Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Friday, 24 October 2008


The pound is down to 1.52 against the dollar. That essentially means my entry fee has gone up £100 in the last few weeks. :-(

12 hr local ride tonight with Mikey. Should be fun.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008


I had a good ride down to Exeter on Friday. 100 miles on the road. Quite a nice day and a rare chance to move quickly. The rest of the weekend was a lot more relaxed- it was 10 years since I started University so we used the excuse to catch up with some old friends. Found a LP copy of Excellent Italian Greyhound, played a little bowling and generally tried our best to catch up.

Thursday, 16 October 2008


I just heard from Chipps he says:

I took the liberty of mentioning your campaign to Mr Stamstad. He says "That aheadset cap is great, I am honored."

Thats pretty cool in my book!

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

The Ride Journal

The Ride Journal have been hassling me to submit something for a while. I finally sent them something about "why the iditarod has latched itself into your brain as something you'd like to do, and what your doing to prepare from it here in the UK." it will be in issue 2.

If you didn't see issue 1 buy a copy now before they're gone. It really is very good.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

"late summer heat"

I just got an email from Bill Merchant- one of the race directors. I thought I'd share it. Stuff like this gets me excited.

"Hello to All

Some of you are probably still living and training in late summer heat but in South Central Alaska the leaves have fallen, morning low temperatures are below freezing and it is snowing outside now. I was told they had 2 ½ feet of snow at Putilla the other night. Many of us here hope to be biking, running and skiing on snow covered trails soon. This type of weather always puts the Iditarod Trail back in my mind day and night. My head is busy with memories of past races and racers, details to get ready for the next race and of course excitement about seeing all our friends from the lower 48 and around the world in February.

We already have a lot of old friends on the roster and several rookies we look forward to meeting this year. Kathi will be race director during the race and I will be on the trail as one of the trail breakers. Rob Kehrer called me and we are glad he will be back for his 5th year as trailbreaker and checker at Rohn. Be sure and tell Rob, Lisa, Terry and Jasper thanks when you go through Rohn. Putting a trail in over Rainy Pass, building trail in the Dalzel and being the checker in Rohn is about as tough a job as you can find. Without the hard work of a lot of people we would never have the Iditarod Trail every winter.

As conditions on the trail change though the winter I will keep you updated even though all the veterans know the only time you will know what to expect is moment by moment while you are on the trail. We have had two years in a row of good trail conditions but what it will be this year we just have to wait and see. However bad the conditions might be I think it's always better than a good day in the city.

I hope all of you have a great winter training season where ever you are.


Sunday, 12 October 2008

Sad Pug


The Pugsley is looking rather sad today. Sam from Singular Cycles borrowed the Paul levers for a show bike so it seemed a good chance to strip the wheels: I'm re-using the rims. However I don't have the new spokes or correct size holesaw I need before I can re-build them. A lot of the other parts have to come off as well. The bars are the wrong shape, the saddle is worn out, the pedals are plain rubbish... One thing at a time.

The Cycle Show

On Friday I got the train to London Village for the Cycle Show. I hooked up with Jim from Alpkit. We had a good chat about some future projects as well as the design of the kit I want for Alaska. Turns out, while he was at Peak, he made some frame bags for a racer, but couldn't remember who it was (Who was it? that intrigues me). He was super positive about the whole thing and I'm sure there are some good things in the pipeline. I'm keeping quiet for now, but the prototype stuff will be up here when I get it!

After that I ran in to Jimmy from Mule Bar. I originally met him, and Alex, at the TransScotland. At that stage, they were some of those guys pushing a new p
roduct that they really believed in but hadn't taken off yet. Thankfully, unlike most of *those* people, they had a really good product. This year they had a new Apple Strudel flavour, which is my new favorite. Although the Piña colada is still right up there!

Then Lunch with Griff from Trek. It seems like next year I'm riding for the same company as Lance, Mr Clean and some super good dh riders. The Athertons deny it's them.
So no pressure! I'm just a step below them in the food chain, honest...

Then beer and schmoosing, the obvious choice was to find Chipps. Not only does he know everyone, he can smell a free drink from a quarter mile. After drinking all the free wine at the booth beside Singletrack we headed over to Continental who had some great wheat beer. At this stage it degenerated. Although it's interesting to know that both Nick Craig and I have worse looking legs than Chipps. And Martyn Ashton is very coy about how much he works out. Something new ever day.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Seeing double

Going to re-build my wheels. Here's the first step- Hope Pro II single speed hubs. Cheers for getting them Gooner.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

Après pub bivy

Friday night we headed out to the pub for Kirsties birthday. A good time was had by all. When we got kicked out I headed to the woods, a couple of hours on my town bike had me ready for bed. I set up camp in an old quarry on a comfortable bed of leaf mulch. I got woken up a couple of hours later by heavy ran drumming down on my bag. I took that opportunity to put on thin fleece. I had decided to try using a Gore Concept Gilet (thanks to Matt Carr for the loan). It's an awesome bit of kit- essentially it works like a normal gilet but if you stop you blow in to a hose and network of tubes inflate to provide a remarkable level of insulation. However in this application it didn't work too well. Firstly, most of the tubing is on the shoulders and back, This works well while stood up or on the bike, and while this will provide an element of protection from the cold ground the front doesn't really hold heat in. Secondly, after a couple of hours the tubes deflated, not surprising really seeing as I was lying on them but the fact it I was then essentially just wearing a Goretex gilet, which isn't really the tool for the job. Shame, it didn't work its a piece of kit, just not for sleeping in.

Friday, 3 October 2008

Penny jar

Several years back I got given a bottle of Bruichladdich single malt. While the whisky is long gone the tin has moved with me, from my mouldy old flat to our (still not done up) house. It has been slowly filling with coins waiting for this day. A good old-fashioned, low-tech, solution for those of us who aren't good at saving. I've got to give Kathi a call to sort wiring my entry money, just got to wait to be paid. Then got to worry about flights. Yikes.

On a completely related subject thanks to all who have donated so far, it's all helping making it a reality! Topcaps are now spelt correctly...