Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Brian Bartlett "Backcountry Skiing with the BTK"

Hi guys

  I thought I'd share a video of my sponsor, a fantastic guy whom I'm sure you will have heard me mention before, his name Brian Bartlett.

Brian in Back country with his faithful companion Bear

Monday, 27 May 2013

First ride out on a bike in around 50 years...Dad your amazing

It's the weekend I'm off why can't my brain get this concept. I'm still tired yet have to get up. So I think to myself " I know I'll get my dad up too and treat him to a breakfast at McDonalds". Now that I'm working it's nice to be able to treat my dad as he has been awesome with me and god knows we have been through some tough times.

Me and The Ern

First ride out on my new NS Soda Air

       I awoke to a gorgeous morning, sun shining, birds tweeting I thought it must have been around 
10:30 am according to my internal clock. I leaned over and checked my phone, bloody hell 5:52 am. Aww what the hell I'm awake, may as well get up.

Plans were to ride my new bike, my NS Soda Air, which arrived from Damien Harris Cycles last Friday. I hadn't been out on the bike, not because of the crap weather. No it was because I was  waiting for some protective Heli Tape to arrive which I'd ordered off eBay. When it did arrive WoW what a nightmare I had fitting the stuff, but hey that's another story.

Back to this morning, a quick delve in my wardrobe and I got my new gear out. An awesome pair of Troy Lee Moto shorts in a really bright lumi green. These also came off of eBay and I'm well chuffed with them as I only paid £28.99 including postage, all the way from China. I was a bit dubious ordering them thinking they would be cheap copies, however when they arrived I can't find any difference to my other Troy Lee Moto's and I paid around £80 quid for those. Next I pulled out my new Fox Demo Jersey and  Sock Guy socks with WTF? logo's...Ooh I was really feeling the part.

Oooh I'm all colour co-ordinated

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

A little while ago I was contacted by a fellow blogger, Cameron Von St James. Cameron  had admired my Blog he saw how I had fought back to try and create some semblance of normality in my life and asked would I be willing to share his family's story, particularly about his wife Heather who was diagnosed with a form of cancer - mesothelioma

My story to me isn't all that interesting I mean yeah I have lost my leg and I have been diagnosed as having  low grade Non Hodgkin's lymphoma since, however I've never really thought "Hey I'm going to die from this". So I guess that's why I find Cameron's wife Heather so inspiring, as she has fought the odds and I'm pleased to say is doing well and continues to fight to create awareness of this terrible disease.

 I am only too willing to share Cameron and Heather's story if it in any way helps people understand this terrible disease. Creating awareness of disability or disease, as well as  understanding  is essential so that we can all hopefully go on to help one another, offer support and well just feel like we aren't alone in the darkest of days.

Heather's Blog

Checkout Heather's video right here...

Ahh what the hell summers coming time for a new bike

So since getting my new job, been there just over a month, got my first pay packet I decided to treat myself to a new ride.

Don't get me wrong I love my Fat Bike I just fancied something else to play around on, something I could have a go at jumping about on and blasting round in local woodland. I didn't want a full on DH rig as to be fair I've tried that out and ended up selling the bike as it wasn't being used to it's full potential.

So I opted to go for a NS Soda Air. The Soda can handle everything I could potentially throw it's way and I should be able to pedal it to and from where ever I fancy visiting.

I ordered my bike from Damian Harris Cycles and have to say they were spot on over the phone. I'm hoping to get delivery of my bike around Thursday, so fingers crossed we will have a nice weekend and I can get some good pics and maybe even a video shot.

Until I get some pics of my own here are some I sourced from the internet along with NS's promo video of the Soda in action.

