Adam Pollard does a Blog

uh oh.. he has found a medium to express himself

My Trails, in need of lovin’

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I’ve been real quiet on the blog front over the last 2 months. I’ve been at uni, and there’s just not enough time to post anything relevant/useful. Too much time doing frustratingly hard maths…

Anyways, I’m back for the winter now 😀 with a month and a bit of time to ride and build, stoked. To be honest, I wasn’t even expecting them to stay up till the end of summer (building in heavily used army land, and been caught before). With that in mind, I’m not too bummed at the state of the trails at the moment. I know quite a few riders have ridden there, and it shows… But the damage doesn’t look like the work of chavs or the army. Mostly just bad building/modifying from riders who sessioned there. The extremely heavy rain really hasn’t helped either.

Regardless, I’m still going to be riding and building there this winter. It won’t be to the extent that I did over summer, but I’ll definitely be getting the jumps rideable again, and I’m pretty excited about the potential. My DMR (24″ tranny) got stolen at Cambridge, so I’ll be giving BMX dirt jumping a go. I have a brakeless BMX, which I’ll stick some more dirt suitable tyres on. It’ll be a scary, steep, dangerous learning curve, but fun times nonetheless! Also, I’ll be building more creative lines this winter. None of the lines will remain the same as they were (other than the pump track bit), partly because I need forgiving jumps to learn on (remember I’ll be jumping a bmx for the first time ever, AND it won’t have brakes), and partly because I like change, and the site is now prime for quick-to-build creative lines.

Tidying the place up will take a good hour or 2, but once that’s sorted, building the new lines shouldn’t be hard. All the dirt is dug up out the ground, its all wet and ready to build. Dirt just need moving around and shaping (i.e. the fun part of building). So it’s not all bad.

HOWEVER, as a warning to riders who fancy a ride there this winter or after winter, please don’t change the jumps. I gave people relatively free reign over it in autumn, since I was at uni and wouldn’t be there for months – I’m not an anal rider who is overly protective of dirt jumps on other people’s land. But the quality of building/maintaining going on was just lame/half assed. Basically, I’m going to get the site buffed out and dialled this winter, but if rider’s don’t respect it, I’ll just build somewhere else and not tell anyone. I don’t like the idea of secret trails, I put in the work (which I do enjoy, but still..), which I might as well let others enjoy, but riders need to understand trail etiquette.

Here’s the pics of the trails as of early this afternoon. I’ll be back to regular posting, keeping everything documented regarding the trails progress :). Peace

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Written by Adam Pollard

December 7, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Posted in Trail Building

My Mythic Wildcard: A Photo Bike Check

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I’ve had my Mythic Wildcard project bike up and running for a month or 2 now :D. I love it. 32.something pounds and pretty epic on the trails. Having such a light, balanced and poised ride totally transforms the riding experience. People may hate on weight weenies and bike techies, but seriously, it’s soooooooooooo much more fun riding a light bike. I’ve been meaning to prove the benefit of a light bike for a while now – ya know, using maths, physics and all that shiz. Maybe one day I’ll rummage up the effort to blog about it. Maybe I won’t. Who knows.

Anyways, I was planning on posting a detailed bike check/review about the wildcard, however, – as is common on this weblog (yes, “blog” is a derivative term) – I’ve taken the lazy man’s approach, and decided to simply post a Photo Bike Check. The photos are pretty decent, so I can kiiiiiiiiiiind of justify it 😛 … hehe.

If you have any questions or comments or whatever regarding the build, feel free to post a comment or email me or whatever :). I’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Peace

Written by Adam Pollard

September 21, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Video: Small Jam at My Trails

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A few clips from the small jam we had down my trails. Most of the flips coming from Tom Reynolds :P.

Enjoy

Written by Adam Pollard

September 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Posted in Mountain Biking

I bought wide bars: and I f-ing love it

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(Extra)wide handlebars have become a bit of a contentious issue in the world of bmx. The “old dawgs” are adamant that it’s a fad, and the new kids are adamant (see I like that word… hint: ADAMant) that it makes riding more fun and tricks easier. I just bought the widest bars around, and here’s my lowdown.

First of all, let me just clarify: I’ve been riding bmx for 2 or 3 years now, and went from running 23″ bars, then a year ago I bought some 25″ bars. I’m also not one to buy bmx parts to look “trendy”. I can’t do any trendy tricks, and I think the image looks a bit gay anyways. And o yeah, I’m 5’11 (ish).

I just bought a S&M Grand Slam handlebar. 29″ wide, and 8.25″ rise … and I f-ing love it.

