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

June 25, 2007

Mayhem Rollcall – updated with added pic content

Filed under: bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 11:42 am

RESULTS: Apparently i did 21 laps (despite lots of people, including me, thinking i did 22) and came 6th out of 119.
Looking at the lap times there’s no big discrepancy that there would have to be for the organisers to have missed a lap, so i guess we miscounted…
Never mind, it’s still an improvement of 12 places – from 18th to 6th is quite a leap – and only 3 laps less than last year – on a longer and far muddier course…so i think i’m heading in the right direction!

Oh, I just realised that I still have my 100% PODIUM record for 2007 intact! Admittedly it’s only because the podium at mountain mayhem went silly low down (i mean really, 6th place on the stand?!), which is a technicality, but it counts so woo!
7 races, 7 podiums: 3x1sts, 3x2nds, 1x6th.

Bigging myself up a bit:

  • 1st placed fully rigid soloist
  • 1st placed 29er soloist
  • 1st placed rider fueled by morrisons cream cakes, cheese pasties and fruit smoothies (how proud am i?!)
  • 1st placed soloist whose shoes matched his frame (running out of ideas now…)

the cabal, before it got filthy(pic taken by wayne)

And now, after all that i’ll make everyone aware of just how many people it takes to make a solo rider:
In no particular order:
Wayne: Stayed up for as long as I did, washed the bikes 11 times IIRC, fed me, kept me “in the know” about how I was doing in fact the only thing he didn’t do was actually ride the bikes! Rocking
Guy: Always ready to go out of his way to help, never grumpy, generous to a tee, bought us ice creams
Samuri: Became bike/kit courier, remained cheerful even when i was faffing about after the race holding everyone up. Top bloke
Matt: another link in the bike courier chain (don’t ask), saved the day by figuring out how I could get the bikes to the race, understands the importance of cake
Brant: willing to cough up for a 100mile taxi ride if he thought it’d get me to the race quicker, instigator of the search for a place for us to stay in brum when the trains went wrong, came up with the whole idea behind the bikes, hasn’t complained about just how knackered his scandal is right now (alternatively, he might not know…)
Simon: risked cracking numerous lenses on camera trying to take pictures of me (and everyone else, all weekend)
The people on STW: who heard about our plight on the way down and immediately offered to get wayne and I there/put us up for the night, no questions asked.
Angela: (added after a mild telling off) sympathetic when i moan, helpful when i look lost, accepting of the fact that i’m never at home i’m always out riding (and when i am home i’m just slumped on the sofa looking tired), pretends to not notice how much i’m spending on bikes, cooks pies

On top of these seriously ace people there were a LOT of spectators/resting team racers who recognised me as I rode past and shouted encouragement, many I recognised (hello ed, tim, simon, I could go on…) many more I didn’t. It’s kind of weird being recognised and having “oy twinkydave”, “hows the new on-one” etc shouted out as your racing from the sidelines and “you’re dave, that on-one rider aren’t you” called out from other racers as they went past/I went past them. Weird, but in a really really good way!

As mentioned above, I can’t really say how I did officially yet, but riding wise I felt good for the whole race. Sadly there aren’t any tyres made for 29ers that I could find that could really cope with the thick sludge that the course turned into so, like most of the racers, the final 5 or 6 hours involved a lot of pushing/dragging through awful conditions.
Up until then I had found my rhythm in the first 3 laps, settled down and never felt the need to slow down while riding. I used the same gears on the climbs for the whole race, even during the worst of the conditions the bikes were sprightly enough to stay in the middle ring and spin or, when grip allowed, stand up and stomp. They also remained superbly composed downhill and along the flat in the totally slick conditions, despite the low profile summer tyres, so what I had imagined would be a serious deficit was no worse than what everyone around me – on mud tyres – were suffering. The parts of the course that remained rideable were still fun on lap 21, 23hrs into the race, if that gives you an idea of just how much I like them.

at the end - looking rough as fk apparently(pic by wayne)

June 13, 2007

Is it too early for the…

Filed under: bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 9:58 am

…Mountain Mayhem weatherwatch to begin?

clicky clicky

As you can see i don’t think so!
Currently the forecast is: muddy, and rainy.
This cheers me up as i do better in the mud. I doubt it will cheer up Wayne, however, who’s life as support crew will be reduced to continual bike cleaner!

Oh, and just to show that i have learned my lesson from 24hr races gone by:

brake pads

lots of spare brake pads (more to come), to compliment the full new set on the cabal. Also, the scandal is coming to the race as a 2nd bike so i should be able to keep riding wheatever (barring any injury or stupid amount of mishaps, of course) – yes, it’s got new brake pads too!

June 11, 2007

Cabal – one week on*

Filed under: bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 10:14 am

*One week and one day actually, but who’s counting?!

The finishing touches were done on 2nd June. It’s now 336.5 miles old. It’s done 5 rides (one of which was a 4 mile rag round town to check everything had bedded in properly), including one century…which i am considering classing as M.B.R.2 – 3 towers > MTL > Burnley/Hebden Bridge Circular.

