Alloa Half Marathon – race report

Woke up at 7am and looked out the window to the most glorious weather … Bright sunshine and hardly any wind. Temp slightly fresh at 4 degrees but bound to warm up.
Had my staple breakfast of raw porridge and banana and picked up Findlay at 8am for the drive to Alloa. We arrived early and had too much time on our hands for parking, registration and in findlays case, plenty of time to regret the curry he had the night before.
Temp was still hovering around 5 degrees but I learnt my lesson running the Jedburgh half marathon when my legs were sweating for most of the run, so shorts were donned but realised I only had a vest which might be a bit chilly. Borrowed findlays spare t shirt. Which was two sizes too big but had my vest on top to keep it snug.

Course map – showing long straight where the wind was in our face.

This time I remembered to take plasters to tape over my nipples – one of the problems of being born with nipples which seem to come out under the side of my chest … Maybe I was born to breast feed small animals anchored under my armpit hair.
I have only done one run, 7 miles in the sweaty heat of Baghdad where the seam of the vest chafed away at me and I finished that run in agony. LESSON LEARNED.

Back to the run. Organisation at this event was flawless. Good start zone, electronic chips for the shoes, plenty of changing facilities and loos both on the leisure centre and portaloos near the start.

Start was massive – so many people that it took me about a minute to cross the start line. The first 2 km were spent weaving through slower traffic and over eager athletes that had pushed to front of start line. From 3km there was plenty of space to pass for those overtaking and for those being overtaken. The police did a great job of marshalling and the cars were either kept back or their speed was curtailed by the often passing police motor cycle.

My legs post injury are still not up to speed so I kept my pace quite regular around the 4:30/km. I knew I wasn’t going to get my 1h31 PB in this this race but by the end was very chuffed to get a 1h36m as I was only hoping for sub 1h45

Alloa is a great race and I think I will do it again next year.


Only one slight problem with the race was my polar HR belt had a slight wobble. I don’t use gel on the belt but think that maybe the wicking nature of the shirt meant I dried up on my chest. Suddenly my HR said it was 97 – if only – I only noticed this after 3 km of bad reading – I was only glancing down at monitor every time the watch auto lapped the km to make sure I was doing alright and not flagging too quickly. I can only think the belt was dry as soon as I shifted it it read accurately again.
Still love the RCX5 though …..

Inov 8 to Vivo Barefoot

I’ve been running in my Inov 8 X-Talon 212s for about 6 months now. My mileage isn’t high at around 20 miles a week and I run mainly on Pennine moorland, so plenty of peat, plenty of mixed trail and a good deal of rocky stuff (millstone grit). I have to say that I loved these shoes from the first moment I tried them on in a Glasgow running shop. They are fantastically light and snug, they feel secure and grippy on most surfaces (wet roads and rocks included) and, though a neutral shoe, they have enough cushioning underneath to be pleasantly comfortable. The lugs have worn a fair bit in that time, something I expected, given the soft, sticky rubber compound on the sole. I have contributed to this wear by running on roads and other unsuitable surfaces.

I have only one issue with them: they are narrow and the broadest part of my feet is exposed in that spot where bunions occur. On particularly rocky ground I have found that they offer little protection from sharp rocks that clip the overhanging bone there. This can be extremely painful. Otherwise though, these are a fantastic shoe…I’d fancy a similar pair with more of a road going sole.

Instead of that I found myself visiting in Bradford….a cheap running shoe specialist outlet. I went to get my son some Vivo barefoot shoes that I’d seen advertised at a bargain price. I’ve seen his form deteriorate since I got him cushioned sole shoes instead of footie trainers with thin plastic soles and I want to get him back to running more naturally again before it gets too late. He now loves the Vivos.

Whilst in the shop I saw the Vivo Barefoot Neo Trail and fell, I’ll be honest, for the way they look. They appeared very roomy at the front end for my broad feet and had quite an aggressive lugged sole. I tried them on in the shop along with some Inov 8 Mudclaws and the new Salomon S Labs. Despite feeling obviously harder than the two fell shoes, something about the Vivos felt right. I decided to go for them, thinking that my months of running in neutral and light X Talons would have sufficiently prepared me for barefoot running.

