Monkeyspoon.com http://monkeyspoon.com Just sharing the ride Sun, 19 Mar 2017 15:46:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mountain Biking in the Peak District 2013-2016 Video http://monkeyspoon.com/2017-03-19-mountain-biking-in-the-peak-district-2013-2016-video http://monkeyspoon.com/2017-03-19-mountain-biking-in-the-peak-district-2013-2016-video#respond Sun, 19 Mar 2017 12:33:02 +0000 http://monkeyspoon.com/?p=3217 A recap video of our riding in the Peak District over the last 4 years. More info on the bridleways ridden in the video can found on the Tracks page.

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Climbing Hope Cross on eBikes http://monkeyspoon.com/2017-01-07-climbing-hope-cross-on-ebikes http://monkeyspoon.com/2017-01-07-climbing-hope-cross-on-ebikes#respond Sat, 07 Jan 2017 13:18:15 +0000 http://monkeyspoon.com/?p=3122 Now Monkeyspoon.com is 11 years old and it’s main riders are around 30, the unthinkable has happened: we’ve started riding uphill, and what’s more on one of the most popular mountain biking descents in the Peak District!

With James running Bike Garage and Shane Peak ebikes, we had the chance to play with the latest full suspension electric mountain bikes from Trek and Haibike. And what better place to try them out than our old proving ground, Hope Cross (aka The Beast).

After filming the video, we carried on up to descend Potato Alley, climbed up the other side and over to Gores, so had a chance to try them on a variety of terrains and gradients.

A couple of notes on the technology. It only puts in power when you peddle, so it’s not like a motorbike. The assistance reduces and stops as you go above 15mph and you realise you’re not superhuman after all. All that high technology adds a fair bit of weight to the bike (and that’s unlikely to change any time soon), so on the flat when you’re going faster than 15mph (or if your battery were to run out) you have a lot of bike to pedal.

Trek Powerfly FS 8 LT, Hope Cross
James’ Thoughts – Riding the Trek Powerfly FS 8 LT

“So I like ebikes,  but probably not for the reasons you might at first think. Often they are dismissed as a way of cheating, getting an advantage of your fellow rider. If that’s your game then yes you could quite easily use them to set the fastest KOM’s (King of the Mountain) on strava or equivalent. But for most people their real intended use is to allow you to ride further, take in more interesting routes, challenge yourself. Rather than being limited, because you know there is that hill. Effectively to give you the same freedom that as a cyclist we all enjoy.

With that said your probably wondering what that has to do with the challenge at hand. Climbing the beast, well our logic was if you can climb this route (spoiler alert: you can) then think of all the possibilities.  I was riding the Powerfly FS 8 LT, which in case your wondering FS is Full Suspension and LT stands for Long Travel. 150mm front and rear so you can enjoy the downs as much as the climbs. This model and other LT models also feature plus size wheels. The tyre width of 2.8 inch provided a really big benefit on this rocky climb, with Bontrager staying away from fitting a super knobby tyre and have gone for the chupacabra. Which provides good grip without compromising the rolling resistance on less technical trails. Where this bike really excels for me is when you get it going downhill, it feels super planted and very confidence inspiring to ride.”

Trek Powerfly FS 7, Hope Cross
Jeff’s Thoughts – Riding the Trek Powerfly FS 7
“It was very impressive technology, the assistance of the motor was useful when tired (or lazy). Getting to the point where I’d normally give up and push (which is often), and being able to wack it up to full power and peddle with easy was great. But on technical climbing, like on Hope Cross, it was quite different for normal climbing. The assistance gives the feeling that gravity or the steepness has greatly reduced, until you lose rear wheel grip, can’t get power into the pedals, or your front wheel won’t go up a rock, then you quickly stop. The easy of pedalling and speed from the assistance gives a false sense of momentum. For those concerned that eBikes make mountain biking too easy or might take the skill out of technical climbs, they didn’t in our test. I performed about half as well on this climb as the other two (I gave up three quarters of the way the first straight), so about the same ratio to how well they do when we’re on normal bikes. Climbing Hope Cross remains a hard challenge.”

Haibike, Hope Cross
Shane riding the Haibike SDURO AllMtn Plus

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Bike Garage – Peak District Mountain Biking video http://monkeyspoon.com/2016-11-24-bike-garage-peak-district-mountain-biking-video http://monkeyspoon.com/2016-11-24-bike-garage-peak-district-mountain-biking-video#respond Thu, 24 Nov 2016 20:23:47 +0000 http://monkeyspoon.com/?p=3116 As some may know, the founder and CEO of Monkeyspoon.com; James Irwin now runs Bike Garage, a small bike shop located in Bamford, in the Peak District. Since he started out over 5 years ago we’ve been working towards a video and here it is:

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The Info Page http://monkeyspoon.com/2016-11-24-the-info-page http://monkeyspoon.com/2016-11-24-the-info-page#respond Thu, 24 Nov 2016 19:30:23 +0000 http://monkeyspoon.com/?p=3112 We recently* added the Mountain Biking in the Peak District Information page, that has some guidance on the type of paths mountain bikers can ride on in the Peak. It also covers maps and local bike shops.

