Land of Confusion

Rocket. Now with confidence boosters

First up, that’s a non ironic Genesis hook. Although obviously this particular track was penned well after they’d rolled down from the peak of prog-rock light. Or to put it another way after Phil Collins somehow conned himself into singing vocals. Anybody under the age of about a hundred has absolutely no concept of what a travesty this was. Still they were also born after Jimi Hendrix died so their musical opinion is of absolutely no consequence πŸ˜‰

Right then. See that ^^^, it’s like my Rocket only subtly different. Things you cannot see are a 30mm bar shave and a further short, back and sides on the fork steerer. Two reasons, none of them terribly rationale; firstly the all-Ross-how-bloody-heavy-is-my-bike roll call saw even a trimmed Cotic tip the scales as 31lbs. Not a big surprise nor a big worry – that feels ‘about right‘ for a 160mm* hill-hooligan with proper tyres and all sorts of elven magic breathed over three different suspension platforms.

The second thing is more of a worry. Since fitting those long forks and longer bars, most of my riding has been regularly interspersed with stupid crashing. Including falling off while riding uphill. Pathetic, pilloried and frankly rather painful. Deploying a strategy best thought of as ‘deckchairs‘ and ‘titanic‘, I’ve hacked chunks off various parts and switched back to flat pedals.

Flat pedals are fab. Years ago in my ‘lobotomy lobbing‘ days when ‘perfectly normal’ was chucking oneself off mini-cliffs in full storm-trooper kit, flat pedals absolutely rocked. Especially during exit manoeuvres where going down with the ship was likely to end with coming up for air in A&E. And traction.

In those days I really could bunnyhop, look evidence and everything:

I still have that bike. And that hat. The skills tho? Long gone

But that was a long time ago which was really rather sadly apparent after digging out that bike and trying the same had me mostly digging just into the ground. Or, as the DMR is equipped with the shortest chainstays in Christendom, flailing off the back missing the rear brake but finding the concrete. With my arse. Thankfully this was away from human ridicule but the cows were pissing themselves.

Being a bloke, I’m on a serial hunt for crashing solutions. Being old and wise, I don’t expect to find them on tomorrows’ monster FoD ride full of fast, bumpy, jumpy trails. Some stuff will be co-located although it’s likely to be a spikey pedal and a soft shinbone. Still no point dying wondering eh?

My decision making is clearly miles off kilter anyway after today’s attempt to wrap new tyres on the balding Yeti. Announcing myself with a brisk ‘Good Morning, do you have a couple of tyres for my car?’ to the bemused shop owner, I was rebuffed with ‘No Sir, this is a gun shop as demonstrated by the simple fact that you have walked through all manner of small arms on your way to this desk’. That was awkward.

The rocket and me feel like we’re on different orbits right now. It needs to be ridden faster, but to do so I need to get some confidence in what the bloody thing is doing especially round the front. In five weeks we’re in the Alps which makes this next month a pretty focussed ‘stop crashing‘ exercise. Or at least learning to crash with a bit more style and a bit less pain.

I blame that road ride. It’s clearly bloody ruined me.

* I am aware of a metric/imperial switcheroo but there’s always google for the hard of arithmetic.

12 thoughts on “Land of Confusion

  1. Jeans, no helmet and tiny bike. Very ‘street’… Oh wait… Apart from the Camelbak and your still wearing that sweatband! Oxford street ride sometime back when?

  2. Re:genesis – Thr eponymous album, and Duke are excellent. Invisible touch is ok. I’ll grant you that most stuff after Steve Hackett never mind Peter Gabriel left is crap crap crap – but then, so was some before they did. And cutting bars down? Travesty of the sand order as Jesus He Knows Me

  3. I’ve only gone down to 760mm! Most of the tree gaps int the forest seem to be 770mm πŸ˜‰ And the 29er still have the 780s on there. If I don’t like it, I can just glue the ends back on anyway. I’m sure superglue works with carbon!

  4. Brad

    There’s a video that goes with that bunny hop pic. But stick with the Photo version to preserve your “I hopped up 14 inches” memory. Glad to see the logic of flats is back upon you.

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