Friday, 21 October 2011

On-one fat rim

I'm trying out some rims for the forthcoming On-one fat bike. I need to get a new rear hub but the front was easy to build. Rim quality looks better than the Flat Top snow rims I have at the moment.


Posted via email from shaggy's posterous

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Friday, 9 September 2011

Recovery. Mind and body.

Since my failure at the ITI I've pretty much put this blog out of my mind. It just reminded me of the crash. I was hugely disappointed to drop out so early. However, the way I look at, if you are going to seek out the hardest events out there, the chance of failure is pretty high.

"It is better to take a chance in life to win a victory or suffer defeat even though scarred by failure... than to live in the shadow of life as some do never knowing a victory or defeat because they have not the guts to try either!"

The shoulder healed up well. The head was a bit harder to fix. I knew I had to get back on the horse- do a Maverick. I'd been thinking about the Colorado Trail Race for a while, in fact I planned to race it last year but couldn't get the cash together. To me it's the toughest mountain bike race out there. A bold claim, I know, but the unsupported nature, the altitude and, most importantly, the technical nature of the trails, does it for me. It wasn't just going to be the riding that was the problem. Alaska had been an expensive trip (almost 2 months pay) so Colorado was always going to be a struggle, especially as I knew I would have to pay for extra holiday time. I started living like a monk. A monk who rides a bike a lot, drinks, and doesn't believe in god. Then I started selling bikes. I parted with quite a lot of stuff. Some of which I would have really have liked to keep. That said my mate Alec bought enough stuff to pay for my flights so certainly worthwhile. Suffice to say I made it there. I loved it. Certainly the best bike event I've done. I haven't even finished sorting the photos yet, let alone started the write up. It looks like it will be in Singletrack mag. I hope it'll be worth the wait.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

latest news

Iditarod trail invitational.

Crashed at 30 miles. Hit a patch of soft snow, that looked perfectly ridable. Pulled the muscles in my right shoulder and can't hold on the the handlebar. Had to push the bike in one handed for the last 20miles in to Skwentna. Had to scratch as there was no way I was going to be able to carry my bike over Rainy Pass. The possibility of not making McGrath really hadn't occurred to me. Hugely disappointed and quite upset. Getting a flight back to Anchorage tomorrow.

Monday, 28 February 2011


Following the race from home with no real news is so incredibly difficult. Finally at about lunch time today the leaderboard displayed that Shaggy had arrived in Yentna at 10.20pm and left heading to the second checkpoint at the Skwentna Roadhouse a couple of hours later. He's making good time - not in the first, fast group, but hopefully riding smart as there are many more miles to go.
It's impossible for me to guess what is going on in his head, whether he is finding things hard or taking things steady.
So it begins! The constant refreshing of the leaderboard, worry, excitement, jealously (more for the scenery than the race).
It's going to be difficult to concentrate on anything else for the next few days...
If I hear anything direct I'll post it, otherwise follow the race here.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Iditarod trail invitational.

Well in time honoured fashion my laptop died at the most inopportune time. Consequently here's an abridged version of what I've already typed once. Bus leave in 12hrs so need to sleep...
Tomorrow is my 31st birthday. This happens to coincide with the 10th annual ITI. Looks like, this year, there are 44 racers, 38 of them on bikes. It looks like Pete Basinger, the defending champ won't be racing. He lives in McGrath, where my race will finish. However the weather is too bad for him to get a flight out to the start! Mike Curiak is about. He's riding the 1100 miles to Nome and shooting a film at the same time. My bike and kit is stripped down as far as I dare. Not been able to eat much today as I've been really nervous. Just want to get going now! Right- bed time.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Off again. At last.

My second ride on the Iditarod starts on Sunday, my Birthday. If I tell people what I’ve got planned, I get a, pretty much universal, response- Confusion, disbelief and perhaps questions about my sanity. Why do I want to travel half way around the world to race through ice and snow? It must be the prize money, right? No. The winner simply gets free entry for next year. So why then? I haven’t got a good answer. Hillary’s famous “because it’s there” adage doesn’t even really hold true- The Iditarod Trail isn’t a “thing” as such. It’s a constantly changing line that has been pretty much invented for racing. People will talk about the mushers, who in 1925 rushed to get vital Diphtheria serum to Nome, a truly impressive feat. The trail honours them, but it doesn’t follow the route those brave men used. The trail is in fact a marketing tool for Alaska. It’s a line on a map that doesn’t really correspond to anything on the ground. A line that was sketched out in the ’70s as an attempt to pull in tourists to Alaska. The dog race draws in a large number of tourists to the starts (for there are 2) and, I’m sure, the “Legend of the Iditarod” has helped romanticise the vision of Alaska. I find this pretty funny, yes, it’s “tricked” me in to visiting, but out there on the trail it’s a different story. It’s somewhere that you average tourist would never visit, and that’s part of the charm. The weather is brutal, but the scenery is amazing. The people are, without fail, characters. I think you have to be to live in rural Alaska. The racers are a lovely, unassuming, softly spoken, tough as nails bunch of people from all walks of life. Everyone is different, but with a certain common string. Perhaps we are all missing the same screw? The riding is tough. Why this is a positive, is the hardest element to explain. If you aren’t of the mindset of simply doing something because it is hard you may well never understand. It all adds up, and while I can’t really justify it, I can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.

People have been asking about following my progress. Obviously communication is pretty limited while on the trail, but if Mel hears anything hopefully she can post it here. Spot Trackers are banned so there will be no satellite tracking. However there should be regular updates on the ITI website.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Drop bags finally sorted

ITI 2011 Drop bags

The ITI lets you have two drop bags. This is what I put in mine this year. The only thing I forgot when I took the picture is sachets of chamois cream, but they are in there now. I won't eat all the food but it's good to have a bunch of variety.

See the picture on Flickr, there are a few notes on the items that aren't too clear.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Avoiding any Metallica references

My new fat bike is nearly done. It's a stock Sandman Gobi. 80mm rims and 135mm spaced rigid fork for snow. SC32 and tougher 47mm rims for the summer (no photos of that yet). I've yet to build the 80mm rear wheel but.

The ride is great. Steering is much more positive than the Pugsley. It's also almost 7lb lighter than the Pug but with added with gears. It's really noticeable on the climbs. It's amazing what you can ride up in the 20:34! I'm looking forward to getting out on it more.

More pictures on my Flickr page.

Thanks to Conrad at Sandman for sorting it out in double quick time.