Tag Archives: Ergon

London Olympics 2012 Torchbearer

There are some things in life which don’t happen everyday. In 2012 the Olympic Games is coming to London. It is called the London Olympics, but the truth is that it is Britain hosting, with football matches taking place in Scotland, Sailing in Dorset and other events elsewhere (cycling in Surrey).

As part of the build up, there is an Olympic Torch relay around the country. People from all walks of life could be nominated to take part in this. The nomination went to a committee who then picked the eight thousand people to take place in the relay over three weeks, details are here.

I have some amazing friends. I know some fantastic athletes. I know some of the strongest people on the planet (YH I am talking about you). I know world champions, and world record holders. A lot of this is through my job, some however aren’t.

I have known Dave Buchanen since 2004 or 2005. At the time I was very prevellent on an Internet Forum WeightWeenies and although riding a lot, I was suffering knee trouble. A complete stranger to me at the time, Dave, a BioMechanics specialist, invited me to his home and spent a day with me, taking my history, making notes and giving me advice. He gave me some insoles, and they helped. The knee improved and I was happier and able to ride again. Life though, had other plans, and I was offered a job at the company which is now my main client. I moved to Germany, rode there, talked to other specialists, had modifications made on my bike, and riding was a lot easier.

For me knee, a lot of the problem I feel has been solved by a combination of Dave’s efforts, other biomechanics experts, cross training, and improved Cleat Placement. I don’t usually push our own product, but if you are suffering any type of knee complaint, please use an Ergon TP1 Cleat Tool and check your cleat position. I consider myself an expert cyclist, but mine was significantly out, but you would have never known it just looking at it with you the cleat on the shoe. I have photos on my computer of Tyler Phinney using one which he purchased, and am informed that there are other pro cyclists in that and other teams using this product. We aren’t sponsoring them.

Work saw me attending mountain bike races, and both Dave and his partner Jo Evans were riding 24 hr races at the time (and doing very well). I introduced him to Ergon products, and he used them on his bikes.

Dave is tenacious and darn stubborn. He is a cancer survivor, and has been told that things he is suggesting are impossible. This drives him to do more and more seemingly insane things. This leads to a lot of money being raised for charity, many many hours in the saddle, and a Guinness World Record. This is why I nominated Dave. He is an inspirational person. He is a generous person. And his Hobbit’s Tale route is the now confirmed longest non-stop mountain bike ride. It covered some 22,300m of elevation over 721km. Dave’s website, with details of this, and the Welsh Coast to Coast, plus other challenges is here:


Dave’s leg of the relay was on Saturday May 26th in Pontypridd, Wales. This is not an insignificant distance from where I live in Manchester, so I go up at 6am and drove there.


The people who had turned out to see the Olympic flame were plentiful. It surprised me. I was there, sure, after a 3- 4 hour drive, but then I had a reason to be there. It was my friend. Lot of friends of the other torch bearers were also on the route, but many people were there just to see the flame. It was exciting. It was a one off, and I am so glad they selected Dave for this.

Click here to see Dave Run


It was touching to see him, and what it meant to him. I had a great day with him, some of his mountain biking mates, with Jo, and in the mountains in Wales. I will write about that tomorrow though. This was his day.



Getting on it.

To use the words of a friend of mine, ‘at the moment you are on it’. I seem to be too. I just can’t get enough of riding at the moment.

Today I had planned to go out on the bike, no matter what. I had checked Manchester Wheelers website, but there was no ride on the cards. I was by myself. I sent text messages to a couple of people, but I don’t really know them, and so when I didn’t get a reply it didn’t surprise me.

The Pretty One was asking yesterday about my plans for today, “well, I need to ride. For one, I need to undo the evil of the crisps and beer” (at the little local beer fest that we went to). If that sounds like I am being a bit silly about food, we ate perhaps two, if not three packs of crisps each. Give that crisps, essentially, are just a waste of time with very little nutritional value at the best of times, it was only lack of option which drove us to this.

The Pretty One looked a little disappointed. “Can we do something together? I know, what about I drive somewhere and you ride there?”

“Good plan – where?”

Chatsworth House was chosen, and I looked at the map and decided on a route through the Peak District to Buxton, then on to Bakewell via the A6, before taking the back roads to Chatsworth.


It was a ride which would rival the route last week. Yes, there was less height gained, but there was one, or two 15% climbs more than last week. Also, I was riding alone. No one to hide behind, and as my friend Matt Page said, yesterday had 3D wind. It came at you from every direction at times – I don’t think it was quite as bad here as it was in Wales for him though – most of the time it was behind me. It hardly made the ride easy though, and again I was lusting after a 25 rear sprocket.


