Friday, September 29, 2006

Medic! Medic!

As is usual for me before any big trip (ie P2B!) I have injured myself in some special way. Climbing last night I partially dislocated my left knee which has caused some ACL damage according to the hospital! I need to go back to my GP in a few days time so they can asses the damage when the swelling has subsided! Mike cheered me up though, with the promise of an operation, 6 weeks off work and a six MONTH recovery period. DAMN!!! As I'm a bit bored already, I thought that I might instigate some 'Sweet days of Yor' photos - ie any pictures that the IBFC have knocking around of them in action as nippers! I'm thinking that shot of Ben doing the worlds biggest x-up gap should be aired, Adam! Here's me age 17, 9stone ;p and taking it to the edge in a West Mersea carpark!



Sunday, September 24, 2006










We rode at PORC on Saturday, as we were all getting togethrer to celebrate Chris' birthday, it seemed the right thing to do. Bit of a mixed bag, really - I'd allways been led to believe that PORC was the nuts and Mike, Daryl and Adam whod all ridden there some years earlier were making all the right noises, but we spent the first hour and a half actually looking for fabled berm runs and 'sweet drops' that had all just been let to go to pieces. Looks like they're in the process of making changes, with the quarry being filled in to make a water pit for children to decapitate themselves trying backflips and some other bits and bobs here and there. We had a bit of a blast on the 4x and I was really annoyed not to clear the bridge (I was miles of!) as I didn't commit to connecting the triple that sets you up for it. Nice one Daryl for showing me how its done... There were one or two runs that were quite nice and Daryl and I had a blast on a sandy double at the top of one of the runs, with two blokes who were styling it much nicer than us! See pics. I don't think Adam liked anything except the dirt jumps which the rest of us hit with our trademark DJ stylee - ie crap...

Good day out in the end and set us up nicely for a wicked birthday shinding in Brighton.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Im here in corsica expect some posts in the next month or so corsican internet is hard to find!

Monday, September 18, 2006




Woah. Sometimes things take far too long to come into fruition. Me jumping over a tiny road gap at Woburn is one of those things. It took about a million run ups and 'looks' before I committed to doing this little puppy, I must be getting old! Think this one pictured was the biggest, probably about 9ft or so, felt big anyway... Photo is a bit misleading as it looks like i'm just off the lip, you actually run off the bit with the tree stump. Rich was also on form and I got this nice pic of him blasting a little (6m flat in the air!) air out of a drop-to-bombhole thingy. Take-off is just left of the flash burst and landing is about a mile to the right!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

CAKE, anyone?


Thought there was a lack of gateau did you? Well? Just to prove that we're true to our moniker, Steffi produced another fantastic cake to help the spirits of Chris and I during a weekend when we forwent the pleasures of riding in the sun, for sanding our rally car in a hot warehouse... Just to keep it real, Steffi used my extreme homemade blckberry jam and clotted cream. God, we're rock and roll. Check out the P2B link above for piccies of the car and I promise I'll go riding tomorrow, Rich...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Beast

Not content with being a hardcore, extreme, on-the-edge, to-the-max type pro mountain biker, I have now started the "I Brake For Cake Classic Car Club" (or IBFCCCCCCC if you will). I have achieved this by purchasing a 1977 Triumph Spitfire 1500 in glorious vermillion red (which is, quite clearly to everyone except Triumph, orange!). If I was about 5 years older I think this might constitute an early mid-life crisis, but for now I think I can get away with it. The car needs a bit of tweaking but preliminary road tests have been positive; it's pretty nippy and handles well once you get used to 1970s braking prowess. That said it's a bit rubbish on singletrack, all over the place on big berms and nose-heavy over doubles.

Planned mods include some K&N air filters (shiny ones), a straight through sports exhaust (also shiny) and of course underfloor lighting, a neon gearknob and full I.C.E. now I'm back in Essex.

I am also joining the AA.





I've been the proud owner of the Giant Reign for a couple of months now and it has seen action in Afan, Cwncarn, QE, major downhill routes in Les Get & Morzine and most recently some sweet air in Bracknell!!