It still rocks, with the only things going wrong with it so far being the brakes taking a while to bed in (they are now suprisingly powerful considering their light weight and small rotors), the front hub loosening off (never, ever had that happen before) and it getting very dusty!
tiny rear rotor on the cabal

I am still enjoying it emmensely, mostly cos if the ride quality but also partly because my endurance is right where i wanted it to be for the 24hr race season. Take last friday’s century for instance, after 99 miles i hit the darwin tower climb for the second time (the first being only 10 miles into the ride) in exactly the same gear and flew up it slightly faster as i felt fresh as a daisy 9hrs into a near non-stop, off-road ride.
OK my speed is lacking at the moment, but i don’t think i’ve ever felt fitter as far as “just keep going” is concerned.

June 2, 2007

Cabal’s first ride

Filed under: bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 9:10 pm

yes it does look good Less than 24hrs after i finished setting up the brakes (dear god Hope’s system of using lots of shims to fine tune the calpier alignment is fiddly!) i rode the cabal out of the door and off down the road for it’s first ride (gingerly, terrifed the wheels would collapse under me).

Just over 75 miles later, after a big road ride and a couple of laps of gisburn forest’s red route and a bit of a play on longridge fell i got home again, grinning and utterly made up.

first impressions:
It’s fast, damn fast. Faster than the scandal. It’s a good couple of pounds lighter, but with the same cockpit length/height so it took very little getting use to.

There’s less rotating weight at the outside of the wheels so they gave a much “snappier” quality to the ride; i found the bike easier to change direction on in tricky slow situations than the uber-lightweight cannondale ever managed, yet with any momentum under you the natural surefootedness of the 29er took over and just let me absolutely fly!

The frame soaks up much more vibration than the scandium scandal and when combined with carbon forks and bars gives such a comfortable ride it’s almost disconcerting. Then you get used to it and discover you can lay more power down without getting a beating through your arms and you rock! Then you combine that with the 29er’s ability to roll over all sorts of obsticals from loose rocks and rubble to rooty drops smoothly and you rock more. You rock a lot.

The effective* angles are the same as the scandal, so you get the same ride quality from being able to get yourself in “just the right place” on the bike. Or maybe i should say “in” the bike, as it does feel like a fluid extension of your body (yes, i know that sounds cheesy)…when you’re ‘on a good day’ the bike will just flick for you with the slightest twist of your hips and skim over anything with a deft lift of the wrists and legs. Yummy fun.

*Effective as the seat tube is curved, first forward to make front mech clearance better, then back to give a bigger range of distance from headtube to saddle depending on the saddle’s height…all very clever, clever enough for brant to announce “i am a f-king genius” when i mentioned that his design idea had seemed to work

The only downside i’ve found, if it can be called that: The front end is quite high up…you don’t notice it when sat down as the saddle/bar/pedal set up is just the same as it would be on any bike you set up, it’s just the first few times you stand up you get a “WHOA the bars are up near my armpits!” type feeling. It didn’t seem to affect my ability to get up anything steep or technical and to be honest once i stopped thinking about it i didn’t notice it, but it is a bit of a suprise first time round!

Quite happy with the components i’ve built it up with as well. I’ve already mentioned the lighter weight wheels and how they add a liveliness to the ride, the tyres (IRC Mythos 2) are a bit sketchier in the corners than the saguaro’s on the scandal – not as tenacious when lent over and slightly less predictable when drifting, but certainbly not bad, better than most 26″ xc tyres get to be – and still with quite a low rolling resistance.
The Hope minis started to bed in during the ride and the front one is impressing me more and more as it gets more and more powerful without losing any modulation. I don’t know wether the rear one needs bleeding, is just very underpowered cos it;s only got a 145mm rotor or just hasn’t beded in yet but it’s less powerful than a v-brake right now. I’ll give it another ride or so to see if it sorts itself out.

Bikes rock, this one seems to more than most.

June 1, 2007

A Happy Post

Filed under: bikes,on-one — dgpowell @ 11:09 am

what is that mysterious bike in the shadows

The Cabal is nearly finished (finally!), it’s all together apart from the brakes, which are sat next to me right now (hope mini’s bought for a bargain price from cycle surgery, who did some impressive running around to get everything sorted and out to me v quickly, so thankyou to them). with any luck I’ll fit them later after tonights ride and maybe get to take it for a test ride tomorrow round gisburn forest.
It’s going to weigh approximately one gnat’s chuff and first indications are that it’s faster than some sort of fast thing that goes fast.

Ian is curently racing/riding the trans-scotland and is in the top ten solo – not far off several people in front of him, which is ace (until i have to race him at mountain mayhem, where it might become a distinct disadvantage for me!). So Big Up’s go to him.

err, can’t think of anything really happy right now, but i’m sure there will be other things, so i’ll keep the happy mood going for when they arrive.

and yes, that is a crap picture.

more good news arrives: just got an email from egg offering me another 0% interst on balance transfers cos it’s the “anniversary” of my opening an account with them. Huzzah, i can pay off the credit card quicker!
AND it’s nice and sunny outside, just intime for me to go for a ride 🙂

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