|New Bike - Jonathan - December 2009|
I have recently bought a Trek X1 Cyclo-cross bike off a friend from a local outdoor centre. Wow! what a great bit of kit. It looks very similar to a racer, but has a wider range of gears, cantilever brakes (for mud clearance) and slightly knobbly tyres. I went out for a ride the other day in the slushy snow - it was amazing, very stable, nice riding position and as light as a feather! You never know, I could get into it so much I might enter a Cyclo-cross race!
Dw i'n dysgu Cymraeg - Jonathan - Rhagfyr 2009
(I am learning Welsh - Jonathan - December 2009)
I have just spent a week at Nant Gwrtheyrn, the Welsh language and heritage centre on the Llyn Peninsular. I was on a the 5 day Entry 1 Course which is a basic course on how to learn Welsh. It was a very enjoyable week and I learnt a huge amount, it's now over to me to try my very best and include what I have learnt whilst talking to friends and folks we have on courses!
Race Reports from Lottie (Team 1Bike1 Kona Grassroots rider) - November 2009
Event - Race 4 North West Wales Series
Date - 29th November 2009
Venue - Coed y Brenin
"Despite having the Swine Flu vaccination the day before it was more than my bacon was worth not to ham-mer the opposition. "Gammon Lottie" shouted the crowd as I trotted over the line to complete my final lap.
It was a faster course due to better weather conditions so the ascents and descents were not as slippery and easier to ride. I had a bad start that I made up during the race and managed to escape further away from my opponent each lap.
I won the trophy for overall series winner out of the Juvenile girls and I also picked up an extra trophy for winning all 4 races out of the series. (Dad is going to have to build me an extra self in my bedroom!!) Unfortunately it is the end of the series and I can't wait until the next one arrives. Until then ..."
Event - Race 3 North West Wales Series
Date - 21st November 2009
Venue - Coed y Brenin
"This was the first time I was reliant on myself - Mum and Dad were coaching elsewhere and it was all down to me ... including maintenance!
It had to have been the worst weather in the history of the North West Wales Mountain Bike series!! It was like doing a night ride in a blizzard - it was hammering down, blowing a gale, freezing and dark! I was glad when it was over (after all that my waterproof was locked in someone else's car!). Thank goodness I didn't have a mechanical (that's Kona for you!)"
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Kona Magic Link - Jonathan's YouTube clip - November 2009
Kona released their 2010 range to the bike trade in September whilst we were away on holiday in September. Since then the rep's been to visit and Jonathan had a further look at the Kona stand at the Roc d'Azur. Here he is looking at the Magic Link on the Abra Cadabra.
France & Switzerland - October 2009
Jonathan at the Roc d'Azur
Start of the Roc d'Azur
Riding in Villars, Switzerland
This was my fifth trip to Frejus for the Roc d'Azur and my best finishing position yet. I rode it in 3hrs 36 mins 30 secs which put me 87th after the Elite Riders, finishing at just 8 mins 12 secs after them and having a huge crowd of 3,132 racers behind me. I thought I did pretty good! I rode my first two Roc d'Azur races on a hardtail and twice on a full sus bike; this year I returned to hardtail and found it pretty harsh! I chose a hardtail as there is 1700 metres of climbing over the 53km course and hardtails are more efficient for climbing. My buddy Roger who was at the Roc sent an email to Oli Beckinsale about how he found it. This is how that went:
From Roger to Oli: "Congratulations on your excellent 10th place finish in the Roc. I was on the beach at St Aygulf and I was very impressed to see you were riding a hardtail - as so many of the elite seem to do for the Roc ... I'd be very interested to know how you found riding the Roc on a hardtail - when I rode the Roc I thought it was pretty harsh."
Reply from Oli: "Hi Roger, Thanks for your support and yep the hardtail was harsh and I wish I was on my Anthem full susser. I forgot how rough the event was from the 4 years before and thought I would be OK. It would of been faster and more fun on the fully for sure ... Cheers Oli."
Well if Oli found it harsh no wonder I did, I reckon its taken a month off my life! Have a look at Roger's YouTube Channel with movies from the Roc. I appear in two of the movies ('Short Tour of the Giant XTC at Roc d'Azur 2009' and 'Jonathan finds extra utility in the Kona UTE') and in the comments answer the question 'What is the toothpaste tube for?'.
Switzerland for a TCL Assessment
After leaving the heat of the south of France I headed to Villars in Switzerland to run a TCL Assessment for some of the teachers at a college out there. Wow, what a place to go! High up in the mountain with a touch of frost on the ground and amazing scenery; a great day. The following day I was taken around looking at technical trails to run an MBL course next year. We found some and they were fun! As a bonus, when you get to the bottom you catch a little train back up! Roll on next summer!
Canada - September 2009
On our trip to Canada I managed to sneak in a few days riding in Whistler and Vancouver North Shore:
Whistler - To spend 3 days in Whistler was a dream come true; it definitely lived up to my expectations. The Bike Park has a huge network of downhill trails ranging from easy up to double black diamond.
I met up with John Jones and Joe Howard who are a couple of guys I've trained as instructors and who are working for Ticket2Ride. They gave me heads up on the best trails to ride, Kona hooked me up with a downhill bike and off I went.
To ride trails like A line, Karate Monkey and Original Sin which I'd only seen on DVDs like Roam and Seasons was amazing. I rode a stack of the double black diamond trails and after a day warming up and with the recent DH'ing experience in the Alps I found I was riding stuff which I never thought I'd ride. It was ace, I can't wait to go back!
Vancouver North Shore - I had a day riding trails on Mt Fromme and Mt Seymour on the North Shore of Vancouver. I had always wanted to ride the ladder bridges and drops for which the North Shore is famous. Firstly I was amazed at the quality of the trails and how well built it is and secondly I was amazed at how technical it was. It was great riding and certainly pushed me hard but left me smiling.
If you go to the Shore make sure you're feeling strong, to ride a downhill bike uphill takes some doing and practice your balance for riding ladder bridges and tree trunks.
The Alps - July 2009
This year there were 7 of us on the annual trip to the Alps, we were in Morzine again riding the Portes du Soleil. It was a great week - good weather and great riding. It amazes me that I can ride the same region for the third year and still ride new trails in new valleys.
The highlights this year were riding (or should I say surviving) the Champery world cup downhill course - totally nuts! - and getting over to Morgins to ride some nice quiet trails which had very few braking bumps!
Snowdonia Enduro - August 2009
Thanks to everyone who attended the Snowdonia Enduro on Saturday (29th August). More >>