I was wrong. I wore the Vivos casually for just one day. I felt absolutely great in them. The following day I was due to run in the Windmills Whizz fell race on the moors above Halifax. I opted for the Inov 8s for the race as it’s a 7 mile course featuring a good deal of pretty hard and rough ground. I was in good shape, having run the course in about 53 minutes the week before at a canter. I reasoned that sub-50 would be well within my grasp.

Half way up the first 400 foot climb I felt my calf tighten. It’s true that I was climbing more quickly than on a training run but this is something I haven’t suffered from for a long while. I decided to slow to an easy pace to try and ease the tightness away…I even walked ten paces or so at one stage. I made it to the top of the climb but decided to retire as the tightness persisted….not painfully but I took it as a warning. Discretion being the better part of valor I opted not to be caught with a torn calf three miles from the start/finish.

I returned to the finish in time to see Tom Adams narrowly fail to beat the course record. He was still clearly in great form though and a time close to 37 minutes is really going some considering the very windy conditions.

The following day I had no ill effects so went for a gentle aerobic run in the Vivos. In fact I’ve run in them about 3 times since and I have very definitely suffered a degree of muscle soreness. Adapting to the Vivo Barefoot shoes is clearly going to take some time.

Because of the harder than usual feedback through the tough but flexible rubber sole, there is the temptation to over-do running on the forefoot. I think this is at the root of the soreness. However, the zero drop from heel to toe clearly has stretched my achilles and calf even when walking in the shoes during the day (I’ve scarcely had them off).

I think I’ll be reverting to the Inov 8s and running on a soft peaty surface for my next few runs but once I have adapted physically, I shall be making the Vivos my main fell training shoe.

The classics: some films about racing on the cobbles

The cobbles of the Paris Roubaix always tell a fascinating story, whatever angle you look at them from. And we’ve put together this quick roundup of interesting vids looking at some aspects of the racing.

First up it’s Cancellara , who features in a video ad for Trek Bikes. It’s a well put together vid, and an interesting account of Fabo’s personal battle with the pavé as he looks forward to the Paris Roubaix.

What drives LEOPARD TREK rider Fabian Cancellara to become the King of the Classics? The same thing that drives Trek to innovate the greatest bikes in the world. Glory.
Discover the marriage of man and machine that it takes to win the hardest races in the world and stay tuned to Trek’s YouTube channel as we release more Driven videos throughout the year.

then my favourite – slow motion of what the cobbles does to bike tyre and machine ….

Holland Sport stond langs de route van Parijs-Roubaix om de renners van heel dichtbij over de kasseien te zien denderen. – stood on the route of the PR watching the rumbles…..

Spin Doctors convene to roll out their works of art

FROM WIREDBlack Cat Bicycles

SACRAMENTO, California — A factory worker can turn a handful of tubes into a bicycle. An excellent bicycle, even. But only a craftsman can turn those same tubes into a work of art.

This craftsmanship elevates a bicycle from a commodity to something … more. Something made just for you, by someone who gave you exactly what you want. Something born of a passion for riding and an abiding respect for framebuilding. This much was obvious at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, where more than six dozen framebuilders gathered earlier this month to celebrate their craft and show off their latest creations.

Here are 12 of WIRED’s favorites from the show.

Black Cat Bicycles

Todd Ingermanson built his first bicycle 10 years ago, for one simple reason.

“I couldn’t afford a hand-built bicycle,” he said. “So I thought I’d build my own.”

Here’s the thing, though: Building your own bike isn’t much cheaper than paying someone else to build it, once you pay for tools. And jigs. And painting. And … By the time Ingermanson was done, he’d invested so much time and money in the project that he figured he’d build another bike. Black Cat Bicycles was born.

It hasn’t grown much in the decade since. It’s still just Ingermanson working in a 400-square-foot shop in Santa Cruz, California, doing everything from welding the frames to printing the T-shirts to sweeping the floors. He likes it that way.

