Posts Tagged ‘mtb’

Insane Valparaiso street DH

Slovenian BMX nut Filip Polc films his own descent of a special downhill course in Valparaiso, Chile.

Updated:

This pinstripe-wearing loon almost hits a dog…

C2C route


View C2C 2011 – Bowland, Dales, Moors in a larger map

Tom, Andy, Max and I are riding an off-road coast-to-coast in late April. Check the route, a labour of logistical love by Tom Wood (aka ‘The Voice of Reason’).

We’re doing it Alpine-style, catching a train first thing on the morning of Friday 22 April, and returning late on Tuesday 26. We’ll be travelling light, and staying at a combination of hostels and BnBs (there was talk of staying in some leaky moorland barn but I got down on my knees and begged for warm bedding). According to the current plan the last day’s ride will be 65 miles – no mean achievement.

I’m going to get nostalgic about the other time I did the coast-to-coast in another post…

Life Cycles trailer

Life Cycles OFFICIAL Trailer from Life Cycles on Vimeo.

I recently bought a mountain bike, and soon I’m going to be shredding some mean-ass gnarly shit like the fine riders on this Life Cycles trailer. Watch me crash and burn.

Retro bikes – Klein Attitude Comp

The Klein Attitude Comp, in its glory days.

My mate Andy Booth recently sold his Klein Attitude Comp 2000, and I feel the time is right to salute man and rig.

The details are hazy, but as I remember Andy bought the Klein in 2000 with some insurance money. He’d had his previous bike stolen on York University campus, but that wasn’t the source of the windfall – something to do with a traffic accident, a sore neck (I’m feeling in the dark here)?

Anyway, he bought the Klein. Andy’s a tall chap with a penchant for brightly coloured bikes – hence the crane geometry and lurid paint job. Yet the Klein was lean and fast, and over time, as is to be expected, the frame was adorned with all manner of trick upgrades, including Hope hubs in gun-metal grey, and – the jewel in the crown – a Chris King headset.

The Chris King headset, in silver - still as smooth as the day it was fitted, etc. etc.

This bike experienced a golden age in the early noughties, accompanying us on some memorable rides with the University of York Cycle Club (UYCC) in Yorkshire, the Lake District, and beyond.

Still going strong: riding the Klein in Borrowdale, August 2005.

Crag-top stunts - Helvellyn?

Crag-top stunts - Helvellyn?

Latterly though, the Klein fell from grace, and became rather a sad figure, its whale-like Serfas saddle in particular becoming the butt of many a trailside joke. In the end, the Klein was replaced by a younger, sleeker model, and its once glossy sheen became covered in the dust of neglect. That Andy eventually put it up for sale without even cleaning it was an indication of just how bad things had got.

End of an era.

Extreme favela DH

via Millsy.

Kona Lava Dome wanted

If this is your bike, we need to talk.

If this is your bike, we need to talk.

I passed this bike chained to a railing on Mortimer Street today. It was a near-mint condition 1995 Kona Lava Dome in midnight blue, the exact same bike I received for Christmas in 1995. This was the rig that truly launched my lifelong love of bikes and biking.

I’m just going to pause a moment to remember this bike, and how great it was (for me, and probably a generation of others):

  • the Lava Dome was – up until 2007, when it was mysteriously retired – the classic entry-level MTB in the Kona stable, RRP £500.
  • the 1995 version had stunning understated good looks (IMHO Kona’s paint jobs have just got gaudier – check out the offensive 2006 version, perhaps the reason why it didn’t sell and Kona withdrew it?).
  • the Tange Infinity cromoly double butted frame, with its signature sloping top tube and tight rear triangle, rode like a dream – it climbed well, it loved singletrack.

I had this bike for 11 years. A few highlights from its rise and fall:

  • 1996: upgrade to Pace RC35 suspension forks
  • 1996: 6 days bike touring in the Scottish highlands
  • 1997: flew with me to Vancouver, Canada for a year of north shore trail-riding
  • 1998: 24 hours of Adrenalin, Whistler, B.C.
  • 1998: big bike tour down the west coast of the US, hitting some classic singletrack in Washington and Oregon
Riding Mount St Helens in 1998 - has there ever been a better advert for this bike?

Riding Mount St Helens in 1998 - has there ever been a better advert for this bike?

  • 1998: frame bent on the flight back to UK, cannibalised for bits
  • 1998-2001: frame hangs in my shed in Stoke
  • 2002: the Lava Dome returns as a singlespeed hack for the streets of Edinburgh
  • 2003-06: the hack moves to London
  • 2006: after weeks of cracking, the frame snaps at the rear drive-side drop-out. The broken frame is deposited in a skip near Brick Lane.
Surveying the damage up close in 2006.

Surveying the damage up close in 2006.

You can imagine the rollercoaster of emotions I experienced on seeing this bike in the street. Frankly, I was on the phone to somebody and had to hang up. I realised that I would pay over the odds to ride this bike again. If it’s yours, leave a comment!

Update @24-8-09

Andy Booth has alerted me to this retro bikes site, and in particular to this beautifully restored 1993 Lava Dome. Sweet.

World’s Most Dangerous Road

a441_beginning

a441_postcard

My workmate Felipe sent me a link to an article about biking the ‘World’s Most Dangerous Road’ – which turns out to be in Bolivia, not at Elephant & Castle, as I previously thought. It’s added to the ‘I will ride this before I’m 60′ list.

The Muni-Mula – should she stay or should she go?

Kona Muni-Mula, 1998 edition.

Kona Muni-Mula, 1998 edition.

I officially can’t decide what to do with my Kona Muni-Mula (1998) frame. Can I make this phoenix rise from the ashes one last time with £300-500? Or should I just flog it and buy a brand new MTB?

Sell it, trash it or pimp it: it’s your choice – simply cast your vote in the poll on the right hand side. 

A few details that may help you decide:

  1. I like this bike. We’ve been through some times together.
  2. The frame handles well, it’s pretty light, and has only surface damage.
  3. The Marzocchi Bomber forks need a service but basically they’re fine.
  4. The headset needs replacing.
  5. The frame has no disc mounts, although the fork does.
  6. I would need to purchase new parts for everything you don’t see here except the handlebar, seatpost/saddle and front wheel.

Early morning in the Pentlands

I almost forgot Alasdair sent me these a few weeks ago.

View from the Pentland Hills.

View from the Pentland Hills.

The Nibbler.

The Nibbler.

I need to get another mountain bike.

Tom’s Pyreneen route


View Larger Map

Tom Wood, my long-time off-road bike buddy, has been doing some more back-country riding in the Pyrenees this autumn. Above is the map of his latest trip and below are pics from the trip. Check out Tom’s Flickr.