Snowdon 2017

2 years have passed since I went up and down Snowdon with my bike.  Notice I didn’t use the word “ride” or “rode” – there are large portions of the ascent that you simply cannot ride. I was not surprised to find that the climb hadn’t got any easier. Despite all the tourists, they haven’t quite put in an all weather all purpose track. Thank God!

Its brutal.

Going up is exhausting as you are pushing, pedaling or carrying your bike for nearly 2 hours and it was hot last weekend! I wont complain about the weather but it was warm…

Coming down – by the time you have regained your energy at the summit its time to descend and what a descent it is!

Fast, loose and hugely rocky…

Starting at the top of the highest peak out side of the Scottish Highlands with almost 1000m of descending ahead of you feels quite special. By making your way up the mountain under your own steam, you have just earned one of the best and gnarliest descents in the UK.

No trees grow here so you are exposed to the elements (in this case sunshine) all the way down. The surface is hard, rocky and in most places loose under the wheels!

Its a challenge of nerve and skill from top to bottom and I love it.

Go to LLanberis, obey the cycling restrictions and get your bike up the Llanberis Path.

Then enjoy what has recently been voted the best view in the UK and then pick your way down the Rangers Path.

After your ride, count the new scratches on your bike, check for missing teeth (yours or your chain ring) and go grab a beer cos you deserve it!

Karcher OC3 Portable Cleaner

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Ask yee shall receive. So I asked to be included in the Karcher product testing for a new portable cleaner from the German pressure washer manufacturer and I eventually got one!

The OC3 was launched at the London Bike Show this year with much anticipation surrounding it coming from such a well respected manufacturer; but how does it hold up?

First let me start by saying I haven’t used anything other than bucket of water or a hose pipe to clean my bikes, so I cannot compare to other portable washers on the market and this review is purely on my experience so far.

The OC3 is really small and compact. Easy to move around the bike and hold in one hand if you wish while spraying with the other.  This is partly because the tank only holds 4 litres of water which is OK, but a bit of squeeze for cleaning a bike thoroughly.

Its not a high pressure like you might expect from Karcher (and I don’t know what the other portable washers on the market deliver) but its certainly enough to get loose surface dirt and mud off.

Let some of your favourite bike cleaner soak in and it will shift a little more, but don’t expect miracles this certainly will not do the job of a good stiff brush especially if you have let some dirt dry on.

Operation is simple – one button for on and off and one nozzle with no adjustable spray settings. I can’t complain about this but I am sure some will.

Its takes a couple (3) hours to charge fully and the charge lasts plenty for you to clean a bike. Depending on how through you want to be I think the charge would be sufficient for you to clean “the worst” off two bikes before transporting them.

I’ve only used this a few times as thankfully the sun has started to shine in the UK and there has been much less bike cleaning required of late – I am sure this will come in really handy come the winter again. For now it will be used for the occasional clean of my bikes and maybe come to some use as we start to use the garden more – cleaning patio sets, BBQs etc. Updates as and when I get around to it…

My only complaint is the lack of 12v car charging adapter which is really important for a portable cleaner in my opinion.

There are plans for larger tanks, brushes and other accessories,  for more info go here on the Karcher website.

You can buy the OC3 in Halfords for £129 – http://www.halfords.com/motoring/car-cleaning/pressure-washers-hoses/karcher-oc3-portable-cleaner

 

Remember to use your British Cycling discount in Halfords!

 

Why do you need a MTB guide?

Yes I have been on a British Cycling mountain leader course. Yes I am planning on leading and am “bound to say this” but just listen for a moment…

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Not the Peak District – I haven’t been yet to take a photo.

Have you ever wanted to ride somewhere new and I don’t mean a trail centre?  Of course you have. Did you find somewhere and go ride it? What did you do?

You have a bunch of ways you can go about this and its not that hard really, is it?

So you saw some cool pictures on Instagram of something called Jacob’s Ladder. Where’s that? And the Google search begins. Peak District! That 3 hours away! Looks worth it though…

Next you search for cycling routes, the results that the world wide web presents you with are a little vague and everyone has different opinions on where you should ride – how am I going to decide?  I can’t drive 3 hours and miss out “the best trail in the Peaks”!

You remember those old MBR routes you cut out and kept for such an eventuality. This is more like it! But still they don’t seem to cover some of the bits you’ve heard about. Continue reading “Why do you need a MTB guide?”

Phase 1 – Complete

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Wave at the camera on a stick!

High on top of a mountain on the edge of the Black Mountains we all stood around checking map markings, measuring distances and trying to figure out what we would do if someone had an injury at this point.

Then we all waved at my camera of course!

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What a handsome chap

What were we doing? Well this was Day 2 of a British Cycling The Level 2 Mountain Bike Leadership Award course being run by Wye MTB. Continue reading “Phase 1 – Complete”