Nick Porter’s Bombtrack

We did a fantastic 5hour-ish Gravel ride yesterday around the Chilterns. This is Nick’s new ride! Definately the ride bike for our area to conquer mud and steep hills!

We didn’t take plenty of clos-ups. So hold your horses, some more photos will follow soon!

veloccino goes Girona – an ode to Girona

Words by Mike Hadgkiss | photos by Niels Schnadt

‘T was the month of June in 2019,
8 friends travelled to check out the Girona cycling scene.

To celebrate Mark’s big 40th year;
With bike rides, banter and plenty of beer.

With routes still undecided and only a few weeks to go;
Niels and Mike got creative in Casa veloccino.

With the promise of hills, smooth roads and one or two lakes.
Bike hire was opted for from the awesome Bike Breaks.

With plans in place, the destination was set.
A few checks of the forecast in the hope we wouldn’t get wet.

But were the plans all set? The late night messages would suggest not.
With no time for breakfast, it was half a slice of toast and that’s your lot.

With Jeremy driving though, confidence was high,
Of arriving at Stansted in good time to fly.

With the main group boarded via the priority queue,
And luggage all on board there was little else to do….

Except wait on the runway, for much more than a bit.
To wait for someone’s luggage to be taken away….what a tit.

Arriving in sunny Girona, the accommodation was really smart.
Though after 4 days of male occupation, there was certainly to be a strong odour of fart.

The first ride was amazing, smooth roads and faces a beam;
And there must be a special mention for the delightful tangerine dream.

La Fabrica was the destination the following day.
Not a town but a café and well, what can I say.

With food choices beyond your normal desires,
To kick start a bike ride, adding fuel to your fires.

The coast was the destination but not before climbing St Grau,
Which certainly left your legs spinning and needing to mop your brow.

With hairpins and switchbacks and gravel abound.
It was squeaky bum time and hoping no one would hit the ground.

Safely arriving for lunch, in Tossa de Mar;
Question was though would Mark skip lunch and just head for the bar?

Lunch was opted for though, in the form of a light bite.
Mark’s large plate though suggested his tummy was in for a fright.

The following day, a decision was needed.
100 miles or not, in the end we conceded.

Rocacorba was our chosen destination.
I was certain of a feeling of some trepidation.

The lunch stop beforehand was a beauty, a corker.
The fuel stop was needed ahead of Rocacorba.

The climbing was brutal, a test for us all.
The legs kept spinning to avoid any stall.

The summit was reached, Wes leading then Mike.
There were claims in the camp of the use of an e-bike.

Rocacorba was done, now home, please I beg.
With dual carriageways and off road and a dog seeking Mark’s leg!

The following day, the weather drew in.
Would the riding plans simply end up in the bin?

The brave 5 headed out for one last ride,
The weather was shit, I could have cried.

To the top of Els Angels, to see the finish of the time trial event.
Some wished they were doing it, their legs not yet quite spent.

So thank you Girona for opening up your secrets to us,
An amazing time spent here with hardly a fuss.

We will be back? I’m sure, this time next year.
With bicycles and banter….and more alcohol-free beer!

Girona! We just returned but we will be back!

We just returned at the weekend from our trip to Girona.

We stayed with a group of 8 for a few days. Another group arrived on Wednesday for another few days when the others left.

Expect a couple of posts coming up over the next few days. We have plenty of photos from various cycling hot spots in and around Girona and – obviously – plenty of stuff to tell about the Girona cycling festival.

Dan Atherton’s P4.0 at the London Bike Show

Last Saturday was my 5th London Bike Show anniversary (If there is such a thing). In my opinion the show has changed a bit and I am not sure yet if for the better or the opposite. What I still really much enjoyed was to have the chance to “touch” products you have so far just seen on social media.

This year I pin pointed exactly one brand that I wanted to learn more about…Atherton bikes.

I heard the Atherton’s were in town to display their new family brand. Especially the fact that metal 3D printing plays a large center point in the production of their bikes has sparked my curiosity! How is this going to look like!?

