Twinkly Dave – Mud splattered bicycle and pizza enthusiast Growing old disgracefully

November 3, 2008

flattering to deceive

Filed under: bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 11:22 am

I think I needed that. A proper nice ride on the scandal race bike, nowhere new – just the “usual” route through abbey village, roddlesworth res., darwen tower, reservoirs again, belmont, up to masts, down swoopy singletrack, down fast gravel track past farm, up school climb, rivi pike, AICR, home – but I nailed everything, the climbs were skipped up with a flow that I’ve not had for ages, the descents were skimmed down with a smoothness that I didn’t realise I’d not had, but was delighted to rediscover.

The fact that many of the trails have been eaten away badly by the rain didn’t slow me, in fact the extra technicality just had me grinning as i flung the bike around underneath me like…well, like an extension of myself (uugh, I hate using that turn of phrase). My legs felt fresh and powerful – I even chased down a roadie (who was, in turn, chasing down a roadie) up the road from belmont – everyting just, flowed. Damn, I used “flow” again, feel free to insert your own superlative for my greatness instead 🙂
Everything worked, everything felt smooth, comfy and fast on the bike – like it should be, like you always hope it will be when you first set off on each ride – and it wasn’t until I’d finished cleaning said bike after the ride that I realised maybe the no-holds-barred, flat-out-race-bike had a lot to do with just how well i was riding.

I’ve spent ages setting up it up perfectly for me, so it should flow like some sort of really good flowy thing, it’s built up with components I trust to the Nth degree and I’ve not compormised anywhere, so when i skim down the steep cobbly descent near darwen tower, past the rider on a full suss, feeling like i’m gliding a rocket down over marshmellows the bike has to take at least part of the credit.

scandal in race mode

anyway, it’s done it’s secondary job and made me feel great about riding (it’s primary role being to kick other people’s arses round various race courses) so I think I’ll put it away until the next race and stop convincing myself that I’m better than I actually am!

In other news, Angela’s decided that she needs to learn all the “proper” mtb skills you develop from riding a hardtail and wants something faster and more purposeful that her current full suss cruiser, so has bought her self one of these:

giant arete 2
(click for biggie)

how nice is that?!
I reckon that’s all the bike you need to go from enthusiastic “have a go at anything” rider right through to, well, anything you like. I’d be happy on that (if i were a girl), be it riding all day, messing about on the singletrack or even racing. The fact that she got it for under £500 just makes it even better.

In fact I’ll tell you what it reminds me of – my old cannondale. It’s built up with a similar level of components (well, actually it’s got some nicer stuff on it) and has a nice frame that’d be worth hanging nice pimpy stuff off as parts wear out. Basically it looks like a bike that can progess as you get better and start to demand more from your components. I went from enthusiastic rider, through transalp have-a-goer to racerhead on the cannondale and that giant looks like a bike that could keep up just as well.

September 11, 2008

Uncle John – First Impressions

Filed under: bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 2:49 pm

Quite nice actually.
Seems nicely set up for suffering on, which is often considered the whole point of CX, and suffer I did as I hammered it for a couple of hours yesterday evening. Not too stretched out to lose any control over the rough stuff but not too stuck up in the air to slow down progress on the road/smoother bits
Quite quick too. It’s a bit heavier than the PX road bike, not too suprising really, and only a tad lighter than the tricked out ScandAL but it happily caught up a roadie on a nice Orbeas (sp) heading out to Longridge and eventually dropped him. Woo.

Has a nice solid feel to the frame when stood up thrashing about up a hill, no power was lost to flex, or wobbly wheels, so they seem to be nicely built too. Didn’t hurt over the off road stuff like I expected it too either, seemed to absorb the bumps nicely and not skip about like a demented deer, even with the Land Crsuiers pumped up to 65psi.

Compact chainset (34/50) combined with 10 speed 105 gearing gave enough gears to spin up the fireroads of beacon fell without being undergeared for the roadie bashing on the way there and the FSA chainset seemed stiff enough while shifting fairly smoothly.

uncle john on the trails

LX cantis reminded me of the “good old days” of MTBing where you spent more time in the shed getting the brakes to work without squealing/rubbing/missing the rim/hitting the tyre etc than actually riding, but performed well enough and the cables are up on top of the top tube, so might stay gunk free for a bit longer.

The PX finishing kit was all comfy and not overly heavy, nice wide drop bars offered more control and I now know what bar tape should actually look like when it’s been fitted properly (my own efforts now seem rather amateur by comparison), I already knew the saddle was comfy (even the cro-mo railed version, with less flex than the Ti one) from other bikes, the seatpost just sort of sat there and held the seat up (nice) and the stem was just sort of stemm-y. They looked quite nice too, in an understated kind of way.