Ingermanson builds “35ish” frames a year. Each takes 35 to 40 hours. He works almost exclusively with steel, though you’ll see him use carbon from time to time. He’ll build just about anything, but says his 29er single speed (shown) is his most popular bike. The frame will set you back around $2,500, which seems like a bargain when you consider the quality of his workmanship. The only thing more beautiful than the lugs are the paint jobs covering them. Ingermanson paints everything himself.

“I get to geek out with masking tape and paint,” he said with a laugh. “It’s like doing an art project every few weeks.”

Vibe Cycles

Dave Kelley spent much of his career as a cabinetmaker, which might explain the material he used to build Sleigh Ride, his fat-tired snow bike: Bamboo.

Bamboo was for a time the hot new material. Kelley got wise to it three years ago after Craig Calfee rolled into Interbike with a bamboo 29er that got a lot of attention. “Well,” Kelley thought, “I can do that.”

He can, and did. Kelley and his wife, Christi, spent most of the past three years developing, refining and testing their 29er on the roads and trails around Boise, Idaho. The bike, with bamboo tubes, carbon lugs and big cushy tires, has been bulletproof.

“We’ve been trying without success for three years to break it,” Christi Kelley said. “We didn’t want to sell it if we could break it.”

Sleigh Ride was one of a handful of bamboo bikes at the Handmade Bicycle Show. Kelley says the material has a lot to offer. It soaks up vibrations, she says, and it doesn’t break. Still, bamboo is a niche material, which might explain why Vibe Cycles is developing aluminum and titanium frames.

A Sleigh Ride with straight tubes will set you back $2,295. Go for the more elaborate curved tubes and you’re looking at $3,495. The red and black color scheme looks great, and we especially like the flask holder. It’s a must for riding in snow.

Groovy Cycleworks

Groovy Cycleworks

This bright pink beauty was among the show’s head-turners. It sums up Rody Walter’s entire approach to framebuilding: design the bike the rider wants, involve the rider in its construction and ensure it makes people smile.

Mission accomplished. Seriously, now — how can you look at a bright pink cheetah-print bike and notsmile? So what’s the story with that?

“The customer wanted it for his 40th birthday, but as a condition, he told himself he’d let his 8-year-old daughter choose the color,” Walter said of the $7,500 bicycle. “She chose a pink cheetah-print pattern. He said OK.”

Walter launched Groovy Cycleworks in 1994. It’s a one-man operation, which Walter says “allows me to have a more holistic approach to building.” In addition to road, cyclocross and mountain bikes, Walter also makes gorgeous handlebars and cranks, too. He’ll build a bike out of anything but carbon, because carbon isn’t recyclable.

“Ethically, I can’t be a part of that,” he said.

It takes Walter about 40 hours to build a bike. Want one? It’ll be awhile. He’s got a 56 month backlog. But on the upside, he only requires a $20 deposit.

“I used to be like other builders and require 50 percent,” he said. “But I realized I was holding their money for almost five years. I’d rather they put that in a CD or something and use the interest to buy better components.”

English Cycles

English Cycles

Rob English is so skilled that he can build half a bicycle.

Project Right is a single-sided, single-speed belt-driven road bike commissioned by Fairwheel bikes in Tuscon, Arizona. It’s an intriguing ride, full of amazing details that showcase the Eugene, Oregon, builder’s engineering skills.

Take, for example, the rear hub. English designed and machined it himself. A one-piece shell rides on bearings pressed onto an axle tube welded to the chainstay. An an eccentric bottom bracket allows tensioning the drive belt. And the cog is mounted outside the frame, making belt installation a breeze. It’s brilliant. Largely pointless, but brilliant.

“There’s no engineering reason for it,” English said of the single-sided system. “I just did it because I could. There is one advantage to it, however. If you get a flat, you don’t have to remove the wheel.”

The front fork is a riff on the Cannondale Lefty, and the frame is a mix of Columbus and True Temper tubing. It’s all flawlessly fillet brazed and covered in a paint job designed by artist Geoff McFetridge.

Project Right as a Herculean effort, with a Herculean price of about $10,000 ready to ride. A more conventional frame built to your specs starts at $1,950.

Bruce Gordon Cycles

Bruce Gordon Cycles

Bruce Gordon has been building bicycles since 1974 and is therefore entitled to the occasional extravagant project. Like, say, a carbon-tubed, titanium-lugged bike that perfectly combines old-school aesthetics with modern materials.