Bike Specs :

 - Frame: Soda FR w/152-177mm (6-7") adjustable rear wheel travel, A6061-T6 custom formed and butted tubes, internal cable guide routing option
- Shock: Rock Shox Monarch Plus R, 216x63mm (8.5x2.5”)
- Fork: Rock Shox Liryk R Solo Air, 170 adjustable travel, 20mm axle, alloy tapered steer tube
- Headset: FSA Orbit 1.5E ZS, ACB cartridge bearings
- Cockpit: NS Quark Pro 31.8 stem, NS Evidence handlebar, Octane One bolt-on long grips
- Brakes: Avid Elixir 5 180mm rear & front
- Shifters: SRAM SX5 10spd
- Derailleur: SRAM X7 medium cage rear, 10spd
- Bottom Bracket: Truvativ GXP 73 mm
- Crank: Truvativ Descendant, alloy 36t chainring, 170mm
- Chainguide: E13 LS1+ (no bashguard)
- Chain: KMC DX-10SC, 1/2''x11/128'' for 10 spd
- Cassette: Sram PG-1030 10 speed 11-36
- Rims: NS Trailmaster 2 32h
- Hubs: NS Rotary 20 disk (sealed bearing), NS Rotary Cassette (sealed bearings, alu cassette)
- Spokes: Black spokes w/14mm nipples
- Tires: Maxxis Ardent 26x2.35 folding
- Seatpost: Kind Shock Dropzone 425mm, 125mm travel
- Saddle: Octane One Rocker Pro w/alloy titanium rail
- Pedals: NS Aerial (sealed bearings)
- Bike weight: ~14.9 kg (M size, including pedals)

Saturday, 11 May 2013

A very enjoyable outing with my Cuz

Earlier in the week my cousin David sent me a txt asking if I was free on Saturday and up for a ride out. Sure I replied always up for a look out and it would be nice to have some company and a bit of a catch up as we rode.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Beamish through to Ousbrough Woods

 Yesterday, Ern, Mr Hinks and myself headed out for a mini adventure in Beamish Woods. We also took in part of Ousbrough Woods as it interlinks, depending on which trail you take.

My plans were to checkout different areas of the woods before actually riding them on my Sandman. There are some really steep banked sides in which the trees have taken root and in certain places it's un-rideable, no clear marked trails plus it's a bit on the dangerous side as there are some rather large drops.

It wasn't a bad day yesterday, in fact I had to take of my jacket and was happy just wandering around in my t-shirt and the norm for me shorts. We found some neat new trails and I even spotted a few places that looked as if they hadn't been ridden or walked on and thought to myself " Mmmm they may make for a nice blast down".

As we were checking out the woods we came to a rather steep incline, it was way to steep for us to walk down and I wasn't sure I could even make it on my bike. Would have to give it some thought when I returned, with my bike and camera.

After having a good look around we decided to head back up the bank side, in the general direction of where we had left the car. Now this bank side was as you can imagine quite slippy, what with pine needles,moss,old tree branches and twigs, you know the kind of stuff you see in a wood. Anyhoo I was making good progress, even though I was knackered "WoW what a climb". Then all of a sudden my prosthetic knee snagged and it bent/broke at the knee. I thought I was going to fall back down this geet big bank so grabbed for the nearest available tree. Now my dad says the tree was only around 3 inches in diameter, however I'm sure it was more like a huge oak, as when the bloody thing  snapped and then proceeded to twat me on the back of the head, well lets say I was a little stunned. I thought I'd done some serious damage to my shoulder too, as it felt like I had torn something. As I eventually got to the top of the bank I felt a bit better, just a bit sore where the tree had attacked me and took the skin off my arm.

After my fight with a tree, of course I was victorious

A small walk along the trail and we were soon back at our car. Got Mr Hinks and ourselves in and then we popped up to my Aunt and Uncles were I received some medical attention in the form of some Sudacrem from my Aunty Claire lol.

A nice cup of coffee and I was sorted felt much better and I had a better idea of where I could ride potentially on my next local adventure.

And so to today...

A very enjoyable outing, found some new trails which are quite fun and as usual had a blast on my Sandman. I feel so lucky to be able to get out on days like this, what with having my Bartlett Tendon. After years of being stuck in the house with a dodgy leg it sure does make you appreciate the great outdoors. Things are starting to blossom and bloom and these ancient woods sure are beautiful, even if the odd tree doesn't decide to help out and has a go at you instead lol.


Today's footage was a mixed bag. I was gutted that most of the stuff that I took whilst my camera was on my helmet was pants, it's way to shaky. I do have one canny shot that you should all like so I have done a quick vid. What the hell possessed me to yank my front brake on and go arse over tit is beyond me I sometimes have these moments...when I say sometimes I do of course mean just about everyday.