Yearly Archives: 2012

PhilPOD 23rd Most viewed photo of 2012

Dunc’s photo of Peaty blasting a rock in Scotchland for last years Press Release of This is Peaty was the 23rd most viewed photo over on PinkBike this year. Quite and achievement when you look at the rest of the line up (other than #1 which is a bit confusing). JoBo’s SteelCityMedia did a magnificent job with TiP in 2012 and Dunc’s photo was awarded POD on the 12th March.


Winter Dual round 3 – Enter the Death Chute

Winter Dual round 3 – Enter the Death Chute

Winter Dual round 3 – Enter
the Death Chute Inspired
by a death downhill dual
video posted up on Dirt
and emboldened by certain
comments about the loop
the loop feature I decided
to change things up a little
for my Birthday special.
Now this is where things
get a little hazy and all
information contained in
the rest of this post has
been dragged through a
Rum filter. This is because
my so called mates decided
that for some reason I
deserved to be poisoned
with rum as a birthday
treat. Now I’ll admit
that on occasion I have
been known to encourage
the imbibing of Rum in
celebration and forfeit but
this is always with

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Winter Dual Round 2 – Loop the Loop

Winter Dual Round 2 – Loop the Loop

The second round of this season’s dual was a bit too popular. After having spent 10 minutes figuring out how to frig a 32 person gird for 26 the week before I’d come prepared, but then 36 racers turned up and we had to run a qualification. As these races go on, things do get smoother as the way they’re organised evolves. However, that week only Steph was hardy enough to come along and do the timing, which meant that I was on the second stop watch for the first time in a long time. After eventually remembering how it worked, I also remembered just what a job timing is and just how essential it is to everything these races are about. So again, a massive thank you to Steph for coming along and timing for us and also thank you to everyone else that helps out, Izzie, Laura, Mari, Henry. You’re absolute gems and we truly couldn’t race without you. Thankyou. Anyone racing should also pay big thanks to these wonderful people, hugs are free!

Dave Camus breaking loose – Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli

I’d introduced a new feature in to this track which proved to be a bit of a leveller. After a short run in from the start line, there was a triangle of posts with tape around. The rider had to loop around them once before continuing on down the hill. The softness of the ground meant that it was actually impossible to pedal back up the slope. It turned in to a demonstration of cyclocross dismounting and remounting techniques with some much more successful than others. Both riders had to start the loop through the small gap in between the two triangles which did make for some good elbow actions. Once Quali’s were done, we got down to racing. Dunc had a bad loop and couldn’t get back on his bike meaning that he was beaten by two children to a place in the finals even on his brand new 5, courtesy of Orange!

Duncan Philpott in on bike photo shocker. Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli

The first round saw Steve Hardcastle’s return to dual short lived, as was my own, being taken out by Dave Camus. Jim Norton faced Will Swinden but couldn’t match his speed. Ruari very narrowly missed out on a hugely humiliating defeat at the hands of Oscar Monk after a fall in his first run left him need to make up over a second. Luckily he held in together and advanced through.

Malco Carving. Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli

The second round saw the departure of Tom Duncan to the very on form Danger Green who advanced to the quarters for the first time in a while. There was a real nail biter between Chris Pearson and Will Swinden with Chris taking the win by only two tenths. The Quarters saw Chay put out Danger and Craig dispatch Ruari. Luke Meredith missed a post in his second run after a closely fought battle with Chris, setup up a semi again Timmy. Tim’s victory saw him in an incredibly close Big final against Craig Evans who was riding at Whistler speeds. Their first round was too close to call and Tim’s dual expertise and questionable rear tyre were not enough to hold off Craig who got the win. Chay and Chris were equally close in the small final but Chay just took 3rd place by half a second.

Chaymus getting the bike over for 3rd place. Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli

Massive thanks also to Marco Wood-Bonelli for coming along with his camera and documenting the action. Another great round of dual, I don’t think we’ll be seeing the loop the loops again anytime soon but you never know until you try.

