Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mandatory BC Bear bell law causing uproar on local mountains

With last falls increases in bear sightings and cougar attacks BC's environment minister Barry Penner, in a move for harm reduction to both bears, cougars, and users of the mountians of BC, will be required by law to carry with them bells to reduce any possible confrontations.

Many riders in BC already use the bells and to some degree it makes sense but does the minister seriously think that we'll have to use it at places like Whistler and Silverstar. There is already discussion of having a park ranger on duty in the lift lines ensuring everyone is in compliance.

I was already talking to Greg at Straitline who was watching this come down the pipe. They have already been prototyping a system to warn bears. Its still a bell but with their own spin.

Greg sent me this press release

“Straitline Components and Ryan Berrecloth to Release Bear Systems TM”

Straitline Components of British Columbia Canada have teamed up North Shore Local Ryan Berrecloth to launch new safety measures for the infamous North Shore and Whistler regions of BC.

Controversy has been stirring over new safety measure for all mountain bikers as mandatory bear laws come into effect as early as this month, banning all lift and trail access to those not compliant.

Straitline Components has just released a promo video to educate people on the product and new Law that will be in effect all across BC.

Straitline Bear Bell Technology from Eric Peterson on Vimeo

“For in-depth information on this new law read up on it here. “

Saturday, March 28, 2009

On the up!

Hey Guys!

Firstly I want to say thank you so much for all your kind words and healing vibes. It has helped a lot knowing that you guys have my back. That is why I love the bike community!

Well, after that last post, things went downhill fast again. I ended up being rushed back into hospital in an ambulance at 4am the next morning after a visit from an emergency doctor. Basically I felt like death and was getting worse. I could hardly stand up and felt so sick and was in a lot of pain.

Within 12 hours of being in hospital being pumped full of yet more fluids I was already feeling better. It later transpired that while in hospital previously I had contracted one of those killer hospital super bugs (C Difficile). and basically it was hitting me while I was down. In the 8 days I spent back at home I had lost another 9lbs in weight, and my body was being drained of all fluids and salts.

I'm home again now after a week of hardcore antibiotics, fluids and mind altering painkillers, and I can finally say that I truly feel like I am on the road to recovery. Each day I am feeling just a little bit stronger and can eat a bit more. Hopefully I will be back on a bike in a couple of months, although will not be able to hit the freeride scene for a long time yet (need more surgery before my body will be able to take the hits).

I am actually really looking forward to getting fit and healthy again, and doing a lot of all day epic all mountain riding in the beautiful highlands of Scotland on the prototype frame I will be receiving soon.

Thanks to everyone who has e-mailed me or left messages for me here. They have meant more to me than you might think!

I also want to wish a fast recovery and send strength and healing vibes to another young member of the Banshee family, Pavel, who is currently bravely fighting cancer. Hold in there mate, we are all thinking of you. Be strong!

Now please please please go out there and ride your bikes and make the most of life if you possibly can!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Rachel 3rd at Pan Am Games!

This year's Pan American MTB Championships proved to be a huge success for Team USA.

Santiago, Chile (March 22, 2009)—The United States Cycling Team captured four medals and took three of the top five spots in the pro cross country races at the annual Pan American Mountain Bike Continental Championships last weekend in Chile. In the pro men’s downhill Chris Van Dine (Park City, Utah) brought home a Pan Am title with a victory in the elite men’s event while Rachel Bauer (Aspen, Colo.) earned a bronze in the women’s event.

Read the full story at USACycling.org

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Matt Brooks starting off the season

Hey Everyone!!!

Kamloops is finally somewhat ready to ride, so I decided to put on my semi formal tuxedo t-shirt and get dirty on Sunday. It was my 2nd day of riding this year and it was a real nice sesh. It was an all day digging and hitting fangers extravaganza. We started the day in the corral (dirt jump area) at the bike ranch digging and blowing the cob webs out on some small jumps. Lots of cool stuff went down and it was like no one had gotten rusty at all. Saw the first hand foot plant (pic attached) which was pretty cool. Once everyone was feeling comforatable again we decided to go hit the step up located mid way down the trail in the park. It is one of the best trick learning jumps I have ever hit. Every one was going off. There were a few very close 720's, some nice big t-whips, and some peoples first attempts at back flips. I was busy trying to figure out cork flips, and I think I have the idea now. Unfortunatly I bent my rear wheel on an earlier attempt and didn't notice until it buzzed my frame while comming off the lip, which caused a nice crash. My ribs will be sore for a few days but it was worth it I supose. Big thanks to Jeff Conner, and Cole Chalmers for taking manning the cameras. Enjoy the pics!

