristol 12, and i will use it for 10 at kirroughtree and also the shenandoah.

Trying to clear the bike room a little. A few frames to go, and several components that - despite my emotional attachment too - i am never going to use. Catharsis....
Need to build up the fixed rear wheel for the new cross frame. It is an A317 rim, to a paul rear disc mtb hub, all blacked out, with dt comps. That way i will have both fixed and free wheels i can interchange. The aim of this bike is versatility for road/offroad mixed distance riding.

At the moment the initial build looks like fixed and flat (ish) bars. Will experiment with drops, probably compact anatamical after trying a few briefly, and see where i go from there.

Boots Electric.

Eagles of Death Metal tonight. Warming up with some iron maiden on the internoot, then might move a little more trans atlantic. Maybe some brant bjork and the bros.



This song ran through our heads for a significant portion of saturdays ride. Im particularly liking the ginger fuzzball with added tache at 3.17.

So, Mangrunt Deluxe as described by chris here, was a grand affair. 8 or so hours on the bike (with a short stop for a much needed beverage). Mucho fire road in the wind and sun, and some loch side rocky singletrack. Awesome.

Dean pushed the pace on the long climbs. Chris earned his 40lb of flesh for climbing what we thought was impossible. He also thought these stairs would go. Ouch...

Even i managed a couple of drops on the loch side i hadnt demonstrated the cojones for previously and one step up that i hadn't even considered before. Martin took a vid of that one and also some classic pics. Jac dieselled the route in her preps for trans portugal. All in all a top ride.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Wax lubes.
Groovy luv handles.
Fixed or free?
ESI grips.

Lots of questions. Searching for answers.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Polished off.

I decided on the cranks i'll use for the new bike and started work on polishing them up. I have never polished anything before, so it was a case of dropping down to machine mart after a quick read on wikipedia. All seemed to be pretty obvious, and the results would most likely depend on patience, a gentle hand and luck. This was borne out. The old xt HTII's were revived and a couple of gauges from 'dropped chain whilst fixed' issues filed down. Edges softened and then sanded. And sanded. And sanded. Getting a good finish really does take for ever!

Still, i'm reasonably happy now and after a day or two of use im sure they will be fine.

Anja was up for a quick visit after finding out she may or may not have work to come back to after her trip home to new zealand. Pretty rough treatment, id say. Hmmm. We got in a good meal and a beer or two before she had a hectic 3 days to pack and get in transit. I expect you'll be hearing about cx in new zealand soon.

I got in a ride. 105-110 miles or so on the fixed. Trying to adhere to joe friel's advice. Tough on a fixed, and the wet and the wind made it character building. Read more on VC Moulin.

Immediately after this (and perhaps because i lowered my defences) i came down with a pretty grim vomiting bug. No carbo loading permitted then...almost over that now.

The new practice opened today officially, with the university principal and members of the barclay family in attendance. All good. The rooms look great, with a much more contemporary feel than most surgeries. The future is bright...


Even Persephone falls asleep on it now...my velonews sub has lapsed. Or was that velo snooze?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Stuff to do:

1) read joe friel's book - training bible for mtb
2) make a training plan
3) finish mark twight's book (extreme alpinism)
4) become a tough guy
5) ride lots
6) build trina's new front wheel - stans 355 650b onto xt hub
7) rebuild trina's bike
8) enter 12 hours of bristol bike fest [tick]
9) decide what else apart from ehandoah i want to race
10) build new cross-ish bike
11) other stuff

I was reading over on dave macleod's blog about the curent issues with grading climbs with and without the use of mats. Highball bouldering? free solo climbing? versus trad?

Interesting to me (at the risk of overplaying the comparison of rock climbing and biking) due to the difficulties riding the same stuff fixed off road compared to free wheel. In the last 2 months i have ridden 3 times with a free wheel. Bliss! ease! and to be fair fun!

Doing easy drop ins on a fixed? fear! adrenalin! accomplishment!

2 different ways to do the same move.


(lifted from dave's sight, music by siren, black sparrow resident).

Sunday, March 08, 2009


First time at iditasport. 4th place in brutal conditions. Awesome ride. You sir are tough enough.

(pic is epic erics...go see his stuff)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Ouch dammit.

Sometimes the smallest things can be huge obstacles. The other day i found a skin tag in my left oxter. Skin tags are small mushrooms of flesh which rear up from the surface of the skin due to constant dragging friction. Hence you get them around the neck, and under arms. Trina kindly tied a thread around mine, with the aim that it would lose its blood supply and fall off. What actually happened was the thread fell off. I hate these sort of things, and of course the one true way to get rid? cut it off.

For some reason auto amputation no matter how small is quite difficult to do. If the tissue is dead, well its fine. But if its going to hurt and bleed - a different story.

I stumped up the courage this morning. Weird.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Occasionally, i get air...

Photo is from here.


There is some amazing stuff (as ever) at NAHBS. I've stolen a few pics from folk...

The first there, is from sal_bass, and shows some of paul components stuff, including a very neat chain guide. The second, from the second from ronsta36, a snake skin 'do on a groovy. Think i might have to pick up a groovy luv handle.

The other bikes that caught my eye: curtis' snow bike, with mud guards, and black sheep bikes bike built for jake kirkpatrick. 17lb and that's about it. King inset head tube, removable rear triangle, scrub components disc rotors and lots and lots of swoop. Sweet.

(again, sal_bass)

Monday, March 02, 2009

So much stuff.

We raced at blairadam. There will be a report up soon at vc moulin. It was excellent.

Shaggy is on the move....check mtb cast amongst other things...

I'm playing with bikeforest cad.

We went to st andrews. It is 15 years since we left. We are definitely not royal.

This tuesday sees the end of the study in which i am a guinea pig. I am pretty keen to see the results. I saw some of the power curves the other day. My pedalling is pretty smooth, until i hit red line. Just need to work on cadence.