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…
This is my second post of the day. After two days of digging a new track, one night at Corporation, two days riding and all with a touch of man flu I thought I deserved a day off from anything bike related.
So I’m going to talk about riding bikes…
I finished my uni exams just over a week ago so I’m pretty free until lectures start again in September. I’ve had quite a bit more free time so I this is what I’ve been up to:
Night ride to Mam Tor – Aim: ride to Mam Tor and arrive in time to see the sunrise.
Riding at Blackamoor. This has been pretty standard over the last couple of weeks.
Top secret riding spot. All you’re getting is a picture and a sentence. This track is pretty natural and full of off-camber and loamy goodness mixed with high speed, the stuff of dreams basically.
And to end. This is what I was listening to at the point of posting:
It’s fair to say that when you like riding bikes you like to ride nice bikes. This usually means spending lots of money…
The cost of having such an expensive whip caught up with me so I was forced to make the tough decision and downgrade from my 224 Evo with a Cane Creek shock, Boxxer Team fork, Saint brakes, etc. Gutted!
So, the search was on for something 2nd hand that was fairly cheap but durable enough to stand up to the beating I would unleash upon it. Straight away I looked at frames which have less travel but still a relatively slack head angle, the popular Specialized Pitch sprung to mind. There’s a reason these bikes are so common: good angles; nice looks; light weight; and durable. But… you’re still looking at spending £400 for one in an okay condition. This doesn’t sound like much to some but I knew I could go cheaper still.
After searching on the numerous internet forums (*vomit*) and ebay I still couldn’t find exactly what I was looking for. Until, Duncan Philpott discovered an almighty bargain on ebay at 1am on a Sunday morning, a Banshee Rune anodised black with a DHX Air 5.0 shock in mint condition for £275. I couldn’t say no!
Here it is, not the best quality picture but you get the idea:
A few weeks later and I’m well on the way to getting grips with how it handles. When deciding on the kind of bike I wanted I knew it had to have between 140 and 160mm of travel. The Rune has 150mm of travel, perfect! For me, the sensation of riding a bike isn’t about overall speed, it’s about being as close to crashing as possible whilst still maintaining control and pushing the limits of grip. The Orange was a nice bike to ride but I don’t yet have the balls or skill to ride it on the “edge”. Another reason for having a bike with less travel is to have something easier to pedal allowing me to access trails which I would otherwise have to be driven to (not that I would ever say no to a lift…).
So, am I enjoying my time on the Banshee?
Hell yeah! However, there are still a few changes I would like to make to enhance my experience even more. First of all, the DHX Air shock isn’t great. I need to run it at quite a high pressure to prevent it from bottoming out quite so much, however, this reduces the amount of sag. Also, I often blow through the travel on my quite shagged pikes (if you’ve seen them you’ll know how bad they are) so this combination on the steeper stuff can make the head angle pretty terrifying. Solution: Get a coil shock and a better, longer fork! Once that is done I’m pretty sure this bike will fly down a hill with ease. And I cannot wait.
On a side note: I thought it would be a good idea (let me know if you think otherwise) if I posted a youtube clip of either the song I’m listening to when it comes to publishing an article, a song I like at the moment or just something funny at the end of my posts…
Can’t go wrong with a bit of Del Boy.
Round 4 will go down in history as the one on broken road, where two world champions turned up and half the racers puked on the finish line. Carnage from start to finish, just like it was meant to be. Dreamed up drunk in the Lescar and held back until the time was right, it couldn’t have gone better. Watch out for a write up of this race and the whole series in Dirt soon.
You’ve probably seen this video Duncan edited together of all of our amazing helmet camera footage, it captures the atmosphere perfectly so you can witness the carnage first hand.
ThisISheffield Team Kit, Stokes, Bowman and Hamilton (Photo: John Alexander)
We all met up for a ride up the broken road on Mam tour, 36 of us in the end. Steve Peat came along and brought along his house guest Brian Lopes who was in the country to race at Dalby. Rob Stokes even made a guest appearance flying in especially from Chamonix again and the new This Is Sheffield team kit also made its first appearance. We met at the bus terminus, geared up and rolled out. As we crossed what would be the finish line I explained a few rules. In order to complete the race you had to neck a pint of ale on the finish line. Spilling or chucking away of beer would be severely punished by DQ. We continued to ride up and everyone took in the features they would have to negotiate on the way down. Nothing too bad but elbow to sharp elbow with you mate put a new perspective on things.
