by shaggy

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The big T
href="http://www.trekbikes.com" target="_blank">Trek bikes

Others that help:
U.S.E. and Exposure
Bath Ales booze sponsor? Made the big time now!

My Flickr page

Some people I am lucky enough to regard as friends:

href="http://drj0nswanderings.blogspot.com" target="_blank">Dr J0n His Wanderings
href="http://www.32sixteen.com" target="_blank">Nick 32sixteen
href="http://www.singletrackworld.com" target="_blank">Chipps and Co. Singletrack
href="http://www.yesweareontheweb.com" target="_blank">The Outcast not the gay one
Rudi buy a print!
href="http://www.graveltech.com" target="_blank">Billy Spaceman and his own form of publishing empire
href="http://www.surlybikes.com" target="_blank">Surly aren't
Mud Dock re-fitted and better than ever.
href="http://www.dirtragmag.com" target="_blank">Dirt Rag mag
href="http://www.charliethebikemonger.com" target="_blank">Charley the bike monger dont ask him about the Clunker Classic...
href="http://www.tftunedshox.com" target="_blank">TFtuned Tim knows his shit
href="http://www.minx-girl.com" target="_blank">Minx girl have the nicest tops.
href="http://www.russtler.com" target="_blank">Russtler like Minx but much more hairy
Buddy Spot Brand rider and proabably confused by us brits
Swerve Brewery great beer that you cant buy,
Urban Cyclist Issue 1 out now!

Stuff I ride:
href="http://www.trekbikes.com" target="_blank">Trek 69er and XO singlespeed
href="http://www.spotbikes.com" target="_blank">Spot Brand Singlespeed, 24" Cruiser and Fixie
href="http://www.surlybikes.com" target="_blank">Surly Steamroller and a dead Cross-check :-(
href="http://www.bontrager.com" target="_blank">Bontrager Race, B1 and B29
href="http://www.bikes.com" target="_blank">Rocky Mountain Vertex
href="http://www.fisherbikes.com" target="_blank">Gary Fisher Rig
href="http://www.raleighbikes.com" target="_blank">Raleigh Track bike
href="http://www.gtbicycles.com" target="_blank">GT Xizang LE
Pashley ex-post office bike
href="http://www.dawescycles.com" target="_blank">Dawes Chipps' Tandem
Ribble 631 Road bike
Terry Dolan Pursuit bike

Did someone mention rationalisation?

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Isn't this where we came in?

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I used this picture (by Steve Makin) back in 2006 when I started this blog.
I've used it again for the start of a new one:

Daze of Tundra
4th Jul 2008, 15:12   comments (1)


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I recon I've been to each of the SSUK champs for the last eleven
years. Every one has been great. After last years event I volunteered
to host this years race, and with my name riding on it, I was keen to
make it as good as I could. However with TransScotland finishing a
week before SSUK I had my work cut out organising the final details.
I'd been trying to keep as many details quiet as possible but, suffice
to say, there was a lot going on behind the scenes. I had many very
late nights printing and laminating numbers, sorting sponsors,
answering racers emails, organising beer, buying pint glasses,
ordering t-shirts and sorting individual top caps. Thankfully, I
seemed to pull it off! We sold out in advance of the day and had 200
racers and no complaints. In both the male and female categories the
winner had a good lead but the second and third places were decided by
downing a drink on the finish line. Most people seemed to get a prize
and everyone got a personalised top-cap from U.S.E. and a pint glass.

Winners were:
1. George Budd
2. Andrew Boyd
3. Matt Page

1. Jenn Hopkins
2. Pippa
3. Julie

everyone else can either be joint 4th or last depending what you want
to tell your friends.

Big thanks to:

Paul, Mikey and everyone behind the Bristol Bike Fest.
Oli Pepper for the design work.
Andy Armstrong for the website, mailing list etc.
Ade at Howies for doing the T-shirts
Rory at U.S.E. for sorting the top-caps.
Jenn and Grant for Cheeky mailing the top-caps at the last possible moment.
Anthony and the Bristol Trail Group for maintaining the course.
All out sponsors- check the number board for the list
Matt Carr for sorting the EZ-UP and deliveries of everything.
Mel's parents for doing the bbq.
Mel for, well everything, and putting up with me throughout.

pic by Simon D Barnes
22nd Jun 2007, 00:08   comments (2)

Made in Scotland from girders

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TransScotland was great.

I did a load of reports on href="www.singletrackworld.com" target="_blank">Singletrackworld.com.

