Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Yak Attack - The Essentials (2018 onwards)

As a seasoned Yak Attacker I get asked a lot of questions throughout the year; what kit? what bike? what to expect?
I wrote a piece about this in 2013 (See here), most of which is still relevant, some of it is not.
After being involved in six consecutive editions I've accumulated a fair bit of experience. I've now pretty much got my own kit dialled. This is my attempt to bring everything up to date for the benefit of anyone planning to take it on. 

Monday, July 30, 2018

Not The Manx 100.

The Manx 100 is a 100 mile single day ultra-endurance mountain bike race around the mountainous terrain of The Isle of Man.
It had been on my radar since it inception in, I think, 2012. This year was the first time that I had found a window to enter.
Mitch, Paul, Pascal (Fluffy), Alan, and I set off from Belper with great expectations - not of winning, I might add, but of an adventure and a great challenge.
Unfortunately, as we were driving up the M6 on our way to Liverpool, Mitch received a text message announcing the cancellation of the ferry crossings due to bad weather in the Irish Sea. Sod's Law dictated that during one of the hottest and driest summers on record we were heading to The Isle of Man on the only shitty weekend for months, you couldn't make it up. We sat in limbo at the dreary Knutsford Services whilst trying to figure something out. A phone call to the ferry provider - The Steam Packet Company - confirmed our worst fears, no places were available on subsequent ferries until the following day which meant we wouldn't be toeing the start line for the race. A phone call to Nigel Morris, the race organiser, didn't bring any further hope even though he bent over backwards to help us out, thank you Nigel. It also turned out that Nigel had never known of a ferry ever being cancelled in July.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Helping Paws 🐾Ride across Sri Lanka.

A little note to say THANK YOU to everyone who has supported our fundraising effort for the Helping Paws nueter and vaccination program. We completed our epic ride, a full post to follow, and reached our initial target of £2000!

Now for something else...
On our final leg Phil spotted a very poorly looking puppy.
The next day he returned the 60kms back in a tuk-tuk, with Corinne, and rescued her.
Her name is Hari.
She has been to vets for treatment and is slowly responding to the love and affection that she has never before had in her short life. She is wonderful.

I have decided to continue the fundraising journey.
I will be cycling another 220kms or more back to where we began - Colombo Fort Railway Station - and will use this to raise money for Hari’s ongoing support.
You can donate using the same link which you can find in the “Helping Hand for Helping Paws” blog that I wrote recently. 
Please consider donating to help this poor little wretch have a better life.
You will find lots of details on the Chase the Rainbow Facebook page.

Monday, April 2, 2018

A helping hand for Helping Paws.

So, here's a thing...
A few months back my friend Phil Evans came up with the hare-brained idea that it might be good to do something, well, hare-brained, to raise some money for the Helping Paws neuter and vaccination project in Tangalle, Sri Lanka.
Phil, as you may or may not know, doesn't do things by halves (he invented Yak Attack for starters).

During our extensive travels in Nepal and Sri Lanka we come across a huge number of street dogs, most of which are in very neglected states. Helping Paws Worldwide was founded on the basis of this to try and do something to help alleviate the suffering, and to educate the locals.

"So, what is this hare-brained scheme?" I hear you cry.
Well... hmm... 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

A Signal of Intent. The Sonder Signal Ti.

The Signal Ti is soon to be the latest addition to the Sonder(Alpkit) range of highly regarded, and highly capable, bikes.
I was in the very fortunate position to ride the final pre-production model during my recent trip to Nepal.
It is an astonishing machine.
Anyone who visited last September's Big Shakeout Festival or the recent London Bike Show may have spotted this bike already. I spotted it nestled innocuously at Big Shakeout and immediately interrogated Neil Sutton about it - in my mind it had Nepal written all over it.

Friday, January 12, 2018

New Year... Same Me. Now, Next, Later.

Nothing much changes in my world from one year to the next.
I'm not one for making resolutions, if I need changes in my life I just get on and make them. One year just rolls into the next without much fanfare, in much the same way that one day rolls into the next.

I've got a lot going on at the moment. Work is currently dominating most of my time, however The Strathpuffer is looming large on my immediate horizon - January 20th-21st -and I'll be following that with a nifty three week jaunt to Nepal.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

2017 review. All or nothing.

It hardly seems possible that exactly a year ago today, shortly after returning from a 3 month trip to Nepal, I took ownership of my very own 6.4 acre parcel of ancient woodland. 
For the most part it has been a labour of love and an absolute joy... for the most part. (See here amongst other posts).
I do seem to have spent an awful lot of time at work in between trips away, and an awful lot of time working in the wood too (but that's a good thing). You can't enjoy the kind of travel that I do without working very hard to pay for it.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Rumble in the Jungle 2017.

“Do you fancy going out to Sri Lanka for The Rumble?” was a bolt out of the blue from my friend, the Race Director at Yak Attack(MTB Worldwide), Phil Evans. “In fact we’re going out three weeks early to recce the trails if you fancy that too?” was his second question.
“Erm… not sure. I’d like to… err… fuck it, yeah” My initial hesitation was due to the fact that I had an impending shoulder operation (which I’ve been putting off for four years) and really I needed to get it done. However, the “fuck it” principle came into effect and bypassed any modicum of common sense.
The timing was also perfect, I was working away in London and we would be flying out exactly a week after my contract finished.