Friday, December 30, 2011

Part of the problem or part of the solution?

Is 2012 the year to stop all this?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

What's the world coming to?

I haven't been online much lately but it's obvious some people have, if only just to tell other people how much of a 'proper' cyclist they are. It seems by ignoring the festive period and riding by any means necessary you can earn 'points' for the middle-aged men, Weekend Warrior Spring classics.
Personally, I've been enjoying alcohol, food and new Peter Kay. Not been out on the bike yet but seen a few 'cross races when I had the chance;

Just found this too, which I couldn't agree with more;
How to Own a Bike

Friday, December 23, 2011

The usual

It's Christmas. For a change I'm actually all ready, presents bought, shopping done and even tidied the house for family near and far coming. Any routine get thrown out of the window at this time of year, which is why I probably was allowed to watch last night's 'cross race during tea.
Just a quick halfday at work left before the pub, and then we go home for a proper family Christmas. I have a bit of time off where riding will happen but nothing concrete planned just yet.
Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011



More Motocross Videos

...this is good and is definitely something to think about for the future.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Just to recap...

...for those at the back. This is everyday tit for tat, you owe your dealer and can't pay back. Fee. Suddenly he's the baddy, so you tell your mates you could have him anyway to look Geeez but he's a shady fuck - Beamer three series, lock stock and two fat fucks backing him up.

Had an excellent ride yesterday. Needed to be fully embrocated and double-layered all over but more than worth the hour of off-road fun it got me. In an effort to not overlook whats on my doorstep, I went to the usual spot only to find it half covered in frozen puddles. Initial investigation of the frozen landscape weren't good but then new lines and circuits became obvious, which along with the slowly defrosting ground made me re-evaluate somewhere I'd almost written off.
Euro 'cross, Christmas parties, hangovers, talking shit, Christmas shopping and another family roast dinner all made for another 'weekend' I wouldn't have any other way.

Mud makes fools of us all.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A moment too late,

beaten to the punch by Duncan but still posting it anyway.

Definitely feel like letting most of the air out of my tyres and going for a slide around the local fields will be the safest/most fun/easist way to blow off some steam tomorrow before the werk Christmas bash.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Make or break.

It's nice when a customer puts their trust in you to build them something that's right, in fact a good customer can make a bad week good again.
Done a classic Shimano on Open Pro cyclocross wheelbuild this week, more new bike builds than I can shake a stick at and a personal project going on too. While the world is going wild for 23mm wide rims, sometimes you need to go a bit bigger.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


So very tired of this repeating of opinion and lessons learned, especially at this time of year where the world and his wife seems to want to tell you their resolutions.
Today the facts are I spent the day in my hometown, Nick Craig almost won, took some photographs, talked of things I can only discuss with one person and had Yorkshire Pudding for tea.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Weekend starts here..

A pint in the Slip after work.
Home-made Mexican tea.
New batteries mean Yashica T5 is up and running.
Train tomorrow back home to see family and friends.
Bradford on Sunday for 'cross.
Hopefully roast dinner to top it all off.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Too much,

is never good.

Having too much time on your hands, means the things that really need to be done, rarely are. Thinking too much of yourself often leads to vanity and a deluded sense of self-importance. Revealing too much, either in body or mind, means you are trying to hide something or you are judged on the 'cover' not the 'contents'.

I'm fighting on a few fronts at the moment but things are tipping to my side. Recent events and the time of year are making it easier to focus on what's necessary. I'm just looking after my own, not trying to change the world or be an example for anyone else to follow.
Live your own life.

Saturday, December 03, 2011


Today I lost something close to me, Buffy was a great dog and will be very fondly remembered.
I feel like I should just find some land, surround myself with family, build a home, tinker with bikes, drink tea and ignore everything else.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A reminder to myself...

to go here next year;

I'm loving Bart Aernouts at the moment - partly because of the Rabobank connection and also for seeing his 1x10 Di2 set up at Ruddervoorde. Can't beat Pauwels' butter wouldn't melt interview technique but at the end of the day Nys is still the Boss.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Knowledge and stuff.


I respect knowledge and experience but care little for opinion. In my dealings in everyday life I come across less knowledge based on 'hands-on' experience but more and more people prepared to spread what they think or have read as their input into a particular situation. In my mind this is wrong.
For example, if you want a wheel built for a specific purpose it's best to find someone who has built A LOT of wheels before - for YEARS they will have learnt what does and does not work from experience and their advice will be clear and helpful. On the other hand, you could listen to the multitude of conflicted opinion that exists and pick out anything that you consider right. Often this is simply recommendations of a certain product that is in favour at the time but without the reasoning why it works better than anything else. If you're lucky you'd get a good set of wheels or you could end up with a mess someone else will have to fix - usually someone who knows what they're doing better than the random opinion that hindered the initial process.

That may all sound rubbish to most of you. The thing is the people with experience don't necessary shout about it, they go quietly about their business while other 'flash in the pan' merchants come and go around them. This applies to every walk of life, I use the bike world as my example because that's my world but it happens everywhere.
Back to the opening lines of this entry.....we do all start equal but it's how we behave and handle ourselves that gives us our status not an online persona with n friends.

Give it four to five years and it'll be 'Here come the Dutch':

My Sunday's are falling into a nice routine recently. They start with catching up on sleep till mid morning, breakfast and shower then down to the supermarket. When back home I have an hour or so to do some jobs then sit down watching the weekends racing live while eating dinner before some online time till Katherine gets home for tea and a relaxing evening.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I love the style of Under-23 racing. Full of attacking, no fear and usually a fair number of offs.

It's been a strange weekend so far. A good day in the shop yesterday, quiet enough to mean a couple of us had time to address some personal projects. What began as a joke has now taken a life of it's own and has gone too far not to see the light of day - already looking forward to riding next year. I have a page of scribbles, full of ideas based on changing one of my existing bikes for a slightly different use.
Today, with the day to myself, I got to watch Kevin Pauwels have back to back wins and still got my fair share of jobs done.

Rabobank are deep in the game;

Really looking forward to the return of Lars Boom in December for his usual dabble in the mud in preparation for the Classics, and then it all starts again!


Thursday, November 17, 2011


Now we know

Keep talking.

Big talk today about future plans.
More photographs.
Did some stuff - saw some things.

Had a little discussion about training partners with someone who gets paid to ride, I'm not alone in my views.
Also working in the bike trade we know too much, it's easy when you believe in the bikes you sell but there is one universal truth we're not meant to tell anyone;
'It's not about the bike'
It's not the tyres or carbon bars either. The enjoyment of the ride will mainly be based on your attitude, your comfort on the correct fit and whether you stay upright going round a wet corner is down to skill not the right rubber compound in a tyre.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011


The hardest part of a solo ride is starting. For a change this morning I got a lift with Katherine when she went to work, this meant I had to be up and out of the door with no room for hesitation. Looking at the weather it was tempting to get back in bed but my body and mind were crying out to ride.
The best thing about cycling, in my opinion, is riding. Not commuting, training or racing but riding for the sake of it. I prefer to either be in a pair or solo, any more than that and it gets messy, these days even finding one other person is difficult but then again I haven't just ridden in ages.
Today was a belter. Revisited a couple of old favourite climbs including Church Hill in Crayke before my traditional route back from Easingwold - over the scary bridge, past the posh school, cross two busy roads and then wind down back into Tad.

