Friday, 20 December 2013


I've updated my photography website. I've added some pictures from this year's location trips to Paris, Chicago and Hong Kong. Enjoy!

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Gert Lush!

It's that time of year again when I make the pilgrimage to the mothership and dust off the Rose hardtail for some cold, soggy shredding. This year, same as last, saw me Jim and Mikey hitting the trail system at Ashton Court and Leigh Woods in Bristol. Purpose built, twisty and flowey, what the trails lack in elevation gain and descent they make up for in bermed corners and nice techy features. We also went off piste and explored a few steep and loose trails that the local downhill kids had carved through the trees. All good stuff.

Ahead of this year's fun Xmas ride I fitted the Rose with chunkier tires and some sweet Race Face riser bars. Nothing crazy wide, but definitely on the wrong side of XC. My annual shred on the Rose makes me appreciate the simple joys of riding a hardtail 26er. The new upgrades definitely made an already sweet ride even more responsive and aggressive. Awesome stuff.

I do love this Christmas ride tradition. We're whittled down to the hardcore now, but we've still kept it going for 6 years. Hard to believe I've been stateside for so long. I am looking forward to heading back across the pond and enjoying another year in the dirt and sun.... But one thing is for sure, I'll be happy to dust off the Rose and head to Briz' once next year draws to a close. Cheers then!

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Who's this?

Who is this cheeky looking fella pulling up the rear behind Eric? It's none other than Jason Spangles! After a near two year hiatus, Jase decided to blow the dust mites off his superlite Stumpy and swap it for some lovely trail dirt instead. About bloody time! And just in time too as I feck off back to England for the Christmas holidays very soon and I didnt want to miss the rare sight of Jason riding mountain.

The trails around San Francisco are stunning at this time of the year. Cold, clear air, hero dirt and stunning views make for some pretty epic rides, even when we're just visiting the usual loops. I love it. Makes me appreciate how lucky we are to have so much beauty on our doorstep.  And it was great to see Spangles out on two wheels again. Even better to see him get his mojo back, especially on the flow trail. Here's hoping the Stumpy will be getting dirty on a more regular schedule next year! Oh, and here's a video of me and Eric hitting the Serpentine drop...

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Pumpkin Pie....

..Is my favourite thing about Thanksgiving. My second favourite is sweet potato pie. After THAT, its probably having four whole days off work to get some quality riding in before my xmas trip back to Blighty. So, in keeping with tradition, that's what I did. Thanksgiving day saw me and a few hundred others meet in Fairfax for the annual Appetite Seminar ride. This year I met up with Rosson and Adam and hitched a ride with the Zeitgeist boys. They're a great group of fellas and they always make me feel very welcome. They're super strong on the climbs though so I was somewhat worried about keeping up. I haven't put in any big rides recently. Certainly nothing like the Pine Mountain to Porcupine route that the 'Seminar takes. Roughly 25 miles and over 3600ft of rocky climbs awaited as we set out into the fresh Winter cold. As it turns out I did just fine. The climbs were tough and the descents felt few and far between, but the lack of heavy rain meant the usual mud slop nightmare was avoided. So a cracking time was had by all. There's really no better to kick off the long weekend than with a hearty long ride in the birthplace of our sport.

The following day I hit Santa Cruz. My first and only trip to the Nomad's spiritual home this year, I made up for it by hitting some outstanding trails. Fellow Santa Cruz (bikes) fan Nic took me to Pogonip State Park which connected us to the university trails. I remember riding here years ago with Spangles. He'd just bought his Stumpy and I still used my Orange hardtail. Things have changed a lot since then. Not so much with the trails, but with my perception of them and my riding abilities. We hit Magic Carpet, an insanely wild roller coaster of loamey flowey singletrack peppered with drops and jumps and rooty tech sections. We also rode the short but steep Happy Ending. Typical of the trails in this area, it was burly and unforgiving. But great fun on the Nomad. We eventually looped back and finished with a flurry down the beautifully bermed Emma McCrary trail. I need to make a resolution to ride in Santa Cruz more often next year. The trails are beautiful and designed to be ridden hard. Its easy to get out of your league down there, but stay on the edge of your abilities and the riding is simply epic.

Saturday I took it easy and reaquainted myself with the Jackal. Its been a while since I've taken the lovely blue beast out so it felt good to cruise around and pop some bunny hops around the Marina. To round off another awesome Thanksgiving weekend, Sunday I met Jaime at Annadel. We rode our usuals ; Lawndale, Ridge, South and North Burma. Trail conditions were some of the best I've ever seen. Beautiful singletrack carpeted in lush green loamey goodness. Annadel brings out the best in my riding and (according to Strava) today was no exception. Great stuff. Now, I have one more weekend to enjoy the gorgeous NorCal sun and trail conditions before I bugger off back home and meet up with the Brizzul lot for our annual Christmas ride.