Posts Tagged ‘bike shop’

7Stanes – Scotland’s biking heaven (Part 1)

November 16, 2009

Following my Red Bull Road Rage escapades thanks to The Cycle Inn bike shop in the past months, I have temporarily ditched the road bike in favour of returning to my cycling roots in mountain biking. Currently in Scotland, I am doing a tour of the 7 Stanes mountain bike trail centres. (www.7stanes.gov.uk)
On Saturday I rode the Ae trail centre red course. 24km in length, comprising 65% single track, it is a solid 1.5 hour ride (even though the shop manager was unconvinced it was possible before I set off). He even offered me a free meal, well a recovery bar, if I lapped in less than 1.5 hours. Exactly 1h29m44s later I cruised in to pick it up, including negotiating the last downhill in falling darkness without lights! Not recommended for minors – Do not try this at home!
Flooding on the path just after the very start led to the latter 2 thirds of the ride being completed with no feeling in my feet, which detracted somewhat from the comfort factor of the ride.
Today I rode the Kirroughtree trail centre black course. 31km in length (17km red with 14km black section) with 75% single track, it is a physical 2 hour ride. Arguably one of the best trail centres in the UK, the highlight has to be McMoab, huge slabs and ridges of exposed granite, linked by boulder causeways. A good technical level of riding skills is necessary to negotiate this feature, especially in the wet.

McMoab

Over the next couple of days I will be riding Dalbeattie, Mabie and Glentress & Innerleithen trail centres with updates to follow.

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Red Bull Road Rage – 2nd in Rengg, Switzerland.

October 27, 2009

red bull road rage

Leading Mauro Bettin in the Semi Final

I’ve decided to make an effort this time and write the blog myself. I’m just back from Switzerland where I took on a bunch of Euro speed junkies and won (well almost). After posting the top time in qualifying covering the 2.1km course in just 99 seconds (top speed 90km/h and an average speed of 76km/h) my confidence was given the boost  it needed after being snapped by the sheer scariness of the descent. The course featured 6 hairpin turns in the top half with sections of road at nearly 20% gradient, with the average at 10%. On top of that the surface was wet from the rain the night before. Turns out it seems to work in my favour. Must be the Irish in me!!

I was never pushed through the rounds but I knew that when the racing got tough I would need to find that little bit extra to come out on top. The 1/4 finals saw some big names fall: Frédéric Moncassin, two time stage winner and yellow jersey wearer in the Tour de France and winner from the French event, failed to progress to the semi finals, as did defending Swiss Road Rage veteran Guillaume Gaulandi from France. Having had to pull out all the stops in the sprint finish to take the round against  two time German national 4Cross champion Thomas Schäfer, winner of the German round, in the 1/4 final, I was under no illusions of the strength in depth of the field in Rengg. For this reason I went all out in the semi final from the gun, blowing out Mauro Bettin, winner of the Italian event (the Italian pro ex-roadie turned enduro mountain biker – 2005 mtb xc marathon world cup winner) and eventually coasting across the line well clear of the field. The final was a different proposition and I found myself in third in the first corner. The racing was messy, dangerous and probably not within the rules but in the end I was pipped by Sebastian Körber from Germany into second. Disappointing in light of my overall performance and considering I was the quickest down the hill TT style, but I can’t really complain. I know my first win is just around the corner.

Red Bull Road Rage, Rengg podium from l-r: Janos Köhler (IRL), Sebastian Körber (D), Michael Schärer (CH) and David Lacoste (F)

Now I’m looking forward to some intense (and injury free) winter training and maybe some sponsorship if anyone’s as brave as Mick Jordan from the Cycle Inn Bike Shop. Can’t wait until next year and a new season of Red Bull Road Rage.

Results from http://www.redbullroadrage.ch

Final





Qualifying: