Snow Ride

Getting out the door is the hard part. Once the threshold is crossed the commitment has been made and it gets easy. The thought of the cold and wet lying ahead becomes less daunting, something trivial to overcome in the pursuit of adventure.

Riding on freshly snow covered trails feels more epic, even if it is a short lap of a local trail centre that’s never too far from civilisation. The layer of white powder gives even familiar trails a ‘new’ feel to them and makes the everyday view that little bit special.

Snowy landscape

Snowy trail side trees

For awhile anyway, as the snow quickly gives way to brown slush. Crap that covers your bike and clothes and replaces the crisp sound of tyres rolling on snow to the all too familiar sloshing sound of mud and water.

I’d still rather be out enjoying this short seasonal treet than miss out. That’s what gets me through the front door.

Slightly muddy after a snowy ride

Mountain Biking: The Untold British Story

The makers of acclaimed film “Bicycle”, Pip Piper and Michael Clifford, have teamed up with Singletrack Magazine to tell the story of off-road mountain biking in the UK.

The 60 minute film with a release date of July 2016 is currently being crowd funded via Indiegogo.

Their target is £10,000 and they are almost halfway there with 20 days left. Contributions with perks start at £15 which includes a digital download of the film a week before it’s official release (I chose this option).

Please check out their project and consider supporting them in telling this story.

Ard Rock Enduro 2016

Entries for the Sunday Sport ride of next years event went on sale at 6:30am last Friday (30th October). Not surprisingly for such a popular event they sold out very quickly.

My regular riding buddies and I got tickets though so, after my 10th wedding anniversary, my second most looked forward to event of 2016 will be the Ard Rock Enduro.

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Jenn Hill Hardtail Trophy

In honour of the late Jenn Hill, there will be a trophy for the fastest male and female riding hardtails, to commemorate Jenn who rode the event last year on a hardtail.

I will be riding a full suss myself, but no doubt a friend will be riding his hardtail at the event and I think it’s a touching way to remember and to pay respect to an inspiring person who is sadly no longer among us. #jennride #forjenn

Emily Chappell on the Transcontinental Race

Unfortunately we missed Emily Chappell’s talk at the Alpkit Big Shakeout as we were unable to get there in time on the Friday evening after finishing work.

We do however get to enjoy her fantastic writing thanks to her blog, including her experiences on the Transcontinental race.

Emily’s writing is a fantastic insight into the physical and mental determination it takes to participate in adventures like this, and a reminder that we can all push our boundaries and gain something positive from the experience.

…endurance is far more about mental strength than physical ability; about the brain’s ability to ignore, or subvert, or over-ride, the signals from the body that say ‘this hurts, this really hurts, I can’t go on, please can we stop now?’. You don’t have to stop when it starts to hurt. Pain isn’t the end.

Head over to Emily’s blog to read more, here are links to the Transcontinental race articles:

Lezyne Micro Floor Drive HVG

If you ride bikes then sooner or later you are going to need something to re-inflate an inner tube or tubeless tyre.

Punctures are an inevitability and tyres can loose pressure with use or even when stood still and puncture free.

It’s a good idea to check your tyre pressures pre-ride where a track pump comes in handy (also check their general condition regularly). If you get a puncture out on the road/trail, or want to adjust the pressure in your tyres mid-ride then the track pump you left at the car/house isn’t going to do you any good.

Adding slime to inner tubes (if you are running them) can help mitigate punctures during your ride till you can deal with them (more often till you notice them). In the case of a tubeless setup then adding the recommended amount of tyre sealant will create a seal as required but also result in additional fluid remaining in the tyre. Should you get a (non-major and not a tear) puncture then the fluid should seal the puncture so you can continue your ride.

Preventative measures like these are great, but they don’t mean you can leave the repair kit, spare tube (yes even when running tubeless) and pump at home just yet.

You are going to need a pump at some point. CO<sup>2</sup> is an alternative and can rapidly inflate a tyre. Unless racing and carrying space is at a premium then I consider this a compliment to carrying a pump rather than a replacement.

Smaller isn’t always better

Pumps can be a faff though and there are lots of different options out there so which pump do you choose? The few I’ve owned all worked okay, they were small and easy to carry but required a heck of a lot of effort if I was unfortunate enough to need to call on them. This goes doubly for trying to inflate road/hybrid bike tyres.

Most of the pumps I’ve owned were also designed so that the body of the pump connects directly to the valve rather than by a screw in flexible hose. This not only makes it difficult to attach the pump to the valve but also makes pumping awkward and can result in damaging the valve while trying to inflate the tyre if care is not taken.

Thankfully there have only been a handful of instances over the years where I have needed a pump while out on a ride but when I have it has been a tiring and fairly frustrating experience.

