Because It’s Everywhere – The ‘Everesting’ World Record

By | Running

Tackling Everest ‘That was my Everest’… An oft-used metaphor signifying the toughest challenge ever encountered by the user. Writing a thesis, overcoming a phobia, making a fundamental life change, whatever it may entail, mention of the World’s highest mountain is synonymous with epic-scale struggle. ‘Because it’s there’… The famous quote attributed to British mountaineer George Mallory, made to a New York Times journalist in 1923 to justify the reasons behind his seemingly impossible attempts on the mountain that took his life the following year. Because It’s Everywhere Of course, attempting to climb the mountain itself is the preserve of those…

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Temptation

By | Running

Temptation Deeper than an emotion, it’s an irresistible drive or uncontrollable desire, the magnetic pull of inevitability, the tractor beam dragging your physical form towards an unknown conclusion, one that may have destructive and permanent repercussions. The rational mind temporarily overridden, sense trampled and realities blurred. Mental and physical scarring distinct possibilities, it could all be so easily avoided, and yet once that carrot is dangled, that poisoned apple plucked, for some of us that temptation is a force that overrides all. It could be a vanity? A midlife crisis? The need for intrinsic or extrinsic verification? Probably a combination…

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How Much?!! Cane Creek EE Wings Review

By | Biking

Who the hell spends a grand on a set of cranks? Well, fortunately not me. But I have retrospectively pondered whether I’d have eventually succumbed even without getting preferential rates through the good people at Stanton Bikes? Certainly the Cane Creek EE Wings were a slow burner; initially introduced by my mate Tony, who sent a link in a (semi) tongue-in-cheek way, pointing out what a great match they’d make for my Switch9er Ti. The idea was discounted instantly, the in-situ XTR’s were doing a great job, I didn’t want to have to buy a new bottom-bracket and chainring, the…

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What If Money Was No Object?

By | Biking

Apologies if it seems a little crass talking about unjustifiably expensive bike builds at a time when so many are discovering the horrors of Universal Credit, and many more are fretting over when they’ll ever be employed again. Rest assured I’ve been hit as hard as most, with all biking work disappearing, taking a huge chunk of my income with it. But maybe it’s the right moment for a bit of escapism. Dreamy School Days School days for me were long and often tedious, I’d usually have the compulsory work banged out in minutes, leaving much opportunity for the favourite…

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The Hunger Games – A Solo, Unsupported, Non-Stop Tour of Mont Blanc

By | Uncategorized

Blacking Out A momentary loss of consciousness.  Like a micro-sleep but without possible resistance.  One minute hugging the right side of the twisting Alpine road and a split second later traversing the centre line; long-honed instincts righting the listing bike before smashing into the asphalt.  Pull to a stop, head sagging, vision desperately seeking focus.  Endgame.  Make or break time.  The devastating realisation that failure could be grabbed from a success so tangible at this final juncture. Caffeine.  The drug of choice; a substance so potent it’d certainly be banned if not so prevalent.  The only possible salvation, and yet…

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The Longest Day

By | Uncategorized

Impending Gloom Thank Christ my legs felt good, spinning a steady tempo as the sweat wept from my brow, gradually forming blobs that dripped down the inside of sunglass lenses.  This climb over half an hour old by now, definitely getting older by the minute.  Redundant phone, no GPS signal and a trail ‘map’ that was an abstract masterpiece lacking essential detail.  This ascent should apparently top out at Champoussin at 1580m but the Garmin altimeter had clicked way beyond that, the relief of reaching the peak tempered by the uneasy impression that dropping down the far side would guarantee…

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Pain in the Arse? Stanton Rigel Saddle Review

By | Uncategorized

Bunch of Arse Arses, everybody’s got one, fat, thin, wide, narrow, round, square, well… maybe not square, but we do all have one and they’re all different.  And because of that, talking about comfort in a saddle review is basically wasted wordage so I’ll barely bother, one person’s fluffy bunny is another person’s barbed wire coated lump of granite. So, quick answer to the title, it’s a no for me, the Stanton Rigel saddle is not a pain in the arse at all.  Even on saggy shorted epics, six hours of sitting on a sopping chamois chafing away at wrinkled…

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Chasing Armadillos – The Conversion of a Bike Park Non-Believer

By | Uncategorized

Dropping In I waited patiently on the far side of the dusty track whilst the huddled armadillos shuffled to the edge of the wooden drop and peered into the abyss.  Adrenaline just bubbling under a solid ceiling of focus, full commitment guaranteed.  Machine-gun Spanish conversation incomprehensible, but the tone was clearly recognisable and matched the furrowed brows just visible below full-face lids.  They backed away sheepishly, awkwardly manoeuvreing DH superbikes, opening a gap just wide enough to squeeze through.  Half a pedal rev, small bunny hop to clear the gap and ‘whoosh, whump’ into the steep downhill landing fifteen feet…

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Functional Art – Stanton Switch9er Ti Long Term Review

By | Uncategorized

But Why?…. Why the hell do I ride a hardtail? It’s not like it’s a puritantical stance against technological advance.  If that were the case then I’d also still be on a 150mm stem, 540mm bars, 26″ wheels and those god awful tan wall tyres.  Oh, wait, those have made a comeback?!  Maybe the Flexstem and that batshit Slingshot bike with the wire for a down tube will be next, after all, fashion is cyclical. But bikes aren’t fashion (not for most of us anyway), they’re engineering, and sometime in the last three decades full-suspension frames have honed to an…

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The Bodies We Want

By | Uncategorized

I’ll let you into a wee secret; I don’t look great naked. Pigeon chest, skinny arms, freakishly out of proportion calves balanced on delicate ankles, and you definitely don’t want to see my toenails! Maybe not the most alluring of images. Now obviously this is a subjective viewpoint, and one succumbing to the prescribed narrative of accepted beauty norms; but essentially when I wander round a swimming pool, the gathered ladies (and men) aren’t often peeking over the top of their shades for an eyeful of my chiselled torso. There was a time when first discovering a previously untapped aptitude…

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