I'm reading one of my favourite authors at the moment. He writes about life and cycling so well by just addressing the little moments so many others overlook. It's great when you find a book you could read all in one go but decide to take it one chapter at a time to make it last.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Do we give 100% effort to anything anymore?
I'd like to say I do but having a few things going on at the same time means sharing time and effort between them all.
I hate the fact life makes you choose but there are no wrong decisions only different outcomes.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011


I'm having a hard time with Rapha at the moment but that is another story. The Continental films keep coming and mostly hit the spot.

I've always had a lot of time for Ira Ryan, in my limited dealings with him he has always come across as a good guy. I like his attention to detail here;
It all starts with one giant bag
Thinking a lot about triples, a bar bag full of sarnies and day long rides in the Yorkshire Dales at the moment.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


I listen to music.
I am more sure I found the one.
I knowingly spend too much time on the internet.
I sleep for (at least) seven hours.
I am convinced the world is getting less intelligent.
I'm glad I am patient but want a bit more motivation.
I wonder how I'd done if I'd gone into the family business.
I think too much.
I'm glad I get to be myself.
I want/need more tattoos.
I think of those who aren't here anymore.
I smile.

Monday, November 07, 2011

New things.

Could mountain biking be on the list. Maybe not while I live close to York, I like being able to just ride out of my front door too much but someday probably.

Back to it.

*I'm now a Godfather.

*My collection of race long footage from this season's Belgian campaign is growing and providing inspiration when most needed.

*Fed up to the back teeth with so much rehashing of what we all know already. I'm going to start learning new stuff and doing new things.

*Beer supplies just about right.

Friday, November 04, 2011

In no particular order.

Looking forward to the weekend.
Family celebrations.
Problem solving.
Studio headphones and my music.
Standing up for myself.
A perfect fit.
Having a laugh.
Short term goals - long term plans.
Knowing when not to be part of the crowd.
Secret beer shop.
Our big day plans.
I get custom, you're a customer.
Having contacts.
Not paid to sit at a desk all day.
Never, ever using Twitter.
Helping others get the bike they want.
"Tips and Tricks"
Inside jokes.
Not giving a fuck.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Another on the list.

Let's do this.

Monday, October 31, 2011

So very scared.

I try my best but sometimes I fall short of where I want to be. Today I failed but will do all I can to stop it happening again.

Adventure. I would love to do something like this but in a way it's also my worst nightmare.

All the trick 'n treater's have gone away and I still have half a bowl of marshmellows, oh well time to fire up the gas hob.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Floor it.

When I was finialising my plans for the trip to Belgium, it was important to get the right people on board and to find a date when we were all available. It came down to two weekends in October, both of which had Superprestige races happening on the Sunday. In the end we went earlier rather than later, this weekend was the other option manly because of the race in Zonhoven. Having just finished watching today's race it's obvious it would have been a cracker to be at but I have no regrets only ambition to be back there as soon as possible. The course is unusual, as it seems to be located in a huge sandpit. The action usually centres around a very steep sand descent that claims it's fair share of riders who are unlucky enough to come unstuck. Bart Aernouts came off the worst today but still finished the race, which was won by Niels Albert who rode away from everyone on lap one never to be seen again.

This is simply insane;

Had another chilled out Sunday, even got some D.I.Y completed, when it comes to home-improvement I'd rather get someone who knows what they're doing but I can now add minor electrics to my lists of can do's.
Tomorrow I have another list of things to do but out and about not at home. Hopefully it includes a minor improvement to one of my bikes.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Recap, for those at the back.

Back to emo.

Who knows when it starts but sooner or later we all change ourselves to fit into the situation our lives have become, simply to make it all more bearable or to forget the truth we don't want to accept.
The other night I had a proper 'monk on', it wasn't a particularly bad day but just something had a left a bad taste. It took some thinking and blasting music from my past to remind me of a couple of important facts, especially as I was also told today;
"Any day you wake up can't be that bad."
There are more important things in life than petty worries about materialistic bullshit.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


A cool insight into the effect of mileage on different riders.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Take me here now.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Here are a few things I've been thinking or doing over the last couple of days;

Half thought I might be coming down with something because I've been so exhausted after work but then sleeping for 12 hours last night seems to have done the trick.
Didn't race today because I couldn't get myself there. Trying to think long term when it comes to racing without getting ahead of myself, now just want to keep off road skills going and mindset ready for a few more efforts before the season changes again.
Have been riding my hack to work. The Bob Jackson is in the spare room for the Winter, the Speedster is in Audax mode and playing about with the idea of a massive mod to the 'cross bike.
It's our first day off together in a while tomorrow, one objective is to look at suits. I want to look like it belongs on me rather than a monkey kicked through Top Shop.
Shot a roll of film in my beloved OM-1 today, all at F1.8. Going back to playing with depth of field and doing stuff that makes me happy.
Watched today's World Cup race whilst eating home-made guacamole and drinking one of those famous Belgian beers. The best thing was all the highlights of the Junior and U23 races - those kids just go right from the gun and don't look back.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Just following orders.

I've just read these words; Anyone can be cool - being awesome takes practice. I personally couldn't agree more, it's never been easier to align yourself with the latest trend without ever understanding it and this can lead to once obscure interests becoming 'watered down' to better fit in with the mainstream world.
A great example is bands who start small then get big. I have a friend who thinks the first album from any band is the best and all others after aren't worth listening to, I'm not so sure on that one but I love bands who did a few albums etc but then split or just don't exist anymore. This means they can't spoil what made them great for me in the first place. One in particular that springs to mind is "Small Brown Bike", they can do no wrong because they're not around anymore. Their music will always mean something to me I can't really explain - it's the sort of stuff I listen to now when I've had a day where all I wanted to do was swear at folk but shut my mouth instead.
I can come up with so many bands that have gone the other way but there's no use being negative all the time.

The first Condor bikes arriving in the shop.
Knowing people on the inside.
Tips on DVD quality footage.
Maybe planning another trip sooner than I thought.
Genuine people.

Getting dicked around.
Seeing what I love to do change.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

What actually matters.

I could write about meeting the great Freddy Maertens, the swag I brought back from Belgium, future bike plans or the big-ring riding I did this weekend but at the moment the thing I'm most proud of is last night I was asked to be a Godparent to the youngest member of my family.
That is all.


Friday, October 14, 2011

True story.

Today I changed a rear inner tube on a Pinarello BMX and then straight away another inner tube on a Time RXRS Ulteam road bike - the first weighed probably twice that of the Time although by the owners description of the road bike it has some faults - it rattles your teeth out under 20mph and after a 140 mile ride last week it left him limp.

What goes up must come down

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen

Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen

Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen

Centrum Ronde van Vlaanderen


These kids could race:

We saw the start of this race but couldn't stick around without risking the ferry:

It's strange seeing the course on the screen and knowing exactly what it was like on the day, Euro courses are so much harder when you see them in the flesh.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Thursday, October 06, 2011



Now we know.

I think I know what it is now. I don't like people talking for me or like they know me without actually knowing who I am. When this happens, instead of lashing out I retire into myself and become more private. The major problem of this is I become a hermit in my own life and I don't like that. As I said to someone earlier today,
"I neither forget or forgive."
So, this weekend I'm mentally and physically out of the office.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Points mean prizes.