Matt Brooks

Mythic AMP and VIENTO in stock

we've just had a shipment of Mythic frames land at Freeborn here in the UK

Included in this shipment is the brand new AMP freeride hardtail frame in gloss black, which looks simply awesome!

and the "Stiffee Killer" Viento all-mtn hardtail frame, also in anodised black

Both frames are selling very quickly, please get in touch with www.freeborn.co.uk if you want one as they are going very quickly...!

Mythic rocks the hardtails ;)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Terry Larrazabal festival

I'm off to the Philippines in a couple days to take part in Terry Larrazabal festival at the end of this week.
Should be lots of fun and a chance to hang with Brian Lopes, and Hans Rey... normally I probably wouldn't get the chance in North America but cause we'll be like the only 3 foreigners I might get a chance.

Hans Rey is like a hero when i was a kid as he was doing stuff way beyond everyone else. I remember seeing him in Vancouver bunny hop on to the roof of a car... and to be honest even now thats still pretty impressive.
Lopes just has to be respected... they guy is a mountain biking legend and the fact that he's still riding and able to keep winning should be an inspiration to us all. Its gonna be pretty awesome thats all i can say.

Guys from Fakawi are also coming over and I think Victor from Taiwan may make it as well. I'll be out for a week riding, saying hi to all the Banshee fans, and basically taking it all in. Good times i'm sure will be had by all and its a bit of a charity event plus races all in Memory of Terry L. - hope he's looking down on us with a big smile!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Benny in the Sunshine

Queensland Sunshine Series Round 1 - Downhill 2009 - Kenilworth

Hey Guys,
Well, our 2009 Queensland State Series (Sunshine Series) commenced last weekend and round 1 was conducted at Kenilworth in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Track conditions were very dry, dusty and loose which lead to numerous stacks and carnage. I have decided to up the ante' and race Under 19 Junior Men this season in an attempt to improve my riding. During my qualifying run I caught the rider in front and despite much abuse hurled at him he failed to give way and subsequently crashed right in front of me in Carnage Canyon. This resulted in me crashing over the top of him and losing precious seconds but I still managed to qualify 3rd last!!

Onto the race run and I was getting real nervous sitting up the top of the mountain for 1.5 hours due to problems with the timing devices!! Anyway I got underway and had a great run down on the Banshee Scythe and ended up on the podium in 3rd place - a good start to Under 19's.

Next month (April) we head to round 2 which is to be held on my home track at Illinbah where I hope to gain a small advantage because I love the track with all its roots and rocks!!! Until then, safe riding.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Banshee Creature Artwork

Nick sent me this pic from his 5 year old daughter of the Banshee.

To answer her question:
Banshees will not bite if you disturb them. However they are still very dangerous because of the Banshee Scream. If you here the scream then you will die so its best not to get anywhere near them.

Update on Keith:
Just got word that unfortunately Keith has gone back into the hospital. He is not keeping food down and has lost more weight but he's a fighter and is keeping up the good fight.
I know I speak for him and his family in giving our sincerest thanks for the well wishes and good vibes that people have been sending I know we all appreciate that people are thinking about him.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Post Surgery Recovery (or lack of it)

As some of you know, about a month I was hurried into hospital for emergency surgery. I was a bit surprised. Although I felt pretty crappy, I didn't think I was that bad, but the docs seemed to think that if something wasn't done very quickly I could potentially die. Anyway, I had 24 hours to prepare myself for the fact that I was going to go in for a major operation, and that my life would never be the same again. It made for a fun night of lying there alone in a hospital bed thinking!!

So the next day came around eventually and after a further 4 hours wait, the docs came round to wheel me away into theater. They wheeled me into a glorified cupboard full of apparatus, and after signing consent I went under at about 1pm.

A strange thing happened, I have no idea where I was or what time it was, but I had an allergic reaction to one of the drugs they were knocking me out with, and I gained consciousness for what seemed like 5 mins (was probably only a few seconds. My eyes were taped shut, and I couldn't talk, but boy did I experience a lot of pain! All I could hear around me was panic and people running around me. they knew something was wrong, and quickly sorted it... thank god!

So 7 and a half hours later I regained consciousness and was wheeled in a dreary state to a high dependency unit ward. I vaguely remember seeing my parents and girlfriend, but the morphine made everything more than a little hazy. I think that is when this photo was taken, not sure tho. basically it was taken when I was feeling relatively good before things went wrong.

2 days after the op I was moved to a post op ward, where I got my own room by chance. That was nice, but this is also when things started to go downhill, and the sickness started. Throwing up constantly for best part of a week while you have a hole in your torso with your small intestine pulled out of it, and a big 8" scar held together by 33 staples hurts... a lot! I was throwing up hard enough that it actually started to rip my wound open, and it had to be reinforced.

