Monday, 31 December 2012


Some rides are so wrong that they just turn out so right. Today's venture out on the cross bike proved why it has become the 'go to' bike. The roads where rivers, the trails where mud floating in rivers - a road bike would have been silly and a single speed would have been purgatory. The ride wasn't long, but it provided ample time to reflect on 2012 and revisit the plans and engagements for 2013. 

have faith
A few guffers have milestone birthdays to celebrate in 2013 (we are trying, honest!) and a number of dream rides found their way into recent conversations. It's fair to say that these where fueled by local ale and malts of the month. A couple of plans will require a leap of faith, but where would life be without ambition and goals.

As for other engagements, if you happen to be in the mood to pop the question this Hogmanay, cyclesguff wishes you all the very best.

See you in 2013 and please stay upright

Saturday, 15 December 2012


A number of years back I found myself cycling from Glasgow to Stornoway (you guessed it, that was before parenthood descended with a bang) and it has to be one of the most memorable weeks of my life. I'll keep the stories for another time, but one thing I did find out about was localism. Once in Stornoway I booked into a bunkhouse above a surfshop, started talking with the owner and the next thing; I'm wearing a wetsuit, a board is under my arm and waiting for him to start up the surf bus. Two days where spent paddling, driving, exploring, talking, laughing, lot's of drinking and loving the sensation of actually being able to stand on a surf board and catch a wave. It was during those two days that I was introduced to the term localism. The guys from the surf shop had their favourite spots. It's fair to say that I would have ended up in hospital, or even worse if I'd even set wetsuit in water at their favourite breaks. Some breaks required a jet-ski or boat to escape the imposing coastline and head out towards the horizon. The great thing about the guys in Stornoway wasn't that they only embraced the areas that they discovered, but they were also keen to show them off and prove just how good surfing could be in the the Outer Hebrides. A far cry from some of the anecdotes from other global surf spots.

if you look closely there's an old windmill
I've seriously missed being out my bike and earlier today I finally swung a leg over a mtb for the first time in months - bliss!  The ice from the past few weeks has began to thaw, but there are still areas that are best avoided, primarily fire-road and exposed paths. The parallels with the local trail fairies and the Stornoway crew suddenly hit home when a group of guys that I've not ridden with for sometime peeled off a recognisable trail, quietly slipped into the forrest and introduced me to some fantastic local singletrack. They have been busy exploring and building and it's payed off. Riding singlespeed through the off camber acute twists&turns, chutes, roots, planting ruts and pine needle covered trails required finesse. A quality that I've never possessed, but who cares when you have the chance of riding with a fab group of like minded souls who show you how it's done and flow through sections that had me dabbing, striking pedals and cursing in equal measure. My strava feed is one twisty red line of fun, will I be able to find those trails again.......thanks guys!

Stay upright

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Dr Alex Moulton

It's been sometime since the last post and I was hoping to type something with more cheer.  However, the news of the death of Dr Alex Moulton has stopped me in my tracks. 

As many have said, and thankfully during his lifetime, he was an inspiration and will continue to be. There cannot be that many people on this planet that can lay claim to designing, engineering and manufacturing an iconic object that is coveted by many and is the epitome of a looking at things differently. In Moulton's case, he just happened to have more than most and his collaborations with another genius, Sir Alec Issigonis resulted in what is quite possibly one of the most loved vehicles to ever role of a production line and is a symbol of a generation.

Moulton was a man who embraced the technical challenges of developing complex products with an equal appreciation of the craft of the artisan and a focus on the experience and enjoyment of the user. In these times of mass manufactured land fill; his philosophy, responsibility and approach is a legacy that we can all benefit from.

Thank you