Yesterday morning I was questioning why I want to race my bike, then I went and did my first 'cross race of the season and remembered why.
From my point of view I had a really good race - slow start, didn't blow up half way through, picked up a couple of places each lap, only started to suffer on the last lap, had a minor mechanical on one of the very last corners when I rolled a tub but didn't panic, popped it back on and finished the race 36th out of 53 starters. The worst thing was feeling dehydrated because it was so hot but my bike handling was spot on when it needed to be. I have a few things I can learn from and improve but that's what it's all about.
This morning I got up and got out for a recovery ride, and last ride of the year, on the Bob Jackson. Caught up with a good friend and then filled in everyone at work with what happened during my race.
Now time to turn my attention else where...

Thursday, September 29, 2011


What a day. I guess another bonus of werking in the trade is 'shows', they are what you make them - granted there is a lot of same old but at the same time you can find some proper gems.

There was far too many bang tidy 'cross bikes but the future is definitely disc brakes, it may not be there now but certainly it isn't far away.

There is so much happening right now, I can't begin to think how good it will get if everything comes together. The only thing slightly missing is a few like-minded people to ride 'cross with - nothing serious but just each person helping push the others with friendly competition - maybe I should start my own gang? It would have a strict entrance exam but the main criteria would be not to be a douche.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A proper winner.

I'm not massively taken with the three peaks, I would love to ride it one day but probably not any time soon but I am a fan of Nick Craig. A down to earth attitude mixed with unbelievable skill makes him a great rider in my book. Also interesting he rode it all on one bike - just shows obsessing over equipment isn't always the answer.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Under a red sky.

It's funny how with so little effort your day can go smoothly or descend into madness. Today's activities were planned last night and with agreement for the other half, an evening 'cross training ride was penciled in. Work flowed, Red Bull consumed and just after six I rolled out the door into a warm evening.
An hour sprinting around the tracks, avoiding dog walkers and angry joggers, mainly practicing advice given to me by my betters seems to have paid off. I came away with the thought 'make the best of what you've got', I may not have the perfect place to ride on my doorstep but a little imagination goes a long way. I've always had a decent amount of power when riding off road but lacking confidence and technique means the speed isn't always there. That's slowly changing and with confidence in my equipment (even the brakes most of the time) I feel a little faster than last year.
This feeling carries over into quite a few aspects of my life at the moment and I don't always feel that way. In a way it get's easier when you don't focus too much on what's going on around you but make sure everything that matters is sorted. I'm definitely taking that attitude with a little travel arrangement currently. Transport, check. Accommodation, check. Everything else, we'll see.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Joy Division Oven Gloves.

A morning diverted by waiting for the plumber meant my all day ride plan and last outing on the Bob Jackson for this year had to be shelved.
So as usual I hit YouTube for inspiration:

Ended up with a really good out and back to some of my favourite singletrack. A couple of hours blasting through trees, avoiding dogwalkers and leaving my Grifo tread pattern in the mud. It was a great antidote from the week of work I'd just done, not stressful just jam packed, also blasting Half Man Half Buscuit helps too.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Trying to get the details right.

Thinking about the next possible new bike.
A Saturday to myself.
Being involved at work.
Chocolates brought back from Belgium.

Thinking about the next possible new bike.
Ebay time-wasters.

Rough commutes.
Not enough time in the day.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Today could have been so different. The latest round of the Yorkshire Points cyclocross series was in the village where I was born and raised, and where 80% of my family still live within 3 miles of. To say it was my home race would be putting it mildly, however I was not in a fit state to take part. I turned up not even sure why I was there, half a practice lap later I knew I wouldn't be racing. I had the lung capacity of an asthmatic budgie and no power anywhere. A real shame as it was a pretty good course, maybe not ideally suited to my lack of tech skills but would have been a good test.
The whole day has highlighted a few things for me and given me some points to work on in the near future, also raised a question I've been thinking about for a while;
Are West Yorkshire cyclists 'harder' than those from York and surrounding area?
I certainly think cyclists in York can suffer from a lack of drive and camaraderie that those from the Halifax area seem to have in bucket loads. Maybe it's just the lack of hills, it could be something deeper like the differences between the working and middle class populations or it could just be rubbish and we're all the same.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


A little bit of Friday inspiration;
Belgium the only place where they clean the roads for a bike race.
Lars Boom making it look easy.
Guy martin making you wish you had his desire and drive.
And a little bit of classic Yorkshire too.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011



Boom taking control in the ToB.
The wind is dying down on the commutes.
Beer festival time.


Major sore throat at the moment.
Still not a moments peace.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Not here or there.

Without effort everything can slowly diminish. Although when the effort feels like a battle it's probably not worth it, unless the juice is worth the squeeze. I have weeks of being all over the shop in front of me but it's all my own doing, there's been enough sat around so now we can have some action.
Ask me how it all went in November.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Go Dutch.

No idea what's being said but the footage speaks for itself;

Boom does it all right, and usually Euro to the extreme;
-He respects the lifestyle that comes with being a Pro cyclist, follows 'Le Metier' if you will.
-Always trains in matching kit and fully covered up.
-Rocked a Euro mullet shamelessly.
-Is almost the complete rider, World and Dutch champion in multi disciplines, is seen in the Classics, breakaways and a lead out man in stage races and wins a few 'cross races in the winter.
-Still a small town guy.
-Does everything with a sense of style that most people would give their right leg for.
-Di2 on every bike.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The stars of Amateur hour

I think it's about time we forget about the idea of PRO, leave it to the professionals and embrace being amateurs. No-one is getting paid to ride so forget the attitude and enjoy it.
Had a nice morning seeing how low I could go with pressure in both set of tubs. Discovered what was too low and then settled on a couple or race day settings that should do me right for every occassion. The best thing however was my gluing stood up to the test, giving me more confidence to throw the bike around.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Don't Panic

This is probably going to be one of those blog entries that rattles on a while because not only do I have some time on my hands to mull over several subjects but also I have some responsibility this weekend so am likely to be broken away from the task at hand.
Let me begin with thoughts of priorities. I think we live in a very confused time, I know money makes the world go round but as there seems to be less money around people are exploring other aspects of life. An example of this I encounter more than most because of my profession is the middle-aged man wanting to reinvent himself as a bike mechanic. I can't offer much in the way of explanation, but there are others too such as celebrity farmers and a rise of the here today, gone tomorrow 'bits and pieces' shops. I was told this week that there isn't actually less money today than in the past, it's more like those with it aren't spending or investing because there is less chance of a decent return. Personally I try to distance money from my decisions, sometimes it's impossible but most of the time it succeeds in making my life a little more enjoyable.
Back to priorities, I can see at the moment where I'm failing. I need to make sure I pay attention to the most important aspects and aren't too distracted by outside influences. I want to make sure I look after those closest to me, plan for our future and make sure we get the most out of life. If I had my way, it would be a Mediterranean way of life we followed, based on home-life, family, good food and quality rather than quantity.

Somethings I keep for the future, always planning.

For some people I would go to the edge of the world.

