Jasper Da Seymour, MTB Photographer March 01 2018, 0 Comments
Jasper Seymour is just an ordinary guy who "loves bikes, beers, burritos, hollering down the trail with mates and trail building." He also happens to be an amazing professional photographer from Tasmania.
5 Reasons Why We'll Miss Winter Riding April 08 2016, 0 Comments
So, the clocks have gone forward and the days are getting longer and warmer. But here's 5 reasons why we'll miss riding in the cold, dark depths of a UK winter...
1. No more being smug
Meeting mates in a lay-by in pitch darkness means you're either party to a local dogging group or you're out riding your mountain bike in the depths of winter. Being (fool)hardy enough to brave freezing temperatures, driving rain and ice in order to go riding provides an immense amount of smug satisfaction. And that smugness continues the next day when your work colleagues ask you what you did last night while they stayed indoors watching crap TV.
2. Local trails become slower
Now that it's still daylight when we ride, local trails have gone back to being all too familiar and feel much slower than when riding them in the dark. That hyper-speed, gnarly downhill trail which you've ridden all winter while it was cloaked in darkness now just looks like the gently sloping family trail it really is. And the massive tabletop you've been clearing with a degree of style all winter has now become a small hump which could be cleared by a six year old on a Halfords special.
3. The end of empty trails
As the weather becomes friendlier, there will inevitably be more riders on the trails jostling for position. Those trails you've been regarding as your own 'secret singletrack nirvana' will become more like the A1 on a bank holiday Monday. And forget trying out that small gap jump without the risk of failing in front of those fearless 12 year old kids.
4. Riding becomes more dangerous
Riding in daylight now means that in order to push yourself and your riding, you've got to take more risks to get the same buzz. Riding at 20mph downhill just doesn't seem fast enough anymore, so you keep off the brakes and charge downhill or into corners with increased speed and aggression until something gives and you get a painful reminder that you're not actually Steve Peat.
5. Say goodbye to resting under a star-filled night sky
If you want to take your celebratory end-of-hill-climb breather under a deep black, star-filled sky, with borders of neon blue and burnt orange, you'll have to stay out really, really late. A lateness which is way past any sane person's bedtime and is definitely only possible for those who don't have to be up and functioning the next morning. Like students or the unemployed.
Tom Redfern, Apr 08
25% OFF EVERYTHING NEXT WEEKEND! November 20 2015, 0 Comments
This awesome sale is only open from 00.01GMT Friday 27th November 2015 to 23.59GMT 29th November 2015. After that, everything goes back to their regular price.
Just use code BF2015 at checkout* to get 25% discount on anything at brokenridersuk.com
And don't forget, every order gets a bunch of awesome free stickers! So what more do you want? Get Broken next weekend over at brokenridersuk.com
New Broken Riders reflective stickers October 13 2015, 1 Comment
We've been working with our friends at Harvey Lloyd Screens to produce some new reflective Broken Riders logo stickers. Screen printed onto clear vinyl, these stickers are going to be perfect for riding during the coming dark winter nights - especially if you stack it off the trail and your mates are trying to find you in the ditch!
The sticker is 100% percent durable as it's hand screen printed with a white base and then printed over that with small glass beads mixed into the silver ink to reflect the light.
I haven't tried it out on the trail yet (I'll be doing that tomorrow night), but a quick test in the back garden proved the sticker to be really effective.
We plan to give these stickers away FREE to any customer placing an order over £15 (excluding shipping). Unfortunately this only applies to orders placed at brokenridersuk.com.
Big thanks to Steve and Tracey at Harvey Lloyd Screens for their persistence with this. It wasn't an ordinary request, and this is the first time they've printed anything reflective!
Do you MTB? October 04 2015, 0 Comments
It seems like an all consuming passion. Every waking moment, every nano-second of spare time, every spare synapse. Every thought gravitates towards thinking about mountain biking.
When we wake, our first action is to look out of the bedroom window, looking upwards to see what the day's weather holds in store, thinking about how we would ride in the conditions. We do this even when we're not riding.
When it rains, we think about how the weather will affect the trails. Will we be able to do the night ride this week or will it be too slippery in the dark? Will those rain-soaked roots claim the grip that your tyres offer in the dry?
When the sun shines, we wonder how much faster we'll be able to rip down the trail, almost tasting the dust kicked up by your mate's rear tyre as you follow him down a fast section, almost riding blind through shafts of light and clouds of loam particles.