‘Cause your crystal ball ain’t so crystal clear

26" of Fun

‘Cause your crystal ball ain’t so crystal clear

In 5 years time we all will be riding a 29″ bike. This is not by choice but a simple and unfortunate matter of economics and market choice.

To think I’m a ‘hater’ of the big wheel is probably an accurate description especially when my opinion is not based upon experience. The nausea in the bike industry builds up inside when I hear wheel sizes being the next ‘best thing’, the MTB media, especially journos bark on about how much time you can save on section of track, how smooth the ride is, and how the bike feels slower but you’re actually going faster. In one word, ‘poppycock’.

15 years ago mountain bike tracks were a lot different, and the terrain in which the bikes traveled on differed too. V-brakes were a revelation, more than 53 mm of fork travel was confined to the Sunn-Chippie race team and handle bars were lucky to measure anything more than 650mm. I’m not going to discuss the evolution of DH World Cup tracks here, but the tracks we the common people rode, i.e. you, me, your mates and your older sister, bridleways, farm tracks (like Owen’s Mad Track in North Yorks), 4×4 tracks and the odd bit of homegrown single-track was run of the mill especially when your only means of stopping was in the strength of your fingers. As time went on so did advances in bike technology, hydraulic damping was developed, geometry was looked at closely and disc brakes became the norm. A notable progression in bike technology was being noted, and the way in which previous ‘exclusive’ technology became available on much cheaper bikes meant that the playing field was beginning to get leveled.

The days before Superman II

The transfer of seeking to ride technically harder tracks could be subconscious or it was a deliberate move by riders seeking to push limits, but no doubt the ability to hit bumps harder and to leave braking later was attributed to having a bike that didn’t feel like it was going to implode as soon as the tempo increased. The tracks we build and look at riding on a daily basis are subject to the bikes we ride, I wouldn’t look at a DH bike on a track with intense climbs on it, nor would I expect to perform at Val Di Sol on a XC hardtail. Our ability to ride bikes on difficult terrain at higher speeds, through compressions, rooty off-camber corners and square-edged rock gardens is attributed to the development of mountain bikes through out the last 20 years.

26″ of Fun

With a dwindling world economy especially in the leisure classes of the Western World and a saturated market, bike manufactures needed something else to boost their shareholders wallets? It was a realisation to encourage the emergence of a secondary bike industry already in a marginalised market. “We can sell the same amount if we tweak the market, imagine selling the same bike, the same components twice…a whole range of new tyres, wheels, frames and forks…” Cue the birth of 29″ wheels. All of a sudden a new market within the industry emerges and the profits begin to flourish.

Two Gates in a Field.

Giant Cycles 2013 in Australasia import and distribution program is one of the most cynical catalogues I’ve read in recent memory, only one 26″ bike that’s not a DH bike. No longer do I have a choice of what bike I can ride, I’m being marginalised the outer reaches of what I want to ride and how I want to ride them. Did I ever need more of an excuse not to ride a Giant? Will the Big-S; Scott and others head in this direction too? I hope not, but hope does nothing to exonerate market forces.
The terrain may seemingly flatten out on big wheels, but no doubt in a few years time we’d be wanting more challenging terrain, where line choice is not a simple matter of the size of your wheel’s radius.

However, the media-slaves, which only groom the hype and further poor science, will no doubt prove me wrong with metaphysical data. See the following clip:


It seems that rational thought was temporarily suspended and replaced with opinions that were grounded through a mixture of dog vomit and cat piss. When will we see the MTB media actually start testing and reviewing on a more scientific basis, rather than the supposed ‘feel’ and then back this ‘feel’ with ‘bad science’? The lapdog journo industry have access to testing bikes that only a few of us dream of owning, yet after extinguishing the smoke and smashing the mirrors, the tests reveal nothing, a void that has been being left gaping open more times than Bella Donna’s fridge door. The ivory towers of reviewing bikes needs to be demolished. How many times have we ridden our own bikes down the same track and all of a sudden it ‘felt’ faster? Has anything changed? Which way is the wind blowing? What did you eat the night before? Have you paid your bills? Did you receive a work bonus? Did you just recover from an injury? All these things no doubt enter our minds when riding, and in many ways we try and leave modern life’s bullshit behind but invariably it catches up with us in one way or another. Take a look at how the pro’s perform, if we were all riding equal, and all capable of 100% accuracy and having a race track dialed then there would be no competition, just a bunch of people on a mountain side that can get to the bottom in the same time. Saying that a 29″ bike is faster than a downhill bike on a down hill section of a trail is nonsense. Was it a scientific test? Did they use the same rider, leaving at the same point, with no wind, no other exterior influences? Or did they use two different riders, leaving at different points, with variable wind conditions and many other exterior influences? Please don’t insult my intelligence.

Does 29″ really give you that much of an advantage? Such an advantage that 29″ bikes are now winning races? No. Was there a top 25 29″ bike in the downhill world cup this year? No. Was there a winning 29″ on a euro-enduro round last season? No. Riding courses where bike handling skills and psychology is prime to top competition there is yet again another void staring right back at us, the advantage that the media has us believing that big wheels are faster are not coming true. The magazines drape the pages with corpses of advertising, and when the results are played out in the real world there is nothing to see. The begging question comes to light, if I bought a 29″ bike would I then be more competitive? Quite possibly yes, maybe I’d nudge closer to the podium, but no doubt the riders that I nudged to get there would be forced into the 29″ bandwagon. If everyone is riding the same wheel size the advantage becomes zero, and we are back to where we started, a bike industry selling us dreams impossible to yield, and another empty wallet.

Even if Aaron Gwin let it slip that he has been testing a different wheel size recently, what difference will that make to a man who has won more World Cups in a two seasons than anyone on the current circuit? Maybe his pay cheque may fatten again with the increased sales in another bike market.

Without the progression in MTB’s we would be riding mediocre tracks in mediocre environments. When all of us are riding 29ers we will be longing for the technical hit, and then suddenly trails will again change. In one hand the emergence of bikes that travel faster over terrain will become more apparent, and in the other hand there will be the trail builders, shovel swingers, course designers and youths in the wood longing to slow you down so line choice, body position is crucial to speed.

Steve Peat Syndicate Season End 2012

Steve Peat Syndicate Season End 2012

Duncan has been working for the SPS all season filming them at every race. Its been a successful season for the Steve Peat Syndicate with several of the lads, including our own Swinny, hitting up their first World Cups and many good results in the BDS.

Watch the celebration of the end of the season with a team day out at the latest addition to Sheffields trail network, Parkwood Springs. Ratboy joins Peaty and the team wearing out the inside lines of the newly finished berms. This is followed by wet weather outdoor go karting and a BBQ and Fire Chez Peat. Looks like a right laugh.

Stockholm Sideways: Dual Goes international

Hanna Jonsson is the better half of our own JoeBo and a rider through and through. She’s recently moved back to her ancestral home and taken some of what she learnt on these fair shores with her… Hanna Explains…

Ever since I moved away from the UK, the one thing I really miss is those amazing cold nights in Endcliffe Park, sliding sideways against someone else! So I decided it was time for the notion of “mates racing” to move overseas to Sweden. I planted a seed in a few peoples heads one afternoon riding bikes up in the north to see if anyone seemed keen. When Lina Skoglund called me about a week later, saying she was game, I almost jumped up and down with excitement!

After some good nights of planning – finding a good spot, getting permission, finding prizes, searching the Internet for good dual poles (which we ended up finding in a farming shop for electric fences) – we were good to go.


Me and Lina explaining the rules! Photo Credit: Steve Murphy.

As Swedes are tentative to all new things in life – the EU, taking political stance, change – we weren’t sure how the new concept of “Dual Slalom” would go down. Although there tended to be a good turn outs for local DH mates races around Stockholm, we didn’t get much feed back on our race at first.


No infra-red technology, just basic stop-watches and an old-fashioned “Ready, Set, GO!”. Photo credit: Bengt Luthman.

