Monday, 30 June 2008

week in review

fairly quiet week. fair bit of work. riding limited to a couple of commutes, a good ride out to cairnpapple and back with jac after work and crieff to burntisland via the dunning and cleish climbs yesterday. feeling fairly strong, hit my mileage target for the month, could do with losing some weight (2kg down since 10UTB).

today saw the wanga re-tyred (kenda dred treads), re-forked (fox forx) and chain tensioned (again). good to do

this week - going to try and fit in a breakfast ride one morning and some solid miles. 10@K just round the corner...

other than that - we've just had our windows and doors replaced (it's only taken two years...), so the cat now has direct access to the back garden and is offski as soon as the window opens.

Saturday, 21 June 2008

this is not a bike review

my experience with FS bikes is limited. very limited. the only ones i've spent more than a couple of minutes on were proper DH bikes on a couple of uplift days at innerleithen a few years back. so this isn't a review of the whyte E120, kindly lent by alpine bikes to recent visitor matt, just a chance to ride the sort of bike that people seem to want these days. i risked the 'merican brakes to take it out for a quick spin on weel kent trails this morning to broaden my horizons a little - both in terms of brakes and gears (this was also the first mtb that i've ridden 'properly' with gears for 8 years or so). clearly i'm not the right sort of rider to fully review a bike which shouty reckons is up there as an 'ultimate trail bike', i've nothing to compare it against.

out the door, onto the coastal path and then a carry up to the heughs. so far, so good. both ends locked out and on the big ring all the way (have gears always been this low?). surprisingly easy to heave up to the heughs - which is very overgrown at the moment (legs still tingling from nettle stings 12 hours later). however, even when locked-out the thing feels sluggish - seems to take an enormous effort to get the fucker wound up and moving fast - a lag between putting the hammer down (ahem) and getting the reward.

it's not until braefoot that i get the chance to unleash the beast and point it steeply downhill. it's here i can see the point (a bit). the tricky bits can be ridden without thinking. even the bit above the gun emplacements that i normally have a wee think over are rolled effortlessly. real point and shoot stuff. didn't attempt any of the proper jumpy stuff along there, couldn't find the skilll compensator++ setting...

the gear were a major pain in the ass. they were set up just fine, but so fucking


not sure what the granny was for? catching the chain after a mis-shift?

bit disappointed not to like it, thought it'd be more fun. will continue to flick past reviews in the mags.

Friday, 20 June 2008

new friends, old friends, new trails, old trails

spent a couple of days showing Bend resident Matt (a fair swap for AndyW?) around some local(ish) trails on his short UK trip. the ubiquitous glentress on tuesday and the ever stunning N3 on wednesday with Andy and Dave.

thanks to Dave for the loan of a bike, slightly (ahem) scuffed chainring now replaced. would take the boingy thing out for a ride, but MattAlpine kindly swapped the brakes over to US and i doubt i'm capable of remembering...

Monday, 16 June 2008

enduro girl is GO! sort of.

Originally uploaded by martysavalas
endurance stalwart jenn hopkins is currently riding the canadian section of the GDMBR from banff down to the 'merican border as a warm up to the GDR which starts proper on friday. a truly epic adventure, it's a self-supported race from the canadian/american border to the american/mexican one. 2,500ish miles and 200,000ft of climbing. oh, and you have to finish in 24 days for it to count.

keep an eye on the GDR website for updates.


Sunday, 15 June 2008

EBFF iii

third film of the bike fest for me and it's the best so far - 24-solo. a documentary on the 2006 24 hour solo worlds and the epic tale of chris eatough vs craig gordon vs themselves, which leaves one in tears and the other on a dialysis machine.

almost enough to make me miss 24 hour (team) racing. then i remember Mounting Mayhem last year and recall why i stopped enjoying them.

few beers and some nachos (finally, dammit) with folks in the bar and i squint out into the daylight and ride out to my cramond on a very unhappy sounding fixie (suspect the gxp bb).

a walk of the dog, a nice tea and we're back to work already. fuck.

