Friday, 29 June 2012

Keep on Truckin...

No riding for myself for a week or so as have a real orrible chest infection/summer cold, along with smashed toe nail from an angry Surly Moonlander that fell on a bare foot (ouch!)

But plenty films to post up,  all suitable for family viewing...

Tonight some stuff by Surly Bikes...








FFF Fatties Flip Fine -:)





Thursday, 28 June 2012

Honoured after 67 years...



Finally after a wait for 67 years a national memorial  was unvieled today by the Queen dedicated to the 55,573 young men of Bomber Command who never returned during WW2...


After the unveiling of the monument the Battle of Britain Memorial flight Avro Lancaster Bomber flew over and dropped  poppies to remember the fallen...



The famous `Dam busters` raid is something most people relate to when you mention RAF Bomber Command, that and the contoversal bombing raid of the German city of Dresden and other fire storm bombing raids that killed many German civillians. These events have since over shadowed the fact that over 7000 raids were flown between 1939  and 1945 by young men of Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries which were vital to disrupting the Nazi war effort...
Almost half of these young men of RAF Bomber Command lost their lives - a ratio of 1 in 10 of Allied forces mens lives, and still have never been publicly commemorated until today...


Arthur Travis Harris (Bomber Harris) has by many been branded a butcher for tatics used, although many Bomber Command veterans talk of respect for the man who drew up the raids which took the war to the enemy...
I do not think we today can imagine the nerves of steel of these young men, and what they did so we can live our lives here today...

RAF Bomber Command Tribute film on Youtube... massive respect




Monday, 25 June 2012

Birthday ride...

Was 2 days early  on Saturday, A busy weekend with other stuff but managed a wee ride late Sat affy with friends Jason and Mike.
The heavy rain of last week broke to a howling gale - ideal for the windsurfers at Gullane beach.
After a wind assisted blast along the sands it was into the shelter of the miles of sandy trails through the woods and grassy dunes to the east of Gullane.
Topped of with amazing ice cream from Cools ice cream  in Gullane High Street. This is a new stop off for Gullane rides in the future. A family run shop by friend Trish the ice cream is amazing (esp the chocolate!) and there are rows of bottles of sweets to satisfy your sweet tooth...

I have split from doing FatBike Tours,  and will be continuing doing my own thing, riding with friends...

Thanks Mike for making a film from Saturday...




Sunday, 24 June 2012

Lost in the sands of time...

The sands of our coastline are often moved during severe storms and can reveal amazing finds...

Buried  for 65 years since it disappeared in a crash in 1942 at a remote Welsh beach, a WW2 fighter plane emerged Phoenix like after a big storm in 2007. 
A Lockheed P38 Lightning...


Since its appearance in 2007 it is known as `the Maid of Harlech`.
The United States Army Air Force (USAAF) fighter was crashed landed on a training exercise when its engines cut out. The young pilot, Lt Robert Elliot walked away unhurt, but sadly would be posted missing in action three months later during America`s Tunisia campaign.


P38 Lightning, Spitfire behind...



The Aircraft sunk back into the sand shortly after the picture was taken in 2007 and has since  not been seen. Nature has its way to prevent looters!.  Its location recorded and kept secret by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGAR) who are hoping to secure funding to raise and treat the plane to preserve it and show it at the Imperial War Museum...

The P38 Lightning was given the name of  `The Fork Tailed Devil` by the Germans due to its devestaing fire power. Here is a film of the aircraft...







Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Monday, 18 June 2012

Another new bike coming from Surly

The guys at Surly have been busy again and released a far away pic of a new bike that is undergoing testing!

On twitter Surly said;
"They said it couldn't`t be done. Well wait and see what we have come up with"

Er this -:)


So what is it?,  looks like a 29er wheel with 3" fat tyres?
like a `big fat Karate Monkey`.

Update!
More pics appeared on line today, looks a big fat 29er indeed!...





Over on MTBR just like before when Surly released the test pic of a bike called a  `Moonlander` us geeks got all excited, a similar pic released has caused a multi page thread on MTBR Forum on ideas and just as interestingly readers ideas of what they would like to see/own and ride. And everyone has a different idea on what they want out of a bike - which is what makes bikes so great, they are a personal part of your life.
The thread link to this bike is here;    Clues to Surlys newest Bike

One of the things i like about Surly is they listen to joe public and what they like to ride. maybe it is why they have a loyal following, also their bikes are so multi task with many rack mounts and drop outs that allow any rear hub set up - geared/singlespeed/internal gear hub etc...

And they are steel, good old 4130 Cro Mo steel, it does what it says on the box and does not cost the earth, so you can afford several bikes and still go to the pub -:)  steel is real you know -:)

If this is a 29er or 650B semi fat tyre bike then the real true `sports fat` bike for xc riding has arrived soon.
A lot of people including myself ride fatbikes on trails, some build light and expensive fatbikes solely for this purpose. On One are developing a fatbike aimed at a new `fat trail` market with a fork rake more akin to a regular MTB supposedly. Each to their own but it is the slower steering geometry of snow bikes which allow you to get away with murder on regular trails in wet/slippy conditions as well as rolling over drops etc...

My own 29er is what i regard as a `Sports fat` - a half way house between a fatbike and a regular MTB,
a Surly Karate Monkey 29er with 47mm wide Kris Holm Uni cycle rims and 2.55" WTB  tyres that can be run as low as 18 psi, yet has been near impossible to pinch flat with the wide rim set up.
But what lets it down is steering that needs to be a bit slower so the front is not as twitchy, esp on wet roots and rocks. a fork angle the same as the Pugsley would make this bike close, real close... Maybe i can cure that with an offset headset?



 It is way better to ride than with the original regular 29er wheel set of 32mm rim/ 2.25 tyres.
But unlike a fatbike with 3.7" tyres you can bomb along the roads between trails with a lot less effort and climb hills out the saddle without the squirmy feeling of a full fat bike, but these are just my own findings riding here on the coast in our local conditions...

And that is the (tyre?) rub with bicycles now, we are spoiled now and all bikes are `niche`, designed for a specific type of cycling - gone are the days of doing everything on one bike...
If a bike company does not create a need for a bike, which is marketed by magazines, we do it ourselves via like minded people on the Internet, it`s great! -:)

3 non regular bikes by Surly, all are multi purpose in design,  but all `Mission Specific` for my own riding requirements here in East Lothian;

Semi fat 2.5" tyre Surly Karate Monkey  29er,
4" tyre Surly Pugsley,
5" tyre Surly Moonlander...





So do i really need another bike?, no, would i have another bike if i can justify it? hell yeah!
Along with a want for a Surly Disc trucker to use as a road/commute/pub bike.
If this new Surly is a fatter 29er with a regular 73mm BB and has wider xc light 3" tyre`s then it should roll well and have massive grip, and if it does have a slow er steering head angle ala Pugsley has then this could be a great fun bike to own for regular xc trails, damn i need another bike! -:)




Mid Week beachride


 Portobello beach up the road at Edinburgh last week. Dave had his boys up for Volleyball training on the beach so we rode the pugsleys along the beach with his dogs, Portobello beach and promanade is always full of folk enjoying the outdoors. good to see... bikes got a lot of attention and i handed out a few FatBike Tours flyers, we are getting bookings now for Summer...












Its a dogs life...

-:) ...