Come race day, a grey, rainy, cold November day, we thought we were going to be less than 10 people racing. But facing the typical English weather, we started creating the dual course anyway. It became a tad bit longer than the one we normally have in Sheffield, and it was on a grassy, of camber slope – talk about slippy cornering!


Lino Bäckman to the left showing of some one-footed drifts and the winner of the day, Calle Lustfeldt, to the right. Photo Credit: Steve Murphy.

To our surprise, as we started practicing, more and more people started walking up the hill! And, learning that an established cyclocross race was held on the other side of town, we were thrilled to get 19 people racing and a good number of spectators and hobby photographers on the hill watching! One guy even randomly turned up and raced, as he had been stood up by his mates for an xc ride in the area.

Unfortunately, Lina had broken her thumb a few weeks earlier, so she couldn’t race and stood for the timing during the day.


Daniel Chapuis in the orange jacket took 2nd place! Lina stood for the timing. Thanks to Sandra for a helping hand with timing as well! Photo credit: Steve Murphy.


Ricky Larsson’s face showing how much fun it was! Photo Credit: Bengt Luthman.

Smiles were EVERYWHERE and epic crashes were unavoidable. I don’t know the last time I saw so many turtle-slide-crashes! With a very very slippy course, Qualy saw some tentative runs so that people would stay on their bikes; were TIS own JoeBow took the fastest time!


JoeBow showing the Swedes how it’s done, taking a 3rd overall. Photo credit: Bengt Luthman

But when the Dual began, there was no holding back! Racing saw everything from harsh father-son racing, to a DQ due to 3 broken poles, a DNF due to a broken thumb, a fair few crashes and A LOT of sideway action!


Sandra and Alexandra representing the girly mountain bikers category! Also showing what colour your helmet should be! Alexandra was the days DNF, with a badly broken thumb! Healing vibes! Photo credit: Bengt Luthman.


Ricky showing how a turtle-slide really looks like! Photo credit: Bengt Luthman.

What is so great about Dual Slalom, is that it is so easy to organise! Once you got the poles bought, all you need is some stop watches and a sheet of paper to write up times! It was hard to explain to people how easy it is!

As the race went on, the grassy corners got slippier and harder! And although the weather was awful, people stayed to cheer on their friends once they’d been knocked out the competition! The atmosphere was buzzing!

It is amazing how a couple of poles, a group of bike lovers, and a little bit of organisation can transform a grey, rainy November afternoon to the funniest day ever. Thanks a million times to Lina – who had all the right contacts to get prizes, permission, forums to spread the word and the will to get this thing going!! Thanks to Specialized, Evoc and Houdini’s for prizes! And a massive thanks to every one who came to help out, race and spectate, and made it such a fun day!

Till next time!



Winter Dual 2012: Round 1

Winter Dual 2012: Round 1

I was told last week that Winter doesn’t officially start until the end of December, however Dual has begun and it’ll be going on all winter long. It was with some trepidation I got all the posts and paraphernalia together as its been so long that I was bound to forget something. However, once we were in the park with everyone’s lights on posts, course marked out and bikes going sideways I breathed a sigh of relief and got down to practise. What made it even better was the Izzie and Steph were there to take care of the timing and keep us in check. They do such a good job, it just leaves me to shout at the rabble at the top and get them in to the gate. Thankyou ladies!

Steve 'BikeTrack' Taylor back on two fat wheels (Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli)

The racing was brilliant, the conditions perfect. Grippier than we’re used to and usually dry it was really fast, however the corners soon got blown out and back ends broke loose. Some kids had been in our usual spot building shady kickers over logs, perfect fodder to add interest and injury. They corner in to the first one was the wettest on track and caught out many but only Will Swinden head butted the second. I fell foul to the fast traverse loosing both wheels quickly and landing on my shoulder hard enough to pop a rib. The following corner was quite a revelation as it was the first where line choice came in to play, outside and too fast in to the next or slow and tight in but with an awkward setup for the next.

