Monthly Archives: May 2013
Almost half way through the season already! Where does the time go?
Fortunately this time it was a home race course (20mins as opposed to the 12hour drive to Cornwall a fortnight ago!). The SXC were bringing cross-country racing to the brand new, purpose-built race course at Cathkin Braes. The track has been well-designed, in alliance with top riders top create a course which meets all the international rules and guidelines but which is also a fun, fast and enjoyable course to race on. I'm generally not a fan of man-made courses - even the rocks are man-placed at Cathkin! - and hadn't especially been looking forward to racing on something which was expected to have little to no rocks, roots or what I'd consider fun stuff!
Fat bikes are gaining popularity not just as niche snow and sand machines, but as everyday bikes for use on natural terrain. Cue the Surly Pugsley, one of the first mass-produced fat bikes. Now that fat offerings are available from various mainstream companies, more and more riders are now asking themselves if this sort of bike could be for them.
I purchased one of the last 2013 complete Surly Pugsleys a few weeks ago, as an alternative to a short travel suspension bike, for use year round and to complement my single speed Surly Troll. So far it hasn't failed to impress, in sand, snow, mud and on natural and man-made trails.
Its maiden voyage saw me trying to climb some of the fireroad trails around the Pentland hills, which were covered in deep snow. It's was a baptism of fire/ice, and it took a whole new set of skills to the keep the bike on the straight and narrow. I quickly learned the key was to stay seated to ensure the rear wheel kept traction, and stay in the granny