Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bit of Active Brits Banter

For those of you that have enjoyed reading our bits of banter, you might have noticed that its been several weeks since our last post. Unfortunately the active brits posse together with their bikes got abducted by aliens in November. We managed to escape but only after completely wiping out an entire population of space mutants. We are a passive bunch and hate violence, but no freakin alien is ever allowed to touch our bikes..

Anyway we are now back, we had a freakin awesome full on mad time in Dublin (thanks to all the people we met on Sunday November in the Temple Bar District in Dublin.. including pimp grandad and the young lasses from Norfolk). I still cant get my head around the Guiness scene (but after a few lagers it seemed to taste alot better) but the music and the overall banter was quality.

Biking wise, it will be well into the New Year before all that kicks off. The active brits posse has been doing a bit of winter hiking in the mountains of North Wales recently on account of me having to locate stacks of new parts for my worn out GT. The rear wheel disintegrated a few weeks back at the end of a downhill (on account of the aluminium wearing through) so i'm going for a full on upgrade, replacing near as damn it everything on the bike and therefore i've been searching out for the best deals. The bike wear has got to the stage where i'm actually considering sacking the bike off and investing in a new one. To put the baby back on the trail, i'll need to buy everything apart from the frame (which looks stunning, i spent 3 days polishing the aluminium with a buffer), a headset and an XT hollowtech crank, everything else is screwed.

A few members of the active brits posse are haeding up to the top of Snowdon for midnight on New Years Eve so if anyone in the UK is heading up to the summit, see ya there.

Might be the last post before Christmas so everyone have a gud'n and all the best for 2007.

Dont forget to check out our other Blogs and sites.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bad Night Drivers

Quick bit of moaning....

Answer these questions..

1) Do you enjoy driving at night.
2) Are you able to perfectly judge distances when its dark.
3) Do you feel in total control when driving at night.
3) When a car approaches from the opposite direction, even though its dark, can you perfectly judge the width of your vehicle (without the need to slam on the cars anchors in sheer panic, blinded by the other cars headlights..)


Friday, November 03, 2006

Split Music Shows - Ben Sims & Chris Finke

If you like listening to various styles of techno, be sure to check out the excellent Split Music Site with a fortnightly downloadable radio show from the excellent Ben Sims & Chris Finke..

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Quick Afternoon Ride Near Llangollen, North Wales

Here is a quick rundown of our most recent mad one in the welsh hills (29th Oct).

We decided to go somewhere different this time and head slightly further south of Moel Famau to another one of our haunts just outside Llangollen (keeping away from the purpose built routes in Llandegla Forest.. the Active Brits crew are not great fans of the fabricated bike dedicated routes..)..

We decided on doing an early afternoon run that would get us out for about 3 hours, cover 15-20miles and give us enough uphill work to make the legs ache on Monday Morning and to provide us with enough endorphine rush to keep us going with the happy vibes for most of the week.. In summary the route takes you from about 40m about see level to about 500m about see level in under 4 miles (mostly on road) before making a transition to quality rambler free singletrack then country lanes. There are loads of alternative routes but this gives you a bit of everything if you are struggling for time.


1) Go out of Llangollen on the Horseshoe Pass Road and take the first left hander about 2 miles out of Llangollenn towards Rhewl. Afer about 0.5miles, turn into a carpark on the left (you cant miss it). This will be your base for the ride.

2) Leave the car park and turn left onto the same road as you came in on. Follow it for about 0.8mile then turn right near a few small houses (you will have just climbed up a small hill). Follow this road for about 1.2 miles until you reach the main Horseshoe Pass Road.

3) Now is the fun part as you are going to cycle up the Horseshoe Pass for about 3 miles until you reach a car park on the left (about 0.3miles past a few tight bends and a slate quarry). You cant miss the lay-by as it gives an awesome view of the valley back to Lllangollen.

4) When you reach the lay-by this is where the training element really kicks in. DO NOT STOP.. simply dive off your bike, look for a fairly well defined grassy path in front of you, stick your bike on your shoulder then proceed up the hillside in the dirrection of a large boulder (you cant miss it.. its located just as the path starts to level out a bit and joins a wider path. Now get back on the bike again... DO NOT STOP.. then follow the path upwards to the left (this section is fully rideable).

5) As you cycle up you will see a wooden fence in front of you after about 300m. Turn right just before the fence and tank down the hill rapid stylee to the Ponderosa Cafe (you cant miss it.. look for the motorbikes everywhere).

6) Go directly through the carpark and over the fence at the back of the Ponderosa onto the Heather moorland (look for the broken style). Head up the grassy singletrack for about 200m until you join a tarmac/ gravel track. Follow this track up to the aerial mast in the distance (gets steepish in places but its fully rideable for the intermediate and above level mountain bikers). After about 1mile you will reach the mast (there are a couple but you want the first one).

7) Turn right immediately before the first aerial then enjoy about 2 miles of singletrack (little uphill section in the middle as you cross a stream) until you get to the small narrow Worlds End Road. This singletrack is awesome and is littered with rocks, mud, pedal grabbing embankments, rutts, the works.. you just never know what you'll be getting next..

8) Turn right on the Worlds End road and follow it down through the forest, across a Ford in the road (caution here.. slippery is an understatement) and onwards for 3 miles until you get to a T junction with the Panorama Road. DO NOT go down to the right but follow the road to the right (its actually more like straight on) to the Panorama. After about 1 mile you'll be at your closest point to Castell Dinas Bran (old fortification on the hillside to the right). You will also see a narrow road to the right which takes you over a cattle grid. Follow this road back down to Llangollen.

