Tuesday, 30 August 2011

New Toy - Flyweight Highball Singlespeed

17.9lbs of fun
I got back from a big old ride in the Peak District on Monday afternoon to find a big box that felt empty sitting in the dining room. Opening it I was pretty excited to find a new Santa Cruz Highball frame and a full set of Syncros finishing kit, including an FL 29er rigid fork, to build myself a new singlespeed to replace my venerable, but robustly built, and almost 10 year old steel mile muncher. This was going to be something a whole lot more whippety. I had a pretty big grin as I unwrapped everything and prepared to get spannering. The part I was most excited about was the new, all carbon, Syncros Fl 29er fork, and when I picked it up I wasn't disappointed, it's light and the bottom of the crown is solid, leaving no hole to bung up with mud, a nice touch.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A (Pennine Bridleway) Ride In The North

Not my pic, but you get the idea: PBW, it's remote-ish and there are lot of big hills. Perfect!
For the last year or so I've had my eye on the Pennine Bridleway Double as a ride that I want to complete, and one that I want to complete fast. Last year I had a go but a broken rear hub freewheel put paid to my efforts after only 20miles. Injury and a busy work/race schedule this year left me with one opportunity to have a got this year and so when the August bank holiday weekend came around I set off from Brighton, ignoring the weather forecast, determined to have a go at this ride and it was an excited rider that trundled up the M6 on Friday night, looking forward to a big day out.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

BigRobRacing's BigDogBlog

Saturday saw the arrival of the most eagerly awaited mountain bike event on the calendar, Morvélo's Brighton Big Dog, a 6hr race around my local woods; Stanmer park. The course is always a blast and this year my brother and Grace would both be racing in pairs teams too. It turned out to be a truly fun day out in the sun.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Competitive Grace's BigDogBlog

A last minute change of plan saw me racing this year's BrightonBigDog 6hr endurance race with "Competitive Grace". It's always a great day out with an amazing course organised by some amazing people, including local cycling apparel company Morvélo. Here's Grace's account of our BigDog in her own words:

Sunday, 14 August 2011

BrightonBigDog - Big Preview Video

Rory and Josh set out on Friday to complete a course check and to give us all a flavour of the great day out that next weekend's BrightonBigDog will be around the amazing trails of Stanmer Park.

Josh made us all a video to show just what a treat we're all in for with this year's course, endless singletrack bliss (with passing/recovering places and maybe a little uphill so we can all feel like we earned our dinner!). Enjoy, I'll see you there!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Squirt Lube - Welcome Aboard

I am delighted to announce that, from today, I will be supported by Squirt Lube, makers of the great dry lube that can be used in wet and dry conditions, meaning no more horrible wet lube chain gunk for me!

Everyone loves getting
parcels in the post
Squirt also make bike cleaner and chain cleaner. Not that I'll be using too much chain cleaner fro now on hopefully and, with winter fast approaching and rain a constant thought in the back of all of our minds already at this time of year, I'll certainly get to out their products through their paces. Fingers crossed for more life out of may chains, changing my lube & cleaners is certainly cheaper and easier than changing a chain!

The full range of squirt products is available from the lovely people at the xcracer.com shop

Thursday, 11 August 2011

2011 Race Equipment - Mt. Zoom

A lovely big box just arrived and it felt empty. This could only mean one thing: A package from Ant White's Mt. Zoom components.

These parts are the the sweating the detail parts, hunted down & race tested by Ant, who has developed an excellent selection of those attention to detail finishing parts that turn a pretty light bike into a really light bike, without sacrificing durability or function.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

SlTS 2011: Mixed Pairs & Competitive Grace

This weekend I returned to Sleepless In The Saddle 24hr race. Last time I raced I won the 24solo category. This year would be a little different as I was racing with my immense pit crew, directeur sportif and ever patient & supportive girlfriend "Competitive Grace" as she is known in the The North Face office, in the Mixed Pairs category. We were up against some experienced pairs so, as it's Grace's first year of riding & racing, we decided on the ever sensible "smash it, smile, enjoy and hope for the best" tactic.

The race went better than we could have expected! We led every lap and came home with enough time for Grace to have a little lurk to win the mixed pairs category for team The North Face / Santa Cruz. Good times :-)
The North Face / Santa Cruz (Rob and Grace)
take to the top step of the podium - a happy team

Pic: Rob Crayton

Here's how it all went:

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Just what is it that you want to do? VIDEO

A great "this is why" day out in the sun on the South Downs with Josh Ibbett, Dave Arthur of BikeMagic and Juan Christen of Magicalia

Josh made us an excellent video that captures the day (and Juans two rather painful crashes) perfectly, no further explanation required. Enjoy...... we did, and that's even before we'd finished with fish & chips on the beach in the evening sun :-)

Get well soon Juan x

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Interview on singletrackworld.com - Rob's Tips for SITS

This interview with me originally appeared on singletrackworld.com, the popular forum & news website of Singletrack Magazine as a prequel to SITS 24hr race. It's now dropped off site front page, but was pretty popular and I had a lot of good feedback at the time, so I thought I'd pop a link back to it for anyone wanting to read this kind of tips article. It's a collection of my experiences and, more importantly, the hard learned advice that has been kindly passed to me by other racers such as Ant White, Ian Leitch and the other top guys listed on the right of this blog, who were already winning races when I first set out to challenge myself at endurance events.

To read the full piece, you can click through to the Singletrack page HERE, or just click "READ MORE" below. I hope you find some of it as helpful as I have.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Woo-Hoo! MBR Feature on Brighton, Featuring Rob Dean

Front cover & Brighton is the
main feature - woo-hoo!
A couple of weeks ago Matt Hampton, editor of MBR magazine, came down to Brighton to see what all the fuss was about. 

We met up with local club, Brighton MTB, some of the Brighton Explorers multi-sport club, Oli Pepper, the man behind Morvélo and directeur sportif of the KMP and Jon "Chickens" Aston, maker of beautiful, lightweight steel bikes who is starting up a local frame building business. Oh, and me as a local racer. We took Matt around some of the local singletrack, across some of the exposed Downs ridge and gave him a taste of the BrightonBigDog race course. A true flavour of some of the highlights that Brighton, and its back yard, the South Downs, has to offer anyone who like their mountain biking.

I was lucky enough to get my own panel in the article, reminding me just how lucky a rider I am and of all the great support I've had. It's a nicely written piece by Matt (and it makes a nice addition to my Mum's coffee table too!).