Ruari getting loose on the way to 2nd place (Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli)

With 26 racing I decided that Quali’s werent in order, 10 people not getting a race wasn’t on. Therefore, we raced a 32 person grid with two riders getting a by through a couple of rounds. Not ideal, but a better compromise and we’ll be running this for the season. The Pearson’s cursed me loudly as they were randomly drawn against each other in the first round with Timmy getting the better of Chris by 0.01 seconds. Gutted. Will Swinden was also out in the first round after a tumble as was Steve ‘Roadie’ Taylor who didnt quite get the whistle start. Good to see him back on a proper bike though. Bowman and Philpott were out first round two due to snapped chains! Too much power lads. They raced chainless against their opponents with a no pedalling agreement but couldnt get the better of them.

One of the new features on track (Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli)

The finals came down to Chay Granby and Rob Campbell in the small final with Chay taking 3rd overall and Ruari and Timmy in the big final. Timmy squeezed out Ruari by less than half a second overall and took a well deserved win although there is an investigation in to his rear ‘spiked’ tyre.

Baybutt getting Loose on the traverse (Photo: Marco Wood-Bonelli)

It was great to be back in the woods, can’t wait for the rest of the season. Again massive thanks to Isabel and Steph! Also big thanks to Marco Wood-Bonelli for the photos, hope you can ride again soon.




Strava Smashing November: Dallows Deliverance

This month we celebrate the latest addition to Sheffield’s trail Network, Parkwood Springs. If you haven’t ridden it yet, you really should have, and now is your chance. Its great fun and with a little added twist at the start, should count as some good winter training. This segment, named after the man that made the trail happen, Jon Dallow, starts at the bottom of Rutland road under the bridge. You then turn left on to the bridleway at the top which brings you in to the bottom of the trail. Turn right and follow the BLUE Loop around (no red opt ins) before finishing where you started. Its great, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear.

As detailed, be careful riding around Parkwood. You’re Strava time is not the most important thing, the use, acceptance and permanence of the trail are. If there are others on the trial, give way to them, give them a smile and encourage them.  You can always do you lap again. This is VERY important when you cross footpaths and bridleways. Be mindful of this, DONT FUCK IT UP FOR EVERYONE ELSE.

You’ve got until the 3oth November and can have as many goes as you like, only your fastest will count.

All we ask is that you ride responsibly. Be respectful to other trail users, the trail itself and yourself. Don’t piss anyone off, Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Simple. There’s not prizes, only bragging rights. You race completely at your own risk. We take absolutely no responsibility for your actions or any injuries sustained.

Cage Fighting

Cage Fighting

All the Amazing Photos: The PhilPOD (Click on them for full glory)

It’s been a busy old year personally for many good reasons so my race organisation became somewhat concentrated post winter dual. I only put on one mates race series over the summer consisting of 7 races, however, that isn’t to say I didn’t miss it and my mates who attend. With the impending arrival of winter it seemed like we should have a bit of a get together to toast the successes of the Summer Series and fuck about on bikes. Since the outing of the ManWolfs I’ve wanted to do something similar again but those torn denim sleeves and ski masks feel somewhat sacred so I didn’t want to go there again (yet). However, mates, bikes, booze and movies is a heady combo and pretty simple to do.

I’d seen a video edit on Vital a couple of years back of a contest at a skate park that I’d always wanted to try. They called it Foot Down, it turned out Baybutt called it Edging Off. The BMX crew play it competitively each summer on their Southern French pilgrimage and the idea is very simple. Mark out an area on the floor, fill it full of lads on bikes and the last one standing wins. The only rule we imposed was keeping your feet on the pedals after my kicking got a bit ‘breakie’ in the trail run.

