Archives: This is Sheffield

This is S36….

Last week a few of us attended a mates race down at Wharncliffe organised by the Wharncliffe trail fairy’s, otherwise known as This is Stocky B; Barnsley’s s36 answer to This is Sheffield. The track was a fresh dreamer built just the week before,  named rather nicely as ‘Snatch Grab’, and was very different to the Wharny norm, and certainly different from the trail fairy duo’s usual creations as they actually used a shovel on this, not just a rake.

Craig Evans

There was a fantastic turn out of people sectioning the track, but it was very disappointing that a fair few riders bitched out of putting a timed run down. The track was technical and was certainly claiming some victims with Saturday lad cracking out another double shoulder dislocation, Rowdy Ricky Bailey breaking a big toe and Ross Phelps popping a kidney and spending a week in hospital (no joke) but this is mates racing, there should be no pressure and expectations, everyone should have had a bash!

Ruari Hallam

I personally had an awesome time, I arrived a little late and very drunk, but managed to have 2 practice runs of the beautifully loamy and rocky track. I threw up after both runs so thought I would sit it out for a while and watch Craig smash the last few turns while trying to sober up. Racing time was upon us and it was 2 quid in the prize pot and to the top for our runs. After the first run we were seeded with fastest down the hill last, just like a proper race. Craig was obviously last out of the gate and the last runs didn’t change our first run positions, so after the second run the cash was split between the top 3; Craig, Freddie Oxley and myself.

Another good Sheffield mates race, and a new ‘best trail Wharncliffe has ever seen’. Cheers.

North Face of the Tour Rond…

North Face of the Tour Rond…

So with Gee’s, Ruari’s and Nicks blatantly amature recent video editing efforts I thought I would show them, and Mr Joe Bowman, how to go on… Here is my first effort at filming and editing a short vid.

I will be off the bike for a while with torn wrist ligaments, but thankfully not out entirely with the first (miss)diagnosis of a broken Schaphoid. A couple of days ago I headed up the hill to climb the classic North Face of the Tour Ronde in the Mont Blanc massif with friends Duncan Currie and Colin Weegie. Unfortunately Weegie came down with the man flu and a severe case of moaning like a little bitch disease and we therefore cut our stay down by a day or so but I am  still really excited to have got on the aesthetic and famous route and I am really psyched to ski the line in the future….hopefully soon.

Race Report; National Champs

1 month has passed since I massively bitched out of the last round of the BDS series at Llangollen. Now its time to go back to that venue and try and put something together for the National Champs.

Since my BDS disaster I have taken some time out, rested well and not been on the bike too much. I took a trip to Sweden to see good friends Joe Bow and Hanna which was amazing, it gave me a good chance to catch up on some zzz’s. It was the usual chilled holiday, we slept, we laughed, we played in the lake, we tinkered with bikes, we rode Jarvso, which turned out to be an amazing days riding, very wet but the tracks were top quality, and then came home.

The flights didn’t exactly run smoothly however, on the way to Sweden we got delayed and missed our transfer in Amsterdam (all due to bad weather apparently) after waiting in the transfer queue for 5 hours we were told all flights that day were cancelled and instead got put up in a swanky hotel with a flight first thing in the morning, and free food! Much was eaten..

On the way back things were a little worse, my bike missed the transfer and never turned up in Manchester (we landed Thursday morning and expected to leave for Llangollen Friday midday)

We waited and waited and a few phone calls later found it was in Manchester airport, it was Friday afternoon by now and the bike was still not shipped out! Anyway, bike arrived 10:30pm Friday night, then a frantic hour and a half was spent building it back up and then to bed for 5 hours. So, tired from little sleep and stressed at the thought I may not have got my bike back in time meant for a bad start to the weekend. Not really in the mood to race now!

We eventually arrived at the venue and I decided I didnt have time for a track walk, instead I would go to the top and slowly blind run it down.. ..this would have been a very very bad decision. Fortunately for me the track was that steep and tight at the top riders were falling all the time and red flagging the track. This made for a hefty queue at the top and gave me chance to walk the top half. Wow, this place was seriously steep, good job I didn’t drop in blind. I took my time looking at lines, deciding where to go and had a steady first run and went back into the uplift queue to head back up. UPLIFTS WERE BEYOND AWFUL!! Out of every race I have ever been to, never had the uplifts been such a failure. Many riders were grumbling and unhappy about the state of the uplifts, it really was rubbish. But never mind, no point getting wound up by something else I cant change.

Top steep wooded section

The new sections of the track were good, a bit tight in places in the woods, and not too sure about the uphill bit, but coming out into the open and cranking across that traverse was great fun, dropping into meet the BDS tracks lower section seemed simple after riding that steep top section, then off the 3 drops to end.

