Monthly Archives: November 2012

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.

Strava Smashed 3 – Whining Brook

Well, that was quick a month of ‘racing’.

Whining Brook has been by far the most popular segment for TiS’s Strava Smashing to date. A total of 47 people put in a time over the 3 weeks however about half of those I’m pretty confident weren’t at all aware of Strava Smashing, here’s hoping they get to know and join in. What has also been good this month has been getting some rider feedback through Facebook and Twitter. I like to know folks are enjoying themselves and it’s actually worth doing.

This was a new style of segment in that it was on a very popular section of bridleway widely used by Sheffields mountain biking community. However, putting the Smashing spin on it certainly made it a different animal as I’m sure anyone who gave it a go will agree. The DH is really fun but pedally with only one section really requiring line choice, but then you hit the flat. The flat contains two anti-MX gates, which are basically railway sleepers separated by a 4 foot gap. Can you bunny hop them? Can you trials them? Do you get off an cyclo-cross through? The later was my chosen method but I’d like to know if anyone cleared them or died trying? The up, was well, ‘Ard, nothing technical, just an all out pedal-and-destroy-yourself-fest where the segment was basically won or lost. Good for your winter training.

I had a couple of goes myself at this segment as I knew I could do better than my first go. I met up with Swinny and Jolley one Saturday morning who insisted on riding up the DH to spot lines, a new one on me but very productive. We had a great morning trying the segment then riding the trails of Wyming Brook. I managed to put in a better time than Swinny which was an absolute revelation to me as he is one of my riding heros and makes me nervous when riding with him (which showed by all the offs I had later that day). However, in his attempt he had a big off on the descent then a battle with two dogs on the way up. But that’s racing and I’m taking the win!

Looking at the top 4 results there was 47 seconds between them, that is, I was 47 seconds behind the winner, Andrew Douglas, who smashed it in a time of 8:49. Amazing. Using RaceShape’s brilliant Strava analysis tools, it’s possible to see where the time difference was made. 3rd Place Sim Hartley and I got the better of Andrew and 2nd place Pete Crawforth on the DH a maxium of 12 seconds ahead. However, he’d got the better of both of us shortly in to the uphill section as had Pete. Pete was consistently just a few seconds behind Andrew right up until the climb kicks again after a mid flat section where he pulled out his 20 seconds.

This leaves the question of the overall, 3 segments in to the 6 of the inaugural series. Theres been a fair bit of movement in the top 5. Swinny still sits happily at the top with me in second, but Sim Hartley jumps up two spots to 3rd push Simon Price down to 4th. Rob Whiteman falls to 5th place but its still very tight on points.

We’ve no way to have a separate Ladies leader board but Esther Hobson finished 1st, Victoria Gray 2nd, Rachel Young 3rd and Lucy Sibbald 4th which is how the overall sits too.

Great work all. Hope you enjoyed this month’s race, the next segment will be revealed shortly and is a future classic. As always if you have any suggestions for segments you’d like to race or comments please get in touch at

As always a massive shout out and our sincere thanks to Dan Nisbet who made all this possible through the original

Bowman at Kendal

Bowman at Kendal

Tha’ Knows, are Joe’s got some reet talent. Next weekend this is being recognised with the appearance of his work at the world famous Kendal mountain film festival. An annual festival bringing together the best films from around the world covering an very wide range of genre and giving out some very coveted awards.

Joe, as SteelCityMedia, will be part of the Santa Cruz bike night on Saturday 17th alongside such luminaries as Alex Rankin and Chris Akrigg, screening highlights of their work and Alex and Chris will be interviewed. The evening will be chaired by Great Rocks Ed Oxley and is one not to miss.

Got Soul?

Got Soul?

Following up from the further adventures of Rocketman, the dream team of Bowman and Swinny drafted in Ruari for some brotherly lovin’. Working the magic for Cotic once again, SteelCityMedia has produced this brilliant edit to promote the updated Soul. Great concept and well executed, but its the riding in the middle that floats my boat. Swinny and Ru do what they’re best at and smash the fuck out of a load of loamy corners making the the Soul look oh so Rad. But don’t take my word for it…


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