Search

SPOKE REVOLUTIONS

MuddyGoose – The Mountain Bike

Author

spokerevolutions

A tale of two rides

First off, I’d like to just write a disclaimer – I never regret a ride and I enjoy them all in at least part. And even the less enjoyable parts are at least ‘character building’. It’s just that, sometimes there are better rides and sometimes there are ‘don’t think I’ll do that one again’ rides.

The Ride Details
The Ride Details

Well last week I had one of those ‘won’t go there again’ rides. I had arranged to be home late from work and to go riding ‘somewhere’ between work and home. The area around work is more fun as home doesn’t have any hills, so I have ridden a lot near work. On this occasion I decided to park in a familiar location but head off in a different direction to check out the bridleways north-west of Luton. Continue reading “A tale of two rides”

Exploring the Pentland Hills

Another work visit up to Scotland took me to Dundee this time rather than Glasgow. So having heard about the Pentland Hills and finding an old pull out route from MBR I decided to base myself on the edge of Edinburgh for my trip, rather than going all the way up to Dundee.

The Pentland Hills
The Pentland Hills

I had to visit another customer in Redcar first so I got a good chance to ride in Guisborough Forest and the North York Moors again earlier in the week on my way up the British Isles. Then I drove up to Edinburgh and had my first ride in the Pentland Hills that evening. My second ride was on the following evening after completing my Dundee visit. Continue reading “Exploring the Pentland Hills”

Back on the bike after a long time off

Following my up-north riding I came home with a rattling fork. It turned out to be the damper which had unscrewed itself over time and leaked it’s oil out into the leg. Not difficult to repair (and yes I will post a guide at some point) but I didn’t have any fork oil to refill it with. So I had to order fork oil.

Epicon X2 Exploded Diagram
Epicon X2 Exploded Diagram

A week later when I’d managed to get the fork oil from the couriers (please stop using DPD everyone – they are rubbish), I fixed the fork but then could only fit one ride in before going off to France for our family holiday. So 2 rides (we did fit a family bike ride into the holiday in one sunny afternoon) in 23 days was all I managed in the last 3 weeks of May. Continue reading “Back on the bike after a long time off”

Little work trip to Scotland – 101.33 km of riding fitted in.

A lot of riders head off to their favourite trails at the weekend. Not me, weekend riding is pretty much limited to family rides around the park or short late evening blasts around the village, so I try to fit in whatever trails I can at other times. Fortunately my job takes me all around the country and I can piggyback some riding around my work quite easily.

The West Highland Way
The West Highland Way

So this week I’ve been up in Scotland. Tuesday and Wednesday in Glasgow to be more precise. With this already planned I decided to add a day off on Thursday to my itinerary. So with MuddyGoose packed into the car, I set off to Glasgow. Continue reading “Little work trip to Scotland – 101.33 km of riding fitted in.”

Fitted a new SRAM X7 rear mech to MuddyGoose

When you put in the miles (or kilometres), ride in the UK’s soggy wet gritty winter conditions and ride in the UK’s soggy wet gritty summer conditions you will find that your jockey wheels need replacing from time to time.

X7 Rear Mech Fitted
X7 Rear Mech Fitted

Admittedly this is the first time I’ve need to change the ones in my original X5 mech and MuddyGoose is now 2.5 years and many miles old. But if you ride regularly then it’s something you can expect to need to do. Continue reading “Fitted a new SRAM X7 rear mech to MuddyGoose”

More Moors… Riding in the North York Moors from Lastingham

As opportunity should have it I got the chance to ride out into the southern side of the North York Moors on Tuesday afternoon last week. So I picked Lastingham as my start and finish location and headed north.

The Endomondo Route
The Endomondo Route

Lastingham is a small village so you shouldn’t really have any issues picking up my route. The bridleway out north into the moors is an extension of High Street, you simply ride up High Street and keep going, through the gate and onward up onto Spaunton Moor. Continue reading “More Moors… Riding in the North York Moors from Lastingham”

My 3000 km Challenge for 2013

If you either know me or follow on Twitter then you’ll be familiar already with the fact that I plan to do 3000 km in 2013. In which case I suppose you can ignore the rest of this post and read something more boring instead. I’d prefer that you didn’t of course!

3000 km in 2013
3000 km in 2013

I’m sure you don’t really need me to explain it but I will anyway. My challenge is to complete at least 3000 km in 2013 on my bike. This includes any ride of any kind, so commutes and trips to the shop count as do trail centre visits and local bridleway loops etc. Basically, if I’ve logged it on Endomondo then it counts! Continue reading “My 3000 km Challenge for 2013”

MuddyGoose blog reaches 50.

