Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 Review

As another year passes and New Year resolutions are sketched out, I'm always drawn to ponder the up and downs of the past 12 months...
  • tweaked a little
  • fab wkends in Wales (CyB, Afan) - with great company !
  • learnt there's more to Cannock than just "FtD"
  • exposed to the Peaks - thanx John
  • tried new boots
  • UGI struck... more than once !
  • I finally won something
  • biggest stack - no cuts this time ;)
  • broke stuff
  • "boutique" arrival - phaw
  • blogs 1st birthday - excess of 1k hits pcm, thanx mom !
  • 44wks commuting
  • met new pals (eek, aah, eh, with not a poser in sight)
  • rode with plenty a'good mates
Although my riding has improved (a bit) it's easy to overstep my *ahem* "talents". As there's still room for improvement, '07 will see a few new targets set...hopefully I'll achieve 'em this time !

Here's wishing you all the very best for the year ahead and may all your knobblies roll with good fortune :D

Monday, December 25, 2006

Chicksands Sat 23/12/06

So I've been riding here quite a bit recently, the 4x track is simply awesome, and the dual course, the northshore, the drops, and the odd rooty run make it a real fun day out for your resident nut-bar.

We spent most of our day on the 4x track, and I'm happy to say after a brief time of loosing confidence, I've definatley got it back, winning 3 of the races!

Had an interesting time on the rooty bits too with my Larson 2.00 XC tyres...

Hit a good few drops too and got Lewis' fear of drops conquered.... Roll on the Knobblies fellas...

Merry Christmas Everyone and A Happy New Year!!!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Blog Migration

A few minutes ago I migrated the blog over to the latest version of the hosting software that Blogger have been developing since the summer, still called Blogger Beta (it's no longer beta btw).

The good news is that;
  • the blog looks the same :huh
  • most of the blog "functions" still work (I'll fix hide/reveal Comments, emoticons asap)
  • our Posts & Comments are intact
  • creating Posts/Comments is the same
  • it's faster :D
The slight downside is that you'll have a little messing around to do the next time you Post or Comment :( Your current Blogger login is no longer valid for the migrated Knobblies and you'll need a login and a re-issued invite t'blog. Let me have your Gmail addy's and I'll send ya's another blog invite. If you don't already have a Google mail account, let me know and I'll send you a Gmail link.

The new s/ware allows us to use our old layout (phew) but at some point in the future I might transfer the template over to the new widget style. But this'll need some deeper investigation before I'm convinced to "take the plunge".

Monday, December 04, 2006

An Inch Xtra = A Good Ride

After Farqui showed me how to built up my new rig, I was eager to see if it performed as well it looked. So after work, last Friday, I thought I'd quickly whiz around the block to check it out. After a few turns I was pleased to feel that my MotoLite rode as good if not better than the demo which convinced me this Titus was the bike for me. Before I knew, it the "block" had gotten much bigger :p Farqui called as I was halfway around the local lake and he was very surprised to hear that the gears were working beautifully - I think he's finally mastered my low-normal, "flippy" shifters, bless ;) Transferring familiar components over from my last bike helped to reduce some of the learning curve but I've still to get to know her.

We had a free morning on Saturday which we decided to spend over at Rowney Warren aka Chicksand's. I'd only ridden there once but quite like the gentle trails so thought it'd be a good venue for our first ride off road. After a new hundred metres Farqui soon set to tweaking the shox's; the front was obviously too hard and the back apparently too soft. With the shock pump holstered, the ride and balance now felt much better over the damp, slippery roots.

I didn't appreciate the mud :o and found some of the slippery sections a bit unnerving. I don't know if this was due to the lighter wheels/tyres from my Trek compared to the larger demo Conti's or simply due to the moisture.

Overall, I'm mighty impressed with my new ride and found that;
  • It's still quite sprightly compared to my ol'FuelEX - which was a major concern
  • The ride is lovely and plush
  • It feels right - an extra inch or two extra stretch really has made the world of difference
  • The Race Lite wheels / Bontrager ACX tyres combo are definitely lighter and easier to get up to speed than the heavy hoops / boots on the demo
What's next ?
  • The bars are too high - the steerer is long and the Bonty stem has a high rise
  • Shock settings need refining - we're still conservative on the rebound and compression
  • Pro Pedal on the RP23 is new to me and will needs some familiarisation
  • I want to try my new light!

Where to Ride in 2007 ?

Posse, I'm starting to pull together an '07 ride calendar and would appreciate your input on where / when to ride.

In casual conversation, peeps have thus far mentioned;
  • 7Stanes - spring
  • Betws-y-Coed / Penmachno
  • Afan / Brechfa / CwmCarn
  • Cannock
  • Chilterns
  • Peak District
  • Thetford - spring
  • Ridgeway - May-ish
Does anywhere else spring to mind ?

The thought of ravenous Scottish midges isn't appealing so I suggest that we try and hit the borders in the spring, we'll just have to wrap up :p