Sunday, 27 July 2008


"Come play my game.
Inhale, inhale,
you're the victim.
Come play my game.
Exhale, exhale, exhale." *



Not feeling too good the last week. Tight chest.Climatic.
Got up this morning ,hazy and humid.Perfect.Not.

Picked Danny up at his and we headed up to the usual spot.The road up to the top Rivi' barn.Met Tim,the other one,not me , I was already there.Bit of faffing (me ),and we set off. I'm on the Axis. Yay.
This is a 'replacement' for the one I bought 19 years ago ,that now looks like it's 19 yrs old ,unlike this one ,that does nt.I dont wish to bore you with the details ,but this was world famous super ex pro BMXer , Harry Leary's bike during his ,albeit brief ,sabattical from BMXing in the late 80s ,early 90s to race DH for DB.Factorytastic.
Unfortunately ,due to HL being somewhat vertically challenged I've had to jig it about a bit from standard.I've raised up the seat to the max and put on a longer stem with some ( not technically period) riser bars. This is its first proper outing.
I was gasping a bit early on,and the gears,all 7,were acting the goat.We were well below the treeline climbing up Wilderswood and it was muggy as hell.Well , I thought so.We stopped about halfway up ,to ,er ,breathe and then pressed on.Amazingly ,when we got to the top the mist had burned off and it was as clear as a bell where we were.As if by magic my chest started to work a bit better.Crazy. Like I said ,Climatic.
Fairly straightforward affair today.We went up the pike,but from the back ,Pike Cottage end ,and went 'off the back' as usual.Bone dry.Then we went over to the Pidgeon Tower ,and on the hottest day ever ,avoided the 'Ice Cream Run' ( ! )and headed down the washbord,past Catter Nab toward Sheep House Ln and Spitlers.
Here we met a few Bolton Lads that we'd seen earlier on the Pike and they stayed with us for a while as we dropped over the moors to Lead Mines Clough,chasing the stupid sheep.
Not a massive loop up to now,but with an option to stick on a bit more around Anglezarke . Or go to the caff.
At this point (Alance Bridge),the fittest ever mountainbike couple raced past on full carbon custom Colnago MTBs ,looking mega fit and lean ,filling us with inspiration as they shot off up lead mines in the big ring.......
Danny's shout. A cream fruit bun and a pot of Earl Grey . No Lemon!
Tim shot off early as he was 'under orders'.
Back to the car . Bish bosh.Another short(ish ) and sweet one.Just enough on a red hot day when you feel like there's an elephant sitting on your chest.
No casualties.Double good.Axis wobbling a bit at the end.Me ,tomorrow.Maybe Tuesday.

Diamond Back Axis."Handles like a fish",someone once said.Haigh Hall ,1989.
Tired now .Must sleep.

*Psycosomatic.Addict.Insane. That would be The Prodigy.
Breathe with me.

The things you take for granted ,eh ?

Sunday, 20 July 2008


"Mom loves the both of them
You see it's in the blood
Both kids are good to Mom
'Blood's thicker than mud'
It's a family affair, it's a family affair" *


All present and correct today were new lad Wes ,Steve and his nephew (Phils lad ),Tom ,and me and my brother Matthew.
It's like the opening credits to 'soap'.Confused ? You will be...

