An open letter to the bike industry – Keep doing what you’re doing

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The bike industry created this. Nuff said!

We probably all have that friend. You know, the one when 29er’s came out had a hissy fit about the bike industry just doing it to make us spend money. Normally they also bang on about how their trusty 26” bike or steel road bike was better in every way. They probably had the same strop when fat bikes, carbon, 650b, 29+, 27+ or new (insert any brand you like) BB or headset standard came out. I agree with them and I think they are right; the bike industry does want our money. However what’s wrong with that? I love my 29er, really want a 29+ and have a myriad of different BB and headset standards on my bike collection. Continue reading

Bikepacking the Camino Portugal – Day 6: Villa du Conde – Ponte de Lima – 47.5mi 2,648ft

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Evil lampposts & Beautiful Bridge

After having a shower in the run down holiday camp showers (pure luxury!) I had to find my way back to the Camino since I had veered off the route to get to the beach. It was easy to find again but me being me I almost instantly went the wrong way and headed down the coastal route instead. Once realising the error it meant a 20k backtrack to the days route. Me getting lost or going the wrong way seemed to be as common as the yellow arrows pointing the right way. Clearly I had developed the skill of not seeing yellow anymore seriously the trail couldn’t be easier to follow so please don’t think its hard, I’m just useless. Continue reading

Bikepacking the Camino Portugal – Day 5: Oliveira de Azemeis – Porto & Villa du Conde – 49.9mi 2,838ft

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Today I was focused as Porto and the beach were so close and all I wanted was swim in the sea and drink beer. Therefore I put my foot down to get there as soon as possible. Stu and Helen prior to the trip had told me about a campsite next to the beach in Villa du Conde that was to be my final destination of the day. However I don’t think I found the right one, unless a crowded rundown holiday camp was the correct place. Continue reading

Summer Will Return

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Summer may feel like its a very long way away, however the motivation to get out now is still there. Helps that it’s hardly been cold down here on the South coast! Wishing you a good weekend of riding with buddies and getting those miles in.

Bikepacking the Camino Portugal – Day 4: Coimbra to Oliveira de Azemeis – 57.4mi 3,655ft

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Although uneventful, today had a few moments of delight with glorious views, sweeping rivers and cobbled streets. I didn’t take so many pictures although probably should have done.

About halfway today, I came across a beautiful river, amazing bridge and a large pond full of weed. On this pond an old man was piloting a large red weed remover/dredger to clear it out. It of course was a beautiful place to stop and have a break. However just before you reach this lovely spot, you cross over a main road into I guess the car park for here. On the side of the road was a tall, high-heeled lady wearing a very small red leather skirt. Continue reading

Merry Christmas from OTB

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Well it’s that time of year again and I’m sure most of you are with friends and family. Hopefully you were good and santa delivered everything you asked for. Once you have eaten that massive meal, marinaded yourself in booze and opened all your presents boredom can quickly set in. Sure you can have a heated debate with your uncle about how the conservatives are ruining everything or make small talk about why you haven’t got a proper job yet with your mum but why not try doing these 5 things instead:

  1. Go for a bike ride! Try out that new helmet or gloves (or bike if you are really lucky). It was wet but very warm out there earlier and the beach in Brighton was covered in great flotsam and jetsam.
  2. Watch the new amazing Inspired to Ride film all about the Trans America Race (from the makers of Ride the Divide). You could watch it on your new tablet while sipping some sherry.
  3. Did you get some chocolates? Put one on your forehead and try and get it into your mouth without using your hands. Lots of slippery face moisturiser or sweat may help.
  4. Find some new music or introduce your family and friends to some that you love. I highly recommend Baroness and their new album Purple which is more than excellent. Listen to the cracker of a song Kerosene for a taster.
  5. Drink too much booze, eat all the snacks and dips and fall asleep on the sofa snoring.

What ever you do enjoy and hopefully see you out on your bikes soon.