NOTE: all the road sections are incredibly fast, littered with gravel at times and can be treacherous in wet conditions.

9) When in Llangollen make the decision to either go for a lager or opt for a warm down and slowly cycle back to the car (via the road or the path on the side of the canal).


Thursday, October 26, 2006

Active Brits Possie are Off to Dublin

Its all booked and sorted. The active brits possie (this time psychs, Rico and Weeman) are to decend on Dublin at the end of November for a few days of pre-christmas season madness. We managed to score some well cheap flights for £0.48p return plus taxes(£33 each all inclusive). Since returning from our epic adventure in the USA in Sept, we made a pact to continue having proper travel fests, to see some great scenery, to explore the potential for some outdoor mentalness (going to weigh up the option for future biking and hiking visitsas its only 50mins flying time from Liverpool), to eat good food, drink good beers, meet some quality lasses and most of all continue to experience our experiences. It should be a right blast, personally i cant wait..... We've no idea where we will stay or what we will do as yet, so if you know of any good quality B&B's, Irish bars with good music or hiking/ biking spots within an hour or so of Dublin then feel free to leave a comment.

Cheers.. psychs.. We'll post a travel review on our other blog when we return..

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

PACE RC400 Full Suspension Mountain Bike

As you are all probably aware, the awesome Yorkshire based PACE bikes have got round to delivering the long awaited full-susser to the mountain biking market. The active brits possie cant wait to test drive this beauty (so PACE is you are tuning in to this blog, feel free to send us a bike to try out for the weekend in the mountains of North Wales.. :o) It looks absolutely stunning, although after a bit of post trail biking chat in the pub at the weekend we came to the conclusion that we are not in favour of the white paintjob (although it looks like you can also get the frame in a deep red). We envisaged PACE to put out a frame in a fusion of stunning graphite-black and aluminium but then again its the specs that truly matter and as soon as we get hold of one to test we'll post a review... Watch this space.

Pace RC400 (Extract taken form PACE 2007 Online Catalogue (pdf)). Click on Image for a larger view or download catalogue.

If you have been lucky enough to test drive the RC400 or have some constructive opinions, feel free to leave a comment.. .. The Active Brits Possie.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Biking Pictures and Route Guide from Moel Famau at the Weekend

Last weekend the 'Active Brits Possie' (this time comprising Psychs, Weeman and Rico) went out and continued exploring our local hills up at Moel Famau. Yet again the place was literally deserted, no competing for space with the red sock brigade.... its just quality hastle free X-country biking. The ride this week was awesome, even the point where i went straight over the bars and got passed by my rig doing a cart-wheel.. No damage done for a change.. It was so damn fine that Monday at work was a breeze, obviously the happy vibes were still kicking in..

Anyway, i thought i'd write out the route for you incase you fancy giving it a go.. The route described is only a small part of our bigger route so you can do it in several hours.. It makes for a cool afternoons training..

1) Park in the vicinity of Loggerheads Country Park somewhere on the Mold to Ruthin Road in the vicinity of the 'We Three Loggerheads' Pub..

2) Complete a gentle warm up by cycling up the main road in the Ruthin direction then after about 1 mile turn right at a T junction when you see the signs for Moel Famau.

3) Head onwards and upwards up a minor B-road towards the main lower car park next to the toilets (on the right).

4) About 200m before the toilets is a forest path that goes up to the right (there is an old sign for 'no biking' at the bottom but just ignore it.. the sign was in place before the bike routes were developed).

5) Follow the gravel fire road for about 0.7 miles uphill to a fork in the road then continue left and upwards (you may want to stop here and familiarise yourself with the surroundings, you'll return here later in the day). You now stay on the gravel road for about 3 miles until you arrive at a gate and the 'grassy knoll. Turn left through the gate (you'll see a signpost with a bike dedicated 'over the top' route marked on it) and dig deep for a few minutes and nail the uphill.

6) Continue straight along the path for about 2 miles and enjoy the mixed terrain of fantastic singletrack and undulating terrain before arriving at a gate on the ridgeline. You now get chance to take in the awesome view before nailing the grassy singletrack directly in fron of you which brings you out at a narrow country lane about 2 miles further on..

7) Turn right and head up the narrow road which soon goes from tarmac to gravel as it weaves itself up the valley. Its a bit of a slog and the gravel gets deep in places so dont be surprised if you have to push the bike for short distances once in a while..

8) After a 1 mile approx you reach a farm gate on the rigeline. Go through the gate and start heading down towards Cilcain on the old road. After a 100m you'll see a bridleway sign to the rign and a small reservoir below. You will also see a well defined grassy path which decends across the fields towards the reservoir. The choice of decent is up to you... The path takes you round the right of the reservoir and decends throuh some gorse before arriving at a small gate..

9) Turn right through the gate and head down the track for about 1 mile (you'll have a couple of farm gates to open). After about 0.7miles keep your eyes peeled for a track/gravel road that goes up to the right (if you reach tarmac and see a agricultural building in front of you then you've gone too far so reatrace your route about 200m).

10) When you find the lane, head up it and continue onwards across planks and muddy areas. Its gnarly but quality. After about 1 mile you'll go through a farm gate and past a house before rejoining the path. Continue along for another mile (but keep you're eyes peeled for another bridleway that joins from the right... approx 300m past the house.. you'll decend this route later).

11) Eventually you'll reach a tarmac lane. From here follow the mountain bike route sign to the right and continue onwards for about 3 miles. The road ends quickly so most of the 3 miles is on forest, farm tracks with yet more sadistic but great plodding uphill sections.

