So it’s been a while since my last post, life seems to have been flying by at warp speed with seemingly not enough hours in the day, my concentration pulled in so many directions sometimes it feels my head may implode. Even time on the bike has taken a bit of a knock, but only being relegated as paving the way for a better future has taken priority. So hopefully all for the greater good.
So what’s been happening? Well for a start the ‘Uber Workshop” end of Project Club House is finally taking shape. This has been a very satisfying little side project, which does also hint at the flavour of the other changes that are afoot. Towards the end of last year and beginning of this it had become clear that some big changes needed to be made career wise if I wanted to hold onto any shred of sanity and happiness. Work takes up such a large percentage of our time on this planet that I believe you should be happy in what you do and quite frankly that has not been the case. Change was overdue. So the wheels are in motion, and hopefully rolling towards a future and lifestyle more aligned with a happy heart. Somewhere back in the mists of time I forgot what was important: Have passion and happiness in your work, the money will (hopefully) take care of itself.
Only time will tell how this will play out, so whether I end up in a happier situation or find myself staring into the bottom of a can of Special Brew outside the job centre at least I will know I got off my arse and tried to make life a little less ordinary. I’ll keep you posted.
To infinity and beyond…
The 2014 UCI MTB World Cup Season launches next month, with South Africa hosting the first round. The best downhill & cross country riders in the world will commence the battle to win mountain bikings biggest competition in Pietermaritzburg. The World Cup is a well travelled circuit and this year the rounds will be held as far apart as South Africa, Australia, Canada and the USA as well as France, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic and the UK.
Fort William in Scotland will host the 3rd round on the weekend of 7th & 8th June and it’s sure to be another noisy and crowded affair in the highlands!
The World Championships will be held in Hafjell in Noway in September.
Ok, so you know the old “let’s build a jump” scenario. You may have access to a lot of dirt so you think “let’s build a load of jumps”. The lads at Antimedia films based in Oslo really went to town though when they got a bunch of riders together in Lofoton in Norway. They built some knarly kickers and produced a beautiul little edit. With the help of a drone and some cool cable cams they produced a film that has to be in with a shout for the most stunning location ever award!
This is 9 minutes of awesomeness!
We’ve not been quite as active as we should have been recently & with good reason. We’ve been busy behind the scenes building a new website which is now live. We wanted to freshen things up and to make Ae7.com more user friendly. We’ve added features like currency conversions for customers outside the UK, the search tab is pretty cool (if we do say so ourselves – try it) and it’s simpler all round now for you to buy anything.
We still have all the great features of the old website & we’re using the best technology so that the website is secure to use and everything should be easier to find. We’re working in a smarter, better way with many of our suppliers so you get better deals and a greater choice of products.
We now have a shop integrated to Facebook (look for the Shop tab in the main Facebook page menu).
All in all we’re pretty pleased with the look & feel of the website. We’ve still got a lot of work to do, products to add & descriptions to finish off, however, we figured it’s better to get it live now.
Take a look and let us know what you think. Leave any comments below or on Facebook, we will read them!
Ok, so there’s been the jumps you haven’t hit quite right, there’s the corners that are loose and throw you, there’s the holes in the road, there’s traffic that cuts you up but Danish pro cyclist Matti Breschel gets the prize the most bizarre crash of the year … he was flattened by a flying matress!!
Flying Mattress hits Cyclist
The flying Dane who rides for Team Tinkoff-Saxo was riding back to his hotel (report from Cycling News) when suddenly a mattress appeared from no where and landed in front of him. He was travelling downhill at 70kph when the mattress stopped his bike and launched him onto the tarmac. Luckily for the rider he wasn’t seriously injured and he escaped with cuts and grazes to various parts of his body.
It is unknown at this time whether the mattress was sprung or made from memory foam. There are no further reports on the damage to the mattress. We think the bike is ok and did not suffer much.
Matti Breschel after freak accident
“Snowboarding in Japan, really? Do they have much snow?” Nine times out of ten this is the response when you inform people you’re heading off to quite possibly one of the best but least known snowboarding destinations in the world. And the answer to the question is yes, they most certainly do, over 15m on average per year! Virtually of of it falling as some of the lightest powder you can dream of. At this point in the conversation they assume one of two expressions. The true powder hounds wide eyed and salivating already daydreaming of waist deep pow, while everyone else glazes over consigning you to a character file labelled Lonely Planet touting snow obsessed ski bum weirdo. Their loss.
It had been 6 years since our last trip to the Land of the Rising Sun and memories of epic powder were as vivid as ever, so using my fortieth as a weak justification for a lads trip (hey, sometimes it just has to be done!) we once again set off with expectations running high. As before we were not disappointed. Our destination was once again Niseko the largest and most well known (relatively) resort, located on the northern island of Hokkaido. By European standards the resort is low and tiny and if you picked it up and dropped it in the alps, with alpine snowfall, it would probably only rate as a ‘day trip’ resort. But this isn’t Europe it’s Japan, and it gets blasted by cold dry air from Siberia that picks up moisture as it crosses the Japan Sea dumping epic amounts of light dry powder. Heaven! If your idea of hitting a resort is charging groomers from top to bottom then this isn’t the place for you. If however the idea of fresh lines in waist deep pow, and playing in the trees has you dribbling then I would suggest you make the effort and get yourself over there.
And it’s not just the powder. There is undoubtedly something very special about the whole Japanese snowboarding experience. The Japanese people are incredibly friendly and polite. Lift operators bowing and sweeping the snow off the chairs for you. Massive apologies and free hot drinks when you got stuck on a lift for twenty minutes? Ever had that in Europe? No, thought not. And everything is just so alien and amazing in equal measure: Snowcapped volcanoes. Snowboarding off a peak while being able to see the sea. Leafy green bamboo squashed flat under metres of snow. Supermarket isles where you don’t recognise a single thing. Heated toilet seats. Heated train seats!
It’s all just so different, the beauty in the difference of the detail. Are there any bad points? Well there’s a lot of Aussies there, I’ll let you make your own judgement on that. But if I heard one more conversation on the bus or in the Gondola that started with “Jeez we were soooo wasted last night” ……..Bluebird days can also be a bit of a rarity because, if you haven’t already gathered, it snows rather a lot! And of course it is a little more expensive to get there. That being said once there the food, beer, and most importantly coffee, etc is cheaper and in my opinion of a better quality than the overpriced rubbish in the Alps.
We hiked the peak several times opening up unlimited untracked lines. Did a day out with guides doing snowmobile accessed backcountry. Rode floodlit powder until 9pm at night. Drank Sapporo. And basically lived the dream. And so after a week in powder heaven we had to regrettably say sayonara and head home. But once again we have come away with memories to last a lifetime. Snowboarding in Japan is a very privileged, unique, and special experience that I would thoroughly recommend.
Electric bikes might not pop into your head when we mention extreme biking. These guys however have brought out a crazy ass video of an OSET electric trials bike in action. It’s worth 5 minutes of your day … you’ll be impressed with what these little bikes can do. OSET Bikes is a company set up by Ian Smith after he built a prototype electric trials bike for his son. Check out the video!