So for that first week I had a temp of 104 and was constantly sick due to a post op infection in my small bowel. the nausea faded a bit, and I tentatively ate a banana over the course of 8 hours. that kick started everything off again, 3 more days of vomiting, and a tube was shoved down my nose to remove pressure from my stomach. Basically it was a vacuum to suck out the bile and feaces that were being forced back into my stomach by the blockage, so that I didn't have to throw them up any more... It half worked.

Anyway, I had another week and a half of this before eventually being discharged and allowed home. over the course of that time I lost 23lbs in weight. Which is a lot considering that I was very underweight before surgery due to being ill.

So I got home, and felt very weak and sore, but not too bad for the first few days. unfortunately the nausea and vomiting started again a few days ago, so I may be getting admitted back into hospital tomorrow for yet more tests, and possibility of follow up surgery to correct the issues.

well that has been the story of my last month... worst month of my life! And hopefully some of you will understand and excuse the slow response to e-mails from me as a result.

I want to shout out a massive thanks to Jay for working his ass off in an attempt to cover for me, but I'm also afraid to say that this will unfortunately result in some delays in production (Legend)... sorry, bad timing!

I also want to thank my girlfriend Steph for being my rock and helping me through this. She has been amazing.

I'll be back on the case as soon as I feel capable, please bear with me.

Why not Turn Up and Throw it Down!?

Looks like a fun event that is open to everyone!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Spring training

Now that keith is out of the hospital he's training to get in shape for the riding season. See the video here

Cyclist Training on Top of Moving Car - Watch more Funny Videos

Ok thats not really him but its a pretty funny vid

Jazza and Steve ... Legend madness

This is a very cool video of the guys ripping it up on the Legends.
I really enjoyed this video and it has great shots of the skills of these riders and how they are able to get the most out of a bike like the Legend

Banshee- Jazza + Steve from Dale Lecluse on Vimeo.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Denmark's Legend and Amp

Claus from Denmark sends us his thoughts on the Legend

Hello Jay

Hope you are doing great “over there”, I am sorry to hear about Keith. Please send my regards and “get well soon” wishes to him!

I was going to make a small story on the Legend I got from you, I said. So here it is, hope it is good enough for the blog.

Legend “Some time ago when Jay announced that the Legend’s were done, I got very excited. We had been waiting for this for some time. But then he sends some pictures from the factory, and horror struck. They were all painted! “But but Jay”, I thought, “you said that they were: “any colour you want, as long as it is raw” so quickly I Skyped him and he said “cool it now Claus, I did get yours out from painting in good time”. So here is the result, I do not know how many came out raw but I sure am very happy about the looks of my new DH rocket. With the help from the ISON clan headed by Lloyd, I got it kitted up with Halo Tornado wheels – Gusset stem and crank and new DH specific chain– DiaTech Anchor Sport brakes, not the most fancy brakes but they are very powerful for the price and one of the best to get rid of heat build up. Fork is by White Brothers; Grove Race 1.8 at 2,2kg / 5,2lbs. for weight fanatics it is hard to beat, but the damping does not quite fit the Cane Creek damper so I might change to a Boss soon.

I have been riding my Rune for some time and just love the way it feels, doing about the same stuff on that as I did on my Chaparall – but when I tried out the Legend on the same trails I was bored stiff J, the way the rear just floated over the ground gave me time to think about groceries for the evening dinner J – effort less riding it was great!! The BB height is just between the Sunday and the Chaparell and fits just right I think. On the Sunday I tended to hit the ground when pedalling out of corners, not yet on the Legend. Also I like that the Legend feels slightly less slag making the steering smoother, less prone to “over steering” and again effortless. Finding my local terrain too “boring” I went to “Monk mountain” (“Munke Bjerg” in Danish, if you are interested) about 1hours drive from my house where I met up with Bo, on of my team riders, he is also lucky enough to have a Legend. Here we have the gangliest track in the flat country of Denmark with a rock garden that I always did have some problems with. After testing the old “known” lines I found that I could push the Legend much more and it came out very much faster with me taking much straighter lines – I really can’t wait to go to a proper track very soon. Thanks a lot Keith & Jay – Kieth! get well soon!!!