Almost time for tasting blood in the name of fun.
National Cyclo-Cross Championships

Over the next few days away from my usual surroundings I shall be doing a fair bit of equipment testing of my workman-like 'cross bike and wheels. There will be no reports unless of an spectacular success or failure.
In my mind if you want to make cyclocross sexier, leave the marshmellows and novelty at home and bring professionalism and hard racing.

Thinks that's enough, time to crack open one of my Dad's bottles of red wine, think about what's for tea, walk the dogs and prepare for the start of Strictly tonight.

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


There is not much more satisfying than learning and perfecting new skills. Tonight I have been mostly applying a second layer of glue on the rim and adding a first to a fresh tubular base tape, tomorrow night more glue will be added before I join the two halves together and create a bond that will see me through the season's racing.
Gluing tubs is a perfect example of a skill which seems impossible at first but when explained is very straight-forward, it just requires complete focus and attention to detail. At first I was a little messy, maybe not in total control but still got the job done. Now I'm on another level, learning from my own experiences and finding what works the best for me. There is always more to learn and I already know improvements for the future. The best part is being responsible for my own equipment, there is no blame just mistakes to learn from.

Talking of seasons I might even be around during the 'festive period' this year and get to race at Tod this year.

Todmorden Cyclocross 2011 from Maia Media on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Know where you come from.

Two hundred miles in a car solo really gives you some quality thinking time and chance to blast some tunes.

dave young. Nowhere Fast bmx video. from martin bravo on Vimeo.

This video part is responsible for so much in BMX and also introducing me to the wonders of Slayer. Reign in Blood helped keep me awake tonight, also makes a commute pass a little faster than normal.

Rocket From The Crypt, this was the first time I ever heard of them - bought the album 'Scream, Dracula Scream' the next day and haven't looked back since. Speedo is a sideburn hero too.

As powerful as any guitar music, name of the song says it all.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Keep it like a secret.

So much going on, can't even start. Lists help me function;

I'm now deep in the tubular game but actually taken a side step in a slightly different direction and am quietly confident about it paying off.

Found the best small Italian restaurant the other night, will be revisited many times.

Got my passport back in record quick time - good to leave the country for another 10 years.

A few changes at work for Winter, hopefully we get a bit more time together.

Sometimes working in a bike shop is the best job in the world, especially when you get your favourite products on clearance and TRADE!

Got a weekend of driving over 400 miles ahead of me. IPod charged and full of hardcore/punk to ensure there's no dawdling.

Assembling some Rapha themed ebay listings for the near future.

Also, this RaphaSuperCross has me slightly concerned. I loved racing at Huddersfield last year - sounds pretty nightmareish this time round.

There's more but I just don't have the time.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hooking up.

Massively inspired by Duncan; this is really what blasting through the woods should be like.

Jason Thomas: On The Frontline from Rob Mitchell on Vimeo.

Monday, August 29, 2011

My War

It's so easy to get wrapped up in the stupid shit that goes along with life. Who's doing what, what's new and how we're all into the same stuff. But really it's all a distraction.
It was refreshing to get out in the wind and blast round the Knaresborough loop yesterday morning without a care about much. The downwind section into Little Ribston was so much fun I almost turned round and did it again, at a guess it was up around 35mph or there abouts.
An afternoon BBQ stretched into the evening, full of laughing till I cried, meat, an amazing dog and telling tales round a firepit. Then it was time for the second ride of the day - a midnight trip down the A64. It's unbelievably quiet without any cars and just a tad spooky with my headlight being to only source of light around.
Today was a classic recovery Monday mostly spent listening to Black Flag and sorting stuff for Katherine's birthday. If there is one thing in life that separates the men from the boys it's the appreciation of Black Flag. It ain't exactly easy listening and the Henry Rollins era vocals actually fill me with anger - in a let's get shit done way.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Have It.


Booked it. Packed it. Fucked off.

We're no longer sitting at home waiting for moments to come to us, we're out and looking for the moment.
Ian Mckaye

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sweep the leg.

I've managed three evening rides in a row over the past three nights, each one different but with a specific goal. Yesterday was a two hour spin after work, emphasis on the spin with a healthy amount of socialness.
Tonight was an hour riding in circles around the woods, doing hill-repeats and getting more experience riding technical sections fast. Each evening has been the best time of the day, beautiful sunset and just a real peaceful end to busy day.

Not sure how I started thinking about Katate Kid, but no matter how cool the skeleton costumes they still get beat by an old Chinese dude:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Inspired by the usual youTube videos and the fact I had an hour in an otherwise busy day I managed to squeeze in a ride tonight. It never fails to amaze me how you can simply ride and everything slots into place, all the problems I'd been sorting at the computer simply solved themselves. It's as if the mind cannot cope with bullshit during the physical exertion of riding so you can look at everything with commonsense and reason.
Towards the end of my loop I discovered that the cows had my usual 'cross practice spot, which meant I had to back up and head along the river. Richard Groenendaal would have been proud, 15 solid minutes of remounts then a shake down ride on the singletrack on the way home.

You need me. I don't need you.

The quote says it all.

I was going to write a long post about a load of stuff I've been giving too much attention recently but this quote in the photo says it all.
There will always be people with similar interests to me, I just have to decide which ones to let in. Respect is a massive thing for me, on that score and a few others I am painfully old-fashioned, and like my Dad you only get one chance I don't really have much time for second chances.
We're both going to do what we want, when you change your behavior for someone else then you lose something of yourself.

I have way too much to do today to ride but this looks like an awesome way to get rid of the cobwebs, also a classic example of the PRO pain face:

and how wide are those bars?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Friday, August 19, 2011

The Weekend Warrior.

Is a cyclist, mainly found in the road genre of the sport. A funny character who is obsessed with so many niche aspects of cycling that actually riding can sometimes be a second thought.
They will always have advice and opinion, rarely their own, about equipment, training etc but dig deeper and it's easy to spot this information is not based on real-life experience. Their rides mainly are with similar minded 'mates' who ride Colnagos, Looks, Cervelos - these rides branded as social are more like a hammerfest, an ego-driven rage round the country lanes simply trying to show anyone and everyone you are fast or at least faster than them. Many now class these rides as training for Sportives. It is common to be passed by a solo weekend warrior simply without acknowledgement whilst he pedals 53x12 only for him to ease up and sit 50 yards ahead desperately trying to recover before you catch up with them.
They use the term 'suffering' to describe their rides, without exactly knowing why.
Some will be obsessed with either a country, a company or a Tour and refuse to acknowledge the existence of anything else.
They will often visit bike shops without actually buying anything but relying on the mechanics to fix any problems ill advised home maintenance has caused. Equipment choices are often based on what is PRO or what got 9/10 in CyclingPlus. Weight is always a factor. Clothing is not so easy to pin down, many wear top end gear but just as many mix and match pro team kits from throughout history. Full and bulging rear pockets are standard.
Usually neither commuters or racers, cycling is more a way of getting outside on a weekend, spending excess income and keeping up with the jones'.
They are never retired, retired weekend warriors play golf instead.
They are real cyclists and definitely should not be looked down upon, most do more mileage than average and realistically they will spend more money than most thus keeping the bike trade alive for a while longer.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Knowing you have more to learn is half the battle, being humble and accepting the lesson that's another story.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Coming together.

One of my all time favourite videos.