When it's windy, we despair.
When we're at work, we choose to sit and eat in front of our computer, just so that we can check out some mountain biking websites and salivate over components or clothing rather than the food we're consuming.
When we lay in bed at night, sleep rolling over us, we dream of nailing that gap jump without any fear or anticipation. We're king of the hill, master of the slopes, mastering turns and forming shapes in the air as we dream the perfect ride.
MTB. We do. Do you?
Broken Riders art prints are here! August 28 2015, 0 Comments
Finally, we've got our awesome art prints online and for sale! Printed by our good friends over at Harvey Lloyd Screenprinting, these ace prints are hand screen printed onto high quality 350gsm art paper.
The design is based on our best-selling 'Single Crown' tee design, which is a hand drawn illustration by non other than Broken Riders' founder, Tom Redfern. Available in two options: high density white printed onto a two colour blue background, or black and yellow printed onto a white background, these prints are a must for anyone riding a mountain bike.
The art prints are supplied unframed (we figured everyone has their own taste when it comes to frames), and are shipped in a rugged poster tube to keep your precious print safe.
Each poster costs only £25 + shipping. Available only online from Brokenridersuk.com, click the link below to get yours:
If these prints sell well, we'd like to offer regular prints of some of our t-shirt designs.
5 Reasons Why MTB Is More Fun Than Road Cycling February 19 2015, 0 Comments
Anyone who rides a mountain bike knows that they've made the right choice. Okay, some mountain bikers do ride road bikes, but we all know they do it solely for fitness.
So here's 5 reasons why mountain biking is better than road cycling.*
1. Mountain bikers talk to each other
Ever been at the back of the road cycling peloton? It ain't fun. All you get to see is the lycra-clad backsides of those faster than you. Because road cycling is all about the climbs, everyone is racing to the top of the hill, heads down in serious concentration with no thought or encouragement given to those at the back. Can't keep up? Tough. And then, when you do finally get to the top, everyone munches silently on their carb gels, quietly mulling over the approaching terror of having to ride their unstable, narrow-tyred machines down hill at speed.
Mountain bikers, on the other hand, use the uphills as a chance to have a decent life-affirming chat, pull wheelies and generally muck about. So much more fun. And if you are at the back, those at the front spot an excuse to stop and have a breather, and to either offer encouragement for your efforts or to take the piss out of your slow speed. Either way, hilarity ensues.
2. Mountain bikers get to wheelie
There are only a few people on this planet who can successfully wheelie a road bike. So, if you're not Peter Sagan, or a kid from a council estate, getting the front wheel of a road bike off the ground is always going to be a big challenge. As is keeping it in the air once it's up.
However, if you're on a mountain bike, you can have a go at popping the front wheel at every opportunity. Tree root? Pop a wheelie. Mini drop off? Pop a wheelie. In the car park, getting bored of waiting for your mates to get ready? Pop a wheelie. The possibilities to get the front wheel off the ground and have tons of fun are endless.
3. Mountain bikers breathe in fresh air, not pollution
Cycling on the roads is dangerous. Buses, trucks, cars - all plotted by angry motorists intent on wrapping you and your bike around their wheels. And all the time, you're breathing in the silent and invisible killer; pollution.
But mountain bikers get to breathe in tonnes of fresh air, filling their lungs with the sweet scent of forests and mountains. What could be healthier than the cool, evening air of the forest, with only the fine dust of forest loam to encroach on its purity? The worst that can happen is your mate, riding in front of you runs over some sheep crap and you forget to close your mouth...
4. Mountain bikers get to do skids
One of the greatest pleasures of riding a bike is skidding. It was one of the first things we learnt as kids, hammering down the path, riding for the first time without stabilisers. Ever tried to do a skid on a road bike? Here's what happens...
Yank on the back brake of a mountain bike however, and your world is filled with childhood memories of impressive power slides, and the air is filled with a gratifying shower of dust, stones or mud as your back wheel carves one of the finest arcs known to physics!
5. Mountain bikers have fun - whatever the weather
Finally, here's fundamental reason why mountain biking is better than road cycling. Mountain biking is just so much more fun than road cycling. Have you ever seen the faces of road cyclists when it's wet? Not fun.