The first reports are here:
days one and two
day three
days four and five

And the last one was never put on the website. So here it is:

DAY 6:

Friday was great. I put on suntan lotion. Again. The Scottish tourist board are going to use so many pictures from this week. Everyone knew there was a Linking stage then a Special. Everyone assumed the link would be easy. Everyone was wrong. A short road section led us in to the first fireroads. On the first downhill I punctured then the bandage on my arm fell off so we stopped at an ambulance, to get it re-dressed. It seemed we were at the back of the field by this stage. We wound our way up then met Charley and Meggie and stopped for a chat, some mixed nuts and a heckle. By now this was definitely one of my best days of riding ever, despite the fact I had somehow managed to split my front brake hose, so was riding with one brake. However it kept getting better. The riding was epic, my favourite section was the long off-camber downhill to a loch, and lunch.

Several hours later we were surprised to roll in to a quiet camp site, we were third team back and it was clear that lots of people didn't make it in before the cut-off. Even after showering, washing our bikes an then going to the Hub for Lorne Sausage sandwiches and Irn-Bru the campsite was empty. Matt started to get ready for the evening's Special Stage and I went to borrow some tools from the RAF so I could replace my brake hose. They were a great help- especially considering we were some of their closest rivals! Soon my bike was back in working order. I thanked them and scurried off to fit my new Exposure lights to my bike and helmet. I owe you boys some pints.

Tonight's Special Stage was the last realistic opportunity for riders to improve their position in the field. At the start of the stage we were 2 min's down on 7th and 8mins up on 9th. Our initial goal had been to make the top ten so out plan for tonight was to take it sensibly and hold our place. If only we'd know what would happen. This was the night stage, for teams average times would count. First riders were out at 10pm, we were out at 10 past. As we went down the start ramp I let Matt lead in to the initial singletrack section as he's a bit quicker than me in really fast sections. We railed it all the way to the first fire road climb where Matt swung over and I took the front. I gapped him and led in to the next singletrack, after a while the course left the manmade trail and went on to a natural section. Unfortunately it wasn't very clear, several people moving about and misleading arrows confused me. I thought I was about to hit a burm and at the last second had to swerve off. I crashed pretty hard on to my bad arm and span both of my lights on their mounts, straight away I was up but crashed again, trying to sort my lights as I rode over roots, effectively in the dark. I ran the next section and then stopped for a few seconds to try and get my act together- I thought I was going to blow our whole race there. I think I might have been talking aloud as I told myself to chill out and get my arse in gear. It seemed to work, and off I went. Soon I spotted a rider ahead, I assumed it was my 30 second man who, as a soloist, I would not gain anything to overtake. When I got closer I realised it was one of the riders from the team in front of us- who had started several minutes up. How this would change the standings I didn't know, but, suffice to say I put the pedal back on the gas and got past him on a steep climb near the finish. I sprinted back in to the finish to a cheering crowed and Matt followed me 30 seconds or so back.

Everyone was buzzing. The course was fantastic. Then the RAF crew told us one of the teams in front of us had got lost- we'd gained at least one place! We celebrated! Jane from What Mountain Bike and Steve from Dirt turned up with beer.

We drank in the Hub bus till they kicked us out then Matt, Mikey (organiser chap), Party Boy, someone who I have forgotten and me set out home down the trail. Matt led. I followed, then Mikey. We soon lost the others. Then Mikey crashed. He was ok after we had a little bit of worry, then we hit the black run section. I got a bit lost but rode a lot considering; A, I was riding it blind. B, I was riding it in the dark. C, I was quite drunk. We got to our tents at 2ish. I think. I slept like a log.

DAY 7:

The final day started saw a great many weary riders- a lot of people seemed to have been truly broken by last night's stage. We were both in good spirits but feeling a little worse for wear after a hard weeks riding and drinking. However the morning was sunny and, as we knew the ride started with a loop of the Glentress black route, we were looking forward to some great riding. Once again Matt and I tried to keep towards the front of the pack and the initial fire road climb soon strung out the field. After a nearly crashing on the road, while doing plane impressions (don't ask), we had a quick lunch then pushed up Innerleithen's Traquair trail and rode on to Minch Moor. Once again we were treated to some fantastic views but we hardly paused as the riding was so good. The manmade trails stopped and we carried on to fast natural trails that led us to the final decent to Selkirk. Part way down we paused to say hello to some hecklers- Marty, Chris and Jac. From there it was an easy spin to the finish. We rolled in together, posed for some photos, collected our finishers jerseys and cracked open some tinnies before heading off for a well deserved shower and more food and drink. The afternoon rolled on in to evening and the party got underway. The award ceremony is a bit hazy, probably just as well as I can remember some of Matt's jokes... Everyone swapped stories until the wee hours, we all seemed to have had a great week and I'm sure many will be back for next years TransWales. We'll certainly be there.