No, extravagant is not too strong a term for a bike worth more than your car. And quite possibly the two parked next to it.

The bike is one of two Gordon made with Mike Lopez of Serotta Composites for the 2010 San Diego Bicycle Show. The project started, as these things often do, with a few drinks and the question, “What if…?” and the answer, “Just because.” The bike has been making the rounds ever since, and never fails to draw a crowd. With good reason — it’s stunning.

The carbon was hand-laid, including the fenders, and shines like a mirror. The titanium lugs, fork crown and other components were milled from 15 pounds of solid stock. Time, and money, was of no concern.

“I spent two months, working six days a week for six hours a day, just making the lugs,” Gordon said.

He isn’t boasting, just stating a fact. The lug joining the top tube, seat tube and seat stays was assembled from nine pieces. It’s absurd but inspiring, as it speaks to the level of craftsmanship that permeates this bicycle. This isn’t a show queen, though. Gordon actually puts miles on it.

“It’s the nicest road bike I’ve ever ridden,” he said.

Victoria Cycles

Victoria Cycles

If Bruce Gordon is an elder statesman of framebuilding, David Hill is the new breed. He launched Victoria Cycles just five years ago. Before that, he was a mailman.

Yes. A mailman. But that was what he did. It wasn’t who he is. What he is, and always was, is a bicycle fanatic. So after 20 years in the same job, he decided to follow his heart.

“I’ve always had a passion for cycling,” Hill said. “My first job was working in a bike shop. I loved it.”

That love is reflected in his bicycles, like this 29er commuter bike. Like all the bikes he builds one by one in his workshop in Salida, Colorado, it’s steel. And, as is his preference, it features attractive lugs. He’ll do fillet brazing, but prefers lugs for his frames because they’re stronger and, frankly, prettier.

“I love lugs,” he said. “It’s what I grew up riding.”

Hill will build anything, from road to mountain to track. Don’t let his preference for pretty suggest his frames, which start at $1,550, aren’t meant to take some abuse.

“I’m an artisan, not an artist,” he said. “I want my bikes to be pretty, but ridden. I don’t want to build bikes that are hung on a wall and just looked at.”

Broakland Bikes

Broakland Bikes

Jason Montano builds one kind of bike, and only one kind of bike, for one reason.

“I only build track bikes,” he said. “I’ve been riding track bikes since I was a kid. Build what you know.”

This is their latest model, the S3. As the name suggests, it features a True Temper S3 tubeset and flawless welding by Jason Grove. It isn’t cheap — $3,500 with a Wound Up fork — but it is gorgeous.

The frame weighs less than three pounds. Build it up with vintage parts and you’re just a hair over 15. Use modern parts and you’ll come in at a hair less. As for the paint, well, that’s a story unto itself.

“I was surfing the Internet and came across a photo of a crazy mid-80s French ski-jumping suit,” Montano said. “I sent it to my painter and said, ‘Match that.’”

He did. Perfectly.

Six-Eleven Bicycle Co.

Six-Eleven Bicycle Co.

This cross bike has all the parts to make us drool: Dura Ace components, Wound Up fork, White Industries cranks, the works. But what caught our attention was the paint job. It literally stopped us in our tracks.

The base color is khaki, so flawlessly applied that it looks wet. Laid over that are dots. Hundreds of dots, each painted with the head of a spoke in four shades of brown that resemble flecks of mud.

“It took about three weeks,” builder Aaron Dykstra said of the ornate design.

The bike is, like all of Six-Eleven’s frames, steel. Dykstra loves the stuff because “it’s such a dynamic metal. It can do anything.” He’ll build anything, from track bikes to townies. Six-Eleven frames start at $2,075.

And that name? The Great 611 was a J-Class train built in 1950 by Norfolk & Western’s shop Roanoke, Virgina, where Dykstra’s shop is located.

“It’s always been an icon of my hometown,” he said.

Dykstra took home an award for best cyclocross bike, following up on the best track bike award he won in 2011 and the rookie of the year award he snagged in 2010.

