Saturday, March 17, 2012

Breathing fire

A choice of three brake sets, two were Avid Elixirs and one was a cheapie Shimano. The difference in price was interesting, lets just say I saved over 100 quid by wandering across town.
Anybody got a pile of money and wants to set up a bike shop in Borneo? Its a sure-fire winner, all you need is a small selection of bikes, a mechanic that knows how to bleed Hydraulic brakes and a reasonable selection of stock. Two dark, dingy and grubby old units is what we have here, which is wierd considering how many people have good bikes and like to go riding. Its no wonder that everybody buys online or goes to Singapore to find their bits and bikes.

So thats me, back on the trails. A good thing as I am about to head down to start work in Tabin Wildlife reserve where the riding is fantastic if you can avoid the elephants and snakes.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Bleeding Brakes

Enough is enough, I have stood by Avid Juicy's above and beyond the call of duty now, its time to call it a day and see what I can find to replace them.
This is the third time that they have let me down and only a few weeks after being fully serviced which is enough to piss anybody off. Dont get me wrong, when they were working they were awesome, sensitive, quick to cool and bloody strong, all they lacked is reliability.
I have been offered some Avid Elixirs but I wonder if that is not just tempting fate so I am on the lookout for something else. Here in Borneo we have little to choose from, with only two bike shops worth stopping at its all down to what they have in stock and whether or not the dragon is behind the counter.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Dismantled biscuits

Thats right, crumbs.
Imagine the scenario; you are on a new descent, you know the kind of trail you are on, watching for rocks, watching for patches of mud, taking conservative lines around the bends, head up, everything is just fine. In fact its a ripper of a trail and even at a reasonable speed you are pretty gripped with a tense grin under your mud-spattered sunnies.
In a split-second it all goes wrong, a tiny quantity of time but a complicated sequence of events that leads to, well, lets get back to that.
It all goes back to the time that I hit upon the neat idea of using tennis racquet grip covers on my handlebars to counter the slippiness of sweaty hands. A very good idea that was born when I had another crash not 5 kilometers from this scene of shoulder-pain. What happened (back then) was that I was a tad sweaty (its 33 degrees here with 98% humidity for goodness sake), I did a little bunny-hop over a small rock and as I lifted the bars my right hand slipped off the bar, you can imagine how good the landing was with one hand....SPLAT!
Back to the present and now those towelling tennis racquet grips are quite old and have a lot of threads hanging off..... threads that flap around and get attached to the velcro on my gloves.
I sat up as the trail levelled out, glad for a few moments to relax went to look at my watch and as I took my hand off the bars I turned left extremely quickly, well the bike did anyway, I went straight on quite quickly but without a bike to stop gravity from claiming me.....SPLAT (again)
Once the adrenaline had worn off and the self-loathing was getting started I took out some snacks in the form of individually wrapped chock-chip cookies which seemed to have taken the brunt of the fall, right after my shoulder had as I rolled over and were almost dust.
The shorts I was wearing now have a hole in which makes them indecent and to this day I have never touched a tennis bat again.