Yes, this is the 50th post on the MuddyGoose blog. I’ve enjoyed writing it, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it too. So considering it’s a bit of a landmark post I thought it’d be a good opportunity to have a bit of a look back and see where I’ve been. Something mountain bikers tend not to do while riding, ‘forwards and onwards!’ and all that.

50 blog posts
50 blog posts

I got my Mongoose Tyax back in October 2010, so as well as reaching 50 posts we’ve also just passed 2 years of riding together. This blog didn’t begin with the bike though, so there almost a year’s worth of riding that’s not been covered and my first post was published in August 2011. So to mark 50 posts lets have a short reminisce about where we’ve been, the mods I’ve made and other stuff too. Continue reading “MuddyGoose blog reaches 50.”

Adjusting the travel on the Suntour Epicon X2

One of the selling features of the Suntour Epicon X2 is the fact that it can be set to one of four different travel lengths. This is useful if you want to replace your fork but are not sure whether to replace with the same travel or whether to try something longer (or shorter).

SR Suntour Epicon X2 Fork @ 140 mm
SR Suntour Epicon X2 Fork @ 140 mm

The travel adjustment isn’t a simple switch on the outside of the fork though so you will need to get your tools out and take your fork to pieces to do it. Don’t let this put you off though as with the right tools, a bit of patience and care you should be able to sort it fairly easily.
Continue reading “Adjusting the travel on the Suntour Epicon X2”

Proud new owner of a Suntour Epicon X2 Fork

There’s a lot said and written about Fox, Rockshox and indeed all makes of forks at the top end of the market. But not all of us can afford to spend over £300 on an upgrade. So where do us mere mortals turn?

My New Suntour Epicon X2 Fork
My New Suntour Epicon X2 Fork

Having accumulated £145 of Amazon vouchers through a combination of Nectar (£50) and Topcashback (£95) I chose to buy myself a Suntour Epicon X2 and considering the lack of reliable information out there decided to write about it too. Is it the best sub-£200 option? Who knows, maybe the Rockshox XC32 is better but I doubt it. Continue reading “Proud new owner of a Suntour Epicon X2 Fork”

Off-road through the Chilterns near Barton

After completing my 75 km ride from Chicksands down to Luton and back in July earlier this year I decided to re-plan the route taking just the best bits and creating a smaller but better loop.

The ride on Endomondo
The ride on Endomondo

Even though I managed this challenge several weeks ago in theory on the OS getamap site, it still needed riding as a final check and to see how long it would take. My opportunity came after work on Friday evening. Continue reading “Off-road through the Chilterns near Barton”

Ventured out up onto the moors.

On previous trips up to the North East I’ve taken my bike up with me and ridden Dalby Forest and around some of Guisborough Forest but I’ve never had the chance or the organisation to venture out onto the moors. So this time a quick ride in the North York Moors with some printed OS maps stuffed in my pockets was definitely on the cards.

Up on the moor
Up on the moor

So I pulled out my pile of MBR pull-out routes and flicked through until I came to the ‘Roseberry Topping’ route but not wanting to just follow an MBR route I also printed a couple of pages of OS map off to take as well. Then after work around 6pm I headed out to a car park just a little further up the road from Great Ayton station. Continue reading “Ventured out up onto the moors.”

My New Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle

There are some products that are worth shouting about and they are not always the most expensive ones. Let’s just say that often the small inexpensive items can make all the difference. The Camelbak Podium Chill water bottle is just one of these items. In a cycling context a water bottle is a cheap accessory, usually coming in at around £10 and to be honest everyone will have their own preferences but when you find a good one you will know it.

Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle
Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle

I wanted a couple of extra water bottles. I have a pack that can take a hydration/bladder insert but I don’t have it and to be honest I’m perfectly happy sticking with bottles. So as with all things I buy I did plenty of research on-line and read lots of reviews and finally decided on the Camelbak Podium Chill. Continue reading “My New Camelbak Podium Chill Water Bottle”

Big Epic All Day Ride – cancelled due to injury :(

It doesn’t happen very often but every now and then I get the opportunity to spend all day on my bike in a choice location and have myself an epic ride. Friday this week should have been just one of those chances. I had work planned up in Glasgow for Wednesday and Thursday and was due to travel back down on the Friday (yesterday), so rather than coming directly back I would stop off at Kielder Forest and see how many miles I could get in and how quickly I could eat up those miles. The plan was to ride the red trails, the blue trail and even possibly some of the cross border trail.

Kielder Water & Forest Park
Kielder Water & Forest Park

So on Thursday evening as a bit of a warm-up I went down to Dalbeattie and rode the red trail there. It was good fun and as I was on my own and it was evening I kept within my limits avoiding ‘the slab’ and other such Dalbeattie features. I did however have a small low speed over the bars moment toward the end of the ride when my front tyre just wouldn’t pop up over that nasty root. Continue reading “Big Epic All Day Ride – cancelled due to injury :(“

The big ride through the Chilterns, north of Luton.