It feels good to get a little more responsibility thrown my way and everything work out ok. Take a deep breath and stay in the moment, must remember to do that more.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Strange times.

Think I may have been more tired than I thought, as I almost slept for 12 hours last night, which also meant the riding I wanted to do would have to be in the afternoon not morning. I left on my 'cross bike for what turned out to be a mostly on road ride, went in search of new woods but drew a blank. After somehow ending up in Boston Spa I tried the path back to Tad along the river only to end up in the middle of a flooded field full of angry cows. With any further trouble avoided I got home and cleaned my shoes and bike, only to start thinking about heading back out on my road bike straight away.
If anyone was watching it must have been slightly strange to witness. No more than 20 minutes after coming back home I left again on a different bike, only wanted a short loop and threw in some kind of intervals on a difficult little triangle of roads to mix things up. Best way to know you're riding hard enough? Taste blood? If yes then just continue on your way. Back home again with a little deja vu and the usual after ride routines. Now just typing this whilst watching the Swift's fly past my window against the setting sun. Mustn't grumble.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Looking in the mirror at my only opponent.

Trying to decided whether to try and ride on or off road tomorrow;

At the moment there's a clear winner.

Richard Groenendaal looks resembles a bulldog that has just received bad news but I bet he's a good coach.

29-11 Gieten : Repo - Richard Groenendaal from jef cleemput on Vimeo.

And now....

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Doing it from the front.


Hard words but it sums up how I feel pretty well.
Long days at work, headwind commutes, fine rain that soaks you through, having no appetite because I'm so tired, feeling let down by people; all contribute but the worst thing, my hands. They are bloodied, stiff and cramped, suffering from split nails, papercuts and gashes across knuckles. Don't know why but this week I've ruined my hands.

I hope the sun comes back for the weekend.

Nice inspirational video, from someone who has had worse and still comes back for more:

My Friends Are Talented "Catching Up" from John Jenkins-Stark on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

The other way of doing things.

Cyclocross bootcamp Rabobank style.


More Boom.

Took the opportunity for some cx practice this afternnon inbetween the rain, bike fettling and household responsibilities.
I'm really happy with the bike apart from the ongoing battle to find the best brake pads to go with the CD finish on Open Pro's. My skills are on the dot - dismounts, remounts and carrying all spot on. The only thing missing is an area to ride which is expansive enough to work on technical bike handling. My little field has some lumps but the laps are way too short and not varied enough to simulate race course conditions. My have to think about a few options that involve driving to locations or at least a ride out and back.

Think I may have a man-crush on Lars Boom, judging by all these videos!

RIDE LIFE: RABOBANK'S LARS BOOM by broadbandsports
On the road Boom.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Get cracking.

I've ended up with free wristbands for the London-Surrey race in a couple of weeks, which is also running as a test event for the Olympic road race. At first I got a bit excited and thought they were for the actual road race next year, now all I have to do is figure out a plan to see if I can actually make it down to Box Hill on a Sunday morning.

Everyone should now be listening to 'Otis', which is the new single from the soon to be released album from Jay-Z and Kanye West, 'Watch the Throne'. It songs like both of them are back to their best.

It's funny, when you're a bike mechanic everyone seems to think you love talking about bikes when you're not at work. There is a healthy amount of truth in that but it starts to suck when people try to test your knowledge or start quizzing us over massively unimportant details. The thing is most cyclists glean so much knowledge (or just opinions) through the internet that most just want to show off how much they 'know' rather than hear the answer to yet another pointless question.

There are however some universal truths:
Always change the chain and sprockets at the same time. Don't ask why. Just do it.
There is no such thing as puncture proof.
Never use aluminum nipples, they will seize.

We don't have the best job in the world but chances are most of us enjoy our days a lot more than the average office worker.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

A mess.

Hamme : Beloften from jef cleemput on Vimeo.

Could it be. Things, people, places are all falling into place.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Monday, August 01, 2011


Plans, planning, consulting calendars, juggling.....can it be done?

Almost didn't realise

it's Yorkshire Day.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


Patina; A change in appearance produced by long-standing behavior, practice, or use.

I like the sound of that.

Using possessions without fear of them aging, sounds like the best way to get value for money in my book.

Winning solo.

One day Classics are so much better than stage races, rider's tend to put everything on the line because there isn't a tomorrow.

Latest website to blow my mind.

Another imaginary bike;
2009 Look 586 Proteam frame and forks.
Decked out in Shimano Ultegra Di2 or Campagnolo Super Record 11.
Either way with gold Hope hubs with black H Plus Son SL42 rims and silver Phil Wood spokes.
3T bars, stem and post topped with a black SLR.

This one is definitely never going to see the light of day, seeing as even though the frame is reduced at one of our suppliers it still costs more trade than my cross bike did at full retail.

Finally found a tiny but amazingly fun stretch of singletrack right next to where I live. Blasted through it a few times on the may home tonight and it put a massive smile on my face.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Ignorance is Bliss

What's better;
Being the person who has everything dialled. Smooothed with all aspects of life, a problem solver who sorts out the little annoyances life throws up.
Being the person who knows life is full of problems and it's how you deal with them that counts. Knowing you can't always win but making the best of every situation.
Answers on a postcard.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


I kind of want to be a bit more 'under the radar' about this years cyclocross season. As August approaches I have planned to bias my riding a bit more towards the 'cross bike so my skills are sharp, I'm keeping the one bike idea but using tubs for the first time off-road. Probably one set of Dry and then glue a set of Mud's as the weather turns. I got a bit ahead of myself last year and hopefully I can learn from my mistakes, ride most of the race's in the Yorkshire series and have fun too.
Here are a selection of videos for inspiration.

Well shot and from the U.S;

Saturday Morning, USGP from jamie kripke on Vimeo.


Cyclo-cross Worldcup Aigle 2010 from on Vimeo.

A weird one but with loads of 'behind the scenes' footage before the race starts;

Cyclocross World Cup Kalmthout Women, featuring Katie Compton from Kiwivelo on Vimeo.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Still don't have a moments peace.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Strung out.

Big ring ride this morning.
Scrambled eggs and Yorkshire Tea as recovery.
House-keeping and TdF this afternoon.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Imaginary Bike of the Day;

Custom steel* frame - double oversize Reynolds 853 tubing, crit racing angles with a forward sloping toptube of half an inch. Colour TBC.
Straight carbon forks, Campagnolo Record groupset (10 speed definitely not 11), mainly for the old style levers set high on the bars. 52-42 chainrings with a 11-21 cassette. Dura Ace 7800 cranks, Chris King BB and headset. Alloy bars, stem and seatpost from PRO. Speedplay pedals.
Custom wheels - Hope hubs, silver Phil Wood spokes to carbon rims at least 80mm deep and probably tubs, which would have to be Vittoria.
Finishing touches - double white bar tape and white Concor saddle.
*Could also substitute Ti for frame instead of steel.

A pointless exercise but we can dream.

This shop looks funny to work at;

21st Avenue Bicycles - Shop Tour Trailer from James Wilson on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Back in the real world.

It's a continual battle against 'Too Much Information'. The internet provides an endless amount of information and sometimes it feels like I'm swimming against a tide rubbish, whilst trying not be a part of it. For my part, I am too curious occasionally and get lost in different tumblr/blogs when I find new or interesting people. Although overwhelmingly I return to the need to talk to real people instead of web-based living, I believe someone can not be your friend if you have never met them, no matter what Facebook would have you believe.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011


I wish...