The weather was cold. It was one of those days when you seem to have to take all of the clothing that you own with you. Short sleeve jersey, bib shorts, arm warmers, wind proof, knee warmers, buff, helmet, Ergon HC1 mitts and of course a set of Oakleys. On the climbs though, I had to peel lots of this off, down to an open jersey, with the rear pockets stuffed with the arm and knee warmers. It was a constant struggle to keep warm – you can’t leave all of this kit on when climbing, because it will be soaked with sweat and cause you to freeze.

The ride itself was epic. I will do this ride again. Even the A6, which I wasn’t looking forward to, seduced me as it weaved along a river, cut its way through the rock, while going backwards and forwards under the railway line. It was like Switzerland, but just with the wrong type of trees. It wasn’t that busy either, and, for once, there was a road surface which didn’t feel like it had been shelled. The descent was over 20 minutes long too, even with a 76.4km/h max speed.

Climbing out of Bakewell, I got a message from TPO that she was on her way, and that the schedule was working perfectly. As I pulled into Chatworth, it reminded me of Longleat. Such a beautiful house, I headed for their restaurant, grabbed some pasta and a coke and ate, and lay on the grass for 10 minutes until TPO arrived. Even then the exercise wasn’t over. After the superb picnic which TPO brought with her, we then went for a walk up to the tower overlooking the grounds. I am afraid I had to stop, like some kind of fat person, for a breather half way up.20120514-083232.jpg


Ride Statistics

Time: 3:03:34

Average Speed: 24.1

Distance: 73.6

Max Speed: 76.4

Total Ascent (m): 1,092

Total Descent: 1,006

Max Pos Gradient: 14.4%

Max Neg Gradient 16.1%

Today, I think I will go for a run.

This was an amazing installation outside Chatsworth House – Shauna Richardson’s Woolly Lions.


More here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-17922125

The Tower, and the view from the top.



I love Taiwan too.

I go to Taiwan twice a year, and have only managed it once to go into the mountains, and never like this. I wondered what Richie was doing in Taipei this year – I didn’t ask him straight out – it only occurred to be later that I wasn’t at Eurobike, or Interbike and so chatting with Richie or Hans was a bit odd at the show. Oh well, they all melt into another after a while (the shows, not the riders). Anyway, check this out.


Richie Schley – Made in Taiwan on pinkbike.com

I ride too

My first ride in about a week, and in the meantime I’d been away on holiday. I need to lose the couple of kilos I managed to pile on in just four days in Marrakech – too many tagines!

Anyway, the sun was out and although it was a little cool, it was ideal for a ride from Manchester (where I now live) into the Peak District. I have a plan with this – riding through the city is horrid, so I will do it on the way out, but return by train, keeping my legs for the enjoyable part in nice scenery. – And what scenery too. 65km later I am on the train heading home. I fly to Germany tonight so refuelling, packing and spending some time with the Pretty One is on the cards before I sample Germanwings to Cologne.


Mixed Feelings about being in Asia

Mixed feelings about coming to Taiwan for the show. The proximity to the continuing unfolding disaster in Japan has put off a lot of people. Certain customers of mine wont be here (which means I will have to go and see them instead) as they have cancelled at the last minute. I personally don’t think that is a necessary to avoid Asia because of problems in one part of it, but the fact is that it is a personal decision.

The Taipei show opens this morning. However a welcome party held by Velo and Wellgo for their customers was held last night. I was invited to speak on stage.

It was a small affair, with just 450 people and a 10 course meal. There were bands and dancers and lots of free wine!

No sharks were hurt in the making of this meal. – it wasn’t real shark fin used in the soup.

London Cycle reconsidered!

There are some great brands here, and it isn’t as bad as I perhaps made out. That was a dis-service to the brands who have shown up. SRAM and Campagnolo for example (perhaps remember that UK cyclists when buying your next bike) are both here with large stands. Specialized are also here, Exposure Lights, Brompton, Hope, Rolf Wheels, Singletrack Magazine, ERGON, Topeak, Brooks, Fizik, Whyte, Marin, Colnago and many more. Perhaps what I am forgetting is that most people here will not have been to Eurobike. In many respects they don’t know what they are missing. EB is too large as well. You just don’t get to see it all!

The show is very personal and good to take in one afternoon. The advantage of the maligned test tracks is that there is something for the whole family to do. British Cycling and Transport For London Are also here. Very good to see.

I leave you with pictures.

Tomorrow Germany, Friday Home, Weekend Bristol Beer Festival (bike race) perhaps, following week Munich and Seoul! Busy!

Show Photos

I don’t really have much to write about in terms of products at the Taipei show…. I just walked around taking some photos….  Interesting things are the new X7 group from SRAM, interesting because it is bringing their top of the line spec to mid range products.  An SLX killer?

Other than that… here are pretty things….

OEM Frames anyone?

There were a lot of nice steel frames around.