Strava Wars Video

Strava Wars

I can’t embed but click on the video above to see it in new window …. love it

Going out for a chilled ride? Enjoying the peace of the forest? Not when a strava battle is raging. You must do anything it takes to claim the KOM back, even if it means slipstreaming your trail dog for extra seconds! *warning, not a serious video*

Front pannier racks and thoughts on a holiday.

Front rack sorted now for a longer tour. Found a tubus nova (stainless steel) front rack going cheap so just bought it and fitted it this morning. Need some small pannier bags for the front then we are good to go.

My girlfriend just about to get her Genesis Tour de Fer bike and suggested we cycle two weeks in Cuba as our break this year. Sounds a great idea but she is less used to cycling so only fair I carry some of the extra weight …. Anyone cycled Cuba and can recommend a route – 20-40miles a day?

A horse is also a dream bike ….

Screenshot 2014-10-26 15.40.11 One of the more extensive builds coming out of the shop this month, this bike has it all. Nickel Plated masked and painted with three color branding.Screenshot 2014-10-26 15.40.32

It incorporates a super rad completely self sufficient lighting system coming from the power house SON 28 Schmidt Dynamo front hub that powers E3 supernova front and rear lights. This bike is completely off the grid!  The internal routing though the fork and frame free the rider up from potential snags and gives the bike a cleaner look.  Custom front and rear racks highlighting the cantilever gourds integrated into the design as well as a custom rear tail light mount that lives quietly under the non-drive side dropout.  It runs a complete SRAM force 22 (11 speed) group with a Wifly rear derailuer and cassette for steep climbs. This Bike was commissioned by Ben Stark for a cross country ride coming up in the spring.  I’ll be doing part of the journey with him and look forward to a bit of open road. Keep your eye out for more photo’s from the trip.

Packing light

This applies to bikes for touring and bike packing as well as normal backpacking.

So, here you are. You drank the Kool-Aid so to speak and are convinced that lightweight backpacking is the way to go. Well, congratulations because you are right! Going light on the trail takes away unnecessary aches and pains and trades them in for more enjoyment and fun. But only if you do it right.

Too many of us have learned the hard way when just starting out. The good news is that because we did all the dirty work for you, you don’t have to. (Lucky!) So let’s jump right in and get you educated so that you can avoid the all too common lightweight backpacking rookie mistakes.

1. Please don’t buy a lightweight backpack…but continue to carry heavy gear.

Countless lightweight packs forever reside in the backs of the storage closets or in dank, forgotten corners of unfinished basements after just one trip. Why? Well, allow us to fill you in. Many people start off on the right foot with the best of intentions when they purchase a lightweight pack. Where they fall short is stopping right there. Rather than lightening up their entire pack weight, they simply take their new lightweight pack and stuff it full to the brim with everything they used to carry. Sorry folks, but that just isn’t going to work. A lightweight pack is not designed to carry that much weight and when it does, it is exceedingly uncomfortable. We all know where discomfort leads; straight to the storage closest and basement corners of the world.

To save your new lightweight pack from this terrible fate, it is important to invest in lightening up the other two pillars of the “big three”. You already have the lightweight pack at this point. Now it is time to find a lightweight tent and alightweight sleeping bag to complete the set. From there, start to go through your packing list and cut unnecessary gear. Do you really need 5 shirts for a 3-day backpacking trip? Do you really need that camp chair to sit on as you cook dinner or would a rock suffice? Or what about those footy pajamas and the doormat to wipe your feet on before entering your tent? (Okay, busted! Now we are just busting your chops!) But in all honesty, it is important to learn to evaluate what you really need and what you can do without.

2. Please don’t forget to use the old noodle.

No, not ‘noodle’ as in the pasta. (Although, you will probably use more pasta than a normal person’s lifetime quote over the course of your backcountry endeavors.) ‘Noodle’ as in your thinker. Your noggin. Your brain!