“I got the AMP from Jay so long ago, it has been sitting in my work shop waiting for the Pilgrim signature wheel set from Halo (ISON Distribution). They were supposed to be here long ago, but the boat from Taiwan had to turn back to port with a fire onboard. But finally they are here, the result got very pimp but I think it came out great and was worth the wait. All parts (except the FUNN F2 brake, Spank chain and the Goodridge cable) are from ISON Distribution where Lloyd is the farther of many great parts. Halo SAS wheels and Twinrail tires. Gusset stem, handlebar, grips, pedals. Society Xeon fork. All in all a great little “packets” but as our local DJ spot is still under water I did not ride it properly yet. Just wanted to show off my new ride J


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Another VOD with Dean Wilkes

this is actually a very nicely shot video.
Dean enters at the 385 second mark riding the Legend.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Scythe and the Hammer

Andreas sent me this from Bali and I thought I'd throw it up so you could get a look at what the Scythe looks like with the hammerschmidt
Hi Jay,

attached a couple of pics from our Scythe/Hammerschmidt setup done over the weekend.

The installation of the Hammerschmidt is pretty straight forward on the Scythe frame. It took around 1 hour to remove the old crank and install the new Hammerschmidt on the bike.
Even the existing cable routing tabs work great on the frame, so everything really looks factory installed.

Since the Scythe has a 68mm BB shell you need to use the supplied spacers between the ISCG tabs and the Hammerschmidt base plate.

Initial testing this morning was fantastic, just on the flat. The shifting is instantaneously, you can even shift while paddling backwards.

The weight increase over the previous single chainring/bashguard set-up is around 350 grams, but you are basically getting a whole new bike, since you have now a 22/36T chainring setup.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Get well soon Keith!

As some of our regular Banshee / Mythic followers may know, Keith has been in hospital recovering from some heavy duty surgery....I had a couple of texts from him yesterday and he seems in good spirits, despite some complications

Healing vibes to my buddy Keith, here's a great photo from a trip Keith and I took to Woburn Sands (Milton Keynes, UK) last summer to try out the AMP and Wildcard on some proper dirt jumps and freeride terrain

Hope to see you riding strong again soon Keith


Rob C

Banshee Rider is Named to Pan American MTB Championship Squad

Banshee rider, Rachel Bauer, will be competing in both DH and MX events at this year's Pan American MTB Championship in Santiago, Chile, March 20-23

"An eight-person gravity contingent will also wear the Stars-and-Stripes in Chile while contesting downhill and 4-cross events. All discretionary picks, Curtis Keene (Fremont, Calif.), Heikki Hall (Durango, Colo.), Chris Van Dine (Park City, Utah), Ethan Quehl (Grayson, Ga.), Graeme Pitts (Nevada City, Calif.) and Chris Heath (Durango, Colo.) will compete in the men’s downhill event, while Kathy Pruitt (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Rachel Bauer (Aspen, Colo.) will race women’s downhill.

Hall, Van Dine, Pruitt and Bauer will also race in their respective 4-cross competitions.

2009 Pan American Mountain Bike Championships
March 20-23
Santiago, Chile"

Read more about others who made it and the Pan Am Games here!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Aussie Nationals Rd 5 - Hobart

Aussie Nationals Rd 5 - Hobart

Well guy's, the Aussie National Series Round 5 has been run and won which winds up the series for 2008/09. It is a long way to travel from Brisbane Queensland to Hobart Tasmania even by air but Dad & I got there on Thursday afternoon last week in time to walk the track which runs off the side of Mount Wellington.

I am racing one of the 2 Banshee Scythe's painted in World team colour red & white. The series has been a mixed one for me as I crashed in round 1 at Adelaide South Australia but still placed 15th, then onto Illinbah Queensland for round 2 where I placed 3rd but suffered a grade 2 tear of the calf muscle which put me out for 8 weeks. I missed round 3 and headed into round 4 at Mount Buller Victoria (close to the bad fires) very much lacking fitness but managed to finish 7th which had me placed 10th overall leading into the final round last Sunday. Practice at round 5 Hobart was going great until late Saturday afternoon when I suffered a severe mechanical and it seemed I was unable to race the next day. Many frantic phone calls and my good mate & Banshee racer, Ryan Hunt offered me his Legend to race in the Under 17 men division. I managed to get 2 practice runs in on Sunday morning whilst swapping number plates with Ryan so that he could get some practice runs and his seeding run in. I then went up for my race run and whilst I was very conscious of not wanting to damage Ryans bike I placed 5th which placed me into outright 6th for the series - I am as happy as a pig in sh*t and cannot wait until next weekend when our State Rounds (Sunshine Series) commences. My sponsor, Darren Bowman (Brisbane Boutique Bikes) is building up his own Banshee Scythe for me to ride until mine is fixed (thanks Darren - you are a champion!!)

On a final note, it was a great National Series and I met some awesome guy's out there riding Banshee Legends such as Ryan Hunt and Ben Nylen and I hope I can return the favours to these guys in years to come when they have a problem.

cheers all,

Benny Power

You can follow Ben on his own blog here http://benpower-racing.blogspot.com/

From Russia with Love

Mike sends this in