Don Walker Cycles

Don Walker Cycles

Don Walker is the reason all these guys get together each year. In 2005, he and four other guys organized the first North American Handmade Bicycle Show. It’s a family reunion of sorts, a bunch of passionate bike nuts getting together to show off their skills, welcome new builders and educate the public about their craft.

Walker was holding forth this year from his booth at the center of the hall, a broken ankle elevated on a stool and a bottle of scotch not far from reach. He was in his element, surrounded by friends and by bicycles, including this single-speed cyclocross rig built for his friend J.C. Breslin.

It’s gorgeous, with a mix of Columbus and Reynolds tubes, Surly dropouts, a Ritchey fork and flawless fillet brazing. But what we really like is the head tube badge. Breslin wanted a totally custom bike, so Walker designed a one-off badge. It features Walker with a stogie in his mouth, a glass of scotch his hand and a mischievous look in his eye.

“It was the only thing I could think of that was completely silly,” Walker said.

Alchemy Bicycle Co.

Alchemy Bicycle Co.

Dave Ryther has one thing to say about his company: “We make the best damn bikes in the world.” You may disagree, but one thing is sure — Alchemy Bicycle Co. made the best damn carbon fiber bike at the show.

The Aero Road is a wisp of a machine, more of a blade than a bike. It was custom built using Enve tubes made on the company’s own molds, and it sports top-shelf parts from SRAM and Enve Smart wheels. It’s striking. Ready to ride, this bike costs a bit more than $11,000 and weighs a bit more than 14 pounds, a figure Ryther lamented is “a bit heavy.”

Alchemy got started in Austin just four years ago. Ryther is one of seven employees, and they hope to build 200 bikes this year. Everything they do is custom, and they build with carbon, titanium and stainless steel.

“Stainless is the new thing,” Ryther said. “It’s the poor man’s titanium. It has the electric feel of steel without the weight penalty.”

Bicycle Fabrications

Bicycle Fabrications

This was the one we wanted to take home.

It’s designed for dual slalom, downhill and trail riding, but all we could think about was all the trouble we could get into. What else are you going to do with a bike called Pocket Rocket?

Bicycle Fabrications has built just about everything over the years, but it specializes in full suspension mountain bikes that can take heaps of abuse. Pocket Rocket is the San Francisco company’s latest creation. It sports 4130 chrome-moly tubes, a Fox shock and attitude to spare. The frame will set you back $1,600.

Shamrock Cycles

Shamrock Cycles

This is the city bike Tim O’Donnell would build if he were the customer. It is stylish, it is functional and it is, in a word, gorgeous.

“It is designed to be somewhat over the top,” he said. “I operate in a world of want, not need. To do that, I have to offer form and function.”

Ginny is a brilliant meeting of the two, a showpiece to highlight O’Donnell’s vision and skills. It’s chock-full of beautiful details. Brake lines and wiring for the rear light run through the Columbus tubes for a tidy look. Integrated racks and fenders with flowing stays. Carbon belt drive with an internally geared hub. And the racks. Oh, those racks. They feature a mix of birdseye maple, spalted maple, quilted maple, chestnut and walnut. Is it any wonder O’Donnell walked away with an award for best city bike?

If Ginny’s got a downside, it’s her weight. At 36 pounds, she’s a brick and a half. But no one rides a bike like this to haul ass.

“It is designed to get you there in style, in comfort and in silence,” O’Donnell said. “And it does so in spades.”

The transport for nursery trips

Sometimes the simple things are so good – dropped the you gets (elfin iPad) youngest off at nursery this morning. She only goes 2 days a week but it is good that she know fits the tag-a-long as she is getting more chance to pedal on the 6km trip there, in preparation for more solo rides.
There are hopefully enough lights, reflectors and Dayglo jackets to allow even the most myopic retarded car driver to spot us.

Had the Strangest run – or when the sausage roll bites back

Met up with Jolene’s cousin across on the east coast yesterday. Was a chance for our kids to spend some quality play together as well as for Benji and myself to get out and do a run.

I wasn’t feeling on greatest form as my stomach was sore from what I can only blame on a sausage roll engulfed whilst on ferrying duties the previous day for lunch. My recovery from torn muscle fibres has been slow and although my leg feels fine and isn’t pulling when i run – the 2 months without running has taken a toll on my pace.