-I could talk to people who aren't here anymore. One person in particular would be able to set me straight.
-I didn't care so much about stupid little things.
-Other people didn't effect me so much.

I need...

-To live in the present. My present, not the future or anyone else's.
-To hurt to get stronger.
-To be able to forget.
-To remember who I am and be proud.

I want...

-To be a hermit amongst my own little group of friends.
-To wear a shirt and tie more.
-To be in Italy.

Friday, July 08, 2011

A moments peace.

Finally getting to ease off for a short while. Forget about work, about being a cyclist, and a host of other stuff and just be ourselves with no pressure for a few days.

Monday, July 04, 2011


Like shit to a blanket.
Tubular gluing was a success. I've been surprised at the reaction towards the process, a little bit of effort goes a long way sometimes.

With a domestic race scene like this, it make's English racing seem more in the darkages than ever.

Also creative use of the pavement and any available half decent road surface.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

All in a day's work.

Finished tub gluing and spoked a new set of road wheels.

Saturday, July 02, 2011


Had a good long day on the bike today. Felt good to not have decide the route for a change, although the climb of Acklam Mast has never been high on my list it was great to do a long and varied climb.

Also, checked a few things off my to do list;
* Two wheel drift on a sandy downhill corner.
* A blast down 'freewheel' hill, made it past the sign but not to the junction.
* Big ring mashing.
* Drinking warm, flat coke out of second water bottle.
* Hang out with an old boy who bought his first racing bike 60 years ago.

Plus relearnt that not everyone in a cycling club is an idiot and not everyone who's not in a club is the best thing since sliced bread.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


A friend and new Dad came into the shop yesterday and gave us the best description of how becoming a Dad changes you;

"You cry in front of people you know"

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Talking and saying nowt.

July is shaping up to be a funny month. It's TdF time so road bike sales go crazy at work, which equals being busy and not having a moments peace. Also we're taking a few days off with friends and then revisiting my farming roots at the Great Yorkshire Show.

I've been getting a bit pent up in the last few days because of things completely out of my control not going how I'd imagined, if it continues goodness knows where it will lead to. So I think it's time to shut my mouth and do what's right for me. It'll probably be slightly quieter on here but you can't have anything.

Monday, June 27, 2011

You know when..

..that sudden flash of anger rises up and the plate or cup in front of you begs to be thrown at the nearest wall. I can only think of the mess it'd make if I did it. One day it might happen.

In a 'tub update' first layer of glue is on the rims, spending my lunchtime working as usual.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In My Opinion

Philippe Gilbert has secured his position as a legend.
Four hours solo on the bike in the sun makes for a pretty good Sunday.
Assos make the best cycling shorts.
Cycling has too many 'joiners' - people who flit between clubs/teams with no loyalty.
Me and my Dad talk exactly the same.
I can be a bit of a bugger sometimes.
The new Ultegra Di2 is going to be the next big thing.
Twitter should just disappear.

Remember opinions are like arseholes - everyone's got one.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


I think Beloften must mean 'Under-23', these race's are pretty entertaining, the skills are less polished and often there's not a solo away to victory more of a dog fight till the line.
With the tub gluing already started I think the 'cross bike has to start coming out of the shed a bit more, I want to make sure my skills and fitness don't let me down this year. No more DNF's.

York Cycle Show this weekend and I've already been and got my bargains. Although each year the worst kept secret gets a little better known and the price's rise. I'm talking about the ex-display Assos dealer. This year I walked away with a pair of S5 Mille shorts and a pair of Early Winter gloves, also a windproof Pinarello team jacket for commuting because I can't see the headwinds stopping any time soon.
Met a few familiar faces as always, heard stories good and bad but life goes on regardless.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

100% wet.

Is how I arrived home tonight. I could go on about how it was typical Belgian weather and it evoked feelings of the Classics but in reality it was just typical shit English Summer weather and I had to commute by bike. Nothing romantic or special just a necessity. I'm glad I rode though, it would have been easy to get a lift but after all we're not made of sugar and rain never hurt anyone, right? I was a tad unlucky to pick up a flat tyre just as I was almost home but as it was on the front I made the executive decision to ride it out, rather than freeze by the road, fumbling with already numb fingers. It went ok, as long as I kept the bike in a straight line and kept all my weight way over the back wheel, almost on the verge of a wheelie!

It was a completely different story last night over in Otley thanks goodness. A beautiful evening for maybe the best year of racing I've witnessed there. It's always nice to check in with some familiar faces both old and new, and the course usually singles out a deserved winner. I shot a roll of black and white film too, so looking forward to seeing the results and reliving some memories when I get that developed.

Now time to change a tube and give the bike a wipe down and oil.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Fast kids...

...and a soothing Belgian accent.

Intelligent use of time.

I seem to have crammed a lot in to my two days off this week. A little 'get off my land...' incident, family visits, a haircut and a bit more.
Today was a decent road ride, steady away with a cafe stop on roads which I really enjoy riding. As the saying goes, I had good sensations for a change. My legs kept going when I asked them for more, although spinning out in a big gear made me hungry to get my fixed gear back on the road.
As we arrived in the cafe a few old boys from Otley CC were leaving, part of their conversation involved describing a typical Yorkshireman, according to them we're all "Scottish but with the generousity squeezed out".

Monday, June 20, 2011

You've got to have adventures.

But the key thing to the whole 'adventure' deal is coming home alive to tell the tale. A morning exploring is never a morning wasted.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Corner. Straight. Repeat.

I've been staggered at just how boring the Halfords Tour series has been when I've caught it on itv4 over the past few weeks. I suppose it's the curse of crit racing or perhaps it's the fact the coverage never seems to leave the top 5 guys on the road. What's wrong with highlighting some of the rider's turning themselves inside out just to hang on to the tail of the bunch? Sadly I reckon most people watching are only watching for the riders to crash, instead of understanding the level of fitness it takes to be part of racing.
One moment I will remember forever is riding out to watch the Tour of Britain finish in Dalby forest. I was positioned three-quarters up the final climb just before the finishing straight to get maximum viewing time. The leaders flew by, Di Luca in the big ring while fully looking over his shoulder. Then the midpack finishers sprinting to hold wheels fighting with all they had for an anominous position. Finally the backmarkers. Dead last was David Miller, looking like death, in bottom gear and just grinding the pedals to the line. It was only later I read that he hadn't slept the night before due to food poisoning and had thrown up everything he had tried to eat during the day's long stage. I had a new respect for cyclists that day and the demands we all put our body through in the name of enjoyment and fulfillment.

Call me suspicious but with the advent of Rapha seemingly getting a lot more interested in Audax riding lately, I'm calling it out as the next 'newest - biggest - reinvented - marketing hyped' aspect of cycling, the same as cyclocross was a couple of years ago.
Here's a type of riding I've been doing a lot of lately, usually into a headwind all the way home. This is SF style commuting:

I'm werking the weekend, let's hope there's something to talk about Monday.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Had a cracking ride today, the kind of ride where you fall in love with cycling again. Did some stuff, saw some things, found new roads and a had lovely coffee by the river. Unfortunately, as normally happens when I go out in the sun, I got burnt. Today's example is pretty bad even by my standards.

