Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chromag QR



Dropper posts are popular these days here in BC, but I'm more of the "less is best" school. In my opinion, the Chromag QR  is by far the best quick release clamp on the market today. I've tried lots of clamps over the years; what makes this one so much better than the competition, is the clever brass bushing, it's simple and it just works. If you'r like me and like reliable equipment that never lets you down, get one, guaranteed you'l never use an other one again.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

It's called Mountain Biking!



Races these days are loosing touch with what mountain biking is. Some events are long in kilometers but lack the technical challenges that differentiate us with road riders. Many races I participate in are really fun but are more like a road race with a bit of dirt just to say it's a mountain bike race. One race that's a true MTB race is the Nimby Fifty, what it lacks in distance it makes up in gnarl. The steeps are steep, when you see three arrows pointing down, it's no joke. Many sections on the course are more suited for a downhill bike than a cross-country one. Here's a good write up from Pinkbike that sums it up nicely.

Two videos that give you a good idea of the terrain. The first one is a climb (done on a trials motorcycle) and the second one is the same climb and one of the many downhills (this time on a MTB) enjoy.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Paragon Machine Works



I've been riding a custom Ti frame from Strong frames for a few years now. One of the features I had to have was sliding dropouts from Paragon Machine Works. The main reason I wanted them is because I tend to bend my derailleur hanger often.To fix, all you need is an allen key and a new dropout and it's done in a few minutes. No fuss , no hassle; you got to love that. Another reason is that when I’m far from civilization and my rear derailleur snaps off, I can run it as a single speed easily. The bonus, one that I didn't think of at the time, is the versatility. With the constant changing standards in the cycling industry; I can now run pretty much any hub size on the market. Now go get yourself a custom frame made up, you won’t be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Full Tilt



Winter is the perfect time to read - long cold evenings, not much to do. Instead of watching TV, I read. Dervla Murphy’s book, Full Tilt, has been on my must read list for a long time. I finally got myself a copy, after hopelessly trying to get it from the library, from a friend. The book is about her cycling from Ireland to India. Now, if that wasn’t hard enough, she does this in the early 60’s, on her own, through some of the most remote countries in the world. She’s truly inspirational. more...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Epic




Epic, what does that mean? If you look it up in the Oxford dictionary, the definition in our case is "an exceptionally long and arduous task or activity". Well... that sounds hard! The truth is, it means different things to different people. I for one am blessed, living in a place like British Columbia, I have endless places to go. We have big mountains, ocean and vast amount of unspoiled land, pretty much limitless. Yes, we are pretty lucky.
                                                      click here to read more

Now, does that mean you need to live here or places like New Zealand or the Alps? Do you need to go on a dream trip to Mongolia, Himalayas... no, not really. I remember as a young kid, maybe 8 years old, going 2 km from my house on my own in the woods was pretty epic to me. I used to grab my bike and a backpack with, of course, the mandatory knife, matches, ax, survival book, bag of cookies and, of course, a stuffed monkey. I was only 8 after all.

Now I have young kids, a job, mortgage payments, etc. Needless to say, I don't have as much time as I used to. I still get out, but not as long, far or as often as I would like. That's ok, because I found my own, every day epic. All I need is my bike and a place to go. Just this morning I checked my cycling computer and saw the number 9586. That's 9586 km just on my commuting bike! All this time I was complaining that I never had a chance to go on big rides anymore. Funny thing is, without even realizing it, in just shy of a year, I was riding a pretty long ride after all!

Yes, epic can mean "an exceptionally long and arduous task or activity", but it doesn't have to be. Stop dreaming of all those far away places, pick up your bike and go for a ride every day if you can, next thing you know you'll break the 10000 km next year. Just don't forget to bring along your stuffed monkey...