Support

I am delighted to announce that I am being supported by some great brands this coming year.

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Firstly I will be representing AbsolutBLACK as a brand ambassador during 2016. I will be running AbsoluteBLACK chain rings as well as some other components, I am really looking forward to experimenting with oval chain rings and the gains they will bring to my riding.

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I am also pleased to announce that I am part of Riders Company’s Grassroots Program, I’ll be wearing some of their great t-shirts during rides and dig days as well as whilst relaxing off the bike.

You can expect some posts looking into the whole crazy/not crazy concept of oval chain rings and how I use them in my riding and training, as well as looking rather dapper in some fresh tees.

I would like to thank both of these brands for their support for 2016, I am looking forward to working with both of them and for another great year on the bikes.

Tour De Ben Nevis 2014 Stage 4 Nevis Range Race

February

The rains have eased, the waters may have subsided, but the trails are still saturated.

The heavy sodden ground can be a blessing and a curse, the falling mercury freezing the ground hard and fast rolling. As the thaw creeps in and the ground softens, traction is easy to find, but too far into the melt and a mud bath ensues – you can’t have it all.

It was a month of regular rides and of building pace, revisiting old trails, riding them in a way that only served as a reminder of lost speed and gains to be made.

Mostly it was a month of having fun on the bikes.

Stravaiging Enduro Scolty February

Stravaiging Enduro Scolty February 11

Dropping-in-DH

Stravaiging Enduro durris February 3

Stravaiging Enduro durris February 7

Scolty DH 2

Strava, its Complicated

Strava I love you but your bringing me down.

At first you understood, you were new and you were exciting but the longer you’ve been there the more complicated it has become. You made rides exciting and were a reason to explore and to try and better myself on the bike. You made it easy to equate that feeling of speed into actual performance gains, you encouraged a joined up type of riding, of keeping momentum and of going full gas when ever possible. You made me faster.

strava-4

But as time has past, things became routine and the excitement ebbed, and you made me ride differently than I would have ridden if you weren’t there. You changed how I rode for good and for bad, you changed how others (myself included) acted and behaved, you never said I couldn’t ride like before but it was always implied.

A trail becomes a race on the internet, against people you don’t know.

I know the foundation and the driving force of our sports progress going right back to Repack has and always will be racing, but racing is an event with real people. Fighting for a KOM with a stranger on the internet started to feel more and more like trolling.

You took away the exploration, the hard work of the trail builder became exposed by the “social” aspect, of segments and heatmaps. No trail is secret, no trail knowledge is local. If you have ridden it someone has named a segment on it and if the ride isn’t on strava for all to see, then it just didn’t happen.

Strava meme Picard

You changed how I and others rode a trail, parts of a social ride that have been there since the beginning, that in fact made you a better rider were forgotten as the invisible clock in your head was always ticking. Forget the view, forget sublime moments of clarity, forget stopping to shoot the breeze with friends. Forget finding a great set of turns or drops and pushing back up mid trail to ride them again, the clock is always ticking.

Sessioning is not strava.

But you did help make me a faster, fitter rider, you helped me track rides and build on weaknesses, you let me see when I did better or when feeling fast was just cruising.

All of this said I, like Heath Ledger, wish I knew how to quit you, Happy valentines day strava, I’ll see you next time I go ride my bike.


My strava account is still active but a fairly serious affair with Veloviewer has been going on for a while. Strava doesn’t mind as it knows I will always come home to it.