Pushing up to the top (Photo: Dom Worrall)
World Champions Rolling Through (Photo: Henry Marsh)
Once at the top, everyone was instructed to turn their bikes upside down and line them up. 36 bikes actually take up a surprisingly amount of room. We walked down the hill about 50 metres with loud groans from most complaining that they were riders not fell runners, some of us are both! The Le Mans style start worked brilliantly and it was carnage from Peaty hollering ‘Go!’. We all battled for position pushing and shoving for all we were worth. Ruari POD obviously hadn’t been listening too closely as he ran straight to his bike rather than running round the back with everyone else as instructed. Joe Bowman was similarly deaf as he took off straight down the hill rather than following everyone else around the end of the line. Thankfully Lopes set him straight as sent him back up the hill with the rest of the pack. The first few corners were open and uneven meaning lots of shoulders were rubbed and places stolen. Swinny was well out in front from the start, a combination of talent and pole position, he took advantage and shot back down the hill, closely followed by Timmy. Tim had turned up somewhat late and had sprinted all the way up the hill to catch up, he and his brother Chris were still panting at the word go.
The Off Camber Shale (Photo: Dom Worrall)
Checking out the lines (Photo: Henry Marsh)
Once through the first gate we hit tarmac and the big ring was engaged. To keep it interesting we used grassy parking lumps to slow us down or catch air depending on your speed. Shane Townsend took a tumble here and left a bit of skin behind, all in a nights riding. Further down we slid through the next gate on to the Broken Road Proper, where the sides got distinctly precipitous. Negotiating a descent drop at speed or risking a pinch puncture chute was first up. Several riders punctured that night, including Alec Hartley who had a flat by the time he got to the start line. After a fast grassy or tarmac corner came a brilliant off camber shale slope with multiple lines. Steve Taylor made a last minute course correction on entry and nearly lost it on the way in, thankfully his skills saved him and Joe captured everything on video. Rob Jolley took a tumble on entry here too thankfully stopping before the edge and getting going again quickly.
Jordan, Nick and Ruari riding the Shale (Photo: John Alexander)
The next feature was a bit of a step up with a couple of line choices then it was on to a sharpish right hander and in to a grassy chute. At the bottom there was a narrow get-off gate just before the road sprint to the finish line. I rolled in 5th place to the finish following Swinny, Timmy, Luke Meredith and Jordan Gould. By the time I got there Swinny was across the line with his pint empty and Tim was well on the way. Taking a couple of deep breathes I managed one large mouthful, that was it, breathing required again. Next to me, Jordan was in even more of a state, he puked as soon as the amber nectar hit the back of this throat and couldn’t hold anymore of it down. One lad spilt most of his pint down his face then chucked the remaining half away, he was DQ’d for such brazen waste of Ale. As my Father said despairingly “you’ve taken a health giving sport and turned it in to a drinking game”, he’ll get to know the CGCC better one day. There were some real wrecks on the finishing line, lots of little voms and quite a few big ones, however after we’d all got our breath back, you could see the grins spreading again. This had been something to tell your mates about, to say you were there. To laugh about and talk about for the next week and especially bring up at Stoke’s Birthday in Corp on the Friday night.
Rob Jolley hits the deck (Photo: John Alexander)
The usual prize giving followed with Swinny taking first pick and selecting a nice looking packet of cookies, Tim took the Malt Loaf. Katie Hallam took the ladies crown, 16th place out of 31 finishers and the only lass. This wouldn’t have been possible without the help of lots a people: Simon Garrard, Adam Wiles, Anna Dearnley, Phil Taylor (I think), Ester Stokes and Jeff King all did their bit, many thanks. Also thanks to all the came to shoot photos and video, Dom Worrall, Henry Marsh and Rich Braybutt, its great to have this shit documented for posterity.
Yours truly presiding over the prize giving (Photo: Dom Worrall)
So to the points, 16 for first place as usual but I’ve now instigated a new rule, everyone that attends gets a point. Also in this case, Jordan got a bonus point for best puke and Stokes got an extra 5 for travelling the farthest to compete.
This leaves the series standings with a new leader, Wills poor performance and Swinny’s winning streak catapults him up to first place. Ruari and Tim are also rising up pushing Jordan down a couple of spots.