Its not a road bike OK!

I’m not a roadie hater, or embarrassed to ride on the road on a road bike – BUT I DON’T HAVE A ROAD BIKE ALRIGHT!!!

But I do think that “they” as a breed can be a little odd.. The lyrca and brightly coloured team kits for starters!

Anyway, a few years ago I was tempted by the “dark side” as its often referred and then I discovered you get “road bikes” that you could also ride off the road!  This sounded more like me! Continue reading “Its not a road bike OK!”

My moment on the radio

Last Monday, BBC Wiltshire invited me in to talk about mountain biking and social media.  I must be the closest thing to an expert in the area!

It was a load of fun and here you can watch on YouTube or listen on Soundcloud.

If you have any comments please post them below….

Windhill: Is this bikepark for you?

When I sat down to write this post originally, I was going to debate the different types of  Blues, Reds, Blacks etc at UK bike parks and trail centres (there’s a difference), but then I thought I’d just show you a video.

However, very quickly:

A black run at Bikepark Wales will have large gaps and drops that require speed, technique and commitment.

A black trail at Coed y Brenin, while possibly a bit rocky and gnarly in places, is, IMHO more a measure of fitness.

And finally a black run at Windhill Bike Park, is mostly a hand cut trail that requires a certain level of skill, but doesn’t require masses of speed or large testicles to ride and clear large gaps.

Don’t get me wrong there are some jumps on the black trails at Windhill, but honestly you can roll through most of it.  (I do!)

Just stay clear of the Pro-Line – – – But that hopefully speaks for itself!

So here’s a short video of a bunch of us average riders riding blue, red and black runs at Windhill this weekend – nothing required clearing a gap, and the largest drop is about 2 feet high on all these trails.

This doesn’t mean you can’t get some air or jump some distance (hopefully you can see from my average efforts), it doesn’t mean that top riders can’t enjoy it (cos they do!), it just means that you can ride most of the park at your pace and enjoy it.

Northern Grip and a Stanton Demo

I’d heard of this festival when it launched a few years ago and always fancied something that looked a bit chilled and not race orientated.

We had an ok, time, the weather was great, we explored and rode the quarry trails, we demoed some bikes and drunk some beer.

Its very low key and only a few hundred people attend, camping, locals, day trippers etc which meant the evening was quite quiet. They ran out of pizza and the local ale, quite early on too, but we still ate and drank (lager yuck!)…

Some big brand bikes were available to be demoed – Stanton Bikes, Orange eBikes, Identiti etc and some small trade stalls from local dealers.

It sounds like the event is restricted by a local curfew and festival goer numbers limited, which is a shame as its a great little spot on the Lancashire/West Yorks border with some great riding. Maybe it could be much bigger and better with some promotion?

My fear is that visitor numbers (those few hundred include families, kids etc) and the effective single day of “trading” probably wont pull in much industry support. Who knows…

That said I got the impression the organisers are happy with the attendance and consider it success.

You can see the “official” event photos here –

https://www.facebook.com/northerngrip/photos/

I took the opportunity to have a go on the Stanton Switch9er FS….  Boy was it loads of fun!  Here are my first impressions!

Calnefornia to Snowdonia

Last weekend 7 of us headed from Wiltshire to North Wales for what promised to be a good weekend on the bikes.

Friday, 2 of the gang went straight to Coed y Brenin while the rest of us headed for Cadair Idris and a grueling climb in temperatures just shy of 30C.

It was hot and hard work but the views were staggering and the descent simply brilliant!

This was the second time for me and I was keen to check out a short bridleway on the return leg and its fair to say it didn’t disappoint!

Saturday saw 7 tired campers hit a muggy Penmachno at an agreed later time, that almost back fired on us!  One of the guys had a free hub issue and we didn’t leave any time to get to a bike shop on Saturday evening.

Luckily, we bumped into Tom Hutton (MTB Guiding) at Coed y Brenin who arranged to meet us Sunday morning and loan us a wheel. What a gent!

So Sunday, all of us made our way around the Dyfi Forest, around the Climach-X trail north of Machynlleth where we rode the epic final descent, but not before exploring some of the Welsh Gravity Enduro stages still widely used but not sign posted in the forest.

We had a cracking weekend and I want to get back to the Dyfi Forest ASAP..

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