Friday, July 31, 2009

Coming up..

And thats not a Primal Scream reference. Damo and Libby are due in town this week. As ever, i havent really paid any attention to details, but it'll be good to see them.

It is wilderness 101 this weekend. Looks like its going to be wet. Should be tough enough...wish i was there...

Chipps is covering ground fast...check it.

The story of cass' adventure along the west coast of the USA keeps getting better. Go on, get a brew and read.

Colorado Trail Race as well this week end. Perhaps the hardest single endeavor i am aware of on a bike. Dont be too surprised if you see a 'kent face' there shortly...

Hammocks. Fuck yeah.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Items worthy of thought.

Young's modulus.
100 personal items.
Brew Dog Tokyo.
Power output.
Comfort versus speed versus distance versus time.
Healthy mind, healthy body.
Being calm.
VO2 max.

As you were...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Black Medicine.

I really needed to get out for a 'non-training' type ride. Not necessarily short or easy, just involving stopping if i wanted to, going back to do a section again, rather than keeping the heart rate in a certain zone and maybe a stop somewhere for lunch.

So i headed to edinburgh. It fitted in with other things and allowed me to pit the jones against stoorey b. I also wanted to try and get to know my camera a bit better. Trina had shown me how to use the self timer, so i thought i could maybe get some pics of me riding, instead of the usual handlebar and 'bike-propped-against-tree' shots.

I spent an hour or so up stoorey b, even attempting the drop we all know as 'big red'. This starts off steep, hits some roots with a few curves, then just as traction is truly about to go, you can let off the brakes and hit the fall line. I seldom ride it anymore, probably because after some recent erosion i can only make it 40-50% of the time. When you dont make it, it isnt nice. Rocks, a tangle of roots sticking up from the ground and usually a layer of wet dirt over hard means consequences.

Needless to say my skills with the self timer were poor, so buoyed by confidence from having ridden out big red once, but missed the shot, i saddled up again.

Bam, went down sideways after a front wheel slip: tried to keep control with a foot extended as an outrigger, but no luck. Hit the ground and slid, the bike gaining as it shot down the slope in front of me.

Crap. A few scrapes on me, a few on the bike (4th ride and its already looking like its been in the wars, which is probably a good thing...) and quite a nice shot.

Then i headed for the pentlands and out towards nine mile burn. A screaming tail wind back to flotterstone, and over to mortonhall. After a panini and coffee i dropped down to stockbridge and managed a quick amber nectar prior to installing a new tube (a patch job earlier on stoorey b went bad) and wobbled back along the water of leith.

Just what i needed.

Friday, July 17, 2009


This is my 666th post. Spooky eh?

few things, just got 2 rl burnside albums. Dirty swamp rock blues. Played with jon spencer blues explosion, never a bad thing, and generally rocked the house. For the cheekies it will be up soon. You know what im talking about.

Other peoples adventure:

Cass and co are away...see here.
Eric has been out too.
Dude called jeff boatman who makes bags for jones truss forks was out there recently.
And chipps is hitting up the pyraknees. Ill be updating with his progress as it happens. The power of modern technology.


And, seeing as its a special needs a special pic.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Shoe goo.

What do you do if you rip the sole off your cycling shoes?

After a wee bit of reading around, and a swift amazon purchase, i used some shoe goo, and with the help of my trusty mole grips, my sidis are back in business.

All smiles.

Questionable decisions. This year has been somewhat of a transition year for me in terms of racing. I have never 'trained' before, i have never changed gear for races before and i have never worked at different feeding and fluid intake strategies. One for the reasons for this is that if something doesn't work, you are likely going to be off the pace.

I have had numerous successes - using nuun tablets, hammer nutrition perpetuem, changing to a lower gear and learning to pedal with a higher cadence by using a 39:16 on my fixed gear a lot.

A lot of this has been about shenandoah for me. I haven't ever done a race that has been so hard. Don't get me wrong, it isn't hard to finish per se. But it is hard to go fast on a rigid singlespeed. There is a lot of climbing, and there is a lot of hard, technical singletrack descending. In order to go faster than last year several things have had to change.

For 10 at kirroughtree i intended to use a small 1 litre wingnut bladder pack, 2 flasks of honey stinger gel (with 9 packets in total in them) and bottles with nuun, restocked every 2 laps.

Each lap is 8.6 miles with 300 m of climbing/descending, and i was hoping for at least 10 laps in the 10+1 hours you have.

All went well for 3 laps, which was good as id felt pretty wabbit the week before and was concerned i had a bit of a cold, or was just plain tired.

Then i started to have wildly fluctuating energy levels. The gel was giving me some energy pretty quickly, that then seemed to cause an absolute crash shortly afterwards. Fluid was a struggle as the course is relentlessly technical, so it is possible that i wasn't actually getting the best from the gels due to poor hydration.

Nevertheless stomach cramps started followed swiftly by catastrophic legs cramps. At hour six i ate a cheese roll and trina made me a bottle with hammer perpetuem and i rolled a couple of slower laps. After that i was able to ride on, albeit with continuing cramps.

Lesson? gels don't work for me. Hydration *is* massively important and the gels seem to require more fluid than i could get on board on a rough course.

So: i need to mount another bottle cage to the jones (thank you King Cage!) and go back to the hammer with occasional other bits and bobs.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


First proper ride. Impressed. Thoughts shortly. Meanwhile im supping a brew, eating beef, and boilermaker beans.

2 cans pinto beans,
3 chopped yellow oinons,
4 heapoed table spoons molasses,
2 table spoons worcester sauce,
a good number of dashes of hot chili sauce,
a half jar of hot salsa (commercial),
a triple of bourbon (at least),
1/3 jar of FRESH dijon mustard,
a half pint of amber or dark beer,
4 rashers of charred bacon.

Cook in oven at 180c, or 350f for 30 mins with lid on, then 30 mins with lid off after a stir. Keep looking and take out when reduced to a nice slop.


Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Adventure cycling, a good bunch. There is an interesting article in the latest issue of their magazine of the pros and cons of how to load a bike. Front vs rear, high versus low.

And also, Aaron teasdale has a great gallery of TDR/GDR pics.

Go lookee...

Monday, July 06, 2009


Ready for action.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Explosive power.

Monday: took the 'maiden out for a run. Read about it at vc moulin. A top ride and saved not once but twice by bruce dickinson. Then yesterday slotted in a super tight twisty ride with chris and dan. Swift pint then home on the train, as ac-dc fans spilled out of glasgow. Awesome.

On the move: at peace.

Its ben a busy couple of weeks, as ever. We were down in london visiting the G funk and (....wait....) helen. A top time had. Friday was traveling and chilling, we were in Hackney, a fine spot, really like it. Saturday was all about coffee, crosswords, the barbican (amazing - reminiscent of JG Ballard's stories of the descent of the middle classes, whilst at the same time being oddly serene) and incredible breakfasting. We popped in to see ben at his gallery, Austin, and watched as the fixed fashinistas rolled by (photo from number of singlespeeds decked out like fixies (ie no rear brake) is frightening. After a glass or 2 of belgium's finest in the Dove, we dropped in to Moro for a world class meal. Amazing food, better company.

We failed at the karaoke. We were aiming for something against the run of the mill, eye of the tiger perhaps, but it didnt happen. Sleep. Sunday after a wander through the flower market, we did another crossword while waiting for food. Who knew about the apse? We thought arse, hence the moustache...