Monday, June 13, 2011


It feels like time to do another ride where I just set off with only a loose plan of route/destination.

Also weighing up options of building a fresh set of wheels to go in the Bob Jackson, possibly something a little out of the ordinary but still handbuilt and definitely not carbon.

Had a good chat with a mate this morning, a drive with the windows down and the music pumping, now time for a bit of housework and then go pick the other half up from werk.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Too many ........ not enough ......

When I'm home alone I have no motivation. To be fair it's never been my strong point, the best example was my revision technique for exams. Pretty much left till the last possible point before it was too late, almost as if the invisible gun at my head focuses my concentration better than anything else.
Now I don't really have anything to prepare for it's the nagging feeling of not making the most of my time, which gets to me the most but instead of being motivating it usually just gets me down and means I'm even less likely to do anything useful.

I actually needed a day of doing sweet f*** all though, after last weekends activities and then a week at work where I didn't have a moments peace. Also the quiet time means I can get a little plan together so stuff gets done in the near future.
One of the things on the top of the list is gluing my first set of cyclocross tubs on this week. I finished the wheelbuild last week and although I'm not a 'weight-weenie' I was satisfied with the final weight of just under 1.5kg for a handbuilt 32 spoke wheelset. Especially satisfying, to a Yorkshireman, is how much they cost me. With careful ebay selections and a few swaps they work out dirt cheap, considering its a Hope Ti-glide rear and brand new Mavic Reflex rims.

They fit perfectly with a little personal ambition I've been harbouring lately, which is to only own things that are high quality but not flashy and not getting precious over material pocessions. Such as having Centaur on my road bike instead of Super Record or sticking with 105 on my 'cross bike because I don't want the fear of damaging overly expensive parts to be in my mind whilst racing.
I think it's called punching your weight.

Thursday, June 09, 2011


At the moment my fascination with human behaviour has gone up a level. With increasing methods of exposure, such as Twitter etc, anyone can tell the whole world exactly what they've done or are doing. In my mind this raises the question at which point does the old saying of 'too much information' come into play.
I know a lad that is quiet as you like, very unassuming but when you get him talking it quickly becomes apparent he's done a lot of stuff in his short life. He doesn't shout about it or bore us with stories from the past but when you get him in a conversation it's pure entertainment. And that is the problem with most social media from my point of view, there's no conversation just endless statements to be interpreted however the viewer wishes.
I'll get off my soapbox now.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The agricultural way.

What a weekend. Today I held baby Issac Hugh Ryder for the first time, nevermind Katherine getting broody - it was me that was getting carried away. Although at the moment sometimes we can barely look after ourselves nevermind another life and we're already living in sin, having a bay outside of wedlock would just be a step too far!
It was a nice change to have different topics of conversation, including farming, Yorkshire dialect, whether babies dream of big boobs, the TT and many other non-cycling issues.

Anywho, to dive straight back in to full Euro-mode;

Just found this video from, in my opinion, the best Classic of this year;

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Taking the batteries out of the remote.

It feels like I've been cheating the past few days. I managed a two hour ride after work on Thursday, which felt like I'd had a day off then a pint after work and lovely homecooked meal afterwards made the week come to a close the right way.
This weekend we have a family wedding, my Grandma's birthday and visiting the newest addition to my rather large family.
No drama or plans or work.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A bit of pride.

On tonight's ride I glanced over my shoulder to see the group perfectly lined out behind me, all leaning in sweeping around the mini-roundabout and it felt good to see progression in the riders around me. As for myself, I had less than nothing in my legs after kneeling all day in the backyard painting the walls yesterday, so I did what you have to do, go to the front and suffer at a level you can handle and make everyone else feel the same.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Couldn't resist.

Duncan is making me more and more interested in this Supermoto lark, here are a couple of cracking videos;

Fred GUERIN - Spring 2011 by -TribalT-

Championnat de France Supermotard 2010 -... by -TribalT-

It's always the French that seem to be up some crazy shit.


I did a funny ride yesterday evening that has left me with a few thoughts swimming round my head.

Firstly the categorisation that is happening in cycling is barmy, it reminds me of music genres - stupid titles given to the slightest difference to create another market to sell to. We did an off road ride at Dalby, two on mountain bikes and myself on my cross bike and we each faced challenges and had fun in different ways on the same ride. Whether it was me attacking each climb because I didn't have a low enough gear to spin up it or watching Alastair bombing down descents I had to run because of my lack of skill. We were all just riding. Full stop.
The same applies in my mind to the craze of off road riding on road bikes, be it bridlepaths, gravel or old coach roads. It doesn't need a name and to be placed in a genre for manufacturers to rehash old ideas and spin out 'original' new products. That aspect of cycling personally reminds me of 'Green Laning', which is basically driving 4x4's down unsurfaced tracks or forest tracks and enjoying the countryside, almost the audax of the 4x4 world I guess. One thing it is definitely not is cyclocross. 'Cross has to be raced, you can use a cross bike for a multitude of different rides but racing is a whole other ball game.

On a related note, it seems that riding generally slows down this time of year as riders who are tired after a full Spring rest up before Summer and some stop almost entirely when family duties take over.
It's a time for plans to be hatched and one of my all time favourite things to do is bullshit plan making with people, where we're all dreaming and not even considering reality. This weekend was a classic - a week long riding trip to northern Italy. One bag and a bike, days spent in the saddle, evenings spent eating, drinking and sleeping. But it is what it is probably a dream. To do it solo might be possible, but the organisation it requires to get two or four lives full of responsibility to match up long enough to make a window of opportunity is mind boggling. Hell it takes a week to get a trip to Dalby to happen and even then half of us don't even turn up!

So, my recovery Monday has actually been complete rest so far. The most effort has been making beans'n'toast for my dinner but maybe the washing up will require more will power or at least another cup of tea first.
Who knows the sun might even come out again when the rain goes away and we can all get our guns out.
Get ur Guns out

Saturday, May 28, 2011

You only get what you give.

A what point does expressing what you want to do become being selfish, also how do you tell a man who is half your age again to stop acting like a kid?

As the Giro comes to a close in Italy, I've been enjoying watching the Tour of Belgium on my lunch break. Today was great with Gilbert winning and seeing cyclocross stars in the thick of the action, like Niels Albert in the break.

I was going to write a lot more but I forget sometimes.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Monday, May 23, 2011

I met a man today..

He was a bike racer that knew when it was the right time to stop.
He had been a photographer for Cycling Weekly during the 60's and 70's.
He was a Colnago owner.
He lives in Spain but travels Europe in a campervan for seven months of the year.
He and his wife are Masters World Champions at cross country skiing.
He uses a Leica.
He was at the 1980 Paris-Roubaix.
He was at every Classic this year (and is a Gilbert fan).
He knows Francesco Moser.

Does it get any better? and he was a really nice guy too.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Print. Wash. Repeat.