12) All of a sudden you'll recognise where you are... You'll be back at the 'fork in the track' (see number 5 above) but you will have approached it from the opposite direction. Now all you need to do is turn right and do a second 3 mile circuit of the forest track back to the grassy knoll.

13) When you get to the 'grassy knoll' you turn right and have a quality little decent before rejoining a small section of the path you negotiated in number 10) above. Continue along the path until you reach the tarmac road as before.

14) Instead of turning right, go left and head down to a T junction.

15) Turn right and head down the road for about 0.5miles. Shortly after a small downhill you'll see a brick building which is close to the road, sort of sticks out a bit on the corner. Immediately after the building take the left turn (looks a bit like its going into a farm). Now decend the tarmac road, go across the ford and enjoy your final uphill of the day.. most find it a killer.. its short and sweet but gets the front wheel bobbing a bit.. i reckon its great, really gives you chance to dig deep..

16) Continue up to the T-junction then turn right and follow the straight narrow lane to Loggerheads Country Park.. Go through the gate and continue straight on through the park on the main path until you come out on the Ruthin-Mold Road..

17) Ride complete...

Now head back to the motor then.... PUB..... you deserve it... go on you know it makes sense.. Get changed and head to the 'We Three Loggerheads' for a swift cold one and a brunch..

Hope this helps.. I'll draw a map of the ride at some point and stick it on...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Another Great Ride at Moel Famau

The Active Brits Possie had another awesome day in the hills on Sunday. Fellow Active Brits member Rico and myself headed up to Moel Famau near Mold/Ruthin to complete a quality up and over 3 hour mad one. The weather was crap with torrential rain showers from the onset but this is what UK riding is all about, you cant let a bit of rain stop you.

We decided to head from our car parking area at Loggerheads up towards the main car park at Moel Famau before heading into the forest. From here, an undulating track took us west to the grassy knoll, a short sticky climb up a well grazed hillside. Out on the moors it was time to blast along the narrow and incredibly muddy singletrack towards the Moel Famau/ Craig Arthur ridgeline. The singletrack is excellent with scattered rocks and gnarly ups and downs. After a short 2 minute break to remove the fusion of thick muddy deposits and sheep turds from our faces (god knows how much we must have eaten on the way) we opted to take the ridge west and over to a byway which links Ruthin to Cilcain. It was a great oportunity to do a bit of cyclo-x, with some steep sections warranting speedy carry ups rather than wasting energy trying to cycle them. It also presented us with an opportunity to let the bike rigs really rip for a while with some quality transitional sections, sweeping grass covered curves and steep rabbit carved embankments.

As the sun began to go down, we began the home run back to the car opting for a steep fast flowing and highly enjoyable downhill to a small trout reservoir about 1km from the ridgeline. The downhill is awesome, not highly technical just fast and furious ending at a serious of small fords across numerous streams before joining a long gravelled road with takes you towards the village of Cilcain. Several kms later it was time to nail the final uphill, a short but sharp road section that rises steeply towards Loggerheads.

The entire day was finished off with a quality bit of banter, a swift carbo boost in the form of a chilled pint of lager and a proper brunch in the local boozer. Another excellent afternoon out.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

USA Trip Nailed.. A Quality Time Was Had By All.

The active brits possie is back after a freakin awesome 3 week US roadtrip.. We are all still slighty suffering after a final bash in good old Las Vegas but we expect to hit the North Wales hills at some point at the weekend. Its amazing just how much ya miss the bikes, even after only a few weeks..

The south west USA is awesome and if you are well into your outdoor scene then i'd recommend you plan a visit. We managed to cram so much in in such a short time, highlights including:- hiking up and down the Grand Canyon, climbing to the summit of Wheeler Peak in Great Basin National Park (13000ft+), hiking to the top of Half Dome, North Dome and Clouds Rest in Yosemite, nailing a full on wilderness trek in Kings Canyon, visiting the giant Seqouias and Redwoods and sleeping under the stars in 100degreeF temps in Death Valley. We had planned to do some biking in the vicinity of Las Vegas but after weeks of trekking in the wilderness we decided to give the idea up as a bad job in favour several bottles of Coors and Corona and a few nights of hard partying. No regrets though, it was a proper full on manic time (although it was a bit of a waste of dosh paying for 3 nights in the Luxor Pyramid really). If anyone plans on heading over make sure you check out the Irish Bar called the 'Nine Fine Irishmen' in the 'New York New York' Casino which thanks to an excellent Irish Band 'Ri-Ra', fired out some quality carefree drinkfest tunage including the excellent '7 Drunken Nights' :o) Here are a just a few pics, will put more up when the Blogger image upload page works for more than 5 minutes...

Pic 1 - Grand Canyon

Pic 2 - Zion National Park

Pic 3 - Active Brits possie en-route to the summit of Wheeler Peak (13069ft - back of picture) in the outstanding Great Basin National Park

Pic 4 - Balancing on the edge of North Dome, Yosemite National Park

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Quick Creamfields 2006 Review

Well Creamfields is over for yet another year. I've just got back home after an amazing all night dance fest at Daresbury near Warrington (Creamfields organisers.. really like the new location.. good call.. dont think you'll get too much grief off the locals, think we were all pretty well behaved).

