Saturday, October 25, 2008

World Cup DH MTB Fashion Police

You must be kidding me??? An immature and obviously grossly confused Rachel Atherton would rather succumb to fashion than win races. Not only that, but her dissing the skinsuit flies in the face of much bigger champions than she, Tomac, Nico, Chausson, Stiefle, HBall and of course Borat.

Her sponsors should really re-think their connection with this superficial, spoiled wanna-be.

Photo ©: Mark Gunter
UCI ban skin suits and open face helmets for some mountain bike competitions

By Matthew Cole,
Tracy Moseley rode this skin suit to a slim win in Australia

The UCI, the governing body for competitive cycling, has made some interesting changes to the rules for the 2009 season and beyond including banning the wearing of "tight-fitting clothing" and insisting that full-face helmets must be worn when racing and practising for downhill and 4X.

The wearing of skin suits has been a point of contention over the last year, notably in the Australian round of the mountain bike world cup. A skinsuit-clad Tracy Moseley (Kona) won the women's race by four seconds ahead of Rachel Atherton (Animal-Commencal), who claimed that the skin suit gave Moseley an unfair advantage.

"Fair enough to Tracey if she wants to do that to win, but for the sport and the longevity of the sport, to wear cool race kit and to make an image for yourself is more important than the odd win here and there," said Atherton.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Schnapps & Cyclocross

Having an affection for things crafted by the hand of a master, I have always enjoyed handmade bikes and components along with wines, food and schnapps. The latter mind you, is not your typical American flavoured-syrup with a good dose of alcohol, rather it is made from pure fruit, no additives or anything else. Being on the receiving end of some of the best homemade schnapps out of the fatherland the past ten years in the US, when the opportunity arose to produce my own batch, I jumped at the opportunity.

Bobbing for apples?

My friend Sascha Wenzel invited me to help harvest some apples and take part in the process of making schnapps. A couple of weekends ago we began the journey from fruit to brandy. With three sorts of apples on his piece of land, we picked some of the biggest, juiciest apples I have ever seen, and all organic. We gathered enough to fill three big barrels (and then some!), which we spent the better part of an afternoon dicing up into smaller cubes, then we mashed them and filled our barrels.

Apple mash

From there, it is a game of patience, stirring daily, they have slowly begun to ferment. At first we were met with lots of resistance when stirring each barrel, we are about half the way along, stirring the half liquefied mash is done with ease. One can already smell the alcohol as they are very ripe.

A few more weeks and they will stop fermenting on their own, then they are ready for distilling. We will make an appointment at a local distillery around mid-January, where we will spend the day, and probably need a ride home from…as we have our mash turned into a clear liquid that would remove paint from a car. Depending on the duration of distillation will determine the alcohol content, which will be around 40%. Our three barrels will probably yield around 40 liters.

What the hell do you do with 40 liters of schnapps??? My half will go in a large glass jug with a tap on it to fill bottles. The longer schnapps ages, the smoother it gets. No doubt it will have to be tried immediately, but I plan on letting it age a little, and then next fall, start to gift others with hopefully will be a good bottle of apple brandy.

Sunday morning spin

On the bike front, Sandi & I are going to Madburg in a couple of weekends for our first cyclocross of the season, and have been enjoying some spectacular fall riding. It has been crisp and cool with lots of sun drenched days. Riding through thick beds of leaves, it makes it hard sometimes to define where the trails go. My new training loop in Hochspeyer is a blast on the cross bike, maybe a training series this winter???

from a different angle

I have our crosscountry course already planned, sehr anspruchtsvol! Very techy, and if it is wet, muddy and even more techy!!!


My new Dugast’s Rhinos (both cross and mountain) are oh so sweet, nothing rides better than tubulars. You can feel the attention to detail and quality in each rotation of the wheel across the trail. Once again, it is my affection for the handmade things in life.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Mike's new bike

somewhere above Rico, Colorado is a cross bike eating up some of the best trails in the world...

Mike Guskea is a character, a personable guy but a bit of a sour puss. Oh he owns two ti Indy's so don't dis on him just yet. Not too mention he is one of the best chefs in the world. His shops in TRide CO produce some the finest eats you ever have the pleasure of putting your mouth. Soph and he lead a simple life of working too much, enjoying their new home in Rico and lots of riding (only when they are not working).

Mike has a new bike (pictured) and blog...surely to be entertaining. stay tuned.