Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Outrage a 0% fare rise for cyclists...

Rail passengers and car drivers were today outraged by the unfairness of the transport system, as it was annouced that cycling fares would rise by a paltry 0% in 2012, remaining at £0.00. Rail fares are to rise by 5.9% in January, while petrol prices remain as high as drivers’ stress levels.

M. Iserable, a spokesperson for People Who Don’t Cycle, told Cycle Lifestyle magazine: “I don’t see why cyclists should get such a good deal. Cycling already costs nothing, and now prices have been frozen at nothing.  When you consider the fact that cyclists also benefit from getting fitter, healthier and happier, the 0% fare rise is a real slap in the face for other transport users. With average commuting distances only 8.5 miles in Britain, it seems that just about everything is geared towards helping cyclists.”

No cyclists were available to comment – because they were all too busy pedalling joyfully through the streets for free.

Thanks for seeing the lighter side people!  Brought to you courtesy of Going Going Bike Blog & the lovely people at Cycle Lifestyle magazine:  ;-D

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Bamboo biking from Africa to the UK...

A bike made of bamboo is being given a tough test ride, all the way home to the UK from Africa.

Jack Morris, a local lad from the nearby town of Witney, is on his way home in an eight-month expedition on the machine, designed by a team at Oxford Brookes University.

His trip, which started earlier this month, will take him through Africa, then on to Europe and Istanbul before heading back towards West Oxfordshire.  By the time he gets home he will have