Anyway, the party was intense, the atmosphere electric and the Active Brits possie managed to catch some quality sets from some great DJs (and as a serious bonus, the rain stayed away). Active Brits would like to say thanks to the following DJs was helped kick out some storming beats to make the experience a memorable one:

Hernan Cattaneo - for setting the scene and providing a quality warm up to a night of dark edged trippy tunage...
Sasha - Yet again a flawless prime time performance.. awesome..
Felix the Housecat - Absolutely bangin early hours set to finish off the proceedings at 6am. Cheers for dropping a really eclectic blend of electro and tech.
The Mighty Prodigy - An epic performance of prime show boating and entertainment fused with the usual hard hitting crowd pleasers..
Plump DJs - Always pull out the stops, quality breaks and tunage selection.
Andy Farley - A bit on the hard side fo me but really knows how to get the vibe sticking... a quality bit of insanity..

And thanks to the 45000 ravers who helped drum up the Creamfields atmosphere and make it a memorable one, catch you all next year :o)

Right before i pass out and die its time to go fettle the bike for a day in Wales 2moro.. Its just gotta be done.. best beer detox ever :o)

Note: if any readers have a couple of good quality pics of the event that they wouldnt mind letting us use to make this post look more impressive then please send them to us via the profile. Cheers.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Please Check my Archived Posts and Leave Feedback

Dont forget to have a look through my archived posts (scroll down the column on the right hand side till you get to archives).. Also if you are a regular reader and would like to see something added on a site, or you'd like us to do a review of a specific ride then send me an email (via my profile). If you get fed up with the video and would like me to embed a different one on the site just say and i'll put a different one on.. Also dont forget to go to http://www.activebrits.com and add your biking club, biking blog, biking event, retail shop or biking holiday company, biking accomodation (or any other extreme or adventure sports) to the appropriate category (just, select the category at the top, go to get pixels and follow the simple instructions). Have a top weekend all.. :o)

Hawthorn Hedge Trimmings.... AAHHHHHHH.

Hey, i'm all up for a bit of countryside management but seriously how hard would it be for hedge cutting contractors/ farmers/ landowners to actually clean up the freakin mess on the roads after they've done a bit a trimming... Get rid of ya 2nd World War antique hedge blitzer, buy a new machine, turn on ya blower or better still brush the crap off the roads when ya finished.. Duty of care for the countryside, how about duty of care for those bikers that come tanking through the mess you've left all over the shop.. I'm beginning to think i should get shares in a butyl rubber factory, i've just had to order another 10 innertubes (many thanks Wiggle for ya rapid despatch)... It would be so nice to go through an entire month without having to worry about my innertubes ending up like a freakin teabag.. come on, show some consideration and sort it...

Active Brits off to the USA

Less than 3 weeks to go then the Active Brits possie are off on our annual overseas pilgrimage to somewhere hot and activity orientated. We are not the kind a people who enjoy sitting by the pool so as always its gonna be one hell of an adventure. This year providing we are not delayed by the current airport issues we are off to the South West USA to do stacks of outdoor stuff in Yosemite NP, Seqouia NP, Kings Canyon NP, Joshua Tree NP and the Grand Canyon. It will be mostly long hikes to the top of big peaks (notably Half Dome), some bouldering and a 2-3 day backcountry hike down in the Grand Canyon. Its going to be so so cool, 4 brits cruising in a Grand Cherokee Jeep.. you've just gotta do the USA proper goodstylee.

We have got a bit of biking sorted though, cant live on just hiking and climbing alone. Because of the distances we are covering and the potential risk of someone nicking the car together with everything we own, we have found a company just outside Vegas that does advanced level day tours incorporating big hitting uphills and quality decents on high end Santa Cruz Blur full sussers (sweeeeeetttttt.....). I've been wanting to test drive Santa Cruz machines for ages so now i'm going to get the chance to put them through their paces. The company even picks you up from outside your Vegas casino, supplies you with everything you need and whisks you off to the nearby Cottonwood valleys for some exhilarating riding. It will be such a contrast to riding in North Wales with temps in excess of 90-100 degrees but the views back over Vegas are supposed to be outstanding. I'll let you know how we all get on when we get back at the end of Semptember :o))

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Creamfields 2006.. less than 2 weeks to go.

Two more weeks to Creamfields, lots a partying followed by a Bank Holiday Monday of biking in North Wales. For any groovers out there who are going to the event and are yet buy tickets, dont forget its moved and is now outside Warrington at Daresbury, Halton..


Whatever you are doing over the bank holiday weekend do it properly and have a top one ;o)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Flying Sheep

They may taste mighty fine with a bit of mint sauce but you've got to respect em on account of the speed they can reach on downhill sections. Obviously we are talking about sheep running like hell to get out of the way in fear of their lives and not sheep directly riding the lastest Santa Cruz rig (thats too surreal even for my imagination) but they can seriously reach some speeds over the harshest obstacles and technical sections. So next time you are out and have nailed that ultimate downhill and really pulled out all the stops, just think that those fur-balled critters would have probably nailed it in half the time..

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Panaracer Cinder Kevlar 2.1 Review.

Well its been several months now since i stuck a new set of Panaracer Cinder 2.1's on the GT and i can honestly say i'm well impressed. I've thrown everything at them, mud, gravel, tarmac, grass fields, rock runs and they really seem to to the job properly. I have used Panracer XC Pros for years and have been moderately impressed but the Cinders seem really suited to the UK mixed transitional routes and are excellent during edging manoeuvres on fast flowing corners where you like to keep momentum. I went for the Kevlar beaded model to reduce a bit of weight and they seem really strong and well constructed. The only downside i have discovered is that you could sometimes do without the incredible grip on uphill tarmac sections, you can actually hear the tyres sticking to to the road. It will be interesting to determine the longevity of the tyre but i would imagine by the level of grip and increased friction that the overall lifespan will be slightly reduced (i'll be prepared to buy an extra set of tyres in favour of performance). They retail out at about £20-25 a tyre which is on par with the XC Pros and in my opinion are definately worth checking out.