Had a pretty awesome day today. Firstly, Katherine had bought me a darkroom printing session for my birthday, so this morning we had a few hours printing old negatives and revisiting old memories. Including this gem;

Condor Cross, Yorkshire Points Round 6

I was a little nervous that I would have forgotton everything but a quick run through of the DeVere enlarger and I was away. In a few hours I knocked out a couple of small cycling prints for the wall at work and a few large scale enlargements from our holiday in Italy to frame for the bedroom wall.
Then we had a little day trip, lunch and a visit to Castle Howard followed by a drive over to Whitby, for a walk on Sandsend beach then a chippy tea.

More derny action;


One thing about the PRO look that is completely unobtainable to the average cyclist is the skeletal gaunt look of a rider in form. You can keep the full carbon bike and Di2 it's about what's in your legs and your head.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


I would pay a lot of money for one of these.

Step by step.

This week has been about checking things off an invisible 'to do list', almost got the end. Possibly heading up to Dalby tomorrow night to watch some Pro MTBer's race round the streets of Pickering, although there is a strong chance that I might just come home and sleep.

There is also an interesting day coming up this Saturday, more details after it's been and gone but it could involve revisiting some past activities and probably this photo;

Tour Of Britian 2008

In equally happy news my immediate family has increased by one after my cousin gave birth to a little baby boy. Another one to invite to the wedding then.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And again.

Just back from watching TT3D again for the second time, honestly I could watch it everyday. It's amazingly inspirational but not really from a 'let's go ride motorbikes fast' point of view, instead I get the feeling I can do anything if I put my mind to it.
Let's see if I can.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Beer and Curry.

Spending the day at work on my birthday was fine, especially because I was looking forward to a couple of swift shandies and a bhuna afterwards.
There was a lot of talk of motorbikes, and now I come back and see Duncan's latest video he's posted;

Personally would love a crack on a 'crosser or have a everyday run-around such as an old school Italian style Vespa or Piaggio. Not for a while though...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Stop to think, and it'll never be the Jackie Chan scene it could've been.

Motorbikes and slow-mo.

The french way of doing cyclocross.

It's good to see friends and people I like doing well and enjoying life. Last night was a homemade Mexican meal, a bit of swapping and selling of bits that aren't being used, some banter today and thoughts turning towards my birthday in a couple of days.
I'm trying to make all my actions be centred in confidence rather than doubt, making everything happen smoothly so energy can be saved for the better things in life. This week's events bring back the idea of living life to the full, making sure time is well spent. To that end I'm heading back home tonight for time with my family, then battling the elements with a off road ride tomorrow.
Now time for a lovely cup of tea.

Still have a secret crush on the simplicity of track bikes.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Something good from Italy.

Tuscany looks like a place I could spend a lot of time.

L'EROICA (english version) from Edouardi Sepulchro on Vimeo.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Not Good.

RIP Wouter Weylandt. Death shouldn't be part of cycle racing, but unfortunately it's part of life.


All clean again.

White bikes need a lot of work.

Dressed like a Victorian at a swimming pool.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Race report.

Today was my only proper scheduled road race. It went pretty much how I'd expected, dropped somewhere around the mid point as the serious riders took over and the already 25mph average speed went up another notch.
I had some demons I had to lay to rest though, so I carried on and kept the bunch in sight for another half a lap before they disappeared round the lanes. Satisfied I'd done my best I pulled over at the finish line and watched the now splintered bunch come through, surprising how slow they looked when you're not the one hanging on to the last wheel for grim death.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Fail better.

2011 Tour of California — Stage 4 from RAPHA on Vimeo.

I haven't been that into what Rapha have been doing lately, but the Continental project videos that have just been released rekindled something. The word fun is mentioned a lot, while the 'advertising' vibe has been dropped in favour of a bit more of a documentary feel.
Full sleeve tattoo's look sick too.

There's a knack to finding people who are enjoyable to ride next to. It helps if you share the same sort of tempo/speed on the flats, ego has got to be left behind, no halfwheeling - climbs are done at your own speed, yet a certain amount of competition is always good but more than anything you have to be able to share silence comfortably.

Talking is easy, listening to silence can be unbearable in the wrong situation.

I will always remember a line from a Sherlock Holmes story, as a compliment to Watson, Holmes says 'He has always been able to do silence well.'

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Doing work.

Just been quietly going about my business so far this weekend.

Have to recommend everybody to go see TT3D while they have the chance, it contains some horrific scenes but the overall feel left me full of motivation. Also enjoyed the 3D aspect, rather than being over the top it gave a HD appearance that added another layer to the beautiful Isle of Mann scenery.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Commute inspiration.

Snaked from Duncan:

Really into motorbikes these days, hopefully going to see TT3D tomorrow night too - can't wait. I really admire Guy Martin's approach to life:

Go to around 13 minutes in,
"9 times out of 10 you get it wrong around the TT and you're dead, and that's what I like."

Monday, April 25, 2011

We have to ride, yeah.

I read about this guy in Joe Parkin's first book "..Dog in a Hat". He looks exactly as I imagined he would do;
Patrick Cocquyt

Had a great weekend so far. A solo ride round Harrogate, stopping in Knaresborough on Saturday afternoon followed by a meal out at night with my Parents. Yesterday I showed Rich the secret lanes and tried not to get eaten alive by horse flies. Got back in plenty of time to see Phillip Gilbert do the triple and end the spring classics on a massive high.

Also had enough time to organise a few things to get on ebay soon. I hang on to certain pocessions far too much and one of my pet hates is having stuff for cycling and not using it, unless the sentimental value is too much.
I'm at a level now with my bikes where I don't really need anything else. Sure parts will wear out and have to be replaced, and if a set of carbon wheels tough enough to race 'cross on landed in my lap I wouldn't mind but overall I don't want anything.
The Bob Jackson is as good as it gets, my CX bike is going great and the winter bike just keeps crunching out the miles.

"It's not just hitting it with a hammer but knowing where to hit it and how hard."
Dave Yates.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The next level

Click on the video once playing to watch on Red Bull website and full screen. Amazing riding and film making.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Too much talk.

If a job's worth doing it's worth doing right, in my book it also helps if things turn out looking exactly how I pictured them at the start. It's not necessary looking good just right in my mind.

Also on a daily basis I encounter the driving force of the bike industry - the middle age man with money. Carbon road bikes are great tools in the right hands and they are incredibly easy to sell because the person who buys one will enter the shop believing there is no other option. There are very few unique carbon race frames out there, the real progression in frames I think will come in steel, inspired by the old and pushed by functionality and adaptability, not lightness.

It's often the small details that make a bike feel right. Never underestimate the power of fresh bar tape - correctly fitted. Even wrap and NO GAPS around the levers, never use the finishing tape - it never sticks etc. I have a few trade secrets too, in fact if I went on Mastermind my specialist subject would be Bar Tape and it's application.

This site covers an area I have previously stated my views about; the key to having rules though is knowing when it's ok to break them.

Tomorrow I get to forget everything and ride solo, hopefully enjoy some quiet roads, the sun on my skin and a smooth Campagnolo drivechain.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I'll put you in Hell.

MASH-SF 2007: Garrett Chow from MASH TRANSIT PRODUCTIONS on Vimeo.

All I seem to be posting is videos recently. This one reminds of walking round SF, just trying to take it all in.
Life is going on around me while I feel all I do is work, eat and sleep. A long weekend coming up hopefully means a mix of riding and home-organisation, which means I might feel a bit more grounded.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tuesday, April 19, 2011