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.