You can find more information on the Panaracer Website

Friday, July 28, 2006

A Quality Ride Somewhere in Wales :o)

Right, some weeks back i promised you all that i'd post another one of my favourite routes in Wales.. well here it is.. I love this ride to bits, the trail is always well empty, in fact you're more likely to bump into a small group of nudist ramblers than see another biker... Its so freakin quality, gnarly and filled with just downright dirty fun that i've decided to keep its location from the masses a sort of secret for a little longer (if you fancy giving it a stab and swear by the bikers oath that you will not tell everyone of its location then send me an email and i'll give you directions).. The pics below are filled with loads of clues to its location but what i will say is that its got everything, stunning views, full exposure to the weathers, fast decents, heavy duty carry-ups, steep road sections, uphill riding to the point where you want to vomit and if you extend the ride out a bit, a stonking boozer followed by a 6km flat wind-down.. In total its about 45kms and rises from sea level to about 600m in approx 6kms. It then drops several hundred metres before you do it all again to cross back over the ridge you have just decended from.. cool or what!

Pics 1 & 2 - My mate hooking up a couple of quality climbs.

Pic 3 - My shadow

Pic 4 - Awesome climbs with proper mix of carry up and rideable sections

Pic 5 - Need i say more... freakin stunning...

I'll let you guess for yourself what the downhill sections are like.. What i will say is its a fusion of fast grassy singletrack and small technical sections riddled with babies heads and death cookies. Hope the pics appear ok on your screen, they were only taken with a mobile phone.. have a great weekend all and be safe...

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Thanks to everyone who has asked how my damaged arm is recovering

Just a quick message to say thanks to everyone who has emailed me to ask how the arm and wrists are coming on since the accident (you can see pictures in an earlier blog entry).

Its amazing how you go out day after day, year after year, pushing the fine line between a mad ride and getting home in one piece then all of a sudden your number gets called, and you end up having an interview with the tarmac or a tree. Its also incredible how long things take to recover. Jan 06 to May 06 has got to be the worst 4 months of my entire biking history. When June arrived, wow, it was so good to get back into it. It was well strange spending time out of the biking scene. People would come up to me and say things like 'you'll be able to chill now and watch dvds while the bone heals or read some books... what the hell is that all about!!!!!!! Seriously, i felt like someone had taken away a piece of my soul, it was so so strange, i didnt want to watch telly, i was more concerned about how quick i could get on that bike and get out of the house. Anyway, the good news is that i dont think its had a heavy knock on effect on the way i ride. I anticipated having a major fear sensation approaching high speed corners while on the first few outings but i'm not backing off that much at all, just airing slightly on the side of caution this season so i can work the weights over the winter and get everything back in order for 2007 :o)

Thanks again everybody, I'll try and post some info to my favourite North Wales rides etc in the coming weeks, its been mad busy at work and i'm trying to slot in any spare hours out on the trails :o)

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Biking + Carrier Bags + Front Wheel = Smashed Face

Bit of a quick rant here -

While out training this morning i saw someone tanking down a country lane with carrier bags hanging from the handlebars.. baddddddddd.. :o( Just remember its not big and its not clever and one day those bags will end up between your spokes or ya front forks and result in you having some full on facial surgery. If you're going to hurt yaself, at least do it on a proper day out :o)

Thursday, June 29, 2006

'ROAM' by The Collective (DVD Review)

Bit of a video review here.. i thought i was a pretty decent bike pilot until i saw the new 'ROAM' DVD featuring 'The collective'.. If you havent seen it yet, its 45 mins (plus about 30mins of extras) of intense global action filmed in a awesome and stylish way. Its just biking at its core, no frills, just biking and features some crazy as s**t downhilling, freeriding (incorporating the infamous North Shore possie) and trials action.. All i will say is that i hope everyone involved in making the dvd has some got freakin good medical cover.. Seriously get this DVD, is one big spiritual journey underpinned with heart and soul, maximum air and mind blowing skills... 10/10

Go check out THE COLLECTIVES WEBSITE for more information (or just belt down ya bike shop and buy it..

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Need psyching up before the trail.. Wild freebie CD with DJ Mag

If ya into ya dance music and want some wild psyching up before you go full on mentalistic down the trails, then get yaself down to the newsagent and pick yourself up the latest copy of DJ MAG (21Jun-04July edition). They are giving away and absolutely stormin cd by Carl Cox (Space Resident) & DJ Simi (Angel of Love Resident Italy). Its a fusion of scorchin bangin tech, tribalistic and electronic belters. The cd is part of a 'Face Off' series of 5 cds (you can collect them all in the coming weeks) featuring 2 different DJs working together.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Do You Suffer from PTTD !!!!

Post Traumatic Trail Disorder (PTTD)


The psychological and physical disorder resulting from nailing the best freaking technical ride ever.


1) Initial feeling of intense euphoria, nothing else matters, stuff everybody else, you are simply God.. then you realise in all the excitement you are half way home and you’ve left your rig in the car park.
2) Subsequent chronic build up of inter-cranial pressure resulting from ones brain slapping around like kipper in a fish tank.
3) Neurological fatigue and the sick ability to listen to your parents Barry Manilow CD’s without any complaint what so ever.
4) Zombiefacation resulting from muscle spasms and the sudden ability to walk like you’ve picked up too much soap in the prison shower.
5) The ability to sink 5 pints of post-trail isotonic fluid (Fosters) then bring in all back up at twice the speed that you drank it.

You have been warned!!

Friday, June 23, 2006

Advertise your Biking Blog or Biking Information Site on Active Brits.

