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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Feeding The Dog

By | Coaching, Running

Fascinating Food Diet fascinates me; the ways in which our relationship with food has such a profound impact on physical capabilities or lack thereof is truly incredible.  On a basic level, diet significantly dictates how two people born at exactly the same weight and size can subsequently grow to be totally different in shape.  Obviously genetics and exercise also have a huge part to play but if we took identical twins, made them partake in exactly the same exercise regime but fed one twice as much as the other then the results wouldn’t be hard to predict. As an endurance…

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Turn Off, Tune In

By | Running

A gentle ‘on your right’ as I aimed to nip past the walker who was occupying the whole trail, poles spread wide… ‘JESUS CHRIST!!!’ A shocked screech as she jumped further into my path, forcing me on to the peaty hummocks, throwing me an aggressive accusational stare… ‘You could’ve f**cking warned me!!’ The apology almost fell from my lips, the curse of the polite, bumped into on the high-street and still issuing my regrets, but something overrode and instead I ignored and ran on, yards away before my brain computed the hard facts.  I’d been approaching for minutes, the epic…

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Skills Acquisition and Nonlinear Coaching

By | Coaching

Warning – This blog forms part of my portfolio for the new Cycling Ireland Level 2 Coaching Qualification.  As such, it may not be the most entertaining article ever!  If you’re interested in coaching though and specifically the process of skills acquisition, grab a cuppa and read on. Skills Acquisition and Nonlinear Pedagogy I’ve been a professional mountain bike skills coach for over a decade, and pride myself on sessions that inspire the most appropriate and rapid improvements from riders.  To achieve this, my approach has altered vastly over the years, prioritising different techniques, and developing and learning new approaches, whilst…

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Great Expectations – The 2018 Garmin Mourne Skyline MTR

By | Uncategorized

It’s 2:42am.  I can’t sleep. The unfamiliar cocktail of caffeine and sugar is still coursing through me, synapses firing and thoughts swirling.  I need to write, to understand, to analyse and for catharsis, the disappointment of yesterday’s race raw and grating.  The chemical contaminants will work themselves through my system soon but the mental anguish will undoubtedly linger, festering on my psyche, why did it go so wrong? Overriding emotions from a whirlwind of a day.  Disgust, loneliness, emptiness, dredging the depths of physical and mental reserves.  To do so for victory, be it through winning or personal achievement feels…

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Decoding the Body

By | Running

Unplanned Siestas I’ve just recently woken up… Nothing too sinister or alarming in that, except it was at 3:30pm in a car park in Newcastle.  Fortunately I wasn’t lying comatose round the back of the bins, instead sat in the driver’s seat of my van whilst the boys were playing away in the park, but it’s the third consecutive day that I’ve totally flaked out mid-afternoon. I know, I know, most people reading this would love the luxury of being able to crash out for a siesta, the joys of designing my own work schedule are obvious, but for me…

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Genetic Predisposition? The Skyrunning World Championships

By | Running

Solid and Dependable Looking back on the weekend just gone and amongst the fuzzy warmth of a hugely enjoyable experience is a strong sense of inevitability.  My result at the Ring of Steall Skyrace was entirely predictable, with a comfortable top forty position and a time suitably close, but never challenging previous winning efforts.  A 33rd at the WMRA Long Distance World Champs back in June whilst in similar form showed me where my abilities stand among the genuine elites of mountain running, and regardless of fitness, my total lack of knowledge of the course on Saturday was always going…

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Taking Back Control

By | Biking

Fear not, this isn’t a Brexit article! Although later on it will explore how the initial effects of Brexit Britain became the catalyst for a bold, and potentially very positive move for one UK frame manufacturer.  Keeping politics aside though, this is actually a piece about what it really means to take back control of a company, moving all aspects of production back to our shores based on a utopian vision of flexibility and employee well-being. Back To Slack Stanton Bikes have long been pioneers in the development of the modern ‘hardcore hardtail’, generating an enviable reputation for both design…

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