Thursday, December 28, 2017

The sound of silence. Yak Attack 2017,

For the first time in a while I was riding alone and I was enjoying the solitude and the simple pleasure of spinning the pedals at a natural pace. I rolled to a halt, mesmerised by the same view that had stopped me in my tracks exactly a year earlier. The low sun cast shadows across layers of barren mountain summits. Nothing stirred. Nary a parched leaf rustling on a twisted shrub, nor the bellow of livestock could be heard on this windless day.
There are few places in the modern world where it's possible to hear nothing, nothing at all, the sound of silence. Nepal's sparsely populated Forbidden Kingdom - The Upper Mustang - a high altitude desert, is one of them, and it is intoxicating. I wanted to stand there forever and bathe in its glory. The electrifying, exhilarating, intoxicating sound of absolute silence.
Alas I couldn't, I had work to do. I pushed on the pedals, the gentle crunch of rubber on dirt seemed almost deafening.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Who's afraid of the Big Bad Yak?

The Yak Attack - the worlds highest mountain bike race - has something of a fearsome reputation; I'm about to shatter a few myths... well, kind of.
It seems that a lot of people are discouraged from entering because they think it is too hard for them. I'm going to tell you that it's not.
If you are reading this then you are probably considering entering so you've come to the right place. If you are a mountain biker and you're not considering it then maybe you should, it is one of those great, but ultimately achievable, life goals that will change the way you think about yourself and the world forever. Plus you will become one of only a tiny group of people that can say that they have, and you'll walk away with some lifelong memories (and friends) and a bunch of pictures that will make everyone you know green with envy.
Like this one for example: 

Wouldn't it be nice to have this hanging on the wall at home?

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: Alpkit Morphosis - first look.

I called in at Alpkit on my return from Nepal to check out their new Morphosis Jacket. I was so impressed with it that I also bought the Half-Zip Top too.
My old Softshell has started to see better days and I was looking to replace it. The Morphosis is Alpkit's modern slant on the classic softshell. It's classic Alpkit - all function and no faff, just how I like my gear.
It's made from a breathable, wind resistant, DWR coated outer material that has a bit of stretch, and a 140gsm micro-gridded fleece liner. The fleece liner is exempt from under the arms and the sides, ideal for heat control under exertion. The usual stuff like internal baffles and hem & hood adjustment are simple and effective. I'm a regular medium and the fit and cut are excellent.

With some foul weather on the near horizon I'm looking forward to giving them a rigorous test. I'll let you know how I fare in a couple of months. Below is a bit of information to be getting on with.