I've recently had lots of requests off people wanting to put their mountain bike blog, bmx blog, free-ride blog, downhill blog, cycling information site, club and event etc on my other site Active Brits (Outdoor, Adventure & Extreme Sports and Travel Pixel Directory).

Thanks for all the emails by the way, much appreciated, some really nice feedback... and yes, i'll continue to add a humourous element to this site.

Well i hope this keeps everybody sweet. I've done some modifications for you so feel free to add your site to Active Brits. If you follow the links below it will take you to the appropriate grid where you simply select up to 10 blocks, add your site logo (or any logo that is pretty funky and not copyrighted), add short description and an email and thats it... boom you are on activebrits.

To add your 'Biking' related Blog or Informative Website.. (not just adverts) Click Here..

To add a 'Biking' related event or competition.. Click Here..

To add a UK 'Biking' related course or the site of a professional instructor or guide.. Click Here..

To add your Biking club or association.. Click Here..

To add a cool UK 'Biking' shop (or extreme sports or adventure shop).. Click Here..

Dont forget to check out the rest of Active Brits and please tell companies, clubs or associations in the appropriate sectors to place a link.. All kinds of opportunities for people in the adventure and extreme sports sectors and for the global travel industry.. All grids are FREE to advertise on (except the Premium Grid and this is only for a short while to help cover the cost of the script and setting up the site.... the site is not about making stacks of dosh, havent got time to do that and bike).

Have a top weekend on the trails everyone, go kick some ass.. but be safe..

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Check Out Techno-Leak.

Check out a cool small dedicated techno site called Techno-Leak for some upfront downloadable tunage from the likes of Luke Slater, La-Di-Da and Rino Cerrone, live DJ video action and insights into upcoming global parties, DJs and the latest music.. Keeping it underground..

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The science behind flies and mountain biking..

The following calculation is based upon highly accurate scientific records. In theory, actual calculations may differ slightly from those stated on account of limited baseline data being available, howeveeeerrrrrrr, it must be noted, that in arriving at the following conclusion we adopted several scientific techniques while completely inebriated and suffering from post traumatic trail disorder..

The following calculation will help determine:

1) The total weight of flies consumed during an estimated 20 week spring/summer season...
2) The weight of flies consumed in comparison with the weight/ number of Heinz baked beans.



(a) Approximate weight of a general housefly (12mg)
(b) The average number of flies consumed per 4 hour ride (estimated to be approximately 3 unless you are very greedy)
(c) The number of rides per week during spring-late summer (estimated at 4 times per week)
(d) The number of weeks of quality biking during the main season (estimated at 20 weeks).
(e) Total weight of flies consumed.
(f) Average weight of a Heinz baked bean based on a single sample (i ate the rest)
(g) Equivalent number of baked beans eaten.

1) Total Weight of flies consumed:

Calculation: a x b x c x d = e (0.000012kg x 3 x 4 x 20 = 0.00288kg 0r 2.88g)

2) The weight of flies consumed in comparison to the weight of a Heinz baked bean.

Calculation: e / f = g (0.00288 / 0.00094 = 3.06 baked beans)

In conclusion

Important information: Do not consume anything much bigger than a housefly (no eating sparrows or bats) and please consider many species are endangered so if you are hungry do not try to double up on your consumption, its far easier eating a Mars Bar.

We are yet to undertake taste tests to clarify the pros and cons between eating baked beans and fly mass but as soon as we do we shall publish our findings.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mmmmmmm Apple Pie :o)

Full on died and gone to heaven.. i'm not going to lie, i'd definitely brake for a piece of this pie :o))

If you want to make one of these at home, be sure to ask for permission.. I will not be held responsible for helping initiate a global apple or Devonshire Cream Custard shortage.. You can check out CASEY COUNTY APPLE FEST site for more info is you really really really want to.... Looks like it was one hell of a party eh!!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Just cant stop drooling... SANTA CRUZ bikes... Ahhhhhhh

What a weekend the Active Brits crew has had.. It doesnt get much better than a stonking beer filled Saturday night with quality banter, top mates and great pub scenery ;o) followed by a trip up to Bike Treks in Ambleside to spend all afternoon drooling over the latest range of bikes before heading off for a few hours to search for some new routes to nail..

While the rest of the Active Brits possie rummaged around for new bike parts, i must have spent about an hour just hanging around a couple of high end Santa Cruz bikes that where on show. I went into full on trainspotter mode, reckon i should have taken a thermos in with me and a comfy chair. I just entered the 'wishlist' zone and started to think how cool it would be to be able to actually get a mortgage to buy one of them.. I've always liked the looks of Santa Cruz bikes, i've seen them performing on the open trails in Canada and the USA and they seem to just scream quality and robustness with huge welds and sleek lines. I've come to the conclusion that they are definately bikes designed for single people.. If ya happily married, forget it, we are talking awesome stunning rigs that you'll never grow tired of, serious divorce material..

BLUR XC - Click Here For Info

BLUR LT - Click Here For Info

NOMAD - Click Here For Info

Say no more eh.. truly amazing bikes, well worth getting hold of a giant piggy bank then spending the next 5 years saving for one..... For more information more bikes within the Snta Cruz range check out SANTA CRUZ or if you know of any competitions to win one (or several)then please let us know :o)

A few of us are seriously going to try a couple of these out for size by the end of the year so any personal comments/ reviews by fellow mountain biking bloggers would be welcomed..

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Top Rides At Moel Famau Nr Mold North Wales

One of the favourite afternoon haunts of the Active Brits possie is head to Moel Famau (554m) near Mold/ Ruthin for some quality riding with transitions from forest trails, to gnarly climbs, high speed grass decents to technical singletrack.

