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

Archive for September 2009

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

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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

My Trails: Another day, lots more jumps

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So yeah trail dawgs, another update here. It’s been awhile since I posted any pictures or updates surrounding my trails. Holes have been dug, people have come, 360s went down, and LOTS and LOTS of Monster Energy was consumed.

Development. That sums up the change at the trails since the last update. Not many more actual features have been built, but just about everything there has since seen a rebuild .. for the better, I add. The lack of rain has left the site battered. I know it’s summer, and everyone luuuuurves the sunshine, but jumps NEED water; my trails especially. The grey soil sucks. Ollie “lamdawg” (who’s now a regular builder :D) and I have started to sand/clay everything (yellow/gold colour). It’s a proper bitch to do properly, but it’s the only way the trails will survive any stretch of sunshine.

So yeah, until the rain and sand/clay goes down, they won’t look (or ride) their best, but regardless, it’s always good for a session :). I’ve got a bit of an end-of-summer trail jam planned too, so that’ll motive us to buff everything out. Most of the hard work is done, just gotta dial ‘er in buddaaaaaaaay!!

The captions will elaborate:

The in-run: main line on the left, small line on the right.

The in-run: main line on the left, small line on the right.

An overview: you can see how the jumps are starting to look a bit battered. NEED MORE RAIN. NEED MORE SAND/CLAY.

An overview: you can see how the jumps are starting to look a bit battered. NEED MORE RAIN. NEED MORE SAND/CLAY.

The latest main line jump on the left. The trick stepup on the right. The bigger jump isnt finished yet - Itll be shorter, steeper and taller once finished :D.

The latest main line jump on the left. The trick stepup on the right. The bigger jump isn't finished yet - It'll be shorter, steeper and taller once finished :D.

Same again. As you can see more easily now, the main line jump isnt finished.

Same again. As you can see more easily now, the main line jump isn't finished.

The 180 berm. Not finished yet, will be taller and steeper once finished. But still rides well ;).

The 180 berm. Not finished yet, will be taller and steeper once finished. But still rides well ;).

Same again, another perspective.

Same again, another perspective.

A good view of the trick step-up landing. Its like a resi landing :P.

A good view of the trick step-up landing. It's like a resi landing :P.

A bit of a close-up.

A bit of a close-up.

A good angle to show the transfer lines between the main line and small line ;). Fun fun fun.

A good angle to show the transfer lines between the main line and small line ;). Fun fun fun.

Lamdawg carving Man Jump into the new jump.

"Lamdawg" carving "Man Jump" into the new jump.

Side-on of the trick step-up.

Side-on of the trick step-up.

Exit to the 180 berm. Rollers following from it.

Exit to the 180 berm. Rollers following from it.

Another view of the trick step-up and new jump.

Another view of the trick step-up and new jump.

Although the new jump isnt finished, me and Lamdawg decided the hit it anyway. This would be me riding it.

Although the new jump isn't finished, me and "Lamdawg" decided the hit it anyway. This would be me riding it.

Lamdawg

"Lamdawg"

Lamdawg again

"Lamdawg" again

Feel free to post any comments :).

Take it easy,

Happy trails!

Written by Adam Pollard

September 1, 2009 at 9:07 pm