Wednesday, October 27, 2004


Bike in hospital for a check up

With winter fast approaching I decided my bike needed a bit of TLC. I usually use BIKE in Bristol where I bought it but you currently wait weeks for a slot for even a cursory look. They have also been promising to source some replacement bushings for my rear shock for months and every time I call they know nothing about my previous call; a pain to say the least.

So last week I contacted Bad Ass Bikes just south of Bristol and they were very helpful so this morning I left my trusty steed in their care. Cool workshop with views right out over Chew Magna and the surrounding countryside. He reckons I should chuck some Hope Minis on instead of the Magura Julie disks I've got at the moment. When I've £200 with nowhere to go I think Ill do it. I find the Julies rub like mad when they get hot so it would be good to change.

Just organising with Ben for a decent ride this weekend so looking forward to a good thrash.

Monday, October 18, 2004


Flying chick

At last it has happened, after 2 years of solid riding I managed to coax my better half (C) out on a mountain bike! Once a quick trip to Halfords and some arguements over colour, style and other such vital elements when buying a helmet were over we returned home and I eyed the slippery, muddy trails off to the left of the road with some concern.

A VERY kind friend lent her £1500 worth of Kona, staggering considering she hasn't ridden since she was a girl(not long ago honestly!) and soon she was preparing to dive into some very slippery, rocky woods.

I'm proud to say that she did very well for her first time; following some puffing up the first hill, which is fairly hard going, we got into the hard stuff and she quickly realised how slippery, slippery roots can be. 15 minutes of mud and one 'off' and we were out and on our way home.

I think she actually enjoyed it, perhaps a bike for a present? Or give her my bike and invest in a new Whyte? Or..., ok getting carried away. Hopefully she will come out again although some nice dry woods I think would give a better impression.

Technical stuff aside, being out with a flying chick is always good for the street cred!

Monday, October 11, 2004


On a charge

Great outing yesterday. Sun was out which was a great start although my garden was a bit wet and muddy demonstrating that the woods would be hard going.

Ben arrived and we discovered a punture in his front, amazingly it was his original inner tube and the bike is almost 2 years old. Quick trip down to Halfords and all was solved. I have had a bit of movement in my headset the last few weeks and to my amazement following the instructions in 'Zeds' Bike maintenance book managed to solve the problem with nothing more than an Allen key. Yay me!

Needing to be at my parents for tea (Mum is Queen of the roast dinner!) left us with only about 1 1/2 hours which was a bit of a pain so we thought we would go find the end to a new route we started in Leigh Woods. For some reason, even though I'd gone out feeling a bit crappy, I was on a complete charge, busting through the initial singletrack like a man possessed. I was in a 'why go around obstacles when you can hit them head on' frame of mind. It was pretty dry but I was hitting the mud patches and big puddles hard and getting covered.

Needless to say I've been dormant for 2 weeks and within 40 minutes I was puffing like a smoker having throughly overdone it; glad I wasnt doing a days cycling! Ben wanted to ride the 'The Snake', probably the most dangerous bit of riding in those woods. It's so named for its staggeringly steep switchbacks and a top part that can bite. 2 Broken ribs and some nasty puncture wounds has led me to promise my wife that I'll only ride it with body armour on. (She is very supportive of my riding, so it s small price to pay!) Ben rode it clean and we met at the top of the hill.

We fired up some track we had only done once which was superb and linked up with the new trail, a technical track which was very muddy and left us down on the cycle path near the River Avon.

On the climb back up we met some extremely dodgy looking lads with a mountain board who looked like they had just 'borrowed' it from some kid who was probably now lying in the bushes somewhere. We smiled and put on our toughest 'awrite mate, we've just been beating up walkers' voices and hoped that they didnt notice that our combined bike value would fund their Speed habit for the next 3 months. Right on cue one of the lads fell off the mountain board giving us the opportunity to laugh with the other lads at the unfortunate meathead and make our escape.

Big hill back and time for a shower, day over all too soon.

In a previous post I promised to introduce you to some of the lads I bike with. Can't be bothered today, I'll do it another time.

Monday, October 04, 2004


Rain , rain and more rain

It's been raining here all weekend forcing us to stay home and watch pointless TV. Normally I wouldn't think twice about hitting the trails in inclement weather but Ben could not come over and I just couldn't find the 'uumph' to get wet, cold and muddy on my own. Ended up watching a DVD of CSI with the heating on. What a wimp!

I've also got a bit of a problem with my Headset; there is movement either indicating that it is loose or something has worn. I havn't serviced it in 18 months so I'm guessing that grit and stuff has worn a seal or the bearings or something. There is a good 2-3mil of movement now which is not good. The bike needs a really good service I think.

Roll on next weekend which is set to be sunny, should be a good ride as Ed is keen to go out and I can't see Ben missing 2 weeks straight.

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