Rep The Colours!

Holy shit, action on the BnC blog!?

Things have been a bit quiet here, so we’re kicking things off good and proper. It’s been a long time coming, but the brand new Bottles and Chains team kit is finally here! It’s up for pre-order now, on our shiny new webshop. The pre-orders close on January 2, 2017 so you’ve got a little bit of time to rob some pennies, but it’s a busy time of year so don’t wait too long.

Get shopping here.

BnC Team Kit Pre-Order

Don’t Fuck With Our Happiness

So a few weeks ago some scumbag fucking tip-rats stole a bunch of DH bikes from myself and a few of my flatmates. That sorta thing will generally put a bit of a dent in your day, especially while you sit around stewing about how you’d like to put a little more than a dent in the perpetrator’s skull. Luckily it’ll take a fair bit more than some low life to fuck with the happiness around here, so the boys grabbed their dirt jump bikes and hit the park for a bit of a hardtail shred session. I should make note that I don’t make an appearance in this video, not only because I don’t own a DJ bike, but also because riding one in the bike park is fucking crazy and I’m too useless for that shit.

Enjoy!

Frosty Mornings

ben-gravel

Gravel grinding may be one of the newer buzz words in the cycling community, but the BnC crew have been smashing out backroad epics for many years. The bikes have slowly become a little more appropriate (less fixed gear track bikes, more dirt road tourers), but the quality of Tassie gravel remains the same. They’re all a bit slack to post anything for the ghosts that lurk this website, but you can rest assured that the backcountry dirt is being well looked after in Tasmania.

(Photo by Mr. Killick – About The Bike)

No Direction Home

So things got a bit mixed up and somehow I ended up in Canada. No big deal, it’s pretty sweet over here. It has kinda fucked up the name of my photo blog though, which is definitely a quandary that fits firmly in the ‘first world problems’ category. But anyway, in between fine tuning my forest casual aesthetic and learning how to get the wheels of a bicycle more than 3″ off the ground, I’ve been taking a few photos.

As you know, we here at Bottles and Chains have a tendency towards the analog. Call us old school, luddites, stuck in our ways, or hipsters if you will. Liam has a beard, Ben gets confused by anything with more than two sprockets, and I still refuse to buy a real digital camera. Ok, so it’s more that I can’t afford one. And admittedly, Liam shoots far more film (with far more skill) than me, but now he’s gone all fancy with digital video, so that puts him out of the picture.

Anyway, I’ve taken some photos of bicycle riding, and you can see a few here or you can go over to the completely inappropriately named Roll South and see some more. The choice is yours, and choice can be a luxury at times, so make up your mind already.

Sixteen Inches of Chaos

table acid drop

If there’s one even at the Queenstown Bike Festival that gets the BnC tick of ‘fuck yeah’ approval, it’s gotta be the 16″ World Championships. Held inside The Find bar, the course is taped onto the slick concrete floor, with beer kegs, wall rides and skinnies keeping things interesting. Chuck in a hoard of drunken bike riders, a beer checkpoint, numerous bottles of mustard and several hundred litres of spilled (and tipped) beer, and the chaos comes swiftly. There’s no friends on race day, and sabotage seems to be priority number one, with most riders crossing the finish line drenched in beer and condiments. Somehow the night escaped without any major bloodshed, despite numerous floor-shaking stacks caused by front wheel wash-outs on the ridiculously slick floor. Several head-first plows into the crowd, numerous superman face plants and the constant risk of copping a 16″ bmx to the shins keeps it pretty interesting in the crowd as well. Points have gotta go to Jimmy who crossed the finish line on his face, bike perched on his back as the crowd dragged him over the line. And a merit award to Jarrah for the inventive use of a keg to spray competitors with a mist of leftover beer. Well done to all the riders who embraced the chaos, and the crew who put their bodies on the line and threw down for best trick.

Photo flogged from Callum.

You Snooze, You Lose

bnc-crew

 

So Dave pointed me in the direction of a bizarre facebook page for ‘BOTTLES N CHAINS’ that’s using the BnC logo and posting photos of people wearing sandals on motorbikes and rows of those funny little cars that grandmas drive. After a bit of a chuckle I thought that maybe I should make a proper BnC FB page, just so that it was reserved for good old fashioned bicycles and beer. Unfortunately someone else had already decided to take the name/address and grace it with a sweet ‘BOTTLES AND CHAINS CREW’ logo, featuring a gnarly dude doing a sweet jump against what I can only imagine is the moon at some point in the future, after BnC’s global corporate buying power has conspired to have the BnC logo etched onto it in a size clearly visible from earth. I looked a bit closed and discovered a bunch of Romanians living in Transylvania riding full rigid mountain bikes in jeans. That’s more like it!