Peak-District-MTB-Info-Rights-of-Way-Signs-Symbols

*About a year ago really.

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Better late than never – Peaty’s Steel City Downhill 2013 Video http://monkeyspoon.com/2014-05-06-better-late-than-never-peatys-steel-city-downhill-2013-video http://monkeyspoon.com/2014-05-06-better-late-than-never-peatys-steel-city-downhill-2013-video#respond Tue, 06 May 2014 19:28:21 +0000 http://monkeyspoon.com/?p=2835 Finally got round to sorting the video from last year’s race. It’s only a year over-due.

Hopefully it’ll be dusty and sunny for this year’s race (Saturday 17th May www.steelcitydh.com).

[RootsandRain Link]Steel City DH, Greno Woods, 380 Race Photos

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Cannock Chase – Stile Cop – 12 November http://monkeyspoon.com/2012-12-21-cannock-chase-stile-cop-12-november http://monkeyspoon.com/2012-12-21-cannock-chase-stile-cop-12-november#respond Fri, 21 Dec 2012 20:53:05 +0000 http://monkeyspoon.com/?p=2729 This post has been a little long in coming to fruition, some months ago I collected Jeff and headed south leaving the hills behind, meeting up with Josh and Nat for a Thursday ride. Having ridden with them in the summer we were on the search for some new and varied trails to feed our post Alps (Morgains) void. If you have been there you will know what I mean.

Natinthewoods

Cannock Chase, or more specificity “Stile Cope” is home to downhill section that form the chase trails which also includes the XC loops. Located just outside of Rugeley, Staffordshire, it is well placed and easily within reach with only a relatively short drive. I have visited both the XC and downhill trails a number of times and have been impressed with the variety and quality of what is on offer. The downhill area offers a number of good quality trails packed with features that ride well all year around. Along with an easy push up route, making it possible to get a good amount of time on the bike.

Joshinthwoods

Although the trails themselves are packed into a small area of woodland, each has a different style with something for novices to more “extreme” riders. With each new visit there always seams to be something new or improved. I would love to be more of a local, saying that I think I would miss the Peak District too much!  They also run mini races and timing sessions which must be awesome, racing your mates on your local trails, sweet.

After a quick blast down one the “Red Course” a straight forward red trail, which is fast but not overly technical. Ideal for a warm up before hitting some of the more technical trails in the woods. Despite a fair bit of rain leading up to the ride the trails were on the whole well drained with only the odd puddle to deal with. Running summer tires makes a pleasant change from the normal spikes that were and are still on my bike. With the easy push up we completed a number of runs, checking out different lines. Which was fairly tricky in the rooty woods.

With such a large number of trails littering the woods it is easily to drift from one to the next and before we knew it we found a new section of trails that we had not seen or ridden before. Steep rutted and rooty it was just the sort of thing we were looking for. After walking it we discovered the top of the trail, like may of the trails it branches off one of the larger trails near the top of the hill.

We dropped in for the first runs, the most difficult section being a short but technical straight between two tight s corners. Close to the trees and a nice tasty route ready to catch you out. After a tentative first attempt confidence and getting your balance just right seamed the key. Josh seamed to enjoy it more than most, with a couple of small crashed as he lost his balance into the next corner.

Gettingasplash

We then branched across to a trail called ridge run, as the name suggest it runs very straight with only a couple of corners to slow you down. A good puddle appeared in one of this corners. With Nat foolishly saying he was up for a good splash, no pun intended. And after a couple of poor attempts we got him good. With the light fading we headed home, satisfied with the days riding.

Natgettingwet

Jeff shot a few video clips and has knocked them together into a short video.