Pic 1) Summit of Moel Famau

The area around Moel Famau is stunning. Its the kind of place where you can do some top riding, let ya hair down, have some quality fun, see some top Welsh scenery and be well away from the crowds. The place has got everything for either the full day rider or for those undertaking an afternoon training route. It is definately not a beginners destination and the kind of place where you can take a family biking. Ok, so its got a few low level forest areas that might keep the beginners amused for a couple of hours, but for learning skills a day would be better spent in Llandegla Forest located about 12 miles away en-route to Wrexham with its facilities, tea room, bike cleaning area (what next!) and specially designed trails. I'm not just saying that to put people off so my friends and i can do high speed decents without the fear of trashing loads a kids and parents (ok there may be an element of that ;o) but once out of the forest, the routes are extremely exposed and can cover some serious elevations and distances from facilities and mobile phone reception is poor. Tracks often take you over open moorland where temptations exist to let the bike rip for a while on speedy mixed terrain decents where good technical skills are required. In late autumn and winter the routes are really only suitable for the hardened riders and out of the forests bear brunt to the full force of the elements.

More recently the area has adopted several bike focussed routes following 'legal paths' which form the basis of most of the routes in the area (note: routes are also accessible to the devils children with their thermos flasks so caution is advised). Im not going to get involved in describing the beginners routes but here are a several selected links from Ride The Clywds Website which will take you direct to maps/ printable route guides for some good intermediate and advanced biking.

Intermediate Routes

1) Over The Top Distance:34km.. Climb: 545m
2) Arthur 2 Times Distance:31km.. Climb:660m
3) MBR Killer Loop Distance:37km.. Climb: 990m

Advanced Routes

1) Almost The Delyn Distance: 78.8km.. Climb: 1605m
2) Going Backwards Distance: 37km.. Climb: 730m
3) Loop Da Loop Distance: 53.5km.. Climb: 1570m

The place is definately worth a visit if you are coming to North Wales or en route to Snowdonia. After the ride its worth checking out the pub at Loggerheads called the 'We Three Loggerheads' for plates filled with top tucker and a good beer loaded with carbs (ok fat as well but after an intermediate or advanced route who cares eh :o).. Directions to pub.. Its on the Mold to Ruthin Road 3 miles from Mold adjacent to Loggerheads Country Park..

Pic 2) Unknown Rider Taking Time Out..

Pic 3) Stunning Views across the range - You can see Snowdonia on a clear day

Check Out Warbled Music

Check out Warbled Music, the brainchild of San Diego DJ & Producer, Panic, for quality fresh sounding Tech-house and tribalistic beats :O)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Check Out Beats in Space Radio

Based stateside BEATS IN SPACE hosts an array of underground house and electronic DJ's with refined sounds and tripped out beats.. Thanks Tim for putting on a great show and kicking out some quality vibes..

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Wicked Urban Trials/ Freeriding Video

Came across this scorching video of a technical bit of urban trials/ freeriding. Some mad as riding.. If you haven't already watched it, then its well worth a shufty.. quality stuff..

** Cool Video Here **

Friday, June 02, 2006

Traditional 'Wild' Riding vs Bike Dedicated Forests

I'd be interesting to read people thoughts on the 'evolution of bike dedicated forests'.. Personally, i've got mixed opinions of them..

What i have noticed, especially in N.Wales, is that since bike dedicated forests have opened, the odds of bumping into a family of 6 on a bridleway has dropped significantly. I reckon the vast majority of beginners and intermediate level bikers that struggled on the gnarly 'wild' uphill routes have opted for the relative ease of the hardpacked man-made/ enhanced forest and singletrack trails.

I have only used the Marin Trail once, it was late afternoon on a week day and it was still uncomfortably busy with traffic blocking the majority of the downhill sections. I can appreciate dedicated forest routes as a training aid and to evolve techniques, but are they starting to pull people away from considering the more 'wild' rides that take time and preparation? Are we becoming Americanised in the sports department as well where we want it all handed to us on a plate? Rather than using dedicated forests, I tend to opt for the fusion of rideable ascent, carry-ups and technical descents on the bigger hills which offer a level of uncertainty and most of all tranquity and awesome views. Is it just me or is there becoming a definite distinction between the 'traditionalist' mountainbiker and the dedicated 'forest rider'? Is the ease of arriving at a dedicated forest with a cafe, cleaning facilities, parking and a pre-designed trail starting to remove the element of adventure from the realms of the biker?

Have a great weekend everyone and remember to do everything in your powers to keep Bridleways open..

FREE & Premium Advertising Available for Outdoor Recreation Companies

If any fellow bikers have got friends or colleagues that own a company or association within the OUTDOOR RECREATION, UK INDOOR SPORTS, UK TRAVEL, or INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL sectors, then please tell them to go to my site ACTIVE BRITS and place a small company logo on one of the pixel advertising grids as noted in the header bar. The vast majority of the advertising is FREE, the site currently has a Google Rank of 4, and only a small charge is placed on premium exposure which helps cover my web and development costs... (see the Premium grid at the base of this page). I just want the site to be the biggest collage of targeted active lifestyle advertisers in the UK, its what my life is all about...

If you add a logo/URL to one of the pixel grids and want to backlink, then you can add a text link or small banner of Active Brits to your site by going to the 'Link Us' section at the top of the page..

Thanks, and i hope i can help send some targeted traffic your way and further enhance the UK active lifestyle scene.. we've got a lot to offer if you ask me..