Thanks to, in no real order:
Trek/VW, USE, Exposure lights, High5.
Zeal Optics, Matt's Eyewear Sponsors
Andy, T and Chrisy
Mel, for giving up her holiday to drive us there and back and support us
Russell "Neil from the Young Ones" Burton
Matt "Huck-to-flat" Skinner
Mikey, John and team for creating such a great event.
Tracy, Ali, Naomi
The RAF boys
The ambulance crew
The guys with the bandages
Everyone who bought us a drink
Alex and Jimmy from Mule Bar
Party Boy
Marty, Chris and Jac (sorry we had to run off!)
Jon and Trina for the Sierra Nevada

And of course Singletrack for posting my badly spelt English, with Random capitals and bad, punctuation.

To sum up: A great event, the atmosphere was fantastic. Everyone was very friendly- even in rivalry. Bevis and Pugh were really moving, their win was well deserved. We finished 7th, we had hoped to be in the top ten so we were happy with that, not bad seeing as we were the only team on Single speeds. We recon we'd have done better if the race was longer and/or harder. But that's another story. The 69er worked well and I got more familiar with it as the week went on. In a few places it really got me out of trouble! I'd prefer it to be a bit lighter, but I'll work on that. They both held up well considering- the forks need some tweaking, and my rear tyre wore out by the end of
the week, but beside my brake getting, err, broken we had no issues all week.

Highlights of the week were:

Getting to ride every day.
New kit. Lots of it.
The weather.
The night stage.
Leading the field.
The stupidly steep decent on the first day.
The broken man, who mocked us for drinking wine with dinner...
...then the look on his face after Mel pointed out that not only were we
the first team back that day, but we had done it on singlespeeds.
The photo of Party Boy, actually just Party Boy generally!
Making it to the podium. kind-of.
Having a cup of tea in The Bike Shed at Mabie, while others looked on in envy.
"Be a Tiger!"
Traditional fare (Square sausage bap and Irn-Bru) at the Hub.
The party

Pic by Matt Skinner
19th Jun 2007, 22:15   comments (1)


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-Really nicely put together.
-Paint is really nice.
-Bars are 1" higher than my Rig.
-32t chainring is being swapped for a 36t.
-Rear hub looks the same as the one on the Rig but is a lot more positive.
-Attention to detail is fantastic- 1, 2 and 3 mm spacers on the cassette
and all laser etched, wide base sprocket, chain guides. bash guard,
really nice seat clamp...
-QR is the same as the one that came with the Bontrager/Chris King
wheels- ie my favorite.
-Isis. Lets see how it lasts.
-Forks are PLUSH.
-Feels light.
-Triple split seat tube looks cool. Unnecessary?
-Drop-outs look good, esp the post mount brake.
-Swapping crownraces on a DUC is a pain.
-The handle bars are ace.

More to follow.
29th Apr 2007, 00:46   | tags:,,comments (1)


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The race bike is finally here. Looks great.More pictures at my new Flickr page.
28th Apr 2007, 15:36   | tags:,,comments (2)

Boy meets car

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Got hit by a car on Thursday.
My god that hurt.

I was lucky to walk away with no serious injurys. The bike took the brunt of it. RIP Cross-check.
28th Apr 2007, 15:28   comments (2)

Still the best bike I have ever ridden.

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But a rubbish pic.
9th Apr 2007, 02:56   comments (3)

Don't you never turn you back on a f*cking clown

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Horror movies are great. I'm a wimp but I still love 'em. Mel doesn't like them, but she's away ;-) The Devil's Rejects is on at the moment, if you read a DVD by it's cover it's the best film ever. I love the way it's shot: retro but classy. Shame my vhs copy of House of a 1000 Corpses seems to have died, cos I prefer that un. Then there's Baby, aka Sheri Moon Zombie who;

a. Is hot in a scary way.
b. Has the best name ever.

Got me thinking of the remake of Dawn Of The Dead. Not a Patch on the original, obviously, but I love the intro. At SSWC06 I had a great conversation with my freind Tory about the Cash/running blood. Fantastic start to a film and a nice moment realising we had something else in common apart from bikes. See you september fella.

(cant seem to get links to work. Perhaps soon. or use Google!)
9th Apr 2007, 01:41   comments (3)
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