[Gallery Link]12-11-01 Cannock Chase Stile Cop, 24 Pictures by Jeff

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Summer 2012 Go Pro Footage http://monkeyspoon.com/2012-11-14-summer-2012-go-pro-footage http://monkeyspoon.com/2012-11-14-summer-2012-go-pro-footage#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2012 19:14:45 +0000 http://monkeyspoon.com/?p=2720 Since I bought the Go Pro quite a few months ago now, I have been carrying it on almost all rides, trying different mounts/angles out. So have collected a fair few hours of footage. I have put together this short collection of clips that represent a awesome summer for riding. With a mixture of local and Alpine trails including the Megadeath race. Enjoy

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Peaty’s Steel City Downhill 2012 Write Up http://monkeyspoon.com/2012-05-02-peatys-steel-city-downhill-2012-write-up http://monkeyspoon.com/2012-05-02-peatys-steel-city-downhill-2012-write-up#respond Wed, 02 May 2012 19:33:09 +0000 http://monkeyspoon.com/?p=2668 PeatysSteelCityDownhill2012Board

After the huge success of last years event, there has been alot of hype and enthusiasm around the already buoyant Sheffield riding scene, in anticipation of the second running of Peaty’s Steel City Downhill. This race is not only for the enjoyment of the riders taking part, but provides a pillar of the wider plans for Grenoside woods. The race is aimed less at the die hard racers who may travel from a great distance to attend. But instead for the local riders and people new to racing to get a feel for it and to help raise money for a good cause. I was unable to attend last years race due to being at the shop, but had heard only good things and to honest was a little gutted not to have attended.

PeatysSteelCityDownhill2012Peaty

The track for this years race was purpose built and had alot more for the riders to consider and enjoy, although the track shared the same start and finish point as the old track. It used the hill more effectively, although if you wanted to record a fast time being on the pedals was key. With the top section off the nice start ramp resembling something similar to a trail centre. With doubles, berms and tables leaning into a gap jump into a short heath section. before a series of jumps lead onto a more natural undulating section of track. With a great series of berms leading down onto the finish bomb hole.

PeatysSteelCityDownhill2012

The gap jump after the first section proved to be a great spot for spectators with only a relatively small number of riders attempting the gap jump. Jolley who was marshalling at this point along with the other marshals did a great job to support and cheer on each passing rider. There was also a great attendance of spectators, people shouting at you to “pedal” helps some riders push on. The weather in the weeks before the race hadn’t been the greatest but everything was done to keep the track running at its best. Despite a rather poor weather forecast leading into the event the weather was perfect for the race. With sunshine most of the day, the track definitely dried out during the day.

There was a real mixture of bikes, ranging from hardtails to full downhill bikes. I decided to use the downhill bike not because the track really demanded that bike but I didn’t fancy hitting a couple of the larger feature of the track flat out with no rear suspension. With the ideal bike being a mid range full suspension bike, although for most people it was all about an enjoyable race experience not taking the win.

PeatysSteelCityDownhill2012PeatyNat

The race was as much about raising the profile of mountain biking, with the finish bomb hole being surrounded by stands and various organisations. local companies that make up the biking community. With the race even getting a short article in the guardian news paper.

Now the most important information, how did the race go! Well the racing was very close with there only being very small margins between the racers epically in the larger category’s, with literally every pedal stroke counting. I managed to finish in 12 place in Senior. The amount of lactic acid in my legs once I had crossed the finish line was rather shocking but looking back. I had two good runs, with the screaming crowd making all the difference on the second run. All that is left to say is thanks to the organisers and those who took part and bring on next year!

PeatysSteelCityDownhill2012PeatyCrowd

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Peaty’s Steel City Downhill 2012 – Video & Photos http://monkeyspoon.com/2012-04-23-peatys-steel-city-downhill-2012-video-photos http://monkeyspoon.com/2012-04-23-peatys-steel-city-downhill-2012-video-photos#respond Mon, 23 Apr 2012 17:37:27 +0000 http://monkeyspoon.com/?p=2660
My video from Peaty’s Steel City Downhill race, that happened on Saturday. It’s a little ‘rough around the edges’ in places and everything below the open section was shot in the last 5 minutes of the race, but other than that I’m fairly happy with it. Pictures and words to follow. The race photos are also available to purchase on Roots & Rain, which also has the results:

[RootsandRain Link]Steel City DH, Greno Woods, 598 Race Photos

[Gallery Link]12-04-21 Peatys Steel City Downhill, 42 Pictures by Jeff

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Mountain Biking in the Peak District (2009,2010,2011) Video http://monkeyspoon.com/2012-01-09-mountain-biking-in-the-peak-district-video http://monkeyspoon.com/2012-01-09-mountain-biking-in-the-peak-district-video#respond Mon, 09 Jan 2012 20:08:14 +0000 http://monkeyspoon.com/?p=2588

I started out making a best of 2011 video and then extended it to include the last 3 years. Apart from it being previously seen footage to new music, quite a bit of the 2011 stuff is new and there are some older unseen short bits and a few alternate shots that weren’t in the original videos. For more of these videos see the Video pages for the last 3 years.

The bridleways we’re riding are all named, see more info on them on the track pages and you can also view their locations (and much more) on the OS tracks map.

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