Just Riding Along - the blog

  • Bike derby (single speed world champs 07)

    Some shonky photos from a dangerous midnight liaison, not as dangerous as the night club where I got a nose bleed and 2 black eyes. For those not in the know (as I wasn't) a bike derby is where you ride round and knock people off until someone's left riding. Sounds OK in concept but on concrete with lots of drunk single speeders even the local yoof just watched from the sidelines while this years bike porn was discarded to make way for the latest sparkley thing next year.

  • Fort William World Cup

    We spent a couple of days watching the 4X and DH (no not the XC, how hypocritical) and seem to have less idea of what went on than most people that weren't there - but we can tell you what line everyone took over a certain section, having spent the DH wandering around the middle of the course.
    It was a day for crashes and breakages all round with lots of scuffed riders coming down, a few flats, chains off and someone had their butt hanging out of a skin suit. Steve Peat apparently managed to have his saddle snap on the gondola on the way up. A couple of people managed to crash in front of us.

    1.Here's David Vazquez Lopez making for the dirt.
    2. Neil Donoghue surfing the mud.
    3. Dan Atherton going for a no footer.

  • Blacka moor

    Making the most of the sunshine we took a little spin around Blacka Moor, the recent cow invasion (conservation apparently) has lead it to smell more like a farmyard and given some of the new trails a bumpy surface but it was the dog poo on my front tyre and then helment that won out as the new fragrance of the day.

    here's Jon roosting for the camera in the cow free section

  • cavedale

    Not somewhere we go often, Cavedale, but it is a great descent. It starts off with a fast open grassy singletrack section before turning rocky and fast, then it stops being fast and just gets rocky. The middle section is pretty hard to ride, steep and with sharp rocks all over the place, and water running down all over the place, through a series of narrow gullies. Nice.

    This photo is from the bottom section where it goes through a kind of gully, apparently it all used to be a cave and the roof fell in or something. Anyway it all ends in Castleton which is an ideal place for a mid- or post-ride toasted teacake.

  • cheats & liars

    Predictably the Tour has descended into farce yet again, and after such a nice sunny start in London too. One by one the big names are dropping as the positive tests keep coming and it's obvious that no-one can be trusted.

    It's not even as though they are doing it in a subtle way. Rasmussen, notably dire against the clock, produced an amazing time trial in stage 13 which saw him lose only a small amount of time to the winner, Vinokourov [results on cyclingnews.com]. "You can trust me", he had said during interviews on the first rest day when asked about doping, prompting an old associate to go public about vials of cow medicine. Ras-moo-sen's defence since then has been to remind the world that he has had 14 negative doping tests in this Tour, but then of course someone in his position wouldn't be so careless as to have anything show up in tests.

    Unlike Vino that is. In a Landis-style comeback Vinokourov went from losing almost 30 minutes to the leaders on stage 14 to winning stage 15 in spectacular style. Unsurprisingly there came shortly afterwards a Landis-style announcement of a positive doping test, this time for homologous blood transfusions rather than Landis' testosterone irregularities. The "good doctor", his suspicion-laden "coach" Dr Ferrari didn't bat an eyelid though, posting on his website 53x12.com "In a breakaway for 140 km, he [Vinokourov] passed over the top of the Port de Bales with a 6 minute advantage on the yellow jersey group and lost only 30 seconds over the last 40 km, basically riding alone". Mmm hmm.

    The main thing I have got out of all this (as if I needed reminding) is that when a top pro says they are clean, they are probably lying. Maybe some aren't but they are trailing round somewhere near the back of the field like Bradley Wiggins and David Millar. It reminds me of a TV programme I saw a few years ago, when Louis Theroux hung around with some body builders for a few weeks. Even though there was a Clean Mr Universe competition, and a plain old Mr Universe competition, the non-clean competitors just couldn't bring themselves to say publicly that they doped. They used every euphemism possible but wouldn't acknowledge publicly that they were injecting all sorts and I am sure it's the same in pro cycling, they just can't bring themselves to accept what they're up to. Even when they get caught it's all still the same old "suspicious French testing lab" excuses and denials.

  • Summer?

    It's wet, it's muddy, it's rubbish outside and I haven't ridden since Sunday so I thought I'd fix the website and put up some photos we took when the weather was nice. 12th of April in fact, over at Blacka with Dave.

    And in a fit of photo-posting enthusiasm here's some more, from the week before that, up somewhere near Ladybower / Edge of insanity.

  • Urban Velo Issue 2

    Is out and ready for download, they are some cool Americans making an Urban riding fanzine, people riding in tutus etc, I never had a tutu, it probably would have got muddy if I had one so maybe it was for the best.

  • weird lightweight product of the month

    It may seem strange but there are a lot of people out there whose bike will not be complete without carbon fibre jockey wheels.

    We have been sent these by a chap in Hong Kong (or somewhere around there), they are very light, have nice bearings and we just might order some in for the shop if they survive our rigorous testing process.

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