Friday, 6 December 2013

I had a great time with Nick Holt at Gisburn last month, coaching a couple of skills taster courses for Gisburn Forest Bike Trails. We lucked out with the weather once again, it was a bit cold but not at all bad for November. We had two excellent groups of riders, all willing to listen and take on board the skills and techniques - resulting in some dramatic improvements in both sessions.

One of the best bits of doing this type of event is the feedback we get on the electronic forms afterwards, it really makes a difference and is especially good when we've donated our time to raise some funds for Gisburn MTB Trails. Here are a few snippets of the feedback received:

'The chaps from Sublime Rides were great. They obviously know their stuff and I would love the chance to go out for a day with them.' - Andrew.

'...basic skills such as manual lifts and pumps are fundamental to all aspects of mountain biking, once these are mastered the rest will come. Nick and Nige were informative and supportive.' - Deb.

'The coaches were very understanding and competent. They were especially accommodating towards my 10 year old son who accompanied me on the session, he really enjoyed the session and learnt a lot, as did I.' - Paul

Thank you to Dan from Gisburn Forest Bike Trails Volunteer Team for doing the organising and to the riders for their generous donations to the Trail Fund, we raised a total of £180 on the day.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Well, the clocks have changed and we're now heading into the winter season in the lakes. There's plenty of fun to be had in the damper conditions and it's a great time of year to get out with us on a skills course if this time of year, and wet root and rock, hold a sense of trepidation for you! Personally I'm looking forward to some beautiful rides out in the autumn colours over the next few weeks and then the beautiful, cold, clear days we will get as the temperature falls and the new year comes around! The Lakes at this time of year is a special and quieter place, if you fancy making the most of it, then give us a call!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Less than a week to go until Escape to Gisburn, the first enduro race to be held at Gisburn Forest, it will be the first enduro race I've tackled, I'll let you know how I get on!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Just under a week to get our 15% Early Bird Discount on a guided ride or skills ride in 2013.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Magicshine MJ-872 Review

An e-mail dropped into my inbox recently, from Rob at Magicshine UK, asking if I'd like to have a test of one of their range of bike lights. Like most, I'm always keen to get my hands on some shiny new kit and see how it well it performs; and that's how, a day or two later, UPS came to be handing over a Magicshine MJ-872 at my door.

It's been great to see the nights starting to lighten over the last few weeks, but it's still plenty dark enough that lights are a necessity when riding later than about 6:30pm. A quick call to a good friend and fellow MTB guide, Nick Holt, and a blast out around Arnside and Silverdale was on:

Fitting the light was a doddle, a rubber O-ring attaches the light unit to the bars in seconds and a substantial velcro strap fixes the battery securely to (in my case) the underside of the top tube, a welcome additional strap allows any spare cable to be neatly secured out of the way, a nice touch.

We set off into the gathering dusk with the lights switched to minimum, so that we could be seen on the short road climb which takes us to the first technical off-road climb. Switching on the light involves a quick press of the handy illuminated switch, which also serves as a battery indicator and enables the light to be cycled up and down the power levels. It's easy to do with gloved hands, certainly there's no faffing or fiddling to find the switch in a hurry. Up the first climb and into the woods and the 'up' button sees action as the remaining light fades and increased visibility is required, I'm pleasantly surprised with the available light from the claimed 1600 Lumens available, and I've not asked for full power yet.

The first descent is twisty through the trees and then a nice flat out blast down a rough trail, at the top the light is up to full, and the power and shape of the beam are excellent. The pace of the descent confirms this, there's plenty of light for flat out riding and the shape of the beam gives good visibility in the twisty corners, even with the light mounted as it is, on the bars.

 The rest of the ride is good fun, a bit muddy in places but otherwise just how a good night ride should be, cold but clear, with good views and the light doing its job as it should.

The light is on for about 3 hours, switched to low on most of the climbs / road sections and up to high on the descents. The light indicator dips into the red on the last descent, but has recovered back to blue after the last section on the road, so I guess it's more of a guide than a definitive indicator but it's still a handy feature and at the end of the ride the indicator on the battery itself is still reading at about half-full, which I'm sure would allow for most people's night riding requirements.

The light itself looks like it's well made, although with just a one ride test I couldn't vouch for longevity of course. The only minor niggles I found were that, although the O-ring fitting is quick and simple, the light does vibrate fractionally at speed (compared to my regular light which is on an aluminum bracket); and where the cable exits the light is very close to where the O-ring sits, which makes it more fiddly than it could be and pushes the cable to one side in use. The current helmet mount also needs revision, I couldn't get a satisfactory fitting on either of my xc lids (Giro Xar and Feature) but as a bar mounted option the light works extremely well.

Overall, I was pretty impressed, the beam power and shape were great and the light was easy to use. The cost is certainly very competitive as well. Big thanks to the guys at Magicshine for the loan of the light - much appreciated!