I’ve been Vlogging // Youtube

Don’t listen to them.  That’s what I tell myself.

Now is always a good time. That’s another saying I like.

Done is better than perfect. Not one of mine, but I like it and its my new blogging/vlogging moto.

Don’t wait until you have perfected it, just get the content out there and be yourself. Sometimes too polished and fancy can seem fake.  Sure I’m doing some intro’s, adding music etc but you have to make it a little interesting, there’s just no need to spend days making a slick edit, unless thats what people want. Mountain bike videos don’t have to be all from behind the bars or on top of your helmet.

Anyway – i might do a “guide to mountain bike vlogging” post at some point, but for now please head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe.

I’d love the support and encouragement and if you could hit the Like button and leaev comments that would be awesome!




My First 100km Ride

Ok it wasn’t on a mountain bike but it was on a cyclocross/gravel bike and was hard work in yesterday’s heat.

I didn’t have much of a plan. I’d loosely mapped out a 100km route and I had 3 main check points.

Solsbury Hill (From the Peter Gabriel song)
The Bath Two Tunnels
and getting home via the Caen Hill Locks by 9pm

Somewhere between Bath and Devizes – my bike carried 1 bottle of water, my tools and puncture kit and also my DJI Spark drone.

I set off after 1pm with a sort of plan that it would begin to cool as my ride went on rather than get hotter, and because I’d had a few beers the night before and didn’t feel like riding in the AM.

My journey took me along probably 50km of cycle paths (40km of which were rough – the Kennet and Avon tow path sounds lovely but its bumpy and rough for a 30km stretch).   And 50km or roads and paved tracks.

View of Bath from “little” Solsbury Hill – take with DJI Spark

The Bike

My bike is a Genesis CDF – a few years old, and is a steal cyclocross machine weighing around 12kg I think – haven’t weighed it. And I currently have fitted some Specialized Borough tyres – these are great for the smoother surfaces but don’t hide the bumps of the Kennet and Avon Canal tow path!


I didn’t really plan this very well and though I thought I did OK, it shows that with some better planning I would have had plenty of energy

I had a 500ml bottle on the bike and another in a bum bag, waist pack along with my snacks.  When I stopped at a corner shop these three fitted perfectly between the rack and seat post. I love a Strawberry Yazoo!

I carried 2 x 500ml bottles that I refilled in a pub, a camp site and with a bottle purchased from a shop.  So I drank around 4 litres as well as a milk shake and a bottle of coke.

Before I left I’d had some eggs for breakfast and bacon sandwich for lunch.

Food en route consisted of 3 basic cereal bars, and half a pack of Haribos.

Caen Hill Lock Flight – about 14km from home.  I’d have been home an hour earlier if I hadn’t flown the DJI Spark for these photos here and on to of Solsbury Hill.

Journey details

Distance 101.7km
Elapsed time 7 hrs 55 min
Moving time 5 hrs 57 min
Elevation 1070m
Max speed 64kmph


Whats next?

The bike needs some new brake pads, bottom bracket, cassette and chain. I’m also thinking of changing up the front chain rings to give some more climbing and less top speed if possible.

And another ride as soon as i can make the time.

The e-bikes are coming

the ebikes are coming

It looks like 2018 is going to be the year of the e-bike whether you like it or not.

Chris Smith has been tearing up Windhill Bike Park on a Cannondale Moterra for a few months. GMBN (Global Mountain Bike Network) have started a dedicated E Bike channel, Sam Pilgrim has signed to Hai Bike – whatever next?

I’m undecided on this move by Sam. I’m a big fan of his YouTube channel and I’m a fan (and owner of one) NS Bikes, so this doesn’t sit easy with me.

The general opinion is he has “sold his soul”, I’m thinking they have offered a lot of money. They have also built (or are building) a custom slopestyle / freeride bike so he can continue his “day job” on the FMB World Tour.

Whatever happens his videos will continue to entertain and I’m sure we’ll see more of him and Chris Smith shredding on the e bikes and doing some stuff no one has thought of doing with this new bike genre.

I’ll be honest this video from EMBN got me interested. I heard Steve Jones talking on the HKT Podcast about e bikes a few months ago and he sounded convincing and this video showing him and Neil on techy climbs in Alicante looked like loads of fun.


If money was no object I might consider one, however at the moment this is not for me.

Yet. Never say never, as I’ll sell my soul to Hai Bike if they come knocking on my door too!

So now what – Part II

And then theres the internet

So now what?

I don’t read a monthly magazine but I take in mountain biking information weekly, no daily! And I do this by creating my own virtual magazine from a multitude of sources mostly on line via my smart phone, TV or computer screen.

Read Part I here

The internet with free magazines and websites such as PinkBike, BikeRadar, IMB, RedBullTv, MPora, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube etc allow me to create my own content where I can chose to ignore the subjects I am not interested in (ebikes, fatbikes, downhill bikes) and concentrate on the ones I am and at no perceived (I have to pay for my internet access of course) or extra cost.

Poetry surrounds us everywhere, but putting it on paper is, alas, not so easy as looking at it.  Vincent Van Gogh

We demand so much for free these days and many find digital and electronic ways around paying for stuff that isn’t free such as movies etc via file sharing and not so legal streaming services.  Advertisers know this and they put their money where we are putting our eyes (online) and they help fund such great resources as GMBN and PinkBike, which means we now get so much more and don’t have to pay £5-10 a month for it.

Today GMBN launched a new channel proving (I think) that you have to separate the types of content for different types of users. This channel will attract a large selection of GMBN subscribers and I am sure it will attract new viewers too.

Oh and don’t forget about podcasts, I can even get my mountain bike fix on the M25 without taking my eyes off the road.

The digital space is winning and we love it cos its (mostly) free and can save our money for new bike parts!

But wait – Part III

Just go out will you!

Under the bridge
Under the bridge

Its great riding with your mates.

Banter, racing, taking photos, stopping at the cafe, motivating each other up the hill, egging each other over the drops, laughing and joking. But its also great to go out and do stuff on your own.

Your pace might be faster or slower than the group you ride with; your ideal choice of ride might be different also; or you might just like the solitude from time to time. If you are like me, with a busy family life and commitments, there are also times when your diary just doesn’t line up.

I use this time to explore and often find stuff even on my door step that’s fun, either for riding or for photos.  I love that I can do this at my pace without everyone waiting for me. It means I can change plans or direction when I want, cut the ride short or extend it without the gang having to vote on it.  I can also do silly things like talk to the camera and take endless selfies !

So the next time you miss the group ride or can go out Saturday and not Sunday, don’t sit at home being sad that they will be having fun without you – go out and have fun on your own…

Here’s two videos 6 months apart of me doing a little solo spin on my local trails.  Note the bridge in the first video….  This the same spot where I got some water and made a brew 6 months earlier in the second video.

Please Subscribe to my Youtube channel and comment on the videos – even if you don’t like them – comments and feedback are really useful!