Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Date change.

The start date for the race has been put back a week to align it's self with the Iditarod Dog Sled Race. The new start date is Sunday March 1, 2009, looks like I'll be en-route on my birthday.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Three Peaks 2008

That was a weekend of two half's... Saturday was a relaxing day with (pretend twin) Jon and Trina (that's her pic). Followed by a slap up meal and a few drinks.

Pic stolen from Steve there's some great photos on his flickr page...

Sunday saw my third stab at the Three Peaks Cyclocross race. This is a pretty brutal race over three very big, very steep and often very rocky hills. Mountain bikes aren't allowed. On my previous rides I've always destroyed a rear wheel which has somewhat slowed me down... This year my number one aim was to get round with the bike intact. The weather was very good- not too hot but the ground was pretty dry and fast. No surprise then that Rob Jebb won for a record 7th time in a row and took time out of his own course record as well. I took the ride fairly steady, my single speed slowed me down on the road sections but I seemed to out ride everyone around me once we hit dirt. On the final peak I was still feeling fairly fresh so pushed it a bit harder and came in just over 4 hours, and the first of the few single speeders. The bike held up pretty well, with the exception of a grip coming off and the saddle slipping it all seems in working order, I must have been riding smoother than it felt. Even the body isn't feeling too bad. I can go much faster another time and as I believe I was only 9 minutes behind the single speed record so there's something else to aim for in future.

Pic by Dave, more great pictures.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Friday night bivy

In the name of kit testing and fiddling with setup I was in need of a good bivying trip. I opted to head out late on Friday, after a couple of beers and a film, Mel headed to bed and I went out the door with the Pug. Down the secret river singletrack, up through Ashton Court and in to Leigh Woods. About 01:30 I arrived at my planned location for the night. Within a minute my Bivy roll was off the handle bars and I had jumped in. I had a beer and played about with my Whisperlite for a while then got my head down for a few hours. I slept in an old Rab bivy with my Topbag and a bit of foil bubblewrap (loft insulation) as a sleeping mat. No good for Alaska but a great setup for fast and light missions in the UK. I slept like a log but woke up about 7, happy to wake up in the sounds and smells of the woods. It was a lovely bright day so I quickly packed up and headed out for another ride. As you do.

So how did the kit testing go? First up lighting. Normally I use the excellent Exposure lights but in Alaska i will be needing a greater runtime but I'll be able to get away with a lot less power. On this occasion I took a Alpkit Gamma and ziptied the Joystick to the top. The Gamma is a great bit of kit- With the Luxeon LED on low power there was adequate light to ride with and a 20hr burn time. However once in camp I switched to the low power white LED to preserve the battery. Another nice feature us the rear red LED. Build quality is great and they only cost £12.50! Brilliant. I'm intending to pack one as my spare for Alaska. Main torch looks likely to be a Petzl Myo XP belt unless the new Exposure head torch comes together in time.

Powergrips are not something I've ever used so I thought I should try them as they should work well over big boots. Better than I suspected, even if they do get a bit tangled in the undergrowth if you don't clip in straight away.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Batman rides a snow bike

I watched The Dark Knight yesterday. The Batbike reminded me of the Pug. Although I guess 4130 is a bit lowtech for Bruce Wayne. Besides, it's actually looks more like a Hainbrink or Burro...

Monday, 15 September 2008

Kit, kit, kit...

...going round in my head. So I'll get some Neos. But what boots?

I need to re-build my wheels. Hope hubs I think. Should I splash out on 80mm rims in place of the Large Marge?

Too much to think about...

I love it!