And here's the face of someone who's just ridden their mountain bike, not only in the rain, but through the mud and gloop of a well-worn trail.
So, when it comes to fun, mountain biking beats road cycling in every aspect. Now get out on your mountain bike, get muddy, pull a skid and have some fun!
*This is aimed purely at those road cyclists who take themselves too seriously and have forgotten that we ride bikes because it makes us feel good!
Why Peaty's Bike Bonanza could change the bike industry for ever November 03 2014, 0 Comments
So I found myself heading north this weekend to Sheffield, to take part in the first ever 'Peaty's Bike Bonanza', held at Ponds Forge Leisure Centre in Sheffield. The brainchild of mountain bike legend Steve Peat, over 50 vendors, both businesses and individuals, set up early on Sunday morning to sell everything from merino socks to complete bikes. Peaty was also in full on business mode, selling everything from signed gloves to forks and tyres.
Given that Steve had only really advertised on social media, the event was really well attended, and the hall was bustling, with DJ Kevin Radical adding to the vibe with a great selection of tunes. Josh Bryceland was also there, still on crutches, but looking every inch the champion he is and with a full range of second hand components and consumables on sale. Money was changing hands all over the place and proud looking mountain bikers could be seen walking around wit hands clutching everything from brake pads to carbon full susser frames.
Broken Riders were there to sell off some old stock at knockdown prices, and to launch our new ranges on an unsuspecting public. It was great to meet some of our current customers and friends, and to make some new ones. One even wore his Broken Riders tee to the event and I beamed when I saw it!
But what struck me most about the event, above all else, was how this event could change the bike industry for ever. Where else could you buy everything you need for your bike, or even a complete bike, at a discount price, in one venue and with a hip hop soundtrack? Where else could you get hold of the same tyres that Josh Brycland rode on last season? Where else could you pick up an awesome Santa Cruz frame for almost half the retail price?
It seems like if you're prepared to be flexible in what you're after and do some prior research, then you could walk away with a brand new bike for almost half the full retail price. The same applies to components, riding gear and apparel. There were unbelievable bargains on offer, especially in the first two hours. Given that this event was such a success, and received so much interest, it seems only a matter of time before Peaty holds another such event, and I can imagine that many more vendors would be interested in attending.
The turnover of products in mountain biking is moving so fast these days, there must be lots of companies who want to get rid of their 'slightly less than current' stock. Also, if you've got a shed full of barely used bike bits, selling them at an event like Peaty's Bike Bonanza is so much more enjoyable than dealing with an unknown avatar of eBay. And surely no one would ever begrudge professional racers making a bit of extra cash by selling off their unwanted parts, and giving ordinary riders like me the chance to shred with the same rubber as Peaty?
Watch this space, Peaty's bike Bonanza has changed the bike industry forever...
3 Inspirational Experiences Of Never Giving Up August 08 2014, 0 Comments
Three things have happened to me this week that have fundamentally changed how I feel about the issue of never giving up.
But I'd like to begin this post with an apology to all Broken Riders out there. This is my first blog post since March, when I gave up writing blog posts. Which is kind of ironic, given that the subject of this blog post is about never giving up..!
Anyway, as I said in the headline there, three things have happened to me this week that have fundamentally changed how I feel about the issue of never giving up, particularly in respect of riding my bike.
On Monday, I met a customer of ours called Carl Morton. Carl has been a big supporter of Broken Riders since we began, and he's probably bought almost everything we do. Our designs seem to resonate with his attitude to life, particularly the "get back on and have another go" aspect. I was meeting Carl as he finished the first leg of his long distance charity ride. He's currently riding from London to Brighton (which is where we met on Monday evening as he rolled in to town after a mammoth slog into a headwind driving in up the English Channel), then from Brighton back to his home in Derby. He's mainly using Sustrans routes and trying to stay off road as much as possible, and riding to raise money for the Royal British Legion as a mark of respect for those who lost their lives a hundred years ago in WWI.
What makes Carl so special is not that he's using his own holiday time from work to do a ride for a charity (many others do, and for many noble causes - well done you lot!), but that he's doing this ride solo and he suffers from epilepsy. When we met he played this aspect down, saying that as long as he took his medication he'd be OK. But I couldn't help thinking what an amazingly brave guy Carl was. Despite his illness, and knowing full well that his body was going to be pushed to extremes on this ride, he was still willing to get on his bike, take time out of his life and go ride to raise money for others. When I asked him what his biggest fear about the journey was, he replied "giving up". He's determined, no matter how rough it gets, to "never give up", and to complete the journey in order to satisfy his honour and the honour of those he's raising money for. Carl, we salute you!
