Stoogeness Abound is a term I’m using to describe the rides I have on my new Stooge Speedbomb. In addition, I reckon my new term also sounds like the name of a weird rock group, and taking a slight Stooge-type-detour in this post, this is how I imagine the band, STOOGENESS ABOUND; They ‘were’ a UK band from ‘The North’, and their heydays were between late 1986 and early 1987-ish. The drummer had a glass eye, wore dungarees/overalls and a string vest, and focussed (with the good eye) on intimidating individuals in the crowd, which they liked of course. The guitarist, aged roughly 30-ish apparently, had never, ever had a proper job and he wasn’t that good a player either, but he was loud. There was no bassist in the band. The leader singer was Dutch, stereotypically so tall that he had to duck for every door, and sang with an over confident Dutch-Yorkshire accent, which was a bit weird, but acceptable for the 1980s. He also joined in with the drumming percussion on some songs by producing a triangle from his pocket. Also weird. Their gigs were always in gritty, Northern pubs, and always on a Friday or Saturday night as they would guarantee a ‘sell out’ based on the sheer volumes of people needing a drink or ten after a weeks’ work. The music could (maybe) be described as ‘ahead of their time’. Actually, as a group of musicians, they were shit. However, as a noisy centre piece to any packed and drunken pub, they were just the job! They only had one song that was of their own writing and it only lasted 1 minute 36 seconds. It was a punky type of song that tried to pack in the usual 3+ minutes worth of lyrics into 1 minute 36 seconds. The rest of their repertoire were combined covers, and not in any order. Some might say that even their lyrics were made up in the moment. Others might say that they sang poetic verses to appeal to the ‘thinking rock chick/bloke’, or anyone still with the drunken ability to stand up/stay awake for that matter. I wonder if His Stoogeness Himself, Andy Stevenson, was ever in a band?………..
Whilst my effort to describe the band above is all well fabricated, and (possibly) complete crap, it brings me to the point of this post, which is to illustrate how well this bike is perceived by others AND to also include a bit more Stooge-driven-ride-creativity.
Dealing with the FIRST item; I’ve been amazed at the positive reactions to the bike from anyone that sees it. This ranges from the non-cycling gang like my wife and motorcycle friends to the serious MTBers. Everyone takes time to look at the features and compliment the frame design, its colour, and in some cases, the components I’ve used. Whilst I’ve featured the bike and its build in some recent posts, my local bike shop (LBS), Big Bear Bikes, who got me the parts kit, have also included it on their website blog. They have also gone one step further and created a YouTube VLOG about the bike with me talking the build through with Micky, who is one of their team. Big Bear Bikes have a large shop full of mainstream big brands, but they also have the Cycle Hub at one of the UK’s largest trail parks, Dalby Forest. Whilst their selling big brands like Trek, Haibike, Burgtec and Hope etc all day long, they too are interested in my Stooge, which is why they invested in their media team, The Word Agency, to create the VLOG content on it.
The sun shone for the filming and both Micky and I busked our way through the bike build whilst trying to capture ‘the essence of Stooge’ at the same time. Top fun! See YouTube link at the end of this post.
Onto the second point in this post. One of the things that my new Stooge Speedbomb bike tends to force out of me, is to look at more creative rides, and this is what led me to find out about a new route that weaves its way through some really fabulous parts of North Wales. It is called ’Traws Eryri’ and you can download the route booklet, or buy it like I did, from the link at the bottom of this post. The guide has been written by the well known and well seasoned cycling writer, Guy Kesteven (and I don’t know if he was ever in a band in case you were wondering). The ride is a 200km journey through North Wales, a place dear to my cycling heart and where I was fortunate to find a wife and to live for 20 years before we all relocated somewhere else together. I know that following someone else’s route is not necessarily creative, but modifying the route to suit the bike, the day, the weather, how you feel etc, is creative. So, here’s a summary-of-summaries of what I did, and without too much boring detail, and definitely no Strava data……..
The first of three ride sections in the book is in an area quite special to me. The first route in the book goes from Machynlleth to Trawsfynydd. However, as I know the area quite well, I’m going to pic’n’mix my route, which will be circular and go from Dolgellau, down the magical Mawddach Estuary to the sea, turn back inland to skirt around the magnificent mountain, Cadir Idris, and see if I get as far as the atmospheric location of Castell-Y-Bere. You don’t need anymore information than this as it’ll be just like me writing another version of ‘the other Guy’s book’.
To date, I’ve ridden my Stooge Speedbomb on trails and in places that I am familiar with, which is always wise with a new bike. This Welsh ride has quite a few sections that I have, and haven’t ridden before, and certainly not on this bike, so it’s a five hour ‘Stoogeness Abound’ adventure. Oh yeah, I picked a good weather day and did everything else required in preparation for some known and unknown riding. Very ‘Captain Sensible’ (who actually was a real person in The Damned, so I haven’t made this character up). Anyway, this post isn’t ‘someone-else’s-post-about-their-bike-ride’ so you’ll get the location and terrain from the photos.
There’ll be more epic days out on this bike for sure, and just as likely, it’ll lead me to meet new people whether they’re cyclists or not👍
YouTube link as well as other links to Stooge related content.
Big Bear Bikes YouTube VLOG https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FskI5BkzSo&list=PLEIXYOkyqT_y-qraMcgVn9IZUs6GplX01&index=1
BBB shop https://www.bigbearbikes.co.uk
Cycle hub https://www.dalbyforestcyclehub.co.uk
The Word Agency https://www.thewordagency.co.uk
Stooge Cycles http://stoogecycles.co.uk