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Horses and the Infamous Frame Melting Crap.

Its time for a moan....ahhhhhh... Horses... ahhhhhhhh...

Horse poo.... got to be the hardest thing to get off ya frame when its dry ... Leaves a sort of lichen embedded mark after a few days, some potent acid infused crap if you ask me..

While i'm on the subject of horses.. if any crazy horse-riders out there do want a race, could you at least do me the favour of playing fair and opening the gate instead of jumping it and riding off.. i'm not that freakin good..

Also, yes horsey people, i do slow down for horses but please remember its a 2 way deal... my rig is not fitted with ABS so it does take time to stop from 40mph. Please consider this, if an accident does happen, its gonna hurt me alot more than its gonna hurt you sitting up there on your 2-ton beast..

Finally, please dont scream at our crew to move off the trail, we need to use it as well. Have a good think, maybe you can go and use a field instead, after all i'm sure the horse would prefer a good munch on some quality grass.. As for my frame being so shiny it 'frightens horses', get it some sunglasses and appreciate the fact that if i was able to ride my bike down a trail for more than 10 seconds within bumping into another wanna be jockey, then maybe i'd be able to go quick enough to get the thing dirty..

Feel free to leave comments..

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mountain Bike Crash Dec 2005

So what happens when it all goes wrong.. your bike and your life is totally turned upside down, thats what happens.. I'd had crashes, ended up in hospital having stiches and suffering with dislocations, but this was the most serious yet.

For years all i'd ever done was live life with an intense passion for going mental in the great outdoors, a passion that developed me into a full on control freak, pushing my own skills every time i left the house. To me, it was (and still is) what life is about, if you dont check out your boundaries of your own existence once in a while then how would you know what you could ever accomplish. As you evlove in crazy sports you sort of end up taking life for granted, the longer you go without injury, the less injury becomes a concern.. On the other hand you have a crash, and instantly think someone will put you back together again in 10 minutes and you'll be back in action by morning. I suppose in a way pushing the envelope for so long leads to complacency and increases the odds of an accident that will result in a permanent legacy.

For me, it all happened a week before Christmas in 2005 when i was on the final bike run out of the year. It was a mild night, well above freezing so i stuck the lights on my bike and headed off on a short 15mile route stacked with climbs and intermittent tarmac sections. As i came in to a local village i decided to carry my speed and sweep right at a T-junction and head up a small incline. The road was was quiet, not a single car just a couple of locals revelling in the pre-Christmas festivities. All of a sudden the front wheel dived, and sent me airbourne. I remember life for a split second becoming stationary, really strange feeling then all of a sudden i hit the tarmac and just kept going and going and going, each tumble ripping off more and more flesh. Finally i stopped about 10m from the where it all began, with the bike lying on its side some distance away. All i could think about was jumping to my feet and running to grab my bike and pull it out of the way of potential oncoming traffic, life preservation was not even on the agenda. I could hardly stand up, the road was covered in diesel, you could see the multi-coloured film of oil glittering beneath the street lights..

From out of the shadows came a few locals to check i was ok. At this point my body was fused with a combination of numbness, pain and instant swelling. My cycle top and baggy shorts were destroyed and my legs, hips, arms, back and shoulders tingling as the cotton fabric brushed against the open wounds. I honestly and truthfully thought i'd got away with it, i even began looking at the bike thinking i could jump on the seat, cycle back home, apply a bit of antiseptic and i'd be back to normal by morning. How wrong can you be.....

All of a sudden i started feeling a bit light headed and then i realised that my left hand was pointing in the opposite direction to the right. There was a lump, right in the middle of the forearm that seemed to appear then disappear as i attempted to restore the hand to its rightful position. It was only then that i realised it was actually the radius bone protruding through the skin. Thats the incredible thing with an adrenaline rush, its numbs all your senses. I wasnt cycling anywhere.

2 Weeks Post Op

An hour later i was in A&E and after hours of X-rays, tests etc i was diagnosed with a mid-fracture of the radius bone, chipped wrist bones and severe gravel rash. I remember thinking .. i'll be put in plaster, sent home, and 6 weekes later i'll be biking again.. Next thing i knew, i was booked in to have invasive surgery to fit a 10cm plate and 6 or 7 screws. I had no choice. I just wanted the thing plastered up so at least i could continue hiking but i was informed without an operation i'd only get 2-5% movement back (and with the operation 80% plus).

The operation went smoothly and just under 4 hours later i was back in the ward (and 16 hours after that i'd managed to get a rapid discharge). No way i was staying in there for 3 days, i wanted out, so freakin bored...

6 Months Post Op

The next 12 weeks were the worst ever. I ended up doing my own physio after getting zero feedback from the hospital and all i kept thinking about was not being able to climb, scramble or bike properly. So many people kept saying, "you'll just have to find another hobby".. What the hell was all that about.. find a hobby.. this is my freakin life, its a passion, its an existence.. On top of this i contracted chicken pox which resulted in 1000's blisters and a combination of pain and itching like i'd never experienced.. .

So whats the script with my life now... Its going well as you can tell by the blogs.. After the pox i quickly regained a positive attitude and i'm now back in full force.. the biking is going well, in fact, i'm probably quicker than before, and the rest of the active brits posse are hitting life as hard as ever.. The arm still feels weird, gets cold in the winter. It will never will be the same, but i'm getting on with it and determined to build the muscle bulk back up so i can resume the climbing again.. I'll never get the grades back but that not important, its being back in control that matters..

Moral to the story.. if negative karma stands in your way.. look at it straight in its eyes then go kick its teeth in..

(Note: click pics to make them larger :o)