Up The Beat

  • Posted by james m
  • 30 November 2010

Bumbling around bike races, mountain resorts, trail centres and holiday companies, you get to meet some folk... Some wonderful, some weird, some good, some not so good.

One of those people that I have met on my little jaunts around is Jay Bharadia, a mountain biker, musician, teacher and a wonderfully good person.

Jay is an outstanding guy, a man who seems to permanently buzz, loving every second of every road trip, every bike ride and every day. Jay smiles a lot, his smile infectious as his enthusiasm.

Music isn’t my forte, I wish I had some sort of talent there, but unfortunately I completely suck! Jay on the other hand has shaped this electronic album together, its beats featuring on several upcoming bike films, its flow and friendliness encompassing all that makes the man.

Have a look, play the music and forget about the work that you are trying to avoid doing, drift away and imagine bikes, trees and mountains.

iron horse by Jay Bharadia

Cheers Jay, howies, Riders Refuge, Kingdom Bike and Shinny Racing, you legends.

snow riding

  • Posted by howies
  • 24 November 2010

We have snow forecast, weird its sunny here, not so in Copenhagen though.

Here are some fantastic photos of people making their way around on their bikes in the snow, thanks to Cycle Chic.

They don't look prepared at all.....it could be us soon.

The Two Harrys

  • Posted by will
  • 17 November 2010

'Different horses for different courses' or so the saying goes. Bikes I think fit this idiom so very well. It is easy to envisage having one bike as a jack of all trades but I think it becomes apparent (and this has taken me years to admit) that different bikes are designed for different types of riding. I have spent years cycling a bmx bike to school then college and then to work determined to stay 'pure' and not 'sell out' to any other type of bikes. In my old age with knees no longer prepared to put up with riding any real distance on 20" wheels I slowly came round to the idea of getting a 'proper' bike for getting from A to B and keeping the little bike for fun.

The two bikes in the picture are, I think, about as far apart on the spectrum of bike design as you can get but suit my needs pretty perfectly. One has taken me around the world (as a reason to travel if not the means) and the other takes me across Manchester everyday and over the Irwell river into Salford. The link between them as tenuous as it may seem comes in the name of the designers: Both are the product, in the main, of men called Harry. The big one a Harry Quinn frame (I think possibly as old as I am.) decked out with the finest second hand bits that ebay and various bike geek's garages around Manchester had to offer for a reasonable price; and the small one the product of the imagination of Harry Schmitt at wethepeople bike co (in collaboration with Ashley Charles). The two have provided me with everything I need to keep pedalling on a bike suited perfectly to my alternating requirements. Cheers Harry(s).

King of Projects/Welsh Road Trips

  • Posted by james m
  • 15 November 2010

Last year over several of the finest beers to come out of the Alps (anyone that has been to Morzine will know the beer, good enough to keep quiet about), my friend Chris and I started to muse the idea of starting a bike company “to serve the needs of real bike riders.”

Chris may have had a few post-ride ales, yet somehow he stayed true to his word. Myself on the other hand, well I have no recollection of the conversation, only the words that Chris poked at me when he was being pro-active and putting things together.

Fortunately, I was allowed in on this project after all, and for a little while now I have been attempting to refine one of the frames to as close to perfection as possible. That process has involved mainly putting pedals on the bike and going out riding, if I’m to be honest.

But that’s all good according to the ‘boss’, and last month Chris even took me and my friend Al Stock on a road trip around some of North and Mid Wales’ finest testing grounds. This is a little vid that Chris made during the trip, almost lost forever after he left his shiny, expensive laptop in a car park in Betws! Oops. Turns out folk are pretty trustworthy round those parts anyhow.

Here’s to the last sunshine seen in Wales before the green country plunged into darkness for another few months.

Thank you kindly to howies, Riders Refuge, Kingdom Bike and Shinny Racing for covering my back at all times..

Pre-puffer blog 1

  • Posted by ruben
  • 15 November 2010

Last week we asked if anyone was crazy enough to join our team for Strathpuffer 24.

We had more people write in than I expected.
All so good that it was really hard to pick just one.

In the end we chose Hazel. She does sportswear design in Falmouth.
She sent this in a few weeks ago. And she has a nice blog here.

In 9 weeks, we'll be heading up North of Inverness to race our bikes through the night in the middle of winter. I hope everyone has their puffer jackets and warm gloves ready.

I'm torn between fear and excitement, but I know the fear will only last until my first lap.