You need knowledge and skills to safely navigate the world of lightweight backpacking. Ultimately, the goal is to learn how to do more with less. This will help you to be smart about things like how much water weight you need to carry at one time, what pieces of gear can effectively serve multiple purposes and countless other helpful tidbits to reduce your weight load without sacrificing comfort, safety, or pleasure. When it comes down to the brass tacks of the matter, once you are out in the backcountry, the library, local outdoor courses, and even Google are pretty far from your reach so do your homework in advance. You’ll be glad you did!Many a rookie lightweight backpacker has fooled himself into thinking that getting the gear and lookin’ good was all there was to it. However, that is only half the battle. Before you set off into the sunset, you need to take some time to evaluate what you carry between your ears. Gain some lightweight backpacking know-how. As the classic adage goes, the more you know, the lighter you can go. (Or at least that is our interpretation of that saying.)

3. Please don’t neglect to pack enough food.

Very few things can turn fun into fatigue as quickly and effectively as hunger can. But as you watch the scale weight creep up as you load your food into your pack, your wheels start turning. You have worked so hard to get your base weight down, and you are not about to let all that hard work go to waste for a couple extra snacks. You’re sure you can get by on just a granola bar for lunch. Or maybe you don’t actually need that salami with your dinner. Plain soup broth ought to be fine, right? Stop right there. We are here to tell you that soup broth alone will not be fine.

After hauling a pack around, conquering mountain passes, and moving non-stop for hours; you need calories. In fact, you need a lot of calories. Without enough of them, you are setting yourself up for trouble. The reality is that no matter which way you cut it, food is going to add some weight to your pack. That being said, there are still ways to be smart about it.

  • Bring along dehydrated food that you can rehydrate as needed. This removes the water weight that a particular food would regularly carry.
  • Focus on calorie dense foods. Things like candy bars, salami, cheese, peanut butter, and nuts are all great choices since they pack a big caloric punch.
  • Plan out your meals ahead of time according to your mileage, number of days out, and estimated caloric output. By packaging food into daily rations you can easily check if you have enough or too much. While you are out on the trail, this will also help to ensure you still have enough food left on the last day.

4. Please don’t assume that one size fits all.

It is a trial and error process to sort out what the right lightweight backpacking kit looks like for you personally. Lightweight backpacking is supposed to make the experience better for you! While it is important to think consciously about the weight you are carrying, if you are confident that adding a little weight will enhance your overall experience then go for it! There is no right answer. Well, other than you should be having fun! (And don’t litter. That’s another big rule, albeit unrelated to this topic.)Let us clarify. This is not a reference to packs or clothing. Rather, this mistake avoidance tip alludes to the concept that all lightweight backpacking styles are not the same. What works for one person might not work for the next. There are all sorts of nuances to consider and they all depend on the individual. Sometimes a little extra weight is worth it for the added comfort it provides. Other times, the added weight does nothing but aggravate the knees. For example, if you absolutely, positively cannot sleep on a lightweight sleeping pad, perhaps it is worth it to add an ounce or two for a more substantial sleeping surface. If you are running on no sleep due to something you could easily remedy with a slightly heavier sleeping pad, all the signs point to an unnecessarily long, not-so-fun day of hiking come morning.

5. Please don’t become so obsessed with counting grams that you forget to count your blessings.

Correct us if we are off base here, but the whole point of backpacking is to get out and be present in the outdoors. Right? Oftentimes lightweight backpackers (and this goes for newbies and seasoned veterans alike so listen up) come down with a case of tunnel vision. That is to say that they become so obsessed with counting every gram that they forget why they came out into the backcountry in the first place. As we discussed above, there are all sorts of different ways to enjoy lightweight backpacking. If you can carry a water bottle, a handle-less toothbrush, and nothing else and still take in the beauty of the backcountry…go for it! More power to you! In a nutshell, don’t forget to sit back, smell the flowers, look around, take a deep breath of fresh air, and just love every minute of your experience for what it is.