Funny ride today .A few potential major catastrophies that came to nought.I've had a bit of a bad few days with my chest.Change of the weather and all that.Need more salt /water ,no cheese,crab paste,blah blah blah.
Really short of breath last night,so it could have been a bit dodgy climbing hill and dale ,but it wasnt toooo bad.I did stop for the odd squirt of my inhaler .This is double edged .It opens up the chest ,but leaves you with dead legs .Bit of a trade off then . hmm .It's a seasonal thing. I have been caffienating a smidge lately .....
I was a few minutes late.A bit of faffing swapping pedals and stuff and we set off from the top barn ,heading down past the school and up past yarrow resi' for a quick warm up loop around Anglezarke.
First potential catastrophe.Commencal meta. I dropped it a few months back lifting it over a gate and slightly bent the rear derailleur hanger.I bent it back.Theyre good for one 'bend back'.I dont know what happened today ,but i was carrying the bike down the 'slippery steps of death' to the 'slippery bridge of death',and ,I guess ,the chain 'unshipped'. As I went to set off I felt it was tight and immediatly unweighted the pedal action and stopped.Not a moment too soon.Another qtr turn and I'm sure the mech would've snapped right off.As it was it was at a jaunty angle.So I bend it back again.And we carry on. I'm thinking the next gear change would be the last ,but it was OK and survived the ride.Deffo needs a new one though.The Commencal also seems to have developed a wobbly front wheel bearing on it's 'own brand ' hub.Not a big job .A simple press fit sealed bearing type job . Whilst still fantastic it hasnt been without its problems.The OE XO shifter packed in and was replaced(not really the bike's fault) ,the cables cacked up in no time and were replaced with a 'straight through' Rivi set up ( not a fault as such),I'm not over the moon with the carbon XO rear mech ,seems a bit vague,and it's Formula ORO brakes have had something like ten sets of pads. Maybe it's the high end stuff on the top model that is a bit finnicky.It's a bit 'Lotus esprit'.A right laugh ,but needs spannering every week.For me the slightly cheaper 'XT' model with shimano reliability is the stand out one.All the same chassis bits,but with XT.So like a Lotus ,er, elise ? carlton ? Haha . I dunno. That Vauxhall that's like an elise .....

Maybe I'm used to riding more 'agricultural' machinery.

Next up .Tom's Ford Focus ,sorry ,Specialized rockhopper went all wobbly .Which is were the analogy breaks down.Again ,potentially disastrous .LH crank bolt loose.To the rescue came Wes with his trusty as yet unused allen keys ,and we were reet.
Dont forget that first service.
We crawled up to the top of Jepsons gate for the run down to the lead mines.Classic. Lovely day too.Bit breezy , but blue skies with a bit of cloud.Ace.
"Keep yer weight back".

At the bottom of leadmines it was time to decide which way to go.Up and across ,or down then up and across.Option one.We took the short climb to the edge of Sams Pasture ,me remembering the memorial.This bit across the moors can be fast as hell .Today it wasnt.I was finding it hard work,blowing ,and Wes was complaining of tight quads.A few more weeks and it'll be OK .They'll still hurt .It's just that you get used to it.
Dropping down through the rivers of sheep piss I was reminded of the brilliance of the Camelbak.
As we climbed up to Sheep House Lane I was having another episode of breathing difficulty . It's a tough climb ,but one I can uuusually do in one.Ok ,two.I'd planned nipping round the back of Catter nab on Georges Ln but began to think better of it.It's hard to explain ,but when you think youre going to have a heart attack on the side of a hill....

So we shot to the caff.Steve was under orders, so he and Tom shot off ,leaving the 3 of us to the delights of the Rivington Village chapel tea rooms.
Rachmaninof piano concerto No2 in C.minor 'tastic.

So that was that.Victoria sponge and a pot of Earl Grey ( no lemon slice.Again ).

Short and sweet.With only one hours talking and then again at the car,I i was home for one o'clock.
Ease the lad in gently ,eh ?

Oh ! When I got home I had a look at the Meta . It comes with a 'spare ' mech hanger dooflaker in the 'spares kit'.Unfortunately it's a o/size through axle fitment.
Right .Where's me Cannondale?The ashtrays are full.

*Sly and the Family Stone.
I was going to have 'Absolute Beginners'.But it lost out 4-1.

Ok then .Next week.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

09 'dales

We start getting the early release road bikes from 1st July. Check out this Liquigas-liveried Supersix:

Cannondale F6 Disc

Super looking bike, great spec, hydraulic Avid discs - £369! If you were looking for a bike in the £300-400 range then STOP RIGHT NOW and look at this.
Sizes S, M or L - but not many available at this price...


We are very proud to announce that we are now a CANNONDALE dealer!
We have some great deals on '08 models with some 09's already on the way.
Look out for demo day info soon!