A while back I decided to take off a day in July to match a mate’s days off in his shift pattern. The purpose of course was to hit the hills somewhere and ride for the entire day. Having had a similar very enjoyable day at the Forest of Dean trail centre riding around the Verderer’s Trail back in March we considered another trail centre but as I’ve ridden most of the ones that are within easy reach we eventually decided to ride some bridleways, roads, tracks etc that could be mapped out on the OS maps. Somewhere close(ish), with hills but not too big, that I hadn’t already ridden.

The route on the OS Getamap site
The route on the OS Getamap site

So I got onto getamap.ordnancesurveyleisure.co.uk and came up with a ~50 mile route through the Chiltern Hills to the north of Luton. Taking in South Bedfordshire and parts of Hertfordshire around Hitchin. The parts closest to Luton I had ridden before during my lunchbreaks and as part of my multi-mode commute so I was quite familiar with them and which way to ride them for the best descents and most challenging climbs. I was also familiar with the Rowney Warren woods near Shefford and that we could happily park the car there, so all I did was be adventurous about plotting a route to join the two together, trying to avoid roads wherever possible and creating a loop so we never had to double back on ourselves. Continue reading “The big ride through the Chilterns, north of Luton.”

From Fineshade Wood to the Royal Oak

It’s always a good feeling when you discover a trail that links things together. That missing piece that connects your favourite two singletrack sections or a techy climb to take back to the top of a downhill run. Or in this case a bridleway that connects the woods to a nearby pub!

I can see the pub from here!
I can see the pub from here!

On my way to Fineshade Woods I’ve passed the Royal Oak at Duddington on the A43 many times and often thought that it’d make a nice post-ride stop off. And indeed it does. In fact the last time I stopped there with some mates the pub’s clientele was made up entirely of mountain bikers! Continue reading “From Fineshade Wood to the Royal Oak”

Introducing my multi mode commute to work

This isn’t a post about a commute by bus & train, it’s not even a commute by train and fold up bike. No, when I say multi-mode I’m talking about car and mountain bike. And that’s not riding roads and cycle paths using a mountain bike, that’s commuting along bridleways, through the woods, over roots and along singletrack.

A more scenic commute
A more scenic commute

My office is in Luton, I’m not there all the time as you’ll no doubt have realised from my many other posts from around the UK, sampling the trails up and down the country. But I’m in Luton fairly often and so the commute was perfect for incorporating a biking leg. Coming in from distance by car also gives me the opportunity to pick an ideal place to leave the car and cycle from to maximise the off-road nature of my commute. Continue reading “Introducing my multi mode commute to work”

Trail riding before work, the other 6 o’clock.

As you’ll know if you’ve been following my blog, I take my bike with me almost everywhere I go. Especially when staying away for work purposes. So being in Bristol yesterday and today I made no exception and brought the MuddyGoose along.

20120515-090650.jpg

I decided that I’d get up early this morning and head off before breakfast to Leigh Woods for another ride of the blue graded ‘Yer Tiz’ trail. So I set the alarm for 6AM and was in the car park putting my front wheel and saddle back on by 6:25. At this time of day, as you can tell from the photo, the woods aren’t especially busy and I had the entire woods to myself. Well almost to myself, I did come across a deer part way round.

Continue reading “Trail riding before work, the other 6 o’clock.”

Wye, Wye, Wye go riding in the Peaks

As much as I enjoy a blast around one of the UK’s great trail centres, I wouldn’t want to solely ride way-marked, man-made trails all the time. And so when the opportunity arises to get out on some natural trails in the peak district like it did yesterday I just can’t refuse.

Stopped for a rest or just for the view?
Stopped for a rest or just for the view?

I’d been working up in Liverpool during the day and with the longer, lighter evenings that we get now that we’ve reached May, the opportunity was there to go home via the Peaks and stop for a ride around the Buxton area. So the day before I took the time to search the internet and find a good route to follow and this is what I came up with. Continue reading “Wye, Wye, Wye go riding in the Peaks”

Wet, Wet, Wet @ Wakerley Wood

Even though the title may suggest it I’m not reporting news of an upcoming concert at Wakerley Wood with a once popular 80s band. And hopefully you won’t ‘feel it in your fingers or feels it in your toes’!

Stuck in the mud
Stuck in the mud

So I’d better own up straight off the bat. The photo is not mine, it’s borrowed from Rutland Cycling from their Facebook page. But I thought it ought to be on here as a good indicator of current conditions at Wakerley Wood.

Continue reading “Wet, Wet, Wet @ Wakerley Wood”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: