Monday, February 28, 2011


I've spent the last few days at the North American Handmade Bike show. Singletrack magazine's website has put up a bunch of pictures i have taken. Needless to say, it is way better in the flesh. Pictures, especially when taken under the harsh lights of the Austin Convention Center, do not do the level of craftsmanship justice.

Things that impressed me? Needless to say the Vertigo cycles booth! Sean's internal hydro routing and precision welding garnered well deserved attention. The Cherubin pursuit concept bike was phenomenal. Outlandish but so beautiful. Kent Eriksen's personal tandem also looked like mischief. I could easily see myself and a co-rider blasting down the trails at 40mph on that beast!. Signal had beautiful town bikes and of all the paint jobs i liked Ira Ryans best. Curtis Inglis had yet more of his exquisite curvy bikes and of course heavy hitters like Vanilla and Cielo had some really cool work.

Components? Enve had tubeless ready mtb rims i believe waiting for UST accreditation. Rody from Groovy Cycles had his reworking of the original polygonal interface 'hot rods'/Grove Innovations crank. Paragon Machine Works had stem parts available as well as 44mm head tubes, that i think will really take off soon (at least in the hand built world) and King have brought out a 44mm external headset to allow tapered steerers in more normal looking and considerably lighter ti or steal frames.

Want to see more? i'll put my picturs up on flickr at some point, but go to STW for a looksee now.'s time to go grab a cold beer and stay out of the mid day sun...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Out of town for a few days...

Initial impressions? Candy store...

Monday, February 21, 2011


Getting the joints supple. Legs are levers. Upper body counters the efforts. Core keeps you over the fulcrum. Out on the road bike. Pitiful miles in the legs over the last 4 weeks. Time to trial the hill. The Crow Road.

The last time up was in the dead of winter. It takes me around 20 minutes. I pass the footpath sign to Milton at the bottom and the seconds start ticking away. The first swithchback is the steepest. The heart rate increases, the blood pumping. Keep it just within the red.

Move up a gear, then 2. Keep the cadence high. No mashing. Circles. Ignore the burning.

Round the corner and i sense the top. Steal a look at the watch. It looks like it might go sub 20 minutes. Suffer up the false summit, then gain the rounded top of the Campsies. Into the large ring but dont lose the cadence.

There it is, the top. A small fireroad access gate with the path to the top of the hill on the other side. Rise up. Rise out of the saddle and apply the leverage. Work the blood and bone and sinew.

17 minutes and 10 seconds. The fastest i have ever made it up. Empty vessel, but joy. Maybe not such a bad place to start from for the spring.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On pain.

Is weakness leaving the body, right? or not...whichever way you look at it, pain is a constant in life. Physical, emotional and mental. At the moment i'm sitting on the sofa dribbling blood from some superficial wounds, feeling a little sorry for myself. The mental pain comes from knwoing it is all my own fault. I knew the cleats on the work shoes were worn, and weren't playing very well with the old, but-newer-than-the-last-ones, pair of time mtb pedals on the town bike. Full speed in traffic, wet roads. I got on the gas, sprinting for a green filter light. My foot suddenly pops out of the left pedal and i hit the road hard. My left knee took the brunt and my right thenar eminence is about the size of a satsuma, but no signs of broken bones.

The other day despite snow, sleet and very cold conditions i decided i *needed* to turn some pedals. More for my head than the ever diminishing (and frankly laughable) fitness benefit. So it was i took off on the skeletor and made a quick loop to the north and east of glasgow.

It took 30 minutes for the pain of the blood getting back into my toes to subside.

Daisy is teething. Cue pain. Cue crying and her struggling to feed. It's a wee shame, but it ain't going to be any other way from now on...pain is your constant companion in this life. Make friends.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Benighted, belated and beleaguered ...

So much stuff....Daisy, daisy how does your gahden grow? (gahden green of course!) Our baby is now twice the mass she used to be. In just 12 weeks she has doubled. If you think about it that is quite a feat. She does so much that she didnt do before its a full blown advertisement for the miracle that is the human brain. It is also a salutary lesson that i should use mine a bit more as well. Damn it, there must be some circuitry still working, right?

We travelled to the south of England by plane recently. She took it in her stride, and i am glad to say trina and me did too....which was encouraging, as there are plans for travel further afield shortly. More on that later. It was the most i'd laughed and smiled in a *looong* time and that is priceless.

Cooking lots of tex mex. Trying to sleep - but beset by a wicked case of insomnia. Dealing with work, which has been all encompassing. Pretending i'm still a bike rider and desperately clinging to the last remnants of form. So much more than any other year, i NEED spring. I NEED a good (ish, i'll settle for ish) summer.

Sleeping bag research for planned bivis (i spent most of the previous trips a little cold). Collecting ti bits for bikes. Listening to rock and roll.

And trying to sleep.


Happy birthday E. Hope it was a double digit classic day.

Just cos i havent heard it in years.

And lastly for this contact: the owls are not what they seem....

Friday, February 04, 2011

Obama & Mubarak.

*Why* was Obama's administration supporting Mubarak in his political, if not physical, death throes? Could it have something to do with the $1.3 billion that currently primarily goes to the Egyptian military, whose commander is long term Mubarak supporter and was in Washington when the uprising began?

Why support the appointment of Suleiman as 'Vice" President? He was Egypt's chief negotiator with Israel and a senior intelligence officer. Hmmm.

And is it true that the US' Mobile Forces Reserve are providing hardware to Mubarak's men to help quash the uprising of a persecuted people?

Is this truly a fear of the Muslim Brotherhood? or is it about money?

Yet another measure of the West's disgraceful record in the Middle East.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Bicentennial trail.

My friend Damo from the Cog Bike Cafe in Australia (on the Warby Trail) is biking the Bicentennial 5330 km thats quite the trip!...

See pics and read progress reports here.

Muchos Gracias, Billy for the pic...