Please take a little time out to follow Carl's blog, or follow his route. If you can, donate a small amount to his charity page. the links are here:
Next up, the second thing that happen to me this week which changed how I feel about never giving up happened on Wednesday evening, during an after work ride out at Bedgebury Forest in Kent. I've never been very good at jumping on my bike. Like many fellow Broken Riders, most of my stacks have been encountered when I attempt to land my bike after hitting a jump and getting it very, very wrong. However, these numerous, often painful, crashes have never deterred me from having another go. Also, I've been recently intently watching lots of videos of riders jumping on their bikes, both racers and those riding for fun. But rather than sitting in front of the laptop in awe of what they're doing, thinking "I could never do that", I've been trying to analyse the series of movements that make up the jumps.
I'd been feeling a bit ill since the weekend with a cold, but I decided a ride would help to 'sweat it out'. So out on the trail, I found a sweet section of singletrack with some very well built, but reasonably small, jumps (there's a rule of thumb here: when learning to jump, every metre high jump feels about 4 metres high!). First time round, I got it all completely wrong and almost found myself heading to A&E as I landed front wheel heavy, bouncing forwards but somehow managing to save it!
My first thought was "fuck it, I'll move on to the next section of trail", which is what I've pretty much done since I started riding mountain bikes 15 years ago. I've always spared my self the pain of embarrassment and moved on, meaning that when I come across the same section on the next ride, I mess up again as I haven't addressed any of the issues involved However, this time was different. Carl's spirit of determination had affected me, and so I had another go. And this time, I thought more about what I was doing, where the bike was going once in the air. I focused on pushing into the take off ramp to give me air, and then on pointing the bike toward the landing, becoming aware of my body position as I made the transition from take off to landing. Baam! I nailed the jumped, albeit only half a metre high, perfectly. Suddenly everything made sense; all the video watching, all the articles read, all my mates' tips about jumping, everything fitted into place. So I had another go, and another. I even managed a 'mini' tail whip on the last jump!
Photo courtesy of RedBull
Now, I'm not saying that I'm now the next Kelly McGarry, but this definitely feels like a significant step up in my mountain bike skills level - and all because I never gave up. I felt proud of myself, and look forward to nailing other jumps that have previously eluded me, hopefully without the obligatory trip to the nearest A&E!
The third thing that happened to me this week, and which really cemented by belief that adopting an attitude of 'never giving up' can make significant changes to many things we encounter in life, happened to me a the breakfast table this morning. "What?!" do I hear you say? Yes, it's true - I was inspired even over my muesli. I was reading the latest edition of Singetrack magazine, and on page 11 there's an amazing article about by Iona Evans about her gruelling ordeal in one of the most hard core of mountain bike endurance rides, the Highland Trail 550.
Despite having an injured ankle on departure, riding most of the journey by herself, and knowing that she was way behind the rest of the pack in the ride, Iona never gave up, and had the motivation to get her mind and body through the ride to complete 560 miles and finish an adventure that only a handful of riders have managed. Throughout the whole article, what struck me was Iona's determination to never give up, to look for numerous sources of motivation (from cups of coffee made for her by friendly village shop owners, to just being wanting to crest a hill to find a breeze and get ride of the midges!), and to finish her ordeal without the promise of any financial reward from prize money (the Highland Trail 550 offers no prize money for first place), but just to because she'd be able to say she'd done it. A truly inspirational read which I feel every rider could benefit from. Check it out: Singletrack Magazine issue 91, out now.
If you're interested in putting your body and mind through sheer torment, battling with midges and pushing your bike up unrideable climbs so that you can say you're in a very small group of elite riders who've completed the Highland Trail 550, then check out these websites:
So there they are, three sources of inspiration, all in one week. Two are from external sources, and one from myself. And that's just in one week! There are so many, many more out there. From tales of extraordinary resilience, to motivational websites put together by unsung heroes just to inspire other to never give up. Maybe you'll be able to find your own source of inspiration to keep you motivated the next time you feel like giving up?
Remember, Broken Riders never give up, they just get back on and have another go.