Knights of Niche.
Ok most of you are thinking "pile of shite" and it is. It's an early 80's raleigh tempest made from gaspipe or scaffold pole type steel, it's a bit rusty and the Knights of Niche dont reckon it will make half a lap. Pure parts bin special, i shoehorned some old EA50 bars into the road stem, had some Spank grips spare, the seatpost is about 15 years old, it's a USE XCR, dead posh back in the day, but now the MCU sponge has gone hard and the bushings are shagged, but it sort of works, and sort of fitted the frame, needed some tape to bring the size up a bit, the wheels in the picture are off and new ones in place. I call this work of scrap the "Ghetto 29er"
At the recent show i did i got to measure up inflated tyres on rims, Jorg and Rob from Continental where bemused by my actions and the fact i was more interested in cyclo-cross tyres, they decided i wasnt drunk but have lost the plot and nicely gave me a pair to get rid of me, i reckon i could go up from the dizzy width of 35mm to 42mm for a bit more traction. The stickers... yes, well i have to pick out my bike from 300 others in the run for your bike start, so need a bit of colour to make it stand out. Due to the fact i am unfit, my left knee and back are almost right after flat landing a jump a while ago and finding out just how far/long this event is, i have decided to maintain a role of "eventing drinking support" with the ride to the start and back + 1 lap will be about 20 miles, i reckon some of them will rack up 2 or 3 10 mile'ish laps, so drinking support it is, i can do that, i have trained for that part.
One of the things that struck me from doing some trade shows last year and this year was the amount of crossover from road to mountain, is XC becoming the new DH ? there are a few mini chainguides to replace the front shifter as more XC take up 1x10 drivetrains, 10 speed is old hat as Campagolo have had 11speed for well over a year, that Shimano electric shifting for roadies has been converted to mountain bike use, will that appear in 2011 on the world cup circuit (who remembers airlines). What did make me smile apart from the price was the lateset XC is DH part, a quarter bashring to fit on your triple chainset although the price i thought was high (not saying). The scary thing is i have been looking at cyclo-cross frames, got the posh SS wheelset so maybe a frame built for riding across the fields, i remember seeing photos of Tomac doing DH with roadie drop bars on and winning, as i said it can only make me fitter and help the racing side of things, then something else popped up the other day, more Xc is the new DH, i have got in touch with Steve and he was happy for me to write about this. Steve Parr as in ex NPS events man and importer of MSCbikes is looking at a new race series for 2011, nothing is set yet, no name, maybe a major sponsor already! and some rough dates, but still lots to sort out.
UK Gravity Enduro series 2011, thats what i will call it for now, think of the kona mash-up and Avalanche enduros, but now we could get a proper series for all those out there with mountainbikes who would like to spend more than an hour a day on the bike, not queue's or rammed in some trailer for 5 or 7 3min runs. Xc and downhill together like it used to be. A series for all those 5inch coil sprung Orange 5's or the new breed of superlight sub 38ILb DH bikes. No reason why you cant xc on a dh bike, the front runners at the fort william DH enduro all sprinted the uphill start of the race, i guess they all trained and got fit :) back to Steve, so rough format, you ride to a DH section, pin it, you then have a time slot to get to the next DH section, dont be late but dont turn up early (works with rally cars) the combined DH times are what counts and penaltys for turning up late/early on top. I like the sound of this along with quite a few others, i hope Steve pulls it off.
So if Thackers is free on Saturday can you drag your welding gear down to the forest, i might need a frame/fork welding up mid race, and before anyone asks, the superfly is in storage down south hence the make do with hedge find bike, still it goes to show that you can have a laugh and have a go without dropping a ton of cash.
P.S. i really need to get out more, really think i am getting cabin fever up here in holland.