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2nd October 2005 Richard, Markonthedowns and mates - Holmbury Hill and Pitch Hill

It's definitely autumn now as even though the sun is out there is a definite chill in the wind.

Despite starting over an hour past the 10 am meeting time and then losing Jonathan as we left the car park we seem to cover a reasonable distance with 3 newcomers in tow. A couple of them are on rigid bikes and are struggling after a while although Andy's anodised purple bar ends and spoke nipples are a nice throwback to the old days.

Jim is on his new e-bay specialized enduro which is looking very nice and gives him a bit more travel than his old stumpjumper - which is nice.

Marceo manages to break the bolt on his seatpost that holds the saddle on but after riding a couple of miles standing up, remembers he has another one in his back pack. After a quick repair he is back in business.

Mark in the woods Andy on his fully rigid Orange P7 Glover in the autumnal sun

Darwin rolls in steep Jim gets some air followed by Andy

and Marceo Pitch Hill Matt looks like he's had enough on another rigid ride

but Mark C is enjoying himself

Check out the latest videos we have uploaded

READ MORE:
Trails on Leith Hill and Pitch Hill
videos
double butted titanium frame build spec
Check out the original Prince Albert build spec
Read our interview with dialled mike
South Downs MBR killer loop
Fox Vanilla 130R Forx

Kit reviews
Buy an MTB DVD
Hope Technology


6th October 2005

I've had some spare time this week so I have been messing around with Windows Movie Maker™ which is really a fine tool for an amateur editor like me.

So here's another production for you, set to a banging tune with a little bit of Napoleon Dynamite thrown in for good measure.

You know the score by now; 'Right click and save as' 7.7mb .WMV file

Track 40 Video

'Right click and save as' 7.7mb .WMV file

Check out the latest videos we have uploaded


9th October 2005 Richard and Tim - Leith Hill and Holmbury Hill

Tim had posted on the forum about a ride starting from our usual place in Holmbury YHA car park. So I was pretty surprised when I turned up to discover that it wasn't the Tim I was expecting to see that I last rode with back in May (where are you Tim B?), instead it was the Tim that Rob bumped into a few weeks back.

And Tim had arranged to meet Troy and Becky, so it was off round the usual trails but with the added spice of 3 riders who are familiar with the area but don't know all the hidden trails although Tim showed me a new rooty descent into Peaslake.

The weather was kind to us and lots of riding was packed into about 3 hours before we headed for home.

Becky on Holmbury Hill climbing up the back of Holmbury Hill Troy on Pitch Hill on his Trek Fuel

riding mtb Becky Troy Tim

Tim on Parklife riding his Specialized Stumpjumper with a smile Troy on Parklife Becky concentrating on the trail ahead

READ MORE:
Trails on Leith Hill and Pitch Hill
videos
double butted titanium frame build spec

Check out the original Prince Albert build spec
South Downs MBR killer loop
Fox Vanilla 130R Forx

Kit reviews
Buy an MTB DVD
Hope Technology

Check out the latest videos we have uploaded


16th October 2005

If you have been watching the forum you will know that I have been looking out for a new bike/frame for Sam, my eldest, to use for school. His current mode of transport is a Toys 'R' Us™ Blade bike, that he has had since aged 7, weighs a ton and sports 24 inch wheels.

I was lucky enough to pick up a 1992 Kona Lava Dome (thanks Jim), in an 18 inch frame with various additional accessories.

Sam and I spent today building it up. We decided to single speed it, to keep it simple and also to keep it cheap (I don't think I have any more gear shifters, or rear mech's in the spares box).

I went for the classic 32:16 or 2:1 ratio. For the uninitiated, that's 32 teeth on the front chainring and 16 teeth on the rear.

So here's a few pictures of the frame and the build to keep you busy browsing the web during office hours.

The Blade sporting a distinctly "Giant carbon" look. Too bad it feels as though it is made of solid iron The Kona Lava Dome straight out the box kona lava dome

XT levers on a narrow flat bar and cantilever brakes The Avid SD 1.9 levers and v-brakes that also came with the bike kona project two forks

velocity stem panaracer smoke tyre panaracer dart tyre

The middle ring and tapered crankset from my Specialized Enduro I still need to get hold of a singlespeed sprocket converter and a chain tensioner. For the moment, a nine speed cassette will do kona singlespeed The (almost) finished article

kona lava dome singlespeed no chain tensioner singlespeed with added riser bars and Avid levers fitted

READ MORE:
Trails on Leith Hill and Pitch Hill
videos
double butted titanium frame build spec

Check out the original Prince Albert build spec
Read our interview with dialled mike
South Downs MBR killer loop
Fox Vanilla 130R Forx

Kit reviews
Buy an MTB DVD

Check out the latest videos we have uploaded


19th October 2005

Bought a Dead Head Single Speed Kit - a bargain at £9-99 from the Woolly Hat Shop.