First impressions were a little mixed as it is my first full bouncer, even hopping off kerbs was a major effort. I've now got used to the way you need to ride the beast and I am very impressed.
First the frame; The rear triangle is super stiff and doesn't look like it'll ever break, even when you land something really sideways there is no noticeable flex from the rear stays. The main frame is also burly enough whilst keeping weight down so hills aren't too much of a problem. The most impressive thing though is the Maestro suspension system, without even adjusting the SPV (platform) pressure you can go straight from technical uphills to major rocky downhills. If you really want to lock it out for the ups you can pop a little more pressure (40psi) in but I'm not one for major cross country slogs so it appears to have been the perfect bike choice for me. Only complaints really are the cable routings (they bulge out with the suspension action) and the fact that the chain can get jammed between the granny ring and frame, although I am working on some mods to prevent this.
Components; OK then this is a real mixed bag as my budget dictated that I buy the Reign 3 with the basic spec. Major complaint is the fork, the Manitou Splice is cheap, the action is poor and tends to lock up after hard use (damping issues me thinks) and they have bags of play in the bushes. I always planned to upgrade these though and they got me through a week in the Alps so I shouldn't be too harsh! The LX groupset is superb, no problems there and reliable slick shifting. Hayes sole brakes are also reliable and simple, the front could do with a bigger rotor for the big downhills though.
All told this is a hell of a lot of bike for £800 that truly can be used for 'All Mountain' and the frame alone RRP of £800 means I can spend a few hundred quid on making it into exactly the kind of bike to suit my riding style (erratic!!!)

Monday, September 11, 2006

IBFC Testing Department...

Laugh? I nearly cried! Juan-Pablo, our oversees 'product tester' trials an early prototype of the paper bolt. Not content with feverishly drilling all our bolts to shave off the grams, the XC wing of IBFC turned to 'The Engineers' (of lever smelting fame) for a new wafffer-theeen stem bolt constructed of paper... The results were obvious and Juan now sports a new face... I love the brake cable and the fact that he was trying to do a Finter-nofoot! Is the small child on the left about to run in to save him?

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Me in action!

As promised, the time has come to write a review and after some really varied riding over the last month, I think that I've tried the Fox DHX 5.0 on all sorts of terrain. So here goes!

Setting up the 5th was allways a bit of a stab in the dark, the rebound adjustment wasn't remarkable and sag setting didn't always seem to factor in what the terrain would through at you, so in comparison, the DHX is dripping with adjustability that actually works! Firstly, I'm glad that the 2007 version has done away with the seperately presurised boost valve as that'd just confuse me more, so like the Manitou Swinger and others in the world of air shocks its just running at 1/3 main chamber presure.
One thing that I really like on this shock is the bottom out resistance dial and I've been playing with this quite a bit as it really effects the shock downstroke action without compramising the general running characteristic of the shock. With the 5th, I'd up the presure in both chambers if I was doing some 'big' drops that day to limit the bottoming, making for a stiff shock in general running, with the DHX, you can have a responsive, smooth ride in the trail and rely on the BOR dial to take care of the bigger stuff. Perfect. Have also been much more impressed with the rebound characteristics of this shock and you definately notice the difference of dialling in/out a few more clicks as appropriate. For most of our time in the Alps, I ran the shock with a lot less propedal dialled in and the main chamber at slightly less capacity (220psi, I'm fat and normally run it at 250-60) in and was pleased with it as it didn't bob much even when you needed to put in those frantic pedal strokes before the next lip and really sucked up the hits and roots on the fast stuff. The overview is that it feels much more reliable, I'm not afraid to tinker as I was with the 5th. When I bought my Enduro I was very worried about the 5th as I'd read loads of comments on poor performance and blowing the damping seal and really considered other bikes based on this. Both my and Mike's 5th blew the damping seal (Mike's within three weeks of purchase and both in S.Wales too!) and in a strange way I'm glad mine went as the Fox is so much nicer and really does the rest of the bike justice.


Swinley Visit

We rode at Swinley forset today after no hours sleep and recovering from the audio-visual assault of a night out in a Milton Keynes night club. Wicked time and thanks to everyone that turned up to Steffi's Birthday... As all gatherings are an excuse to ride, Mike and I drove down to Bracknell with a short stop in Tring for Mike to buy a Triumph Spitfire (!), as you do and a very nice example it is too. I had been getting very worried that there was a distinct feel of autumn comming on, but Sunday was just like June and the trails were fast and dusty and just what we needed. Daryl was had invited along two mates, Gareth a more regular rider and Dan who was less experienced, but both really up for it and with Swinley's all accomodating nature, everyone had a great time on the trails and gully jumps. Daryl and I finally plucked up the courage to drop into the side of the gully which was absolutely nothing and everyone had a good blast on the jumps. Impressed with Gareth and even captain slow showed some style!