We set off from his house after a big fried breakfast / brunch and bam straight into a strong headwind and the hill.

I was struggling a bit – Benji was in fine fettle despite drinking a bottle of red wine and 4 cans of beer the night before (I won’t go into his devil constitution) and we huffed (or at least i did) up the long hills.

My heart rate was high and I was struggling a bit although still able to chat as we went …

HR high / laps slow

We were about 3km’s from the end when bam I had to suddenly stop and nearly double over. Huge stomach cramp … then 10sec later felt better and carried on and bamm … ouch. i needed to go NOW … my very own Paula Radcliffe moment as I stumbled behind a holly bush next to the wall ….

I came out 10sec later feeling great and ready to head on when the cousin said ‘Glad you are alright – just wish I hadn’t been downwind of that’

Embarrassed but empty we finished the run at the best pace so far …

What is the worst thing you have done on a run or ride?

Over the falls

Nothing worse than the moment before you go over the falls …. ‘aaas panic … No stay calm …. Relax… Deep breath….. Keep my limbs in …. Hold my head in case the reef is to shallow …..’

Photo looks a bit photoshopped – would need to see a sequence to believe …. But captures the Moment well. Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good rumour ….

A charity to get behind

Ben Williams who has written on this site before has set up his own page and blog to raise money for a worthwhile charity. Ride for The 96

Ride for the 96 is a charity bike ride in memory of the 96 Liverpool FC fans who lost their lives in the Hillsborough stadium disaster on 15th April 1989.

The first ever Ride for the 96 will be taking place in April 2012, and will finish at Anfield on Sunday 15th April 2012.

I will be riding from my home in South Norfolk, East Anglia to Liverpool, via the Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield.

The total journey will be around 280 miles, and I will be completing the ride over 3 days.

Please visit this page on the HJC site to learn about the Hillsborough stadium disaster of 15th April 1989:

The definitive history of what happened. Told directly by those who survived; those who lost loved ones and those who have struggled to find out the truth. Here are the hard facts, testimonies and analysis of how the authorities controlled the aftermath to relieve them of any accountability.

Make sure you have sound enabled.

Felt fixie 2011 now reduced at wiggle

just seen this on wiggle – very nice from £700 down to £420

I would be tempted if I didnt already have 5 bikes.

Who says a modern, high-performance track bike can’t have a little style?

  • Weight: 20.50lbs/9.32kg
  • Frame: Felt TK track specific custom butted 4130 tig welded Cr-Mo tubes, oversize DT, butted tapered seatstays with horizontal forged steel dropouts and chain tension adjusters
  • Fork: Felt track specific Lugged Cr-Mo with 1.125″ steerer & oversized Cr-Mo fork blades, 38mm offset
  • Headset: FSA 1.125″ Threadless
  • Stem: Felt 6061 aluminium 3D forged threadless quill, Ø26.0mm with -17° rise, 51cm = 10cm, 54cm-56cm = 11cm, 58cm-61cm = 12cm
  • Handlebar: Felt TK 6061 aluminium with track drop, Ø26.0mm, 51cm-61cm=400mm
  • Bar Tape: Devox TKessostar cotton handlebar tape
  • Chainset: Felt TK Pista chainring, 24T x 1″ x 1/8″; 51cm-56cm=165mm, 58cm-61cm=170mm
  • Bottom Bracket: FSA
  • Pedals: Felt TK Pista with chrome plated toe clips and leather toe straps
  • Chain: KMC Z510HX track 1/8″ width
  • Sprocket: Track 15T x 1/2″ pitch x 1/8″ width fixed sprocket with lock ring
  • Saddle: Felt Leather Classic road saddle with steel rails
  • Seatpost: Felt TK 6061 aluminium, Ø27.2mm x 300mm
  • Wheelset: Felt TK 22mm FB track, 32H 3 x front and rear with wood finish
  • Tyres: Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick 700c x 25c
  • Fork Material:Steel
  • Frame Material:Steel
  • Model Year:2011
  • Road
  • Wheel Size:700c (622)

The TK4130 pays homage to classic track bikes with a gorgeous frame made with, you guessed it, 4130 cromoly tubing. With its faux wooden rims, double crown fork, fluted cranks with a skip-tooth chainring, and classic leather saddle with chrome rivets, the TK4130 is the rare bike that can be ridden on the streets, raced on the velodrome – or both.

