New cranks

new middleburn crank and bottom bracket to replace the worn 2007 XTR and the ill fitting bottom bracket. The bike shop rang to say the bottom bracket is a thing of beauty – shame it is hidden away inside then.


Race Saturday which hopefully means 75km without creaking (not sure about the rider though)

Taking it easy – but what’s the drag

Sitting on the turbo doing a simple 45min spin as the RACE MTB 75km is on Saturday and I am not totally prepared. Think it will be the case of finishing ……

So turbo today

Screenshot 2015-04-30 12.06.27

But afterwards there is a faint plastic smell – I look around

2015-04-30 10.58.43

2015-04-30 10.58.51

my initial thought it was the rear tyre – but it is a thicker turbo specific tyre so thats not the culprit ….. then i find out the error is the resistance lead for the turbo has been rubbing against the tyre for the whole ride

that isn't a highlight on the the black lead - it is metal
that isn’t a highlight on the the black lead – it is metal

Trip Photography

Camera for your bike trip – I love my fuji x-pro 1 but haven’t taken it on the rougher trips….. (Yet)


Watching people arrive at a Patagonia’s natural behemoths and instantly whip out their pole mounted GoPros to start taking selfies, you have to wonder whether we’d all just be better off if the camera was left at home (or at least the pole). The sense of having to have ‘something to show’ for the trip and upload to Facebook is a trap most of us of the digital age tend to fall into, not least of all me. I had thought, therefore, that my recent reduction to ‘cameraless’ status might somehow be a blessing in disguise; a burden removed, leaving nothing but to soak up the raw experiences and incredible sights. I was wrong. What I’ve come to realise is that, for me at least, photography has became a truly integral part of the trip; something that lets me express what it is about a place that interests me, as…

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reblog Cielo Bikes – shining the light on RIH BIKES

Cielo I love – been looking at some of their steel beauties…. on their blog they speak about this brand – one I had never heard of before

Amsterdam, 1921.  RIH Sport is found by two brothers, Willem and Joop Bustraan. The brothers began making lugged frames, no mill or lathe to be found, everything done by hand. The production process took its manufacturing cues more from the artisanal guild practices common throughout Europe before the industrial revolution than from the methods unearthed during the revolution itself.

Photo by Michiel Rotgans

1928 brought the addition of Willem’s son, Willem Jr. Through WWII, surviving Nazi occupation, the trio continued building frames for racers and riders despite the oppressive conditions, going so far as allowing racers to get frames on a layaway program. While we combed the office admiring photographs of champions who have ridden RIH frames through the years we found the register from the 1920’s which still resides collecting dust on one of the shop’s workbenches, a testament to their commitment to the community and their craft.

Photo by Michiel Rotgans

When the time came for the founding brothers to pass the business on to Willem Jr, he quickly realized he wouldn’t be able to meet demand on his own. Willem Jr was exceptionally fortunate to have Wim van der Kaaij, who had wandered into the shop at 10 years old and never really left. Wim met the current World Champion, Gerrit Schulte, at the RIH shop, and began work the next day.

From the moment that he stepped into the shop, Wim was enthralled. Although he couldn’t have known it at the time, this would be his first, last, and only job. He started his career sweeping the shop floors and gradually learned the tools of the trade by helping out where he could. Once he began working full-time, Willem Jr and Wim worked together building bikes well into the latter half of the 20th century. Willem Jr later retired while Wim continued building frames into his 70s for a never ending backlog of customers. Wim estimated that throughout his career he had built over 5,000 frames by hand.

Photo by Michiel Rotgans

Finally Wim recognized that he couldn’t build frames forever, which is where the current RIH owners come into light, Lester and Lorenzo. Lester is RIHs prodigal son, apprenticing under Wim, then taking some time to travel. Lester returned to RIH with Lorenzo in tow. These two have a passion for bicycles and an understanding of what it will take to make RIH’s commitment to craft appreciated by contemporary consumers. They had spent hours convincing Wim of the benefits of threadless headsets and even a social media existence. Slowly but surely they are bringing RIH cycles into the modern era, while Wim’s skepticism and questioning instilled into the Lester and Lorenzo a concrete sense of what truly goes into making a RIH.

Recently, after Wim passed away, Lester shared a thought Wim had years prior: “When God needs a framebuilder, he’ll let me know.” Wim quite literally worked in the shop until his last day, leaving pressure along with intense pride of craftmanship with Lester.

You can learn more about RIH by following them on Facebook and Instagram and you might find that a RIH is just the bike you were looking for.