Now it is your turn. Anything you would like to add? Have you made any rookie mistakes over the years?

Saturday kitesurfing

Great today but shaking off the remnants of a cold. A few litres of seawater generally good for clearing out the sinuses though.


All dressed with the board on back ready for tote to the car ….

For once more windsurfers than kitesurfers at the beach – most windsurfers 4.0m-4.7m and I was on my 6m kite. Pretty gusty. The nearest live recording sight is prestwick airport but quite low readings there 20 gusting 30


Still any day on the water is a great day. Jumps were so high today that hurt my feet landing hard As they got squished into the strap …..
Came in and landed by German kitesurfers who had been out earlier … ‘Goodness your jumps were huge’ she said – I nearly blushed….

The best internal gear hub now being made for fat bikes

Yes Rohloff the indestructible internal hub gear manufacturer is making a version to fit fat bikes …… this is a must have for the best remote builds ….

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Rohloff offers a version of our now legendary SPEEDHUB 500/14 gear hub especially suited to the extreme conditions in which Fatbikes are used. The Rohloff SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL is constructed for frames using a 170mm spacing and dropouts which accept 10mm threaded or quick-release axles (not thru-axle compatible).

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Fatbikes are primarily designed to enable one to keep pedalling through even the harshest conditions – conditions in which a cyclist on a traditional bicycle would be forced to dismount and push. The fat tires offer a much larger footprint thus keeping the bicycle afloat on soft terrain. The additional traction this provides ensures a Fatbike rider will enjoy may miles of riding long after the standard bicycle has reached its limits. Fatbikes are especially suitable for transversing snow, bogs/marshland and sand.

The SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL is the ideal transmission for Fatbikes. The conditions in which such bicycles are ridden require a transmission that can be kept as clean as possible. Only a clean, un-clogged transmission can ensure problem-free functionality and nothing increases the enjoyment you can have out on the trails more than having access to the right gear at all times! Of course the SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL has the additional advantage of being compatible with the ‘Gates Carbon Drive’ belt drive system, reducing the level of transmission maintenance even further.

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Further advantages:

  • 14 real gears
  • Even gear increments of 13.6%
  • 526% overall transmission ratio
  • Straight chain-/belt-line
  • Incredibly strong rear wheel due to even spoke tension
  • Encapsulated construction
  • 100% adjustment free
  • Extremely low maintenance
  • Compatible with the ‚Gates Carbon Drive’ belt drive system.

Technical Data SPEEDHUB 500/14 XL:

  • Suitable for 170mm frame spacing (10mm diameter axles)
  • Quick-release (CC) or bolt-on (TS) axles available
  • Chainline = 71.5mm (15,16 and 17 tooth sprockets), beltline = 72.25mm
  • Flangedistance (middle-middle) = 93mm
  • 32-spoke
  • Disc version (DB)
  • Anodized black

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These dimensions enable the use of up to 5“ tires (mounted on rims up to 100mm wide) in frames with a 170mm spacing – without the risk of chain/tire interference! We recommend the use of rims with a minimum 12.5mm nipple offset in order to avoid the spoke ‚kinking’ when entering the nipple. Such kinks will weaken the spoke and can cause premature spoke failure.

Weather this weekend … ? Rain YUP, Cold YUP … who cares when there is wind enough for kitesurfing

Got to love the wild autumn/winter mad october that comes to Scotland every year.

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that is a 3 star weekend …..

Another article of why i need a FatBike

as if I needed a reason ….

Fat biking has transitioned relatively quickly from a fringe novelty to a central facet of the mountain bike experience. In my opinion, fat biking is the single biggest innovation to shake up the industry since I started mountain biking–which means it’s more important than 29″ wheels, 27.5″ wheels, dropper posts, thru axles, and a whole host of other innovations that have happened in the industry over the course of the last decade. But just in case you haven’t drunk the fat bike cool aid just yet, here are 5 reasons why you need a fat bike:

Beargrease-GM-27a (1)-2

1. No end to the mountain bike season.

While granted there have always been a few key locations around the globe where the mountain bike season stretches 12 months per year, the vast majority of riders live in places were snow and ice historically made riding a bike all year round either not very much fun or simply impossible. But with the advent of fat bikes, all of that has changed!