My few attempts at proper CX running remounts went disasterously wrong and i’m no longer sure i can father children, but at least i provided some unexpected entertainment for a family out for an evening walk. i might take it a bit easier during the 3 peaks.
Oh and i still can’t run. At all.

September 9, 2008

New Bike

Filed under: bikes,new car,on-one — dgpowell @ 9:44 am

It arrived the The Biggest Box Ever ™. So big it didn’t fit in the berlingo properly, even with all the seats down. In fact I had to drive with the driver and passenger seats as far forward as they’d go (uncomfortable), with the box sat on top of the headrests (possibly not 100% legal…).

Got home to discover that the lock on the tailgate had decided it wasn’t interested in unlocking, so I had to hack the Biggest Box Ever ™ to pieces in situ and dismantle the bike to get it out for the side door! Arse!
Have now manged to get the lock to work a bit, though it does require much waggling of the key (and swearing) for anything to happen, grrr. Insurance is due this month too, lousy expensive mode of travel.

Anyhoo, here it is, leant against a big pile of a) other stuff I’d ordered b) angela’s bike, awaiting fettling and c) another box with an old knackered bike awaiting a trip to the tip.
Feel free to insert a joke about my entire house being a tip…

uncle john

It’s already had a computer fitted and the tyres changed (to the land cruisers I’ve been running on the scandal for the last couple of weeks, in preperation for the 3 peaks later this month). Quite nice, I think you’ll agree.

Camping was nice, despite the weather on thursday night being slightly more than my tent was designed for. Still, I stayed dry and warm…angela didn’t stay quite so dry, but that’s ok 🙂
We still got out and enjoyed the sights (more piccies to follow), ate and drank, walked, rode bikes…you know, the usual stuff you do. Nice.

sunset on the beach

See? Lovely.

September 3, 2008

camping, not racing, racing

Filed under: bikes,not bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 11:34 am

Off camping tomorrow for the weekend in wales, which should test the waterproofness of my tent to the max* see what i mean?!

I’d be annnoyed at the weather if it hadn’t been like that for the WHOLE OF SUMMER.

It’ll be quite odd sleeping in a tent without having a race the day after

Getting an Uncle John for the 3 peaks and to do some cross races on over the winter, seeing as leisure lakes don’t seem to be running their little xc races any more – which isn’t such a bad thing as i was desperately running out of space in the house for trophies 😀

The other reason for getting one is because it’ll match my new shoes:
disco slippers

*tent re-waterproofing spray on standby and already packed

August 22, 2008

cyclo-what?

Filed under: bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 11:46 am

After a couple of weeks of “resting” since SITS (it’s my ‘off season’, so i’m king of slobbing right now…pies with everything and all that), i took myself out for a ride yesterday to get a bit of practice in for the 3 peaks.
Now, my spangly newpompino isn’t here yet (end of next week apparently, woo!), so i chucked a set of michelin mud cross tyres on the scandal (matt’s tyres, no less), pumped them up to 65psi and headed off round the 3 towers route.

I was expecting to fly along the roads like a man possessed on the skinny tyres, but TBH all i discovered was just how good the racing ralphs really are – despite being massooff-wide things they don’t appear to have much more rolling resistance than the cross tyres i was running!
Saying that i was still impressed with just how grippy the mud cross’ were, they gripped far better than i was expecting and didn’t let me down once. Ok it got a bit hairy if i drifted off line, but overall they were great.
They made my hands hurt a bit too, coming down the bumpy descents over rivi, but i can’t really blame them for that.

Major downer of the day (not includingthe constant rain and fact that i wasn’t overheating despite wearing thermal 3/4 leggings in august) came from the Ti eggbeaters, which appear to have died a death in the spring tension department. I’d decided to get used to singlespeeding by just not changing gear (simple, eh?!) but ended up giving up after my feet kept popping out of the the pedals whever i really tried to haul muself up anything out of the saddle. In fact i must have looked like some sort of bicycle-martial-arts-expert as i seemingly ninja-kicked my way up the climb from belmont to the masts at rivi!

Anyhoo, the schwalbe land cruisers* have arrived today, so i’ll fit them on the scandal tonight to start getting used to them – they don’t look anywhere near as grippy (so they should roll faster, i guess) but if they’re good enough for rob jebb, they’re good enough for me!

*THE tyre for the 3 peaks apparently…in fact it won’t be long before the rules state “land cruisers only” i imagine

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