Theatre Thursday: Decent Descent


Even if you haven’t ridden a long, snaking descent, you’ll know from watching the Tour de France and other races on TV that nothing is quicker going down one than a decent rider on a bicycle – remember Vincenzo Nibali’s winning attack in Il Lombardia last year when he zoomed past a couple of motos?

This video from Colombia shows the awkward moment when a pair of motorcyclists out on their bikes on a road near the capital Bogota were overtaken by a cyclist who’s clearly nailed his descending skills.

The biker in front is having none of it, though and gets back in front of the cyclist – not with the intention of giving him a tow, by the look of it – with the rider sensibly dropping back and expresses frustration to the other motorcyclist about his friend’s actions.

Of course, we couldn’t mention a descent in South America without flagging up one of our all-time favourite videos – the Brazilian rider who drafted a lorry … at 124kph.

Hyperlapse the end of shaky GoPro Footage


Microsoft have released test footage of a new app they are developing aimed at making hours of wobbly film into a beautiful timelapse which perhaps for once, your friends might actually enjoy.

The software creates a 3D map of the original footage and then analyses each frame of the video for shots that will link together smoothly. These ‘points’ are then connected together to create a slick, smooth timelapse.

It is a bit early to say how effective this will be in the surf, but it will certainly work great for the road trip and is definitely exciting.

The full algorithms and processes going on to make this happen are scientifically deep, so probably just best to get stuck into the footage…

The Cape Verde Kitesurf experience

So booked a holiday with planet Kitesurf to Cape Verde.

Flights for this holiday are either from glasgow or Manchester so I left glasgow yesterday after lunch and traveled south to stay/visit a friend an hour from the airport.


Alarm goes at 4am and I am driving to the airport dreading the reception I might get with Thomson airline (package holiday specialists) but as it turns out I am pleasantly surprised by the whole experience. Check in and the security are effortless, even with surfboard kite kit and sports goods. Terminal fine and food fine – wow put perception aside grumpy old man.

The flight is 6 hours but spent most of it asleep – or watching breaking bad on my iPad.
Landed and Cape Verde customs and passport control is pretty easy no issues and my driver is waiting for me – well walking to me as the the surfboard is giving it all away. Transfer to accom is 8 min. And this is my accommodation


View from window

Lounge with kit

Huge self service apartment B&B but bar and cafe downstairs. I walked up the beach to the Kitesurf centre I am based out of for the week – it is laid back with bar attached but I am chomping at the bits as the 25C weather and 22C water are beckoning but little wind. So I hit the bar and watch the sunset and have one of these …..

Friday dawns and the wind is already more than yesterday but not a lot.

I get a taxi with my kit to the centre at 9:30 as it opens and rig up my largest kite – the RRD obsession 9m and go out on my surfboard – a bit underpowered but a good 45min on the water before coming in as the wind drops to 12 knots…… Aaaargh.
Step 2 sees me renting a 12m north rebel from the centre and going out on the twintip board – it is alright but realise the rebel is completely crap at jumping – it floats fine but at 15 foot rather than 30ft up…..
I came in for lunch and the wind seemed to be going up so I rigged my new 8m Best TS 2014 kite and went out on the surfboard with a GoPro attached a sure recipe for calamity if ever there was one.
As an aside I would say leave the surfboard at home and bring a skimboard or big twintip instead – the waves at the moment are knee to waist high bumps and nothing you need to worry about. This is not Cape Town or tiree for sure….

But the kite (best TS V3 2014 8m) is everything I loved about my old Waroo but even better in every aspect. Light on the bar but fingertip control riding blindside and incredible responsive. Very good indication of power so never felt in danger of over sheeting and stalling the kite even though I was pretty underpowered.
Can’t wait to use it overpowered back home in scotland as it seems to be a boost machine with incredible range.

So used 3 kites today and beginning to realise that a perfect day here is not going to materialise and that the 6m is going to stay locked away in the room and unfortunately unused.

Let’s see what the weekend special is….!

Saturday turns out to be more of the same and the wind is lighter and gustier than I want but took the rear foot strap off the surfboard to start practising going strapless. Went out with the 9m and the wind seems fine and I film the whole thing on my GoPro so hopefully I can tell why I can do the 5 gybes no problem but fall off at other times. Then by afternoon I decide that I might as well get rid of both foot straps – it is liberating although going over waves requires a more delicate approach to easing off kite pressure to ensure the board and I stay together.

Later I see if I can get the twin tip going but still no good

SUP’ing I think I could like this

spent a bit of time down in the flat calm getting used to the board and practising turns etc and then went for 5km paddle to loosen me up ….

SUPsunny day and warm around 20 degrees C

Need to get in the waves soon and have a proper play

Screen Shot 2013-07-28 at 12.32.19


What a Sunday – riding in Glentress (I forgot how perfect it was)

I have never been one to huck off mountains … mtb for me is about the adventure of the ride as well as the flow though my trails …. Sunday I joined a cousin (in-law) who had made the trip down from Orkney for the weekend with some pals to sample some of the best UK riding on offer for MTB’ing.