I got 3 runs in Saturday and spent the day enjoying riding, slowly getting up to speed. Did a track walk to see some lines but I was happy to stick with what I already knew, all the track walk told me was that the track was getting dragged down the hillside wih the amount of breaking that was happening! An early nights sleep was on the cards as the early start meant I was out cold by 10:00pm.

Sunday, Up real early, 6:30, to prep the bike, eat and get ready for the day ahead. I got on the first uplift and trundled up top. Had a solid full run and jumped straight back in the queue for run 2, this time picking up some speed and pedaling a bit harder in places. Now, ready for Quali.

Qualification – went shit, crashed in the first left hander and rode straight over a berm up top. Nailed my favourite part of the track, the traverse, then buggered up the lower track, crashed in the last switchback, then rode into the mega tree beside the second drop down at the bottom.. somehow I managed to jump sideways off the bike as it hit the tree, down the drop and landed to flat on my feet backwards looking back up the track as I saw my bike tumble towards me.. ..a good landing to say the the least and a cheer from the crowed was nice after such an awful run. Crossed the line and ended 89th but with the 8th fastest speed trap recording! Boom! That gave me a bit of confidence for the finals.

Open traverse/Speed trap

Back to camp to gather my thoughts and get ready for the finals.

Race Run – Started better than quali! cleaned the first few turns and focused on cleaning the rest, didn’t exactly let loose but that wasnt what I wanted to do here after my rubbish seeding run. I cleaned the top! happy days. Cranked my arse off along the traverse as surely I lost some time up top, caught someone up just before the split/speed trap, got slowed a little but not too much, attacked the lower switchbacks and let off the brakes coming into the final corners! All had gone so so well up until this point. I hit the corner and seemed to bottom the bike out of one hole that was in the corner, got unweighted, hit the second hole and just felt the tyres give underneath me.. I was down :( ….I didn’t loose too much time as I got tangled in bike but seemed to bounce back upright. Saddle was turned 90 degrees and I had to straighten that with my knees as I headed towards the 3 drops. Landed them and went to pedal for the line, feet straight off, snapped chain, damn, had to coast to the line and that was that.
What a shame it all ended like that. On reflection, I was 23rd at split 1 (expected after my steady sop section) and finished 31st with that crash, So not a bad result considering but hey, that’s racing, these things happen and all I can do is look forward to the next event!
Cheers, to everyone for there support
Photos courtesy of www.duncanphilpott.com/
Vallorcine

Vallorcine

Last Wednesday Little Rob and Wharncliffe’s guardian angel Saturday lad sessioned out an Easyjet flight with the promise of sunny loam hunting in a far off land.  I drove them, and a horny French baroness, from Geneva into the beautiful, albeit damp, Chamonix valley with promises of long descents, sunny dusty trails and drunken Sweede girls. So far I have delivered one of my promises.

First day we cracked a wee train ride up the valley to Vallorcine and rode the downhill trail that the mayor commissioned a few years ago, apparently he liked the look of biking and decided that his village needed a track. And it is a dreamer too, ohhh yes, starting high up in the sub-alpine we twist round some fast open bermed turns that have become slightly water damaged and monster-truck able. Some fast fireroad turns into fast singletrack with some fuck-off fade-away’s and then its the loamy-compression-oooofffff section. Pretty much after the tight loam-compression-oooofffff section  its just steep steep switchbacks to the bottom.

The track was holding up really well in the wet weather and we had a good couple of runs before the camera came out. Little Rob is fairly handy with the old picture taker so here a few from the day. We got some more but wordpress is being a bastard and not playing the game…..more to come next week!

Sat lad on the lower switchbacks


Loam face




Rob wants me to note that this is out of focus…..he didn’t want it including but in a blatantly narcissistic way I like it. And i’m boss so its staying.

Mucky Nutz!

Mucky Nutz!

Somehow muckynutz seems to have skipped our radar, but luckilly Shane got in touch last week to let us know about this awesome, new little company coming straight out of Sheffield. At first it seemed like the usual bits n bobs you’d find in any store, until we realised it’s all made in the UK!! Which you don’t see very much anymore….

Muckynutz is a small outfit, mostly famous for the Bender fender which you may have seen on such pro’s bikes like Mark Weir. These turned out to be a bit of a global hit, coming in at 16g and retail for £7.98.

They also sent over this little life saver which allows you to be able to ride out of those ‘middle of nowhere, basted my mech hanger’s snapped’ situations.For £7.50 it could really help you out if you were miles from home, especially in the Alps on those summer breaks.

They have an ever expanding line, with rotors and ti bolts recently added, so keep an eye out on MuckyNutz, for more quality,Made in UK bike products.

Full review of the bender fender coming up soon…..

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