Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Fuck it, i'm back in.


Despite the remains of the snow, chris and myself managed to get a ride in down at glentress on monday. With the crispy snow adding resistance the climbing was hard work. Balancing the required torque and the traction meant smooth riding was key. The downhills were ridiculous. At times dips had filled with snow, leaving you hub deep before you could say "oooof!". There's been the addition of some swoop to the lower sections of the red route - nice.

After 2 hours the build up of filth was a sharp reminder of what winter mtb is in scotland...messygoodfun. Yo!

The glentress huts are almost ready by the looks of things. Perhaps another jockstock is brewing?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010


You can read a little more about it here.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Metal work.

Been busy doing some more metalwork. That is an 11-34 shimano xt block. I have limited metal working tools, so i didnt do the cleanest job. It ain't bad though.

Initially i clamped the block lightly in my small vice, on the plate for my pillar drill. I'm not sure if it is just the quality of the tool, but it seemed to be very sensitive to where the end mill hit the alloy carrier as to how easily and cleanly it took off material. It slipped a couple of times, as can be seen from the scarring on the alloy carrier, until i hit upon the idea (d'oh!) of wrapping a section of chain around the teeth of the ring to allow me to hold the block more solidly. I then proceeded more easily.

Once i got close to level, i transferred the block to a bigger vice (thanks dad!) and used a dremel with a grinding head to take the carrier down to a constant level as best i could. I used the bevelled sections of the teeth that engage on the freehub as my guide. Its not perfectly flat, like you might get if you used a lathe, but it is pretty neat, and with a 2mm washer behind, and after some work with the file to reduce the height of the chain catching sections on the back of the 34 tooth cog, i have a pretty good 6 speed block.

Next time, i would need to pay more attention to how the end mill hits the alloy. I think it needs to touch it close to the edge, rather than centre onto it. Need to do some reading!

Fun. If you likethat sort of thing....

Friday, January 15, 2010


My boys are in Strathpeffer. I'm building wheels...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Imelda May.

Going to go and check out the rockabilly songstress on 29th jan in glasgow....recommned checking her out. This is footage of her playing with acclaimed guitar tweaker Jeff Beck. Enjoy.

Monday, January 11, 2010

They see me rollin'

So, the snow melting followed by a further freeze meant riding today was not going to happen.

I hit the rollers again. 1st power test, after a warm up and a stretch was a 12 second max power output - my power meter goes up to 999 watt and my output was somewhere over that. After a recovery spin, i did my first 6 minute test. The idea here is to get some idea of velocity (which is estimated in this case from power) at V02 max. In other words, it is the max power output/velocity you can maintain without going anaerobic. Improvements in this = going faster for longer. The idea is to get this level higher as a percentage of the absolute V02 so that you become more 'economic' with your oxygen.

Waste not, want not. Much, anyways!

So for 6 minutes i punted out 365 watts. I think i could put out a little more, maybe close to 390 or maybe even 400 watts (see later). Which would be pretty good, really. Clearly, the thing that really matters here is the variance over time, not the actual numbers...which is good, because the power meter i am using is not super high tech. Having said that, in comparisons with SRM meters it was pretty good, so im happy to use it.

Later, i went back and did some 440 watt 3 minute intervals, with 4 minutes of active rolling in between. 5 times. The 4th hurt pretty bad, but otherwise it was ok ish....hence why i think i could do a little more over 6 minutes.

So where next? i need to do some more power tests: 3, 12 and 30 mins. Then a graded heart rate test. This will allow me to graph my *current* power outputs, and indicate my lactate threshold respectively (the point at which your heart rate jumps up out of sequence with increasing work).

From there i need to do exactly what i *didn't* do last year - climbing!

I did loads of miles, but in an effort to do different rides and not drive so much, and because its all relatively flat around glasgow, i never got the volume of steeper, off road climbs in that you need to do well at endurance races.

The future starts today.

Saturday, January 09, 2010



DT440, 20mm with supercomps, alloy nipples and flows. Yo. Bomber, wide and light where it counts. Disc side tension 98kgf. Variance is less than +/-4kgf. Thats pretty nice. The non-disc side is 81kgf +/-8kgf. Still within the necessary 10% for a good wheel build. Not sure why its more 'out'. Overall, pretty happy.

I'll build the rear tomorrow as we are still under snow and ice (its minus 8 degree c here) so riding is confined to the rollers.

Session 1: 15 min warm up, 30 minutes at 30kmh 180watts or so with a 30 sec interval every 10 minutes at >999watts up to 70kph (at which point a reverberation through the rollers made the floor boards hum). 'Distance' covered - 16.65km.

Session 2: 15 min warm up, then the same but ramped it up to 215 watts (i used a taller gear). 15 minute warm down. Distance (with 15 minute warm down) 22.2km.

Next i need to do some joe friel inspired 'tests'. A 6 minute max power trial, and max power achievable for varied time scales to get power zones, and a lactate threshold test. This is much easier to do with a geared road bike and rollers than a fixed gear on the road.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Who loves ya, baby?

Telly savalas. Say it loud. Its black and its proud.