Saturday, 14 June 2008


a scant few hours since i scampered from the filmhouse, i'm back again for a showing of klunkerz at the edinburgh bike film festival. no time for nachos, but plenty for a beer or two with anna, gary, peter, shearer and su.

a slightly sugary documentary on the early days of mtbing in marin county, it's an interesting enough, but you get the impression the real story is in what isn't said...

q&a with jacquie afterwards is entertaining, particularly the q for a youngster in front of us who asks whether jacquie has been to that modern day mtb mecca, glentress.

couple of beers afterwards at the excellent chopchop in haymarket (in the presence of one of the standing start directors nae less) and we fifers are on the dundee train and heading home for a *very* quiet saturday.

tomorrow brings a tspc outing to see 24-solo, a few hours at work and tea at my maw's.

a week of campiones

it's been a very cycling-y week.

last weekend saw us hitting an gearasdan on saturday and sunday for the UCI mtb world cup. world champs, world cup winners, national champs, midges. much, much better than i thought it'd be. too scared to heckle, we mainly concentrated on shouting encouragement. an alien concept...

later in the week, film fest with mr obree and ms phelan in attendance and then a bike breakfast with a challenge against mr hoy. theboyhoy=1800 watts, me=700watts. still, i was settling down for a 10 hour effort when i got kicked off.


Thursday, 12 June 2008


the edinburgh bike film festival is now in it's third year, but this was the first time that i've managed to remember it was on. good mix of stuff on show - heavy on mtb, light on worthy/overly arty crap.

opening night was track films.

battle of the bikes - obree vs boardman c. 1993.
just a minute - chris hoy's attempt at the kilo record.
standing start - a short on craig maclean.

battle of the bikes (a channel 4 documentary (remember when they did them?) from the makers of the high life) was new to me, a cracking insight into two characters who led the world for a while and approached the sport from very different angles. just a minute i'd caught on telly, so no surprises and although i'd also seen standing start before, it was good to see it and catch all the wee bits i'd missed the first time round.

the films were followed by a q&a sessions with obree, richard moore and the directors of two of the films.

good night out - only wish i'd had time for a beer and a chat with folks at the end. back tomorrow for more - klunkerz - and this time there's a couple of beers and a plate of filmhouse nachos with my name on them fer shure

Saturday, 7 June 2008


picked up Jacquie at her digs (at 10UTB champion Helen's hoose) in early evening for a tour of the classic west Edinburgh suburban spots. stoorie brae, cammo, stinkytip, almonds, barn ton, davie dodds, hairy bumskin woods. then tea, jaffa cakes and plaid scavenging. ace.

sorry no photos, having too much fun riding my bike.

tomorrow brings an edinburgh westside ride with JP - is Stoorie Brae the Scottish Mt Tam? hear it here first...
subject not explained/broached. but "better than marin". :)

no sleep 'til the early hours thanks to a myriad nettles. mmmm, stings like summer.

up in 7 hours to head to an gearasdan. EXCITED!

Thursday, 5 June 2008

10UTB and all that

you can catch up on my exploits at 10UTB on the velo club moulin blog. tall racing tales will be over there from now on. general crap over here.

tomorrow brings an edinburgh westside ride with JP - is Stoorie Brae the Scottish Mt Tam? hear it here first...

this weekend - more mtb, more camping, much more heckling! it's the UCI coupe de monde in an gearasdan. mucho thanks to singletrack for tix. woulda made the XC races at the bigworlds last year, but for the intervention of a kidney stone. an early morning dash to A&E in inversneck meant i not only missed goodbyes to the last of the SSWCers, but also the chance to catch an awesome event. the worst thing? pain eased off, just as we completed the 30 mile dash, so the junior doctor put pain down to constipation, rather than the 6mm(!) stone which clearly hid in the x-rays. no morphine? no thanks.