Not A Museum Piece

The more i think about those old Herse Bikes the more i desire one …. interesting post this

Off The Beaten Path


When bikes are as stunningly beautiful as the machines from René Herse, Alex Singer and other French constructeurs, it is easy to dismiss them as “beauty queens” or “show bikes.” This would be a mistake: The performance of these bikes is as outstanding as their appearance. They confirm the old saying: “What looks right usually is right.”

When I first became interested in the bikes of René Herse and Alex Singer, collectors told me: “Yes, they are beautiful to look at, but they probably aren’t so great to ride.” As a rider, that dampened my interest in these machines. 


So imagine my surprise when I read Bernard Déon’s classic book Paris-Brest et Retour about the history of the famous 1200 km PBP randonneur event, and saw that these bikes had not only been ridden for that long distance, but ridden at incredible speeds. For example, Roger Baumann (above) completed the…

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New toy arrives 

but the shipper has destroyed it …..

Box munched by delivery giant so the board has been damaged – waiting to see what the shop / courier offer.



 Edges and cracks to get epoxy resin on. I am fuming. 

The board (if new) looks great though 



Wet suit?

i had to look at publish date – but it said april 23….. Really this whole concept is flawed ….. except this is TBWA and advertising and spreading viral is your game.

You’re a busy businessman with busy businessman things to do. Meetings, phone calls, emails, Vines, steak dinners, and the finest wines available to humanity, buy, sell, buy, sell.

But it all doesn’t leave that much time for recreation. Quiksilver in Japan and agency TBWA\HAKUHODO decided to do something about that by creating a wetsuit that doubles as a business suit. For real. The True Wetsuit features a jacket and pants made from two-millimeter super high-stretch jersey neoprene, and the shirt is made with “dryflight” fabric made by Quiksilver and 3M for superior water repellency.

Japanese surfers can get their own made-to-order True Wetsuit online, which includes a jacket, pants, shirt and tie, for about $2,500 (USD) and takes about two months for delivery. After that, you’ll be ready for every kind of board meeting.

solar covered bike lanes in Korea 

Here is a video link to something amazing 




Connects the towns of Daejeon and Sejong (around 20 miles apart) a few hours from the capital city of Seoul, South Korea, this two-lane bike path provides weather protection for bicyclists (from sun and rain) but also powers the lights along the highway for both bikes and cars. A similar system could potentially even be tapped by rural houses in remote areas along more off-the-grid routes.

solar topped bike path

There are many possible critiques of this approach, not least of which involve concern for the safety of cyclists, but since many already bike illegally along the shoulders of high-speed freeways this at least seems like a step up for their well-being. You can see a good portion of the span in the drone-captured video above watch that first and then decide whether it looks like a good place to ride.

With fewer inter-city intersections to contend with, bikers are able to use the route without too much interruption and exit it at periodic intervals. Whether this would be accepted somewhere like the United States, where pollution concerns and safety standards might pose hurdles, is another question – for now, it is live along one stretch in South Korea and if it goes over well may spread within or beyond that country.

Maybe I don’t need the boat after all


I played a video of this boat the other day and thought it was the best then I saw this …….


Ok in a regatta and rescued quickly but open ocean would be a very scary prospect ……

Full video

Testing time – no not my daughter

been mapping out a route for bikepacking / fat biking through some parts of the cairngorm range. So planning to stop at a bothy overnight but although fine in principle there is always the uncertainty of not knowing what the bothy is like.

A chance came to do a test recce – one of my ex wife’s elderly relatives passed away so she flew up to shetland with my oldest daughter for the funeral. The younger daughter was with me and this coincided with a break in the weather.

So we headed off to feshie bridge with a plan to cycle in to glenfeshie bothy. It is barely a jaunt at 12km in on trails but for a 8yo it seemed longer.

 I loaded my fat bike up with both sleeping bags, sleeping mats and carried spare clothes. I put cooking stuff into my backpack along with some food. Rehydrated packs for dinner and some porridge for the morning. And then some fruit and also some jelly baby enticement for the young one and a wee hip flask of single malt for me.  

It was good going although she was tired and kept on with ‘how long ’til we get there’ 

The river/ streams were snow melt but only knee high – although 3 crossing each time of the 4 rivers – once for my bike once for hers and once with her meant my feet got chilly


But we made it after a longer than it should have been ride  

The bothy was great and despite the great weather – it was 16C – it was empty apart from us. During easter? 

Needn’t have bought all the pots either as there was plenty to cook with, good to know for the big adventure 

The next morning there was a bit of fog to burn off but it was hot by the time we left.



 Equipment wise everything is working well- the fat bike is superb laden on rough trails the low psi means it just conforms to the trail. The salsa anything cages keep the weight distributed all over the bike and the alpkit handlebar and seat bag are secure and stay steady even down stone steps.

I can’t wait for the proper adventure now 

I need to win the lottery and to live somewhere warmer …

It has been a long time since Ive had excitement around a new boat launch, but I think if ever a boat deserved it, it’s the world’s first fully foiling cruiser/racer.

Sick work from all the Gunboat G4 build/design team, and I love this film of Timbalero 3′s sea trials.

Avoiding trains – or when the pros duck ….

from peleton mag – I saw Paris Roubaix replay last night and flinched when they crossed the train lines as the TGV was approaching at high speed …

Apr 13, 2015 – The French state railway company on Monday demanded police action against “irresponsible” Paris-Roubaix cycle race riders who breached a safety barrier seconds before a high speed train hurtled by.

The SNCF company made an official complaint to French prosecutors saying the action in Sunday’s prestigious race had risked a deadly tragedy. The last of the riders went through the barrier in northern France about eight seconds before the TGV train arrived at the Waller crossing, 87 kilometers (54 miles) from the end of the so called “Hell of the North” race.

One rider from the Belgian Lotto team was clipped by a barrier as it came down. John Degenkolb, winner of the race famed for its 27 sections of bone-jarring cobbled roads, was among the group who went through the barrier as it closed. Race organizers said it had not been possible for the leaders to stop in time.

“Several riders deliberately, and against all safety rules, crossed a closed safety barrier,” said a SNCF statement announcing the complaint to French prosecutors. “Millions of television viewers saw live this extremely grave and irresponsible action which could have been tragic,” the company added.

“A few seconds later, a TGV ran on this line and could have hit the peloton.” When the last rider had gone through the crossing, a police motorcycle was in place to stop more riders going through.

– Legitimate reaction – 

Normally riders who go through a closed safety crossing are disqualified. But Guy Dobbelaere, president of the jury of race commissioners, defended the action of the riders on Sunday.

“It wasn’t possible for the leading riders to stop sufficiently safely,” said Dobbelaere.

“The peloton was 10 meters away when the barrier started to close.” Race director Thierry Gouvenou added: “By neutralizing the race for a few moments to not penalize those who stopped, we respected the spirit of the rule. “In theory, those who pass when the barrier is down are thrown out of the race.

“This time, that would have been unjust in respect of those riders who weren’t identified,” said Gouvenou. Christian Prudhomme, the director of both Paris-Roubaix and the Tour de France, seemed to side with the SNCF over the incident, suggesting the riders should have stopped.

“The SNCF are doing their job, their reaction is legitimate,” said the head of the ASO organisation that runs many of the biggest races in cycling. “We will try to make the riders more sensitive to this subject. “There were three policemen and a gendarme (at the barriers) but several riders didn’t yield to the gendarme’s signal (to stop).”

Further down the road, race officials slowed the leading riders so that those held up by the barrier could catch up. World cycling’s governing body, the UCI, released a statement saying safety must remain paramount. “Following two extremely worrying incidents that occurred over the past week during the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country) and Paris-Roubaix, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) would like to reiterate that safety should at all times be the number one priority of all those involved in a cycling race,” it said.

“The UCI is taking both incidents very seriously and has requested that a comprehensive report on each of them be submitted as soon as possible for review and potential action. It is everyone’s duty to make sure that our beautiful sport of cycling is not tarnished by incidents that appear to have been avoidable.” In 2006, three riders were disqualified for going through a closed railway crossing.

The three — Leif Hoste and Peter van Petegem of Belgium and Russian Vladimir Guseve — were less than 10 kilometers (six miles) from the finish and had been disputing top places.

Spy bike tracker – a great idea for your 6k princess


The latest weapon in the war against bike thieves is the SpyBike GPS tracker – a device the size of a tube of Smarties that fits inside a bicycle’s steering column and can track its whereabouts anywhere in the world.

The £83 SpyBike allows a cyclist to track the location of their bicycle anywhere in the world should it be stolen. The SpyLamp nestles beneath an innocuous-looking headset cap beneath which hides GPS technology, the workings from a pay-as-you-go mobile phone and a motion sensor to allow the bicycle owner to track the whereabouts of their bike via a website using Google Maps.

Once armed, any movement of the bicycle will prompt the tracker to send a text to its owner and begin to send details of its location, which can be tracked online.

Car tracker systems that emit a VHFsignal, which can be picked up by receivers fitted to police cars have been available for years. The technology is proven, but expensive; the cost of buying the unit and having it installed can run to hundreds of pounds and there is also a subscription to pay. The Spybike is cheaper to buy and costs pennies to run. Using a typical pay-as-you-go SIM card, each position upload costs approximately GBP 0.0006p.
, which is currently testing the Spybike tracker, says: “Cyclists and insurers alike have been waiting for a product like this for years – unlike any existing security device it puts the bike thief on the back foot.”