Tag Archives: RetroBike

Achilles and the Tortoise (or GoatSurfer is a slow ass)

Long time readers of this blog will recall me visiting Saracen HQ back in 2009 to scan their entire MTB catalogue archive for the benefit of the RetroBike community. Finally after some serious help from DrystonePaul this mammoth task is finally complete and the first 11 years of Saracen catalogues can now be found HERE.

I will also host these on my own site in due course.

Local Rideout – Rowney Warren

Local RetroBike mini-meet @ Rowney Warren (Chicksands)

Kudos to the Overbury’s Pioneer with Rollercams…

Salcey Forest Sunday Mini-Meet (July)

Apologies for the lack of bike content here recently, been concentrating on ‘other hobbies’ that are very much Off Topic for this Blog. Bike builds have all but stalled but am getting out and about now and again on some rides and need to do more riding !!

Last Sunday was a little jaunt over at Salcey Forest where we have a couple of non-technical, scenic loops we do on a Sunday morning sometimes. On the ride was my EWR, a Klein and a Park Pre.

Loop One – Ride details

Loop Two – Ride details

 

Sweetheart of the Rodeo

Sunday was a RetroBike Mini Meet for three Northants members (me, Gruff and GT-Steve). We did two loops in the Salcey Forest area of Northamptonshire, 1 at 9.47miles and a wind down loop of 4.50 miles.

The first loop became massively entertaining when GT-Steve overcooked it on a loose gravelly downhill section and vaulted into a large rocky pothole. What ensued was an arm/leg flailing ‘rodeo’ ride where he managed somehow to stay on the bike and assume control. At the bottom of the descent his seatpost was slammed right down in the seat tube and the front canti’s were nearly torn off 

Loop One: CLICK ME for trip details

Loop Two:
CLICK ME for trip details

The day was quite overcast so these pix were ‘dipped’ into PhotoShop for some tweaks on Colour Saturation…..this, like Steve’s downhill run were a little ‘overcooked’ so apologies for the slightly psychedelic ‘LSD Glow’ to some of the shots

Farm bridge crossing the M1

The M1

Glowing crops…

Mellow Yellow

Whoops…Rodeo damage

The damaged Alpinestars

Gruff’s Kona

Sunday Ride @ Salcey Forest

Due to previously reported ‘issues’ bike riding hasn’t featured on my agenda for some time but now things have changed I intend to get out and ‘do a bit’ again.

I figured the best way for this was to start gentle so I hooked up with fellow RetroBiker GT-Steve for a few laps of Salcey Forest ) which was probably the last time I rode a bike back at the start of March).

It was the start of a VERY hot day for the UK so we started the ride at 10am and did 17.674 miles of hot dusty trails. GT-Steve tore a valve off his front tube about 5 minutes out but after he switched tubes we had no more ‘mechanicals’

I did a lap of the woods on his Alpinestars Cro-Mega and I must say it rides brilliantly, much better than what I was riding on this day…

Salcey Forest – Sunday Ride

Met up with another RetroBike member yesterday for a leisurely ride around Salcey Forest in Northamptonshire, despite the cold temperature, some of the first sunshine for months drew the crowds so it was a little busy there and people were blissfully unaware they were walking on a Bike Trail .

One of the big draws at Salcey Forest is the Tree Top Walk, one day I WILL ride a bike up it

We did 17.5 miles before going our separate ways…….some pix:


Klein & EWR

Tree Top Walk

RetroBike Thetford Meet – 13th February

22 RetroBike riders braved the weather for the first official RetroBike Anglian Area meet on Saturday, lots of cool retro machinery on display and getting used properly.

I had a great time but my fitness is off (again) so the day ended with tired legs for me, the EWR rode like a dream and no technical issues and the SDG Ti Comp Kevlar was very comfortable. (In fact it looks so similar in profile to the Flite that I really must take some precise measurements to compare them).

Here are some pix from Saturday, all taken with my new Panasonic Lumix TZ6, there is many more pictures from me and other riders over at RetroBike in THIS THREAD

Nice Grello

Is it a Transformer? Is it a scaffolding experiment?….no its a Cockroach!

Orange Elite

Day Glo alert

Call Me The Breeze

Pork Pie

‘Ange’

Name those parts

Yeah right….

World SPD Stamping Championships 2010

For a year or so now my riding buddies have been extolling the virtues of SPD’s and trying to sell the idea to me, you see, I still live in the world of the Toeclip so I can’t see the sense. I never fall off my bike, never have much trouble ‘getting in’ to my toeclips and to be honest, in recent months I’ve gone back to flat pedals with no clips at all.