Fat bikes more-or-less originated in the cold white north of Alaska, and caught on quickly in places like the upper Midwest. These locations have always experienced long, cold, snowy winters, and they were quick to adopt fat bikes. Mountain biking quickly became a 12-month-per-year sport for these early adopters, instead of just a 5-month-per-year (or less) sport.

If you ever wanted mountain biking season to last longer, start sooner, or simply never end, buying a fat bike is the magic key to making those wishes a reality!


2. It puts the fun back in mountain biking.

While there are definitely some lightweight carbon fat bikes with mind-bogglingly low weights, most fat bikes are a bit on the heavy side, and aren’t really intended for going super fast. But sometimes–maybe even most of the time–it’s nice to forget about mashing around your favorite loop at top speed. Instead, just go for a spin, smell the flowers, take in the view, drink a beer, and have fun. Fat bikes are helping thousands of riders remember how to chill out and enjoy the moment.

3. You’ll ride places you never thought you’d be able to pedal a bike.

Yes, you can ride in the snow at times you never thought you’d be able to ride before. This even includes riding in the high alpine in the middle of winter, instead of inside the normal 3-month summer window! But even when you’re not rolling on snow, fat bikes open up a whole host of possibilities.

Riders are using fat bikes to traverse muddy, sandy, rocky shorelines in epic adventures. You can even tool around sand dunes in the desert, mud pits in never-dry locations, and much, much more. Fat bikes are definitely mountain bikes, but they’re so much more. It might be more appropriate to refer to these pedal-powered behemoths as “all terrain bikes,” as they allow you to–quite literally–ride anywhere.

4. Rocks are so easy, it feels like cheating!

More and more riders are shredding their local singletrack trails aboard their fat bikes, during the summer. And you know why? Fat bikes–especially suspension-equipped fat bikes like the Salsa Bucksaw and the Turner King Khan–do a superb job of smoothing out the rock gardens and technical features of a trail. In fact, shredding through gnar feels almost too easy on a full suspension or Bluto-equipped-hardtail fat bike. It almost feels like cheating somehow… but it’s not.

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5. You need an excuse to buy yet another bike.

Let’s be honest, here: if there’s one thing that we mountain bikers drool over, it’s the latest-and-greatest crop of bikes that rolls out every year. But it can be hard to justify to your significant other–and your check book–purchasing a bike every year, or even every several years. But if you don’t have a fat bike, ah ha! Here’s a completely new type of bike that you’d be more than justified in purchasing! I’m sure you can find the cash in your budget for a new rig that will allow you to ride all year long–and will, more importantly, give you yet another bike to lust over and continuously upgrade.

OO, carbon

Your turn: Can you think of any other great reasons to buy a fat bike? Add them in the comments sections below!

New Magazine on order

Found out about this magazine when reading the blog – she has some very cool stuff and thoughts so check her out too …..

Ordered this magazine after she recommended it – think it must be similar to Paved magazine (in terms of quality)….

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Will let you know how it reads.

Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 Tent Review

My Hilleberg Nallo 4 GT took a beating at the top of the munro when filming 2 days ago so something smaller might be on order soon (and may as well get one lighter for the bike)


Home sweet home! Home sweet home!

I’ve been using a Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 tent as my primary bikepacking shelter for two seasons now so I thought it was time to share some thoughts. My previous tent was a Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2. The motivation to get a new tent was reducing packed weight and bulk. The Seedhouse SL2 is a light compact tent for 2 people and a luxurious shelter for 1. However, the Fly Creek is 1/3rd lighter and much more compact. For trips where you are at your limited saving a pound of weight from your gear is very nice.