This kit converts your existing 7/8/9 Speed hub to single speed. It includes two rings - 16 tooth and 18 tooth plus all spacers required to sit on your rear hub.

Sam also managed to strip the thread out of one of the crank arms (it served me ok for four years), so I ended up buying a fairly cheap new crankset too.

I removed the large and small ring and reversed the middle ring to ensure that I could tighten the crankset bolts sufficiently.

Dead Head single speed kit fitted new shimano crank set an old LX rear mech put to use as a chain tensioner

the full chainset

Check out the latest videos we have uploaded


20th October 2005 Richard, Markonthedowns and Rob - Night riding on Pitch Hill

Mark has organised a night ride and after enjoying the last night ride with me back in the summer, Rob is joining us again.

However, the weather has definitely turned and after a huge rainstorm last night we are fearing the worst. Yet, true to form, Pitch Hill is still fairly dry although in the dark it feels very remote and eery.

We stick to the usual trails covering T1 and Xmas pudding 1 and 2 during the evening. I make the mistake of taking my orange tinted shades which are also quite scratched giving everything an orange glow.

We head for home as it starts to get colder and a few spots of rain threaten. This is not a place to outstay your welcome.

Mark Rob and a bit of camera trickery on Xmas Pudding Richard looks surprised even tho this was a posed shot

Rob again Mark in one of the bombholes Rob

the view that I had through my tinted shades all evening

READ MORE:
Buy some night lights
More night riding
stories
Trails on Leith Hill and Pitch Hill

videos
Read our interview with dialled mike
South Downs MBR killer loop
Buy an MTB DVD
kit reviews

Check out the latest videos we have uploaded


22nd October 2005 Richard, Sam and Grant - Swinley Forest

It's been a busy week this week (see above) and Saturday morning sees a return to Swinley Forest in Bracknell, Berks where we haven't been since February.

M25, M3 and then A322 sees us pulling up into the car park mid-morning.

It's only my third visit and the first time I have had to find my own way round rather than following someone else. We spend 45 minutes seaching various singletrack sections, asking other riders "do you know where the gulley is mate?" and receiving a no in reply. But we finally discover the gully, the downhill sections, the rooty lip sections and the drop-off's.

Some kids are building berms and massive jumps on the hill near the gulley and I took some great video footage.

Sam and Grant manage to session most of the drops and we only call it a day when a simple fall by Sam results in a nasty gash along his forearm.

that's some serious air for a 14 year old! one of the trailbuilders tackling a jump Sam on one of the drop-off's

Grant jumps the tree root and Sam too Grant on the drop-off

another trailbuilder goes large a nasty gash on Sam's arm end's play early altho he didn't seem too worried about it by the time we got home!

Here's a nice little video shot on location at Swinley Forest Right click and 'save target as' (9.7mb .WMV file)

READ MORE:
Buy some night lights
More night riding
stories
Trails on Leith Hill and Pitch Hill

videos
Read our interview with dialled mike
South Downs MBR killer loop
Buy an MTB DVD
kit reviews

Check out the latest videos we have uploaded


30th October 2005 Richard, Markonthedowns and Mark C - Pitch Hill

And just like that it's gone. Without ever really seeming to start, the summer is over.

Markonthedowns has made full use of the extra hour and spent it drinking meaning he is looking a bit pale as we roll up to Holmbury YHA car park. However, it is me who has lead-filled legs all day and I struggle up even the slightest climbs.

An unseasonal 19 degrees means I am shedding layers and sweating like the proverbial pig. I feel so bad and listless that I am convinced there is something wrong with the bike and keep checking the wheels are spinning freely.

But we still put in some good riding and bump into Oink and his team on Xmas Pudding doing what Oink does best. As we are shooting the shit, Simon and a big group from Nirvana Cycles shoot by.

I am extremely grateful as we descend Telegraph Road back to the car-park and look forward to lazing in front of the television on a lazy winter afternoon back at home.

Mark C Mark in B+W Mark C

one of the Nirvana group somebody dropped the dead donkey Mark

READ MORE:
More Swinley Riding

Buy some night lights

More night riding
stories
Trails on Leith Hill and Pitch Hill

videos
Read our interview with dialled mike
South Downs MBR killer loop
Buy an MTB DVD
kit reviews

Check out the latest videos we have uploaded


Ride Archive

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