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.