Medway Cycle Plan and Pump Track

Velosolutions Medway
Velosolutions Medway – Exhausting!

I recently visited the Velosolutions pump track in Medway (Gillingham, Kent) and wow is it good!

This beast cost £170,000 to build and 3,300 tonnes of material! After 2 years of planning  and securing funding its, part of a £2.5m cycling investment in the area that aims to:

  • provide safe and useful facilities that will improve the cycle network in Medway
  • help people living and working in Medway to lead a healthier lifestyle
  • reduce congestion by encouraging more people to use other means of transport
  • help improve air quality
  • help to reduce social isolation by getting more people involved in cycling club activities

This is just an awesome thing for the council to be doing and a great example of what should and could be done when funding is spent well. In my opinion!

The plan included improving links with existing cycle networks and working with Sustrans, bike parking, Bikeability training etc

For full details if you are interested go here:  https://www.medway.gov.uk/info/200177/regeneration/677/medway_cycle_plan

If you just want to see the Pump Track – here’s my video:

Here are some of Velosolutions construction pictures off Instagram:

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Instagram Videos

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed I’ve started to upload some videos.

Basically I found a desktop app that allows me to post clips from my computer. This is loads of fun and hopefully means I can create some more interesting Instagram content.

Video has definitely become a focus for me this last 6 months and if I can tease some more Youtube views and subs from Instagram thats good news…

I might have to look at IG TV next

 

Buying a new bike

I’m a thinker. Maybe an over thinker? 

What I mean is especially when it comes to tech or bikes, I do a lot of procrastinating.

Mostly this is because I’m no expert.  If I’m honest with myself I don’t really know the difference between a Fox 34 and a Pike or a Shimano Zee and SRAM guide brake. And if I’m really honest with myself, would I truly actually notice the difference when I’m out riding?  Dunno, I’m a pretty average rider and would I benefit from some of the higher performance parts? Doubtful.

I will certainly notice bits that I have experience with and learn from that. So despite my comment about forks just now, I have some idea what I do/don’t want.

So how do I pick a bike?

It’s probably the same as most of you – based on a few of the following 5/6 points:

  1. Price – lets face it budget is the major controlling factor for a bike purchase. Even if you do decide to spread the cost, there’s still a decision to be made “can I afford £40 a month or £60 a month etc”
  2. What’s cool – What’s everybody riding? Do i want to ride what everybody is riding? I remember when everyone around me was BIRD mad! Cotic is popular with my locals at the moment. I bought he Whyte T130 – I don’t regret it but boy are there loads of them around!  I’d like to ride something that isn’t so popular if I can.
  3. Stick with what I know – buy the latest model from a brand you know / have or have had. I ride a whyte full sus and the 905 hardtail gets great reports. But I don’t like the colour!
  4. Steel is Real – I’m looking for a hardtail and us British riders do like a steel hardtail and i ride a steel frame right now. Steel can push the price up a little, but def moves the bike along the cool wall!
  5. Pro Influencers – I’ve been watching GMBN for the last year or and sold myself on the Scout, then since following Matt Jones and seeing the specs, the San Quentin jumped up on my list, until I saw the 4 month wait!!
  6. Round ups and reviews – MBR

So, I’m looking for a new hard tail. I set my budget to a max of £1500 and I have maybe 3 or 4 on my short list… Haven’t made a decision yet so watch this space…

If your camera doesn’t lie, you need to teach it to.

I mentioned last week that you should dust off your GoPro no matter where you ride and what you think your riding is like, and make a film. Firstly because you bought it and you might as well use it, and secondly you never know if someone will like it and give you some sort of feedback on your video or ask questions about where you are riding.

We are all Average Mountain Bikers!  That’s not meant to offend, but just to keep us all grounded and to make you feel OK!

The third reason is you CAN make your footage and riding look interesting/exciting with some simple video editing tips even if its not.

Take these two videos for instance, both compiled with basically the same clips, but both have two different vibes to them.

The top video is longish at about 7 mins, with some chilled music. Long clips, with us pedaling between locations, and even having a sit down with a cup of tea in the middle.

Its great for those that were present to relive the day to an extent, and its useful for me to use to advertise the guided rides I do in the area, that are not particularly gnarly or filled with adrenalin packed action.

The second, uses much the same clips but is shorter at just over a minute and uses faster music to convey a more action packed ride.  Nothing was sped up (other than the obvious tea and cake bit),  I also cut out much of the pedaling, cut faster and shorter clips together and suddenly you have a much more exciting video that might have some wider appeal.

What do you think?

Which ride would you have preferred to have gone on?

 

Where does your GoPro footage go to die?

Sometimes a blog post or a video strikes a chord, makes you (my subscribers) sit up and take notice and what starts as me simply looking to make some content turns out to be something that people actually take some notice of.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t say, or video stuff just for the sake of it; everything I say or write is something I mean or believe in.  And the subject of wasted GoPro footage does bug me.

It doesn’t keep me up at night. And I don’t walk around worrying about it rotting on a microSD card in your back pack or anything, I just think why bother if you are not going to use it?

At the very least you’ve likely paid £150 for your GoPro (maybe £400!). You’ve probably stressed about charging the batteries, sorting out where you are going to mount it on your body or your helmet.  On the day of the ride you’ve probably taken the time to ask your mates, is the red light on? You’ve cursed when you pinned your fave section of trail and not pressed record.

And then you’ve got home, cleaned our bike, had a shower, had a meal, gone to bed, got up for work and its forgotten..

The first thing I do is download my footage and the second is shower, third eat and then its review and hopefully edit and upload. Eventually I go to bed!


The other reason behind this video was not just to tell you that you have wasted your money buying the camera, but was to also tell you that you should put it out there as people watch stuff of all sorts of quality and all sort of trails.  And ordinary mountain bikers make up the majority of mountain bikers and I think they want to see other normal guys riding trails like they will ride trails…

Just be honest and true and put it out there…  My mate Darren made this video (ok 9 years ago) and its had over 18000 views!