Mountain biking from one pasture to another

Test Valley Tour Cool Challenge 2013

October 27th, 2013

Today I took part in the Gorrick Test Valley Tour Cool Challenge, which was some 29 miles.

It was surprisingly quiet compared to the summer one and refreshing to take part in a non-competitive event that had some proper mud and insanely deep puddles to deal with.

Even better, the impending storm of doom that’s been forecast stayed away and we had some good weather for it.

I’ll add a bigger review with a video soon.



This sums up my day…

October 20th, 2013

And it didn’t get any better after either


GoPro Rollbar Mount

July 31st, 2013

For Father’s Day I was lucky enough to get a Rollbar Mount for my GoPro Hero 3, I’ve found the GoPro brilliant and I’ve used a Aluminium handlebar and helmet mounts to great effect.

If I’m honest I was quite disappointed with the rollbar mount, on the first use it just kept sliding and moving, so I had to sand the joints to stop it moving, this did work well, but makes me wonder how I can be the only one to suffer the problem.

My biggest issue however, was vibration, it’s bad, check the video below to see.

The best thing…

June 15th, 2013

…about mountain biking is the views after all that effort.

Gorrick Test Valley Tour - Hot MTB Challenge

Review – Gore Bike Wear Fusion 2.0 GORE-TEX Active Shell Jacket

June 14th, 2013


I’ve been running a day-glow yellow Freestyle Gore-Tex Paclite jacket for about 10 years and it’s been excellent, but it’s finally started leaking at the seams and looks really grubby now.

With the January sale on Wiggle, I bagged this jacket at nearly 40% off, which to me seemed more reasonable than the insane RRP of £200.

I’ve been using it for six months now and it’s proven utterly brilliant at keeping the elements out in all weathers, to the point that my base layer and this jacket have replaced my old faithful Endura Windchill jacket and a couple of thinner layers on rides.

Like the old Pac-lite version it’s made to fold small, and the XL version takes up about double the space of an MTB inner tube, so it can just sit in my Rucksack during the warmer months without me needing to remove essentials like Jelly Babies and flapjacks from it.

It hasn’t exactly been a dry winter/spring this year and with a fortnightly wash in Nixwak Tech Wash, has kept this working as if it were still new; the couple of minor off’s I’ve had have not resulted in any tears to the fabric.

What has proven a nightmare is the waterproof zips, the pull tags are so small and have plastic covers on them, so it’s impossible to use then with any kind of glove on, during the winter months this proved a little tiresome when you want to quickly deal with some simple heat management.

Is it worth £200? I’m not sure it is, but if you can get it for nearer £150 then I’d highly recommend it, based on the last six months of heavy usage I’m going to get many years out of this jacket so it’s long-term value is great.


  • Great fit with long sleeves
  • Works brilliantly on a day long ride in pouring rain
  • Reflective bits really stand out at night
  • Removes sweat better than any other jacket I’ve used
  • Packs down to a tiny bundle


  • Really expensive on RRP (£200!)
  • Zips are impossible to use with gloves on
  • Velcro cuffs don’t stick for long


Test Valley Tour – Hot Challenge 2013

June 14th, 2013

So last Sunday I took part in the 50km route of Gorrick’s Test Valley Tour – Hot Challenge, it was a very different affair to the Wiggle Super Series and really relaxed with a lot of friendly people.

The route got a little technical in a few places, but nothing too taxing, even better this is the first challenge I’ve not had to get off of the bike to push up a hill.

After finishing the family joined me and we had a nice picnic together, we even sampled the excellent BBQ that was on offer, so a nice day was had by all.

Really recommend taking part in this if you get the chance, I’ll definitely be going to the Cold Challenge in October.

Always nice to get a good photo

April 29th, 2013

Especially when it’s an action shot!

Wiggle Ups & Downs 2013

Taken during the Wiggle Ups & Downs 2013 event

Wiggle MTB Ups & Downs 2013

April 28th, 2013

Spent my Saturday morning venturing in the hills near Dorking on the 2nd MTB event of the Wiggle Super Series, I really enjoyed this one, for me it was a lot easier than the Southern Rough Ride in the South Downs, which pretty much killed me.

Times came in last night and I got a gold, which was fantastic considering I was waiting on the tops of climbs for a friend.

Getting into events

April 13th, 2013

So the last few years I’ve just been doing MTB for fun, but late in 2012 I decided that I should start getting back into events of some sort, I didn’t particularly want to do racing in 2013, so after doing some research I found the Wiggle Super Series events.

In March I took part in the Southern Rough Ride, which is a 25 mile cycle through the South Downs starting in Amberley.

I’m still typing up my review of it, but I’ve enjoyed it so much I’m now booked into several events for the rest of the year, which includes Wiggle and Test Valley Tour, hopefully I’ll increase the amount of miles I take on with each challenge.


Review – Token TK878EX MTB EX BB Sealed Bearings

April 12th, 2013

My old XT bottom bracket finally gave seized up and needed replacing, I was looking at the Hope Steel Bearing one, but didn’t have the spare cash to get one at the time, so decided to go with a very cheap gap stop, which is why I got this Token MTB TK878EX Hollowtech bottom bracket which cost me a total of £17!

Build quality seemed good and there’s a wide choice of colours if that’s your thing, installation was also very easy (as it should be for this kind of fitting) and once fitted it was really smooth; on the scales it weighs in at 105g.


I’ve now ridden it through a large amount of mud, deep puddles and snow, as well as given it a good blast using a pressure washer a few times, I was surprised to see it held up well for 6 months of some awful conditions, a couple of months later however, it really started to show that it was a on the cheaper end of the scale in build and the seals just didn’t work as well as they should.

Once the late winter decided it should snow again and the temperatures dropped along with it, the Token BB ended up freezing and I had to bring it inside to thaw it out, which clearly showed that the seals were not doing the job anymore.

Taking it apart showed that there was a huge cake of mud inside and stuck to the sealed bearings.

So the big question is, if paying £17 is worth it against £30 for a Shimano XT one, based on the fact that my last XT BB lasted 2.5 years, it’s not worth it as an investment, however the Token BB is probably worth it if you’re heavily cash strapped and need something to get you through a season.


  • Cheap
  • Great colour choice
  • Smooth to begin with
  • Bearing are replaceable


  • Not a long term investment
  • Seals aren’t up to the challenge
  • Replacement bearings are nearly as much as a new BB
  • Anodising comes off when fitting