Glentress Forest is a mountain biking Mecca deep in the heart of the stunning Tweed Valley. The biking experience here includes Green, Blue, Red or Black graded trails, as well as a magnificent multi-graded free-ride area. In the unlikely event that Glentress fails to meet your thirst for biking exhilaration, you are only a short hop from Innerleithen’s famous Red Bull down-hill and cross country trails.The area offers a rich variety of things to do with the small Borders towns of Peebles and Innerleithen the ideal base for visitors, but don’t just take our word for it, come and experience it for yourself, you won’t be disappointed !

If you have never made the trip to Glentress -Then you owe it to yourself to go. Everytime it just gets better (with the possible loss of the old cafe folks who ran the old cafe)

The trails are beautiful and graded much like skiing with a Black,Red Blue designation to show difficulty. The boys i met up with all had full suss bikes with 5/6inch travel and decent 2.3 Maxxis rubber and i was there on my 96er hard tail with 80mm of front fork travel flashing my race pedigree Racing Ralphs … more XC than DH. My white clip in spd shoes screamed out my desire to head up and across more than their soft shoes and platform pedals – at least we all had GoPro‘s to play with (3 cameras for 5 people)

will try edit something together and put it up but may insert a quick clip soon.

But at the end of the day I realised that my lovely ti Carver 96er is a beast when it comes to the trail – I could hang with the best of our bunch and as i saw later my Strava sections were all alright.

Here are my 5 runs on the Berm Baby Berm section (blue but very flowy at speed) – we spent most of the day doing the same small red and blue sections grinning ear to ear all the time ….

I have a free day Saturday and then moving house Monday Aaaargh – so planning another ride – after the last 2 MTB rides I am tempted to scrap the road ride on offer …. Mmmm decision decisions ….

mtb travelogue through Scotland

i love this video – simple narrative story and looks like an adventure …. nicely done guys.

400km 7000D+, Scottish breakfast, sheeps, 3 cowboys and me for a backpacking WeekTravel in Scotland !

Fort Williams to Inverness by Singles & bikepark as the Wolf Track of Laggan,
We arrived the day of the MTB Ben Nevis Tour.

Video Self-produced with a basic 550D and monopode
With the MTB riders of travelingexperience during their Friends backpacking trip in sept / oct 2011
(Nicolas Marchais – Pierre Tsikis – Fabien Leduc –

Direct edit & shoot by me – Pierre Managed the Gopro captures (endings stuff)

Thx much to Todd from Arms for the music use
Go and listen to them :
And -“Hi-Land-Coo” for the endings…

Next step, soon In Bretagne so… “stay tuned” 😉
Thx for watch till the bonus ;))

MTB riding in Orkney

Despite having my road bike and my MTB up in Orkney i knew that roadie stuff would probably be better … Orkney is not known for it’s mtb trails with no dedicated trails like you find further south like Wolftraxx, dalbeatie, kirroughtree, 7 Staines and Selkirk … still Colin my cousin in law was keen for me to bing the mtb up and go for a ride …. here is the ride on ridewithgps

neither steep or speedy

So on Wednesday we headed west into the dark mass of pissing rain that threatened to ruin the ride … luckily the rain stopped after 20 mins. I put the GoPro HD onto a bar mount to test it out for bigger days as well as wearing the chest harness to see how it would look with mtb’ing. have some video footage I will try put together at some point …. bar i think worked better as I am too over the bars with the chest mount meaning most of the time it looks downwards – not great when with other bikes …. The best position is probably going to be around the seat post so you bike gives you a static reference point for scenery and for rider movement on the bike (as well as a bit protected from mud ….)

at the rocks with a nice view

The ride was fine – lots of fields and climbing over walls to get to the top point ….

Colin got two punctures on the ride – a rare dealing for me having run UST tyres since 2001 at least …. rode to the cairn then back across the mixed shale, slate, crazy paving, cairns, peat and bogs. Only 11km and yet took an hour and a half – but think Colin may have died if it was a very quick ride and i was told not to kill him ….

chambered cairn now disappearing into the sea - site of 2nd puncture

Nice to be on the Carver Ti96er again it really is a fantastic bike – it felt so squishy and soft after all the miles i have been doing on the road bike ….

Colin triumphant

The buck stops here – Mountain Biking in South Africa

Mountain Biker, Evan van der Spuy of Team Jeep South Africa got taken out by a RED HARTEBEES at amountain bike race at Albert Falls Dam. Check out this crazy footage which was taken by team mate Travis Walker on his GoPro Camera (great footage watch at 480)- The BUCK sure does STOP HERE with Evan van der Spuy

The Art of Carving Water

Nice video


Cool Runnings in top form doing 24kn+

The 7.50 Open is a high performance one-design boat. It is currently the faster monohull for its size. The Groupe Finot applied all its experience from the very successfull Open 50′ and 60′ to develop this great raceboat.

Some good action onboard the modified Finot Open 7.50




Yesterday’s Kite Session on GoPro

Not the nicest day with overcast skies and rain – but a good chance to try out chest rig and board setup for the GoPro HD

The board mount is not the easiest and tried hard to tighten the camera enough but got knocked forwards by the waves a few times. Chest harness good but kind of gets obscured by the harness on jumps – I guess another reason to learn to do all jumps unhooked.

Nice to on the DCboardz quad fin surfboard again as well.

Handplane Goodness – a how to make video and a tease

Bird Man Media presents Thomas Bexon of Thomas Surfboards hand shaping some hand planes.

Trouble In The Wind
“Eazy Goin'”

check out




Another video with GoPro to wet the appetite