Tuesday, 13 January 2009

CranKitUp Gear Update

Well folks for a new kid on the block starting a business in a recession, things are looking good despite it being low season. Steady work with repairs and maintenance for folk. Keeping things very much to this side of the Loch though, as I don't wish to compete with Lochabers two long established retailers for whom I have great respect. I am looking forward to the main holiday season as the two caravan and campsites will provide much of the bike hire. I believe the new outdoor concept hotel from the Crerar partnership will have the first bricks laid quite soon and it's this business that will ultimately make my hire business. My stock of spares is increasing almost daily, and my tools also. New bikes for hire from Merida are tweaked and ready to go. Retail sales of bikes are quiet at this time, but one new top of the range Merida road bike was bought this month and the customer is very happy.

We have been looking at Pete Laings trail maps for Brecklet and preliminary work shows a lot of self help potential along the lines of the Reds and Blacks we have made elsewhere. Glencoe has a lot of potential and if Glencoe Mountain gets it's downhill track sorted and the new Red they want then Lochaber might just compete with the 7 Stanes. We mustn't forget the already excellent Black off from Mamore, the Devils Staircase and the potential for much more road served biking from Mamore Lodge as well as the big long routes out to Luibelt and Ciaran.

That's the news for now folks. In the offing are trade accounts with Paramo as well as a deal from Vau De which is already in place. Don't forget it's not just bikes but also "Gear".

Friday, 9 January 2009

Jason Memorial Ride

A memorial rideout on Sat 17th Jan. Leaving Kilamllie Hall 10:30 to ride out at 11.00 Long route of 55 miles and a shorter one as well. Please turn up and celebrate the memory of an exceptional athlete and true champion.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

What a Bummer !

When getting on a chairlift it's wise to put down the safety bar in case you slide off and get jammed upside down by a ski with you're trousers down - in front of you're son!

Cheap Apartments in the Alps

Ian duncan Stuart (ISE from Snowslider) has apartments for let. Small but functional

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Binary Racing

This years Royal Insitution Xmas lectures were on computing and on the first programme it showed the basic binary "on" - "off" process. This set me to thinking about all the statements issuing forth from me since my last hospital sojurn from falling off. "Taking it easy" - "screwing the nut", "it's not worth the risk" being but a few.
To say I was anxious about the last two XC races would be an understatement. Funny though how your mind prepares you by letting you think you have "get out" clauses. "Not feeling well", ResQ's and others. Meanwhile you'r charging lights and fettling the bike for racing. A bit like 20 odd years ago when for days I was sharpening picks and sorting climbing gear, subconsciously preparing for a long day soloing big winter routes. I don't think I knew I was going for it until the day I woke up at 5am.
So whats this binary racing ? Last nights XC was on a gnarly course with lots of opportunity for hurting. Each lap had a steep uphill on fire road then onto steep single track on the smallest gears. Up to a dam where the bike is carried steeply up onto the dam wall. Along the dam then the first binary test. Are you "on" or are you "off". Very steeply off into the black hole, where if you touched your brakes you were going to get hurt. It's a race, so you say to yourself "fuckit" and open the throttle and it seems you are an "on" type of person. No halfway measures and no holding back, just concentration and focus.
Through the narrow windy freeride with off camber roots and a drop off onto a fire road then an out the saddle sprint up fire road to keep with the pack. Next section is narrow, steep and off camber with short drops and narrow steep turns with a long back wheel slide then over a drop onto fire road. Then its big gears down to a grass bank then a carry up to the start again and off for another lap. 6 laps later it ends and you're 4th and well chuffed as the front 3 are the best XC riders in the West, if not all Scotland.
So I guess for me I am an "on"type. I either go balls out or I might as well sell my bikes. Like all those years ago topping out after a long solo day, you just have to accept the risk and use skill, focus and for me very importantly fitness to mitigate the risks and consequences. Still - it's scary living with an "on" type of person!