Earlier this year I’d chucked in $20 to a crowd funding project which got Shaun Palmers biographical DVD off the ground. This secured me a copy of the final cut and seemed ideal as post riding entertainment. The chosen venue was Hagglers corner in Sheffield, a fairly new enterprise full of workshops, yoga studios and freshly serving cafe. They had a large courtyard, a white wall in the cafe to project on and most importantly were up for the idea of 20 riders smashing the shit out of each other for fun. On seeing the proprietors BMX with 4 pegs and a newly fitted basket on the bars I suspected we’d come to the right place.

The evening rolled around soon enough and naturally, was wet and miserable. As the rabble arrived we assembled in the cafe and dried off, drank coffee and ate the freshly baked cakes. Once all the bikes were stacked and the beers cracked we donned our waterproofs ready for battle to commence.

It has to be said that sometimes I go to the Nth degree when planning mates race activities, other times its more just about the idea and the details tend to sort them self out. This was one of those times. My beautiful assistant, Rich Baybutt, had kindly taped out an area on the floor and we all approached tentatively. After a few minutes of circling around, track standing and few explorative rammings I called order and explained the rules. We were playing Bellend: each time you’re knocked out, that is put your footdown, you had to leave the ‘arena’ immediately and you got a letter. Once we’d played enough rounds and you’d spelt B.E.L.L.E.N.D., you were out. Simple.

We were 17 riders strong plus spectators so with a 3, 2, 1, the arena suddenly felt VERY small. What followed was about 30 seconds of pure chaos with rider smashing in to rider, bike in to bike, elbows out, shoulders charged and several folk on the floor. After this initial carnage what was left was about 3 or 4 riders circling around each other trying to figure out some kind of tactics that might give them an advantage. Once they’d realised they hadn’t got a clue what to do it came down to a ramming-trackstand off- with the odd pull, many saves and lots of kamikaze krashes.

This pattern repeated itself each round with that initial period just being amazing: There were many domino take outs (especially by the two metre Penis who was clipped in on his single speed road bike); Lots of hanging on post footdown to make sure you took someone else with you; wild tail whips which soon became band for bike damaging potential; so many entanglements of things that should not be tangleable; constant howls of laughter, pain and despair; and the growing realisation that the fucking trials riders were winning. Team Splatshop, consisting of Tim and Chris Pearson with their sponsored rider, Joe Spivy, were left standing each round. Chris cleaned up on the first round with the three of them battling it out and leaving the brothers fiercely facing off.

The next round we went back to the school yard. Our two team captains, the Pearsons naturally, singled us out one by one leaving the weakest and least confident behind to face the shame. I won’t be naming names. What followed was a mano-a-mano contest; a faceoff; a battle to the death. Each captain picked their best warrior and sent them in, whoever was left standing remained in the ring to face the next member of the opposite team. The last team in the ring was declared the victor. In the first round of this Rich Baybutt earned his nickname; Slayer. Second in the ring for our team he destroyed the whole of Chris’ squad on his own, almost down to Chris himself. However, The Pearson just survived and we had to rely on our own team captain to take him out. Not before I’d had my own go at him though. I attempted Baybutt’s run up and ram technique which left me with a flat tyre and a bent rotor after the front wheel collision. The noise that emanated was enough to stop me in my tracks, cause a very brief silence which was followed by screams of hilarity.

Chris took the overall in the Summer Series with a total of 185 Gnar Points, I was second with 177, with Timmy taking 3rd, Baybutt storming to 4th and Martin Baker roundedout the Podium. Contested over the best 6 of 7 rounds, it was a hell of a lot of fun and we covered many disciplines some of which were featured on the site (hopefully I’ll get chance to write up the rest). There’s a brief overview included in the animation below.

Post rum we settled down to watch The Miserable Champion, Shaun Palmers DVD. Everyone really enjoyed it despite the mountain bike content being minimal. Peaty had some brilliant cameos in it basically saying what a fool Palmer was for turning down some of his big money contracts. But it showed what a true champion Napalm was at any sport he chose to turn his hand to despite being pissed and just how destructive addiction can be, to anything. Its really worth a watch if you can get hold of a copy and I think Palm could do with the cash from the sounds of it.

All in all another great night at a great venue… but my bike will never be the same again.

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