One pump to rule them all

Lezyne Micro Drive HVG Pump - 1

The Lezyne Micro a Floor Drive is not a small pump. It’s not going to sit well (or at all) in a rear jersey pocket. It comes with a plastic mount for attaching to bottle mounting points on your frame if you want to go that route.

This pump will most likely end up sitting in your backpack or pannier bag as it does mine. It’s going to get a little scratched in there as it moves about against your other gear and as you toss it from bag to bag depending on what and where you are riding that day.

When you do need to call on it then as you quickly and relatively easily re-inflate your tyres (or a riding buddies) you will be glad you had this pump with you and not a fiddly, small, takes-forever-and-a-day-to-reach-an-acceptable-pressure-pump with you.

The top handle is a little small and can be ever so slightly uncomfortable in sustained use such as when inflating to higher pressures. Leaving a cycling glove on when using the pump helps.

The chrome finish while shiny and lovely when new will get lightly scratched, firstly just from being in your bag, secondly (and most destructively) it will get the worst of it at and around the base when you use it in the field.

If you can accept that it’s a tool that can and will get used and abused then a few light scratches shouldn’t cause much concern.

Weighing in at 225g (claimed) for the High Volume version with gauge it’s not a light pump but it’s worth it if you have space in your pack. If you don’t ride with a backpack or pannier bag on then you can use the supplied bracket to carry the pump via a water-bottle mount but it’s kinda cumbersome.

Lezyne Micro Drive HVG Pump - 3

If you want to save 20g then you can get the HV version which comes without the inline gauge. I went back and forth on whether or not to get the gauged version, eventually deciding I’d rather have something to roughly indicate pressure for peace of mind. While the gauge may or may not be accurate it’s certainly not that easy to read while pumping and still requires scrutiny when standing still. It gives a rough idea and thats good enough for me so I don’t obsess over it, so long as it can tell me I’m in the neighbourhood of the pressure I am looking for.

Version wise you can also pick between the HP (high pressure) or HV (high volume). The HP is better suited to road and hybrid tyres focusing on making it easier to reach the higher pressures such tyres need. The HV is geared towards deliver a greater volume of air at lower pressures. The gauge on the HV shows up to 120 though in practice for me I can get hybrid tyres up to around 80psi and after that it becomes hard work to achieve a higher pressure. Thats enough for me but bear that in mind based on what tyre pressures you commonly ride at. I brought mine mainly based on riding at MTB pressures.

Great Service from Chain Reaction Cycles

I ordered mine online at a great price and with quick delivery. The good service didn’t end there though.

A month after receiving it, I punctured the front tyre on my hybrid during my morning commute to work. Having not tested the pump since receiving it I changed the tube, refitted and smugly thought to myself that this beauty would make short work of re-inflating.

At this point I notice that when in use a large amount of air was escaping from the area around the inline pressure gauge.

With no visible damage to the area (or anywhere on the pump this beings it’s first use) this was a little disappointing. One email to Chain Reaction Cycles had it sorted and they quickly sent a replacement no questions asked and no need to return the faulty one.

Fantastic service, great pump.

Off Camber #6

A weekly, or more likely occasionally-sometimes-kinda weekly, roundup of news, videos and other tidbits I found interesting and/or entertaining.

Video: Thomas Vanderham’s Maiden Voyage – via Pinkbike
Great riding in this edit for Rocky Mountains’s new carbon DH bike. The bunny hop at speed about 2 mins in is highly impressive. Also checkout the comments section for some metal related name puns.

Are we Misapplying Light Hands-Heavy Feet to MTB? – Pinkbike
An interesting article by Pinkbike reader (user) James Wilson on how this often dogmatically taught concept of correct body position, if taken too literally, can lead to bad habits.

Bike park Wales – Terry’s Belly New trail open at BikePark Wales (VIDEO) — Singletrack Magazine
This looks like a great trail, long and winding, this might prompt a visit in the near future.

“BikePark Wales, hope of some very entertaining runs indeed, has opened a new Blue, ‘Terry’s Belly”.”

UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup – Windham

Last weekend’s action at round 6 in the US saw Rachel Atherton not only take her fifth consecutive win (her biggest World Cup winning streak) but she also placed 1st in qualifying giving her enough points to take the overall title. Go Rach!

Add to that the return of the Missy ‘Missile’ Giove thanks to the round visiting her home state. Despite losing a pedal Missy didn’t back off an inch and had an exciting run.

The legendary Missy Giove takes on Windham (VIDEO)
—Singletrack Magazine

“Last Saturday saw the World Cup downhill circuit take to old-school Windham in the United States, with the return of the legendary Missy Giove.”

As always Claudio’s course preview was entertaining as he chased Aaron Gwin down the mountain. Well done to Gwin on taking 1st in the mens in front of his home crowd.