Yesterday was what turned out to be a large RetroBike meet at Thetford Forest, the largest lowland Pine Forest in Great Britain, down in deepest Suffolk with 22 riders attending. Also present in large quantities was snow and ice…..LOTS of it, which, much to my amusement, seems to be THE Achilles Heel of SPD pedals

The tranquil, picture postcard ‘snowscape’ scenery was shattered by the sound of dozens of MTB riders furiously stamping on their frozen/useless SPD’s, wobbling and dabbing the ground…hence the title of this blog post

Joking aside a great day was had by all during the two sub-zero rides we did yesterday……some pictures:

Chin Wag

Art Haus

Wobble Fun

Watching the ‘Bomber Kidz’

Snow Road

All Along The Watchtower

Iced Mech

Xntrick Machinery

Alien Sunset

More pictures and words can be found HERE

Thetford Forest Ride – Primordial Shitfest

Main Entry: penis en·vy
Pronunciation: -“en-vE
Function: noun
: the supposed coveting of the penis by a young human female which is held inpsychoanalytic theory to lead to feelings of inferiority and defensive or compensatory behavior.

Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary, © 2002 Merriam-Webster, Inc.

…a little twist on this:

Main Entry: 29er en·vy
Pronunciation: -“en-vE
Function: noun
: the supposed coveting of a 29″ bicycle by a man which leads to feelings of inferiority and defensive or compensatory behavior by owning a 26″ bicycle when the fact dawns on him he has just been ‘outgunned’ by superior technology…..so, NEVER try and keep up with someone on a 29er, especially when you are on an early 90’s fully rigid 26″ MTB

It was like a Roadrunner cartoon….Jango was off into the distance, casually pedalling while still seated, as if he was on a genteel Sunday amble. I was Wile.E. Coyote (Pure Genius) pedalling crazily like a schoolkid on a BMX, bouncing off tree roots, slipping all over the trail, vibrations from the trail jarring my body, repeatedly looking down at my gears as if there was something wrong or about to fall off…..there wasn’t, I was just riding ‘Old Tech’ and the 29er, as horribly modern and soul-less as it is, this was was the superior machine on the day…..it was like trying to follow a Cruise Missile in downtown Bagdad (remember the Speederbike chases in Star Wars?)

Thetford was cold and wet but the sun was out and the clouds had gone, only two of us turned out for the smallest Mini-Meet in history. Thetford Forest’s trails had turned into Primordial Ooze…..it was a Shitfest of the highest order, gloopy brackish slimey puddles, slippery trails and a cold wind but it was great riding. We did most of the Dusk Till Dawn route, plus some of the Black Route and The Beast in the morning (12 miles) then back to Brandon for Macaroni Cheese and unedible Bread Pudding before hitting the trails again after lunch, our bottom brackets feeling like someone had packed them full of sand and refitted them and our rear mechs complaining bitterly about all the gritty shit they were being force fed

The afternoon was a shorter 7 mile route on the Visitor Center side with some great flowing Singletrack.

A brilliant days riding, cold wet legs and some very dirty bikes!!

Dangerous times?…Health & Safety paranoia

Shitfest got my EWR – Part 3

Vintage Saracen Catalogue Mother Lode

On Monday I spent the day at Saracen HQ as a guest of Simon Wild, the designer of the relaunched Saracen bike range. Saracen has been brought back from the dead by Madison Cycles and they have launched an entire range of bikes in the last two months.

Of interest to any Retro MTB fans might well be the 2010 Kili Flyer that I reported on a while back on this blog . This bike is going to be fillet brazed in the UK and available in small numbers next year.

The purpose of my visit to Saracen was to scan in all of their catalogue archives from the original Saracen company, these will prove to be valuable documents to anyone with an interest in this iconic British MTB company, or anyone restoring an old Saracen MTB.
I was given an office for the day and took in my own equipment but despite scanning non-stop from 9:30am until late in the afternoon I only managed to get from 1987 to 1998 (somewhere in the region of 350 Hi-Res scans ).

Simon was kind enough to let me take the archives home with me so I can complete this mammoth task over the Christmas break. The intention is to tidy up and crop all of the scans and create a high quality PDF for each year. Once this is done they will be hosted on both my site,
Saracen.co.uk and also in the RetroBike Archive

Some teasers


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