Spring Clean


My full sus Giant Trance is going to the shop next week for a very thorough service and check up. Having some new bits fitted and my forks and shock are going in for a service too.

While I have just learnt a few extra tips in terms of bike DIY, I have decided to pay the extra to have it all looked over and to be in the best possible shape ready for my trip to the Alps next month.

Then the new me will take over!

I have been thumbing through some old MBUK issues today and making some notes of the sort of stuff I should be doing, when best and how to do it.

Hopefully throughout the year I will be able to document a few home performed tweaks and fixes as I learn.

I need to get my tools and lubes and greases in order and get a bike stand..

Thus far my maintenance has consisted of cleaning the bike and lubing the chain. It’s time to get a bit more serious about this mountain biking…

MB Swindon Gravity Team

MB Swindon have 2 sponsored teams competing in national events this year. The first team I am going to mention is the Gravity Team.

Gravity Enduro events are kind of new and combine the fitness of cross country riding and the technique of downhill racing. There are various types of event and each one has a mix of timed (usually the down hill parts of course) and untimed sections.

For more info on the UK race format go here – http://www.ukgravityenduro.com/race-info/event-format/

Enduro racing is not a downhill race neither is it a cross country race, its a mix of the 2, you’ll need to have riding skills + fitness for these events, the stages or timed sections are usually pointing down, but can have short climbs and flat sections also, the terrain will also vary from trail centre type to natural root and rock. After each stage there is a non timed section to your next stage, this usually involves riding uphill for some distance and varies on venue and stage.

Each round will consist of 5 timed stages on the Sunday, with open practise from 9am till 3am on Saturday, at 3.30pm on the Saturday there will be a seeding run on stage 5, this is live timed into a finish arena were the baying crowd will be cheering you on. The seeding run sorts the running order out of each category for the Sunday, slowest first with 20 second gaps between riders, it also counts towards your overall time on Sunday.

The rider in each category with the fastest overall times is the winner, we reward the top 3 in each category + the top 5 overall times of the day.

The MB Swindon 2013 Team

James Scott (Captain)
Jason Pinkney
Mike Brazier
Dion Thomas
Pete Gowland
Antonio Fiore.

MB Swindon 2013 Sponsors

Hargroves (http://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk)
Ski & Summer Morzine (http://www.skimorzine.com)
Mike Buss PT (http://www.mike-buss.com)
MucOff UK BikePark (http://www.ukbikepark.com)
Fibrax (http://www.fibrax.com/)

Website – http://www.mbswindon.co.uk/race-teams/gravity-team/

Video courtesy of my friend and race team leader James Scott – having a practice this weekend at Afan.

Change of plan


As you may recall I have been thinking of doing some bike pimping. Well that’s still the plan and the intention is still to put wider bars and a shorter stem on my Giant full sus Trance X2, but after a sketchy ride out today on my Rockhopper I have decided that mud tyres for my hard tail had to come first…

  • When you are going at about 15 mph (not very fast) and you front wheel is sliding around its a little unnerving.
  • Trying to climb a medium climb and your rear wheel is just spinning and not gripping and propelling you forward its a little frustrating.

I am not the most confident rider (I don’t mind admitting that) – I do have a fear of breaking something and I have a job that requires the use of my arms, legs and neck! So out of my comfort zone is certainly that. But yesterday was more than pushing myself over a bigger drop or going a little faster, it was about having zero control over where the bike was going while going downhill!

So tomorrow I am off to my local bike shop for some advice, add to the research I have already done and get some new tyres fitted by the weekend. However, the tyre debate is alway a tough one as everyone has thier favourite! Maxxis, Bontrager, Continental, Specialized etc Then there are the different types of tyres mud, wet, wide, narrow etc and though a tyre maybe designed for mud it might not work on my local mud!  ARGH!!!!

Had a good work out though today and then spent some time cleaning both bikes with a full set of Muc-off fluids and brushes.

I also met some local riders too and hope to meet up for regular Sunday rides.