The bike and the story: Signal Bikes

sometimes you see a bike that just seems so there …. This is just one of those bikes ….. A found a link to Signal cycles and although I read about them in Paved Magazine and seen reference to them on the hand build shows I hadn’t ever explored their site. Like all custom makers they are dedicated to the craft of making beautiful bikes for the right reason. In the days of the giant makers and carbon cyber bikes it is good to see that the artisan maker is entering a new golden age.
Even if I haven’t got the cash to get one myself – it is nice I think to give them a shout out.

Signal Cycles are handmade bikes from Portland Oregon. Each bike is built with the full attention of Nate Meschke and Matt Cardinal. We started our company in the fall of 2007 and have been building momentum and beautiful bikes ever since.

There is a lot of talk of a new golden age of handmade bikes, and the US builders are leading the way. More people are experiencing the joy of working with a custom builder and realizing the importance of being able to collaborate, discuss, design and shake hands with the builder of their bike. Signal is proud to provide this experience. We wouldn’t want it any other way.

Pete’s Racer Equipped Road Bike

Pete is a bike mechanic and has been for a long time. He wanted a fender bike for long gravel rides in the rain and for maybe even doing some weekly races on at Mount Tabor. He sold his carbon bike and decided he wanted a steel Signal with Paul Racer brakes. We used direct post mounts for the brakes to keep things tidy and functional and built a unicrown fork that really goes with the fillet brazed frame.

Pete built the bike up with Shimano Dura-Ace, Chris King, and Thomson parts. The rims are ceramic coated to add durability to the sidewalls and they work great in the rain.


Keepin it 700c …. Mike on a bike
Any questions hit me up on Facebook or Twitter!/Michaelchacon1

Some footage I have been sitting on.
Filmed by: Jamil Gray and Rory Mcdermott
Edited by: ME
Song: Sad Sad City- Ghostland Observatory
Camera- Canon 7d
Lens- Canon 10-22mm

Duathlon Training

Last night I was supposed to do an hour on the bike at a very low rate ….. but I felt so lethargic and pissed off (for no reason) that I abandoned it after only 20 odd minutes. This morning I am not too annoyed I think training schedules are sometimes treated like they are gospel … but I guess I am agnostic in this regard or humanist in that i listened to my body which was saying ‘NO’

In light of the Ayr Duathlon I entered (15th April chaps if anyone want to enter) I decided to try a practice run and cycle and also see how the Polar RCX5 handles the transition between sports. Its a bit messed as I did my bike ride at home on the trainer.

run route

The Ayr Duathlon is actually a 5km run – 28km cycle – 5 km run …. but I just wanted to try a 2 sport hit so went down to Glasgow Green and ran along the river until I hit one of my markers then ran back. It is slightly longer than the 2 runs put together at 10.33km (although i am sure MAP myRun and google say it is 10.7km

Into the house – rain coat off and shoes changed then hopped on the bike. Wasn’t going for the full 28km just wanted to get a feel. 16km was enough I think. My wife and daughter came back in ‘my god you stink’ as they saw me red-faced and sweating all over the kitchen. (NOTE to self – I will stay cooler in the wind outside and not stink the house out)

I like the way the RCX5 lets you transition between sport …. there is an option to allow you to change between sports by raising the wrist unit close to the HRM belt (which you can change to show or do loads in the setup) … at the moment I have the bike one set up to show me Time of Day when I raise the wrist unit close to the belt and the Run one to switch on the backlight ……

After 16km i had enough … legs now are still sore a bit … was amazed how long it took me to feel up to speed on the bike. The muscle memory after the run was quite weird – not sure how it would feel to start the run again … hopefully do a trial race before the event (which will be my first)

Heart Rate Graph - no distance info on bike side as indoors on trainer.

In support of International Woman’s Day yesterday

Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel.” ~ Susan B. Anthony, 1896