Sunday, 19 June 2011

It's been a long time!

It has been a loooong time since I last updated this blog. The story goes something like this.....

The 2009 season was very busy, running trips all over the country and researching and writing Volume 2 of Scotland Mountain Biking: The Wild Trails. All good.

At the end of 2009 I became pretty seriously ill, and ended up having to take most of 2010 off. Not so good.

By autumn 2010 I had recovered and was setting things in motion to get back in business for 2011, was planning some new and exciting trips and really looking forward to getting out on the trails with all the great people that Scottish Mountain Bike Guides has introduced me to.

Then disaster struck. On 1st December I had a skiing accident and ended up with a fractured tibial plateau, and no cruciate ligaments in my left knee. Sub-optimal! Six and a half months, two operations and a load of physiotherapy down the line, I can just about walk without crutches. I've been able to cycle since 20th April, but no further than the turbo trainer.

So...... it looks like at the earliest Spring 2012 before I am back to full fitness. Whether my knee will be capable of running mountain bike holidays for a living remains to be seen. Watch this space......

Monday, 11 May 2009

Big day out coming up!

Got a trip to Ryvoan bothy followed by a big (70km odd) day out in the Cairngorms planned with my good mate Ali this Friday night and Saturday. It's been ages since we did our last bothy trip and the weather is set to be fantastic.

Ryvoan - Bynack Stables - Fords of Avon -Glen Avon - Inchrory Lodge - Tomintoul - Glen Brown - Abernethy Forest and back to Ryvoan. Can't wait!

And in other news, getting in loads of pre-orders for the guidebook. It should be available come Thursday, so get your pre-order in before the release date to save over 20% on RRP

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Blog mentions, bike meltdown, Trail Centres Guidebook

Our Tour of the Cairngorms got a wee mention on the Minx Girl blog, check it out here.

A few days off the bike this week, so I have just put together a list of stuff needed for the On One Summer season 456. The frame was new last autumn, but a lot of the parts are two years old now and some are very tired

Have run out of Stan's Tubeless Goo £12

2 new chainrings (one knackered, one knackered and bent) £50

New Hollowtech II bottom bracket (doesn't sound healthy) £25

Pedals (absolutely gubbed) £35

Rear mech (springs have gone a bit limp!) £35
was going to buy a new XT shadow, but from Chain Reaction its £56!! SLX will be fine!

Chain £12
past 0.75 on the Park Chain Checker, so will probably mean:

Cassette £35
again was going to go for XT, but since it's now ridiculous money SLX will do

Brake pads £25

Total - over £200 just to get everything running smoothly again. I was thinking about some new forks, probably Pikes and wheels with wider rims to go with my new fondness for massive tyres. These may be on the back burner for a while now though! Still, I have had well over 200 quids worth of fun out of all this gear, so I can hardly complain.

Just got some copies of the acclaimed Mountain Biking Trail centres Guidebook in from V-Graphics. Written by my one time Mountain Mayhem team mate Tom Fenton, it has details on all 67 of the UK's purpose built mountain bike centres.

Available from my ebay shop with free postage and over 15% off RRP. Bargain!

Just in case you need convinced, here is the Bikemagic review

Friday, 1 May 2009

Tour of the Cairngorms

Ran our first Tour of the Cairngorms of 2009 this week. What a superb trip it was. Great riding, some amazing singletrack and fantastic scenery. Really good group of riders made for a fun four days. The On One Summer Season 456 was superb on the technical singletrack too - can't believe what a great bike it is!
Got a wee plug for both my guide book and for Scottish Mountain Bike Guides in the June issue of What MTB mag as well (page 17) which was nice!
Skills Course at Glentress this weekend, will no doubt be mobbed due to the Bank Holiday!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Guidebook is almost here!

This is the cover image of my new guidebook! It's due to hit the shelves in the middle of May priced at £15.95. If you want to be one of the first to get a hold of a copy, and you want to save yourself over 20% in the process, then you can pre-order a copy through my ebay shop. Buy it now and it'll be dispatched while it's still hot from the presses!

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Spring is in the air!

We've had a couple of really nice days recently - even got a bit sunburnt on our last skills course at Glentress this weekend. The place was buzzing on Sunday what with the Demo Day, but we headed out on the black route and saw four other riders all day! We stopped quite a bit and had a good look at some of the tricky sections, spending about 4 hours on the trail.

I was riding my On One Summer Season 456, set up with 2 chainrings and a bashguard. Even with the chain as short as possible I was losing it on nearly every rough section on the descents. I think an e13 DRS chainguide may soon be on the shopping list for this bike.

The guided holidays are just about to get underway, with the four day Tour of the Cairngorms near the end of this month. Can't wait!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

First skills course of the year

I ran our first skills course of the year last weekend. We arrived at Glentress on Saturday morning to find everything above the level of the Buzzard's Nest carpark about 4 inches deep in snow and pretty much unrideable. We did what we could on the lower routes, mainly Electric Blue and Falla Brae. By the end of the day, the clients had a good grasp of the basic techniques and their riding was definitely improving, but we needed rideable trails to put all the skills drills they'd been practising to good use.

We decided to keep something in the tank for day 2 and made the decision to finish up early and meet at Mabie the next day. Mabie was snow free and it was looking like a good day weather wise when we arrived on Sunday morning. We spent the first coupe of hours at the skills loop working on drop offs, berms and front wheels lifts. Then it was time to take things to the trails and head out on the red route.

We rode at a leisurely pace stopping to check out difficult sections and allowing the clients to practice their new skills on technical features like rock gardens and roots. Both clients had ridden at Mabie a few times before so were able to identify how they used to ride each section and how much smoother and more confident they had become over the weekend. Their eyes had been opened to the idea of line choice, so rather than following the well worn tyre tracks over all the obstacles they were making good use of the whole trail and taking root sections and boulder fields with much more control.

All in all, a great weekend - two faster, smoother, more confident riders means my job is done and gives a real sense of satisfaction. Thanks for an excellent weekend's riding folks! (And thanks for lunch at the Shed)