Rapha festive 500 – the comp to win a fine feather bike – but I will be in cuba sans bike


Road.cc

The popular Rapha Festive 500 will be returning soon, the now annual challenge to ride 500km over the Christmas period, and this year there are prizes to be won including a Ricky Feather frame with a unique Rapha Continental paint scheme. That’s enough motivation right there to get you out the front door and battle the elements and tick off the mileage, if it were needed.

The popular Rapha Festive 500 will be returning soon, the now annual challenge to ride 500km over the Christmas period, and this year there are prizes to be won including a Ricky Feather frame with a unique Rapha Continental paint scheme. That’s enough motivation right there to get you out the front door and battle the elements and tick off the mileage, if it were needed.

So miles mean prizes, and there are more, including a load of Rapha clothing, a very fine Race Notes leather-bound book, and the Great Road Climbs book by Graeme Fife. What do you have to do to stand a chance to win one of these prizes we hear you ask? Rapha simply wants to hear your stories as you embark on the challenge, and the best-told stories will stand a chance of winning a prize. There are three categories – Most Inclement, Best Story, Prix de la Combativité, Best Photography, and a Grand Prize for Creativity.

Of course you need to actually ride 500km as well – the idea is that you ride 500km (311 miles) between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, and post evidence of your efforts. That’s eight riding days, so you’ll need to average 62.5km (about 39 miles) per day.

This is your chance to get creative. Document your 500km with photos, share them on the internet, print them out and post them to Rapha, scribble illustrations after every ride. Write a poem. Film it, send postcards, anything you want to do to record the Festive 500 is encouraged and welcomed. Remember, it’s meant to be a bit of fun.

You can view the full details of the challenge and all the prizes here http://pages.rapha.cc/festive-500-2014

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The Living Mountain on the telly


I was cameraman for this show – beautiful mountain beautiful book …. can’t wait for the TX

cairngormwanderer

Nan Shepherd, author of Cairngorms book The Living Moungtain Nan Shepherd, author of the classic ‘The Living Mountain’

When it comes to classic books about the Cairngorms, Seton Gordon normally comes top of the list for his long out of print ‘The Cairngorm Hills of Scotland’.

It is an excellent book too, as is the equally inspiring ‘Charm of the Hills’, which is also mainly concerned with the Cairngorms.

But it’s always the quiet ones you have to look out for and, creeping unobtrusively into the light some 30 or so years after it was written was Nan Shepherd’s ‘The Living Mountain’, a small masterpiece which was a fraction of the size of Gordon’s book and so often talked in generalities where he wrote of specifics, yet which gives what I (and many others) feel is the truest and most inspiring picture of a very special range of mountains.

Written during and just after World War Two, it wasn’t…

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Honduras kitesurfing


My friend is over there for 4 months – so I think I need to get across there pronto …

James Boulding has literally just dropped this superb edit from his time in Honduras. But we wanted more info on Honduras – his top tips specifically, and we wanted his top tips for hitting a kicker. So we asked him. This is Boulding’s Basics:

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The island is called Grahams Place, Guanaja, Honduras.  Centre called the Sweet Spot.

5 Top Tips on Guanaja:

1. Bring mosquito/sand fly repellant.
2. Bring a camera, the beauty of the place will blow you away.  There is a stunning waterfall hike that is a must do!
3. There is a local currency but it’s fairly useless and hard to get so bring dollars.
4. Winds are light in the morning and get stronger through the day.  They work on a thermic effect, basically if its sunny it will be windy.  We were there for weeks and could ride most days.
5. Possibly the best place in the world to foil board.  The area is so vast to explore and cruise around as well as ride gentle rolling waves in between reef openings, worthwhile going there just to learn as you will be blown away.

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5 Top Tips for kickers:

1. When hitting a kicker try and always keep you head looking forward and look over the kicker.  If you look down you are likely to go off axis/off balance.
2. Try and keep the kite at constant angle throughout the trick to keep the pull constant.
3. As you approach kicker try come off your edge and keep your board flat and equal pressure over both feet to avoid slipping back going up on your bum.
4. Try and choose light-medium strength wind days, big kites are less twitchy and responsive so you can concentrate more on the kicker.
5. Attach your leash to 5th line or centre line re-ride, it is good to know you can let go and kill all the power.

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When non-cyclists design


I always thought this was very very very stupid (and maybe i am not alone)

road.cc

Screenshot 2014-11-26 10.51.20When we initially reported on the Smart Hat, the overwhelming response we got was that it must be some sort of joke. This has apparently been a common reaction and the cycle helmet’s Australian designer, Toby King, is rather puzzled by how cyclists have greeted his work. “I’m going ‘it’s a safety device – it’s for yoursafety’.”

Speaking to SBS Cycling Central, King explained how his unique design had evolved.

“My thinking was, here’s something that will improve safety with the same mechanisms and devices of other road users. Brake lights, headlights, indicators. It’s a simple and intuitive system to use. And then the extension of that line of thinking was; if you’re going to put a power system in a helmet, there’s a lot of other things you can do which are interesting and useful. Ultrasonic proximity was one thing, someone gets warned when there’s somebody close to them.”

King is hoping that the Smart Hat could one day be available for A$200 (around £110) but an industrial designer has estimated the price to be at least ten times greater than that. They also pointed out that with all the various gizmos, the helmet would be extremely cumbersome to wear for any length of time. King disputes this and also appears unconcerned by a potentially high cost.

“I know people are willing to spend 10-15K on a bicycle. What’s the value of safety, or saving yourself from trauma to your head?

“I don’t think it will weigh too much either. Our heads and necks are designed to take quite a load anyway. We’ve got eight kilograms of weight in bone and brain already.

“It’s not going to be a major problem, but if it is, some of it can be put in other areas of the bicycle. And there’s not much weight in there anyway. There’s batteries, there’s an iPhone, and a display. It’s something you don’t really know until it’s been prototyped.”

Love the way the display is for city and the mockup shows country.
Love the way the display is for city and the mockup shows country.

King describes overall reaction to the Smart hat as ‘mixed’.

“I’ve had the knee-jerk from cyclists, ‘it’s horrible’, ‘we hate it’. But I’ve also had a lot of people saying this is a really interesting idea – you know – nobody has done a sophisticated safety helmet before, some have said, ‘where can I buy it’, others have phoned up saying they want to invest in it.”

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King admits that he doesn’t actually ride a bike himself – he “honestly prefers vehicles”. However, he says that people like him might be persuade to cycle if it were safer. He believes his design would help in this regard.

“It is a safety device. It makes other road users understand what cyclists are doing, it allows cyclists to understand what other road users are doing with proximity sensors and mirrors. It can only be a good thing. Which is why I’m a bit puzzled by the reaction from cyclists, when I’m going ‘it’s a safety device – it’s for your safety’.”

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People would definitely call out to you ‘Oi HELMET HEAD….’

Pre winter depression


Liking this snow

-Bike Life in Swedish Lapland-

I´ve bee lazy. No riding, no writing, no podcasting. All work and no play just like on the Overlock hotel.
October and November is just the worst time of year. It´s all a long wait for proper winter to arrive. We had some cold beautiful days with temperatures below freezing. Then when it starts snowing it gets warmer and the lovely white stuff is just a grey wet blob. Also its so dark when the snow is not here. It´s a pain in the ass to just wait for winter trails and the ice to freeze up so we can go ice riding in the archipelago. Inspiration for riding now is just gone. Still i got a lot of stuff going on and great plans for the winter. But i´ll get back to that i later posts.

One thing i´d sure like to do more this winter is ride the…

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