Why 29″ wide and 8.25″ rise bars actually make sense for me

First of all, the rise. Lots of bars nowadays come in 8.25″ rise, with 8″ being the standard rise. I run no headset spacers and I also run a front-load stem (just because it was cheaper and looks more aesthetic). Sooooooo, the 8.25″ rise actually fits me really nicely – despite everyone saying you need to be 6ft something to run high bars. The extra rise also makes nose manual and foot-jam tricks easier too. I’m sure manuals are easier as well, although the angle you run the bars probably makes a bigger difference. I could do some maths to prove it. But I just can’t be assssssssed.

And the width. Most importantly, it feels nicer – just like brakeless feels nicer. It’s hard to explain, but riding just feels “nicer” with wide bars. I ride cause it’s fun, NOT because I want to do a bazillion tailwhips. So, I honestly don’t care if 27″ bars make tailwhips or tables or x-ups easier. Regardless, there are actually logical benefits to wide bars. Stability for one. Leverage for another. The stability is commonly stated as a reason for wide bars, but leverage tends to get forgotten. Try hop 3-ing with 23″ bars, and then hop 3-ing a 29″ pair… Trust me, wide bars are an awful lot easier. Because its easier, it means you can do these tricks with less effort, and THAT makes it more fun. It’s the same principle as to why riding lightweight bmxs are more fun than heavy ones.

And finally, I run a long toptube and super long chainstays (21″ tt and 14.5″(ish) cs). This makes bigger bars more in proportion to the rest of the bike. I certainly wouldn’t have got the Grand Slams if I had a 20″ tt and 13.25″ cs. I would have probably gone for the standard 8″ rise and 28″ width. Why do I run such a retarded frame geo? I got a sweet deal on the frame :). And it kind of makes sense as I have 2 mountain bikes as well.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnyways,

I had originally intended this blog post to be super analytical, precisely explaining why wide bars are better: but as you have probably gathered, I got a bit lazy and just rambled a stream of conciousness… It’s not like it’s the first time it’s happened eh?

Peace

Written by Adam Pollard

September 18, 2009 at 8:24 pm

Posted in BMX, Thoughts

Non-concordant Synergy

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Isn’t it strange how it costs more to build up a bike, when buying parts separately? Strange because they have no value to you unassembled. The bicycle is a perfect example of Synergy to me – yet there exists a lack of concordance.

Thatz whack!

Written by Adam Pollard

September 10, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Posted in Thoughts

Video: My Trails

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Me and Ollie (Lamdawg) riding My Trails/Monster Trails 🙂

Enjoy…

Written by Adam Pollard

September 10, 2009 at 6:43 pm

Posted in Mountain Biking

I wish I was him

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I wrote this short essay a while back. It was originally going to be one of my essays for US uni application – but now I’m off to Cambridge soon, and it’s lying around a bit redundant. It’s extreme sport related, and I kind of like it, so on the blog it goes :).


Pictures are reminders of what a good time we’d be having, if we weren’t so busy taking pictures”, my friend would say whenever we stopped to take photos. It wasn’t that he didn’t like the images; he really enjoyed them actually. He would regularly see photos in magazines and say, “I wish I was him”. However, the process of taking photos can be tiresome, and he just wanted to carry on enjoying himself.

This paradox in action sport photography has crossed my mind many times while standing at the top of an ineffably perfect bike trail or ski run. As an avid photographer I would want to document the experience, to show everyone the beauty of the area we were in, the run I had just done, or to record some kind of dangerous stunt someone was doing. Nevertheless, my passion for getting the ‘perfect shot’ is usually curtailed – more often than not by my equally poignant passion for experiencing the euphoric rush that comes from mountain biking, skiing, skateboarding or whatever else it may be.

I’ve spent my life indulging in outdoor pursuits. To this day, I can say without qualm, that nothing ruins a day more than someone with a camera, assiduously making the group stop to take pictures. The sole exception to this is in the case of a big gap or drop that has taken weeks to build. Stunts like this are usually built only in the knowledge that the event will be documented through photos and film.

However, the products of arduously carrying around heavy backpacks and irritating everyone you know are those rare, memorising images that inspire and motivate. The image alone is enough to get you out in the rain building that ultimate line, or to get you hiking that secret backcountry powder stash you’ve been meaning to for seasons.

So, next time you find yourself at the top of one those perfect runs, in a verdant forest or snowy nirvana, take a moment to remember those photographers who gave you the motivation you needed to get out there in the first place. I’m sure if they could see you, they’d be thinking only one thing…”I wish I was him”.

Written by Adam Pollard

September 2, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Posted in Thoughts