I am not an avid downhiller myself. I love riding off-road and I don’t fall off going down hill in a – let’s say – controlled speed. However I really enjoy watching other riders racing and I have a tremendous lot of admiration for the achievements of Rachel, Gee and Dan. This does not count just for the competition results as such, it is so much more that this family has achieved. To me they are basically the perfect picture of a very well functioning team, like a swiss clockwork. Working together to support one another, at the same time encouraging others to pick up the sport, waving the flag high for down hill mountain biking in a road cycling dominated cycle society and now starting their journey to disrupt the bike building industry with a technology known from aerospace  and Formula 1.

I spoke to Ben Farmer, one of the co-founders of Atherton Bikes about the combination of an additive manufacturing process and carbon tubing and how you could build every bike made to measure for every rider due to the way these bikes are built.

If you are into this kind of technology you might have come across more technical articles about the process of Atherton bikes already. So please find below some of the shots I have taken at the London Bike Show of Dan Atherton’s P4.0 to add a bit of colour to the technical words you might have read already elsewhere.

Thanks again Ben and Dan for answering all my questions, walking me through the process and being utterly helpful. See you soon.

More about Atherton bikes can be found here: https://www.athertonbikes.com/

and here:
https://www.instagram.com/athertonbikes

Rouleur Classic 2018 – London

I am always looking forward to receive the next and newest edition of the Rouleur magazine. I love them for their photos and it’s just nice to have a couple of magazines knocking about on the coffee table. So obviously we had to pop round when we heard that it was Rouleur Classic time.

With a small team veloccino delegation in tow we started off from Wendover for a caffeine and hops fuelled journey into the big smoke to see what the fuss is all about.

The event was held in the Victoria House just a short walk from Holborn tube station. The location was almost perfectly setup for the occasion.

I felt the way the Rouleur classic was set up that it was very inviting to have quality conversations with the bike brand representatives and other like minded cyclists. Just as an example we got fantastic insights from Roberto of Titici Bikes into their unique bike geometry and the history of their brand. I will definitely follow their progress over the next couple of years.

What came a bit short in my opinion was the inspirational and adventurous part which makes cycling so special to many of us. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of beautiful displayed bikes, high-end components and top of the range cycling apparel but the connection to actually going out and riding your bike was imo somehow missing.

Overall I would say, yes we will come again!

Great concept, fantastic brands & people, a teeny bit too pricey beer BUT overall a lot of fun!

36 hours on the Isle of Arran 1/2 – The journey to Grinduro 2018

What is the best method of transport to travel up north to the Isle of Arran? We had no clue so we used them all. Well, kind of. Car to Airport, plane to Glasgow, Bus and Train to the harbour, jumping on the ferry over to the island, shuttle to the event village and a bit of walking in between…all with bike boxes in tow.

It was an early morning start for us to catch the 7.10 am flight from Heathrow. That was quite brutal to me, since I had my birthday the night before which we celebrated with a bike ride and a long evening in the pub. I didn’t feel great in the morning but it was a price worth paying for this legendary night before.

BA has a great offer in terms that you can take your bike as part as your normal luggage but have a very tight weight restriction of just 23kg. That might work well for a road bike but traveling with a a slightly heavier off-road bike can become a bit of an issue. However, we were prepared for discussion and somehow it worked out in the end. Couple of hours later we landed safe and sound in Glasgow.

The next stage for us was to take the public bus to Paisley Gilmore Street. From here we had to catch the train to Ardrossan harbour. I have to say this part of the journey was much easier than anticipated. The train fare is reasonably cheap and we had lots of space in the train to store all our luggage safe.

From Ardrossan harbour station everything was marked nicely by the Grinduro people, which made it very easy to find the registration point for the ferry and where to drop the luggage.

Excitement increased immediately when we boarded the ferry. That was the last big step to get to the Isle of Arran. It was great to see other Grinduro participants boarding the ship with their bikes and photographers and camera teams were around to take some shots. We were even interviewed by BBC Scotland, which felt great. I have some doubts that our parts will be making the cut though, we just looked so incredibly tired.

From the other side, the harbour of Brodick on the island everything was very streamlined, we just had to jump on the shuttle bus, to arrive a tad bit later in the Grinduro village of Llamlash.

First things first. We went straight to registration to receive the starter package, opened the first beer and made sure that we pitched the tents in a quiet corner. Everything was set and ready for the next day. Race day!

(Race day photos soon to come)