Zipped up tight... Zipped up tight…

There is no free ride. The ultra lightweight comes at the expense of durability and interior space. As compromises go they aren’t too bad. I should add it’s fairly expensive compare to other UL shelters so wait for a sale at REI to grab one.

Cozy... Cozy…

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Slow Slow Slow Sloowerrr Slowwwwwwwwer Sloooooowwwwwer FAST

This may just be our favourite track cycling video ever, and it’s certainly one of the more bizarre events we’ve seen – it’s called the Marymoor Crawl, and is a perennial crowd-pleaser at the July Marymoor Grand Prix track meet in Redmond, Washington State in the Pacific North West of the US.

The idea is simple. Riders have to stay upright – no feet on ground, no interfering with other riders, no holding the rail on the side of the track, no crossing the finish line – for up to four minutes before the bell rings, then the ones left in go hell for leather for a single lap of the velodrome.

Cue plenty of trackstanding … then a desperate dash for the line by the handful of riders left in from the couple of dozen or so who lined up at the start.

We’d LOVE to see this in the Olympics – Brian Cookson, please push for it – but is it just us, or do the riders with the more aero, pro-looking helmets get eliminated earlier than most of the others?

Donut ride

Peleton mag: Every city in America has a Saturday morning Donut Ride, where a handful of riders beats up on everyone else, and everyone else marks “success” in terms of how far they got before getting kicked out the back.

Jack from Illinois (not his real name), always despised the Donut Ride for being a “preenfest.” He wasn’t wrong. Local racers who get “coached” and who are on a “program,” tend to avoid the ‘Nut because it adds little to your fitness but can subtract lots. And of course there is a huge contingent of riders, thousands actually, who wouldn’t be caught dead on the DR because they hate group rides, they don’t like aggressive pelotons, they are in it for relaxation, or [ fill in your reason here ].

To those folks, I say, “No problem. You do your thing, I’ll do mine.”

But there is another group of riders out there who really should be on the Donut Ride. I was dropping down the hill this morning to the start of the ride, and I passed a guy riding a very nice bike, wearing a very nice kit, and looking pretty darned fit. “On your way to the Donut?” I asked.

“Ha,” he answered. “I wish.”

“What do you mean?”

“That ride is too fast for me.”

“Come on, man, give it a try. You look like you could handle it. It’s not hard anyway, especially if you sit in.”

“I’ve seen that pack come by,” he said enviously. “Too fast for me.”

“Okay,” I shrugged, and went on, but I could tell how badly he wanted to give it a try and I felt sorry for him because he was going to spend the rest of his riding days wondering about something that really wasn’t worth wondering about.

If you’re one of those people who wonder what the local Saturday beatdown ride is like, you owe it to yourself to give it a chance. Even if you hate it, you’ll at least have the satisfaction of having tried. More likely, especially if you’re a fairly hopeless wanker, you’ll get your head staved in sometime around the first or second acceleration, and the thrill you get from first riding with, and then getting ejected from, the middle of the surging, bucking pack will leave you happier and more elated than you’ve been since you first lied to your wife about the cost of your Giant TCR with electronic drivetrain.

Here, then, is a compendium of what you’ll find out if you take the plunge, swallow your pounding heart, gird your quivering loins, and toe the Saturday group ride starting line:

  1. You will get faster every week.
  2. The wankers you used to struggle to keep up with in your normal group will no longer be able to hold your wheel.
  3. Racer-type hammerheads aren’t all assholes.
  4. Some of the things that differentiate great riders from hackers can be learned through observation.
  5. Competition makes you better.
  6. Cars steer clear of big groups.
  7. There’s no dishonor in trying.
  8. Your wife will mostly believe whatever version of the ride you tell her.
  9. You won’t be the slowest rider the group.
  10. If you’re the slowest rider in the group, one day you won’t be.
  11. The ride’s not as hard as you thought it would be.
  12. You’ll surprise yourself — in a good way.

See you there