Sunday, April 25, 2010

Eruptive disruptive

How come nobody had thought of it? Of all the things that can come between a man and his debut into the world of dual suspension, a volcano on an island near the arctic circle. No terrorists, no customs, no airport official who doesnt like the shape of the package, none of that, a flipping volcano.
So my brand-new-second-hand bright yellow litespeed frame is sat in Glasgow, ice cold in my in-laws garage waiting to come to its new life as a tropical XC machine. Waiting for the dust to settle, quite literally.
I know the subject has been revisited ad nauseam but you have to marvel at how confused everybody got over the volcanic ash, how the skies were blue over the UK but it was far too dangerous to fly. How upsetting it is when there is no-one to blame, to get angry at. How, it turns out, there is no master plan to cope with this kind of thing and what seems to be emerging is an image of all the powers that be (in the aviation world) running around in a panic, ignoring each other and closing airspace.
Its a sign of the times that nobody was willing to go out there and see what the danger really was, like it was a monster in the cellar. It took the airlines themselves to take the initiative.
The crux will always be that had they let planes fly and just one of the thousands that were grounded had crashed the whole world would have blamed the aviation authorities for not closing the skies.
In this particular case I do think that it was a case of there being a risk at all rather than there being an assessment of the level of risk.
So now, customs, airport officials and terrorist threats notwithstanding I shall be meeting my new frame on wednesday. Am I nervous? well of course I am, for one its yellow and I have to get over that, for two its not new and has a few minor dents, what if its so horrifically disfigured as to look old and worn out? For three I have only ridden two full-sussers in my time, one was a top-of-the-range Jamis and the other a brand new Santa Cruz Blur carbon. The litespeed is not in thier league and I dont want to find myself disappointed.
I am at that wierd stage you get to when you are so close to something happening that time seems to stand still, I want to go and pace around the arrivals hall at the airport.
Of course the wife and kids have been away for nearly five weeks so it'll be nice to see them too.......

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

trips a go-go

A week of mayhem here in Sabah which began with the Fat Dads team of Dave Hutchinson and I dragging our sorry behinds accross the finish line of the three-day Sabah Adventure Race in 8th place. It was a painful experience I can tell you, and one which parts of my anatomy are still to forgive me for.

The day after we had a group of Brummies to take out and I gotta say how impressive these older chaps can be. Maybe its because I am one of them there older chaps myself but they do seem to posses a fair degree of resilience when it comes to arduous days in the saddle. I took Rich (the younger dirt monster of the group) on a downhill singletrack where he managed to pile up by himself and break a pedal. His girlfriend rolled her eyes when we returned back to the main group to show them his extensive gravel rash....

Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday were recce days for Sly and me, driving into the backside of nowhere, unloading the bikes and bushwhacking into the interior. Sometimes we drew a blank and found ourselves somewhere unrideable but a few of the places we discovered were pure diamonds of routes. Untill you have ridden out of a steamy jungle to find yourself at a deserted beach of soft sand and a shimmering South China Sea, you have had an incomplete life.

Our database of rides is growing nicely which means we can accommodate more preferences and give the widest selection to our clients.

On Saturday we had a crazy stag do, a multinational group of hardcore riders who ripped it up all day, see this blog for an idea of what they thought of it. These boys really had a lot of fun.

So sunday should have been a quiet rest day no? No, I stupidly agreed to take a 'short' ride out with Dave and we kinda got lost, well maybe not lost but certainly in a place that no mountain bikes should ever go. It was a 5 1/2 hour epic which included falling down a hill into a river and canyoning down waterfalls with mountain bikes.