Art for Art’s sake and money for God’s sake goes the tune but this art is free. John rides Tuesday and Thursday and finds time to be creative in between cleaning the mud from the bike.
He has an exhibition on at Ropetackle in Shoreham (ropetacklecentre.com) until June. His website is john-north.com.
I chose this painting as it is titled the Art of Falling which is a subject well known to all of us. I have only reached craft level of falling which is roughly GCSE but with extra practice during summer I expect to improve towards journeyman. This is falling and jumping back on quickly and hoping nobody notices.
Obviously if John falls now we expect full on grace and elegance and he is not allowed to fall on his own as we need to be nearby to appreciate the art.
There are lots of other paintings on the website including more that are bike related but may be quite difficult to spot.
Amazingly we have a rider with talent…
You can ride a bike fast, chase people up hills so by default you are healthy – maybe carrying a few extra pounds but you can ride so you must be in better shape than your average Jo.
Not necessarily – If your diet has a lot of the ‘bad’ stuff and not so much of the good, your insides might not be in as good a shape as you think. Continue reading
Looking at the current STW thread on Jones, now topping 130 posts is easy to forget one thing, the Jones is a just a bike, nothing more, nothing less, it’s not a magic bullet, it’s not a cure for cancer or create world peace.
Ok now we’ve got that sorted, here goes……… Continue reading
Coming from having only ridden hardtails (mainly due to the high cost of full sus frames) I decided to take the plunge into my wallet and buy a new frame. The hardtail I had was a Yeti Arc, although fast light and great for Stanmer trails, was aimed at the more xc end of riding.
I wanted a stronger frame I could take most places and not worry about breaking it, or myself, in the process, plus the 100mm of travel up front limited me to what I rode and how fast I rode it.
So you finish your ride : you are freezing and starving. The first thing you do is jump in a hot shower, eat something sugary whilst simultaneously reaching for the most instant dinner you can think of.
None of this however will actually help you feel any better past the immediate effects – you will still wake up starving and sore tomorrow wondering why you do it. Continue reading
First, overcome fear, put on bike gear, get the shiny new 29er out of the shed, go and meet a group of guys you’ve never met in a car park and follow them into a dark, wet, wintry, unlit wood…… Literally the best experience I have had off-road in ages. Continue reading
I lived in Brighton a few years ago during my university placement and it was where I learnt to ride technical trails. I still come back each summer to race at Brighton Big Dog
I have kept in touch with Ronnie who has supported me in the world of racing over the last few years and as I had a local visit planned it seemed a good excuse to come back and ride on a Thursday night ride with Brighton Mtb.
Meeting up at Sussex uni it was nice to see such a variation of bikes, gear and riders, from flowery helmets to fat bikes they had it all. After a quick chat about bikes and riding with journalist Tom Gallagher and Jimbo (Sussex mtb/SouthDownsmtbskills/Quest) we headed out in Stanmer wood and we quickly hit the twisty single track Stanmer is known for and where I was promptly dropped by Ashley on his Jones, damn! Being fast uphill can’t help me here.
The Stanmer trails were sticky but still running well for January I thought; my local riding has suffered badly over the winter. With a high concentration of riders the best single track gets a hard time, with little maintenance the single track rapidly turns into double track.
I usually ride long countryside routes, linking forest areas together, this helps my general fitness, but riding more technical singletrack with varied trail obstacles like Stanmer would help me be a better all-round rider, even if we only managed 11miles in 2hours!
It was refreshing to ride with a group that managed to keep up a good pace, with stationary time kept to a minimum, riders could skip sections to recover or chase faster riders up the hills or through the single track.
Riding Stanmer with Brighton Mtb would make any keen or novice rider improve; it sure showed me that my technical riding skills need work before the summer season if I’m to ride efficiently.
Chapeau guys! keep up the good work and I’ll see you in the summer, if not before.
(link to Chris’s racing site is on the sidebar)
Ronnie had recommended I try a light weight carbon hard tail as a winter race/training bike as my steel 29er is too heavy with gears. As much as I’d love a Scott Scale or a Santa Cruz Highball the high frame costs are out of my reach. I’d seen a forum thread on MTBR which featured Chinese carbon 29er frames, it was almost 100 pages long and mainly positive views. Continue reading
Extra hands make light work and all that so a couple of sections re-routed and some of the motorway width trails narrowed back down to their original size. Laurie brought this clever garden tool that made light work of scraping mud, levelling lumps and raking level but the spikes sticking out his back pack were absolutely lethal. Helen, never been on a ride, but came to help brought a folding garden bag that allowed us to move big volumes quickly and easily and will go on my Christmas list.
So we scraped away lots of mud, repaired lots of holes and put in a mini berm to keep you on track when hurtling through the trees and over the logs in the still of the night. It should make some of the worst bits a little drier and faster and rideable for another wet period. Obviously there are lots of trails that need work so off we went to ride some more, remove fallen branches and note the worst bits for another day. Wrangler has a short bypass to help wear in one section but I hope most of the changes are invisible.
Some trails can be ridden in both directions and this makes some obstacles almost impossible going uphill for most of us. Some riders do not seem to have this difficulty as Laurie demonstrated riding up the “podium”. New fencing makes “Ill” longer but the stepdowns are considerable at the end obstacles. We did not ride Ill2 but Ill3 was clear to ride and the obstacles fine.
On the list for the next time is all the holes. If you have a little time to fill a hole in any trail, just one even, that would help keep the trails running a little better.
I fitted a Cane Creek headset when the Mojo was new and it has been great. Until now.