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Mittwoch, 29. Februar 2012

Riding, chatting tech talk, cuppa tea and bushcraft practice-perfect;-)

 On Sunday, I felt that urge again and simply had to get out to the hills. It was a bit foggy, and that was no harm really, for I actually like that weather. It makes for a somewhat soothing atmosphere, and I like the whirling mists rising from the green hills of home... I figure I really love my home turf. Not the actual city, for that´s nothing to be proud of, what with a lot of grievances, but the countryside, My bike enables me to actually get out there, another reason I simply love to ride. So I packed my gear, a flask of strong black tea, my bushcraft tools and a fleece blanket and some extra clothing, and ventured into the not-so-wild;-).

 It was on a hill over the Volme valley, atop a technical singletrail, that I paused to do some stump sitting and some featherstick practicing... and had some cups of tea. The  blanket kept me nice and warm, and I even did some special gymnastics I developed. Then I lowered my seat and hammered down that technical singletrail. Stacked up a bit, for there was an angled root slimy with wet that kicked me off my line, and I was going a bit too fast, but I controlled the fall, so that it was more of a handplant and I was not hurt in any way... weird...;-)
 On I rode through the rolling hills, a lot of technical trails. It simply felt good to do so again, with the trail being its own reward... The light cleared up a bit and it was all sort of golden coloured all of a sudden...
This is a view of Dahl, a village that belongs to the city of Hagen, embedded in the hills. I really love that view..

On the way home, I dropped by Elmar´s place. Elmar works as a general sales manager for SRAM cycling company, Rockshox and Truvative and whatnot;-). Turns out he was there for a change, and came back from a ride, too. He had a beer with his fellas, Boris and another nice guy whose name I unfortunately forgot. We had  a laugh, a chat and made fun of twentyniners and 650B bikes and other such trekking bike hype;-), with bad geometry and unsolved problems, that is. I saw a Nicolai 29er prototype that had seen some testriding  by Elmar himself and has to see some serious mods until production.

Now I am not against twentyniners at all. But they are simply not new. They are basically 700C wheeled cross bikes with fatter tires and no drop bars. They have to be longer, and cannot be as playful as a 26" allmountain bike. Bigger suspension travel, over 160 mm is a big problem with them. The geometry can to date not be as quick and playful as a 26 " allmountain. But apart from that, I have no problem with them. On fireroads and for riders not so keen on technical challenges and that "BMX" feel, they are fine, fast and comfortable.

I do HAVE a problem, however, with the industry selling an old hat as a new consumerist religion. I feel horsed around with. And I do not like that. If those technical problems were solved, I daresay, I would give ´em a try for allround toodling about. 650B is another standard they want to sell us as "the" next thing. At 27,5" it is another standard, another set of components and another product line to make money with. While that is fine for people like Elmar who make a living from it (even though he is critical of that fad, too), it is a desaster for people like me who can just so afford to maintain the components on one bike that has to do everything. We discussed solutions and ideas and it simply felt great.

Get the picture that we had a nice chat?;-)

When the Elmar chicken;-) was getting cold, we said goodbye, and I rode home. It was a nice day with a lot of things to process. Have to do some more riding, I guess, and get the fun back into it...


  1. Seems like a day well spent.

    I always get bit jealous, of your mtb hobby. Bicycles, overall are highly under-estimated thing. Yet they offer an acological healthy way to travel in almost silent way, from spot to another. To bushcrafters, it should be almost vital piece of kit. Here in Finland we luckily have loads of routes and forest roads, single tracks to travel but people somehow reject mtb`s.....stupid, if you ask me.

    1. has about the same opinion;-). And I actually see bicycles, ebikes and pedelecs as one of the most sensible alternatives of transportation in general, and I fight hard to propagate their use as a means of personal transportation. In my job, in my club, and in my private life. What I do in my job, you can read on,, and (in German, unfortunately). Everybody can do that. Get a bike, and ride to work or for commuting purposes. It can be a high-tech ebike, pedelec, freerider or a beater bike, it does not matter at all. It saves CO2, and thusly the planet. And it´s good fun, and healthy. is another great read specifically on bushcraft and mountainbikes.

  2. I got completely lost when you started talking MTB specifics,but the views and that knife are spectacular!

    1. You got the gist exactly right, buzzard. What use is it to make thousands of new standards and complicate things even more than it is already? It scares people away from an otherwise great and ecological alternative of transport and a fun sport. Sorry for the specific talk, and I will try to keep it less esoteric next time... got carried away a little bit there;-). If you have any questions, I will be glad to answer!

      I really like those views... they are what makes this region my home. And spring is on the way!


Now go on, discuss and rant and push my ego;-). As long as it´s a respectful message, every comment is welcome!

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