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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.

Hafjell – PL40

This time last year I was lucky enough to be in Hafjell riding the world cup track with 10 mates over a long weekend which was only made possible by the generosity of our friend, Piers Linney. As part of his 40th birthday celebrations he whisked us all away to paradise, hired us bikes to ride and rented the pimpest pad any of us had ever stayed in. Having our personal chef and life coach, Lars, on hand was one of many added bonuses.

I’ve previously written about our experience but one of the lads, Noel Hines, has just released his edit of the footage he took while we were there. Its a brilliant video but 19 minutes long, so if you’re time pressed check my personal highlights:

  • 0:00 – The Intro
  • 1:30 – Our faces on walking in to Lodgen
  • 2:20 – The beauty of Hafjell
  • 5:30 – First night excesses
  • 6:50 – Rodders look of fear when faced with a angry 2 metre penis
  • 18:10 – Piers managing to snap his boxxers

Thanks again Piers, it truly was the experience of a lifetime.

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Goodbye Grunt

'Artwork' by Jon Gregory

Goodbye Grunt

One of our favourite ‘Togs, Grant Robinson, is finally leaving our fair shores to return to his homeland of Canada to raise his kids with the ‘right’ accent.

Purveyor of some of the best Blurry Photos every to grace the pages of Dirt and chronicler of the Sheffield bike scene his Cannuc twang and miserable demeanour will be much missed.

‘Artwork’ by Jon Gregory

Its been my own personal pleasure to work with Grunt on several occasions and to get pissed with him and enjoy his company many more times. I’m just looking forward to him repaying my hospitality in Canada in the near future.

Thanks to the generosity of another friend of ours, Piers, we all spent the weekend together. As usual Grant’s pissed up stories took a turn for the filthy. Gregger‘s has encapsulated the essence and essential elements of this tale in this brilliant fair well artwork.

See ya Grant… keep digging up them ‘Nugs.

Canadian Open

What can I say? I am pretty speechless after the Canadian Open DH at Crankworx to be honest. I guess I can start with the wise words of James Crossland, ‘fuck backflips’. I think he is right too, the premier event of Crankworx was undoubtedly the classic DH race of the Canadian Open over the more-watched slopestyle.

The course is one of the best on the mountain here, and that is saying something. Riders start up on Schleyer/Joyride  splitting right onto Joyride and then cutting under the Fitz lift line. This is where the magic happens that separates the race from other events at Crankworx, and even Worldcups-Hecklers rock.


Hecklers rock is something else…..Fuck knows how many people where on the rock today, what I do know is there was a strict rule of ‘NO SHIRTS ON THE ROCK’ and that everyone was going mental. Oh man, riders on the lift were fueling the fury by dropping  horns off into the crowd and also providing someone to heckle in between riders. My fave was ‘RENTAL, RENTAL, RENTAL’ when anyone with a rental bike was cruising up overhead. I like to imagine that these people didn’t know what was going on yet it encouraged them to take up this awesome sport.

Horns were flying everywhere

Geddes

Rachel Atherton was up there on the rock, she was the but of one of the popular chants, but she didn’t wanna’ play and therefore I have not seen her tits.

Ha, GAAAAAYYYYY

Ben Reid

Reid

After Heckle rock the rest of the track was the same old Canadian Open, FAST, dusty, holey and  manly. There is a new section down low where the trail crew basically fucked a load of tree’s over and cut a swath about 12feet wide through the forest. They kindly left all the stumps in and let us all smash the hell out of it to make sure it was rutted and blown out come race day. It was truly impressive watching these boys smashing through the brown pow, and coupled with the light filtering through the tree’s it made for some banger light for the POD’s. As ever Raff Dice provided us with the nugg’s.

This section is SICK, and holey as dear Lizer's bucket

At the end of the Day it was Smith that took the win with a convincing 5second lead. 3 out of 3 for the Canadian, successful week at work eh. All said and done though, I think the winner should have been changed to Duncan Riffle…..this dude did more for his sponsors in this run than he could do with a Worldcup podium. Riffle smashed into the Hecklefest area only to stop on the top of the rock, whip his goggles of and chugged two beers before getting back to the task in hand. Legend.

Teva Best Trick.

I am not 100% on what day it is today, apart from I know slopestyle is today, and I am not sure exactly when the best trick comp was. Crankworx has been a little bit of a wild week, as ever, and now I am sat at home pounding the Growers, being deafened by horns, chugging wildcat through said horns and writing offensive signs. ‘I like 2 in the pink and one in the Zink’ is Daniella’s choice, while Chelsea has opted for ‘McCaul me, maybe?’ , my personal sign will be ‘Fuck BearClaw, I will show you the Barnsley Claw’. There will also be something for Semanuk, revolving around Semen, but I am not 100% on the wording yet.

Anyway, as ever, Raff Dice has provided the bangers as Duncan was denied at border control due to an incident that I cannot talk about due to legal reasons, so have a look at these nugg’s.

Teva have a big presence out here...

Somersault

Instagram

Somersault no hands

Stoked/Pumped/Amped#blackandwhitearty

Due to injury's the cheese rolling is the only Crankworx event the Sheffield Crew entered....

Got no balls but still got a pair?

Got no balls but still got a pair?

Krystle Morley dropped us a line to let us know about No Balls Biking. Its a riding group she’s started up in Sheffield to bring together more lasses interested in riding. We at TiS know many Pinner lasses  and some of them even come along to our races… SOMETIMES! So the idea of encouraging even more women out on the trails together sits very well with us. Nice one Krystle.

No Balls Biking is a new group for women interested in biking. The idea with this group is to involve all types of rider from beginner to gnarly pinner in all types of cycling whether it is long distance XC or family leisure rides but in an all women environment (safety in numbers) with no pressure to keep up, go fast or attempt crazy speeds or tech.

Her idea is to make accessing different disciplines easier whilst making new friends and finding new trails. They are having a social meet on the 9th September at 2pm at Endcliffe Park Cafe.

For anyone who wants to come and meet other women to go out riding with and have a chat before committing to a ride, ideas about what people would like to get out of cycling and ideas about what people would like to see from the group. Partners and kids welcome to come along to bring some ideas and give their opinions.

As well as a group of birds with bikes the group also exists on Facebook and you can email Krystle direct for more info. Hopefully this means we might be able to get the ladies winter dual league up and running!

3/9 /12 – UPDATE: No Balls now have a Blog: http://noballsbiking.wordpress.com/

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