I know we happily suggest that people join up by stealing the logo and claiming it, but the third stipulation of that agreement is to not be a jerk. I’m not sure I’d actually expected random people to just make off with the logo and use it for their own nefarious ends (and lines of parallel-parked micro hatchbacks definitely classes as nefarious in my book). But now it’s happened we’re just going to have to take them under our collective BnC wing and welcome them to the family. I’m really not sure they know what they’re in for. Anyone up for a holiday to Transylvania? I know some guys there and I’m sure they’ve got some room on the floor.

Riding Dirty

jimmy race

Nothing feels quite like finishing a 100km race…I’d imagine. I’ve never done more than 50km, but I’m notoriously lazy and strictly non-competitive unless I’m guaranteed to win with minimal effort. The good doctor Jimmy ticked off a century today and he’s got the grit-filled grin to show it. Nice work ol’ boy.

michelle neil

As for me, I took to the hills after too many days riding the gondola and forgetting what it feels like to actually pedal up a hill for longer than three minutes. Within 30 seconds of leaving the house I’d been attacked by a bee, we’d lost Michelle, and Neil couldn’t figure out how to use the gears on his borrowed bike with its big, silly wheels. After moments of chaos we regrouped at the supermarket to meet up with our guide Nick, who was still drunk from many hours of debauchery the night before. Things were off to a good start.

A few KM of tarmac had me quietly cursing my tacky 2.4″ tyres and feeling less than confident about the backcountry mission ahead. Luckily it wasn’t too long before we hit dirt, and Nick seemed to be vaguely aware of where we were heading. Many rides with Ben Storer has left me eternally wary of the words “I’m pretty sure it’s this way…”, which are inevitably followed by a long, steep descent towards a dead end and a sentence starting with “Oh, actually…”.  We hit singletrack in good time, and from there things were looking up…literally.

Moonlight Track winds its way above the Shotover River behind Queenstown, with some pretty steep drops off to the side and a narrow path that would be little more than a goat track if it weren’t for all the mountain bike tyres that roll over it. It kinda goes without saying that the mountain biking in Queenstown is pretty epic, and the views are best described the same. When you duck around the side of the hill and find yourself away from the main roads, the mountains open up before you and it’s hard not to drop your jaw. The trail dipped into an awesome descent, with the only real line becoming a narrow rut intersected by jutting rocks and covered in a good dose of sheep shit. Guaranteed that whenever the line did open up, your chosen path would have been neatly defecated on by the local farm animals. Just roll on through, it’s the only real option. We hooked down and back up again, before a brief stop for photos and jelly beans (any excuse to rest is good by me). Naturally things were going to smoothly, so Neil decided that a spontaneous puncture would liven things up a little. I promptly planted myself in the shade under a bush and didn’t complain a bit.

We carried on along more narrow, technical trail before hitting 4WD road and beginning to loop back towards Moke Lake. A few steep climbs in the hot sun had me swearing and whinging inside my head. If there’s one thing I hate whilst mountain biking, it’s riding up long, dusty fire trails in the hot sun. Luckily the ride was far too good and the scenery too amazing for it to have any impact on the good times. Plenty of pedalling and a relaxing lunch under the trees lead us on to Moke Lake, where more gravel road carried us on to the top of Gold Digger trail. Queenstown Mountain Bike Club do a lot of amazing trail work, and Gold Digger is one of their newer projects. A rad 2.5km descent back towards town, winding its way through a variety of terrain and flora. Plenty of tight corners (in a good way), sections of fast, pumpy trail and some awesome surrounds make it a damn fine trail that I’m super keen to ride again.

From there it was back to town along the Sunshine Bay track, before booking in for a bloody huge stone grill steak at Pog Mahones. Safe to say there was a fair amount of red meat ingested at that table. A decent cow somewhere gave its life for a damn good cause.

The question now it, where to next?

(I totally stole Jimmy and Michelle’s photos for this post.)

Doin’ Skids

I was wandering around on Tumblr this evening when this picture cropped up. Featuring the pretty much instantly recognisable Remarkables it can only be Queenstown. There was no link to the source, so I have no idea who took it, or where it’s from, or anything at all really. I don’t even have much reason for posting it, except that it’s someone busting out a skid in a sweet location…which is reason enough really! Queenstown’s a bloody good spot. I’d better find a new front tyre for my fixie so I can hang with the cool kids again.