P.S. I'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone else who wrote in after my last blog. You were all amazing and I would honestly have liked to take a team of 30 up. I'll do my best to stay in touch with as many of you as I can and hopefully we can get to ride together at some point in the year.

come to Wales, ride and watch

  • Posted by ade
  • 11 November 2010

Just got this mail from Jim from Summit cycles. The guys who put on the Dyfi Enduro .

Tickets are now available for our Life Cycles and Vast screening at Nant y Arian Visitor Centre on Saturday 20th November.

Life Cycles is a different take on the mtb film, with a focus on stunning cinematography, promising to be a groundbreaking visual feast.

Vast is a new European freeride film shot in some awesome European locations.

For those that want to ride, there is a night ride starting at 5.15 pm from the visitor centre car park.

http://www.lifecyclesfilm.com/

http://www.ionatefilms.com/

Tickets are £5/£3.50 for under 16s.

We’ve also got a DJ, food and a bar.

Promises to be a great night!

Cheers

Jim

Summit Cycles.co.uk

Aberystwyth 01970 626061

The Holey Trail.co.uk

Machynlleth 01654 700411

Beics Brenin.co.uk

Dolgellau 01341 440728

Find – The Mountain Bike Film

  • Posted by james m
  • 9 November 2010

Adventures are never ending, bike rides forever commencing.

Earlier this year I travelled to Tenerife with Dirt mag and Rowan Sorrell, bike rider, traveller and crafter of some of the finest bike trails Wales (and beyond) has ever seen.

I moved to Morzine in the Alps just after I turned 16 – I had a job cleaning bogs courtesy of a family friend – and at that time I entered mountain bike utopia. I was young and certainly naïve, but was fortunately well mentored by a good bunch of folk from all over the world.

One of those was Rowan, who I met on the hill one day and he showed me how a bike can be ridden with unbelievable style and grace – I can still remember being in awe of all the whips, tables and drifts that he pulled out in the space of one run, and all the more, how much fun Rowan was having.

Well, that was one day out of a summer that shaped the rest of my life, and now I continue to enjoy bikes and travel as much as ever, and it is so good to see that Rowan still shares that passion.

‘Find’ is a mountain bike film by Mark Huskisson, who joined us on the trip exploring Tenerife. Marks incredible filming skills along with his shared passion for bikes have come together in this film and captured, for me, the essence of it all. Not a high action, huckin’, flippin’ and spinnin’ freeride film, but rather the opposite – a calming, uplifting, motivating bicycle adventure captured.

This is the teaser, and those are Rowans voice and skills at the start. A real treat.

Film teaser by Mark Huskisson of Reset Films.

For making all my adventures possible, thank you to howies, Riders Refuge, Kingdom Bike and Shinny Racing. Here’s to many more.

Entries closing

  • Posted by ruben
  • 9 November 2010

I didn't expect many people to respond when I posted the call to arms for Strathpuffer last night, but I came in to an inbox full of messages from people wanting to join the team.

I'm amazed by the number of people who are crazy enough to put their name down for this. Thanks to you all!

We'll be tackling the task of picking someone from the list tonight. It's going to be hard work, as everyone seems great.

We'll be in touch soon - and don't worry, if you don't get to come along this time we will be planning more rides/events later in the year. (If this one goes well!)

P.S. Ade already got in with a blog about the coastal run we did yesterday, but here's my video of it.

Can you pedal? Lots?

  • Posted by ruben
  • 8 November 2010

We're looking for someone who can pedal (lots).

We're looking for someone who can stay up all night.

We're looking for someone with a positive attitude.

We're looking for someone who likes a (big) challenge.

We're looking for the 4th member of our Strathpuffer 2011 team.

Strathpuffer is often billed as the UK's toughest 24 hour MTB race. Way up in the North of Scotland, the race takes place in the middle of January and features 18 hours of darkness and plenty of potential for snowdrifts, freezing winds, icy trails and all the fun that goes with getting up at 3am with cold toes and getting to ride your bike for hours.

You'll be riding with me and Hicksy from howies (this will be our 3rd 24 hour race) and Alastair Humphreys, adventurer, motivational speaker and occasional blogger for howies.

We'll pay your entry and your travel (as long as you're coming from inside the UK), but you'll have to be able to cover all other costs yourself. We're planning to arrange to hire/borrow a camper or something similar to provide shelter, some semblance of warmth and a place to charge lights etc. You'll also get a baselayer from howies and a customised event t-shirt with your name on it.

It should be great. If you're interested, drop me an email to ruben@howies.co.uk and we'll get the ball rolling. (We don't have an entry yet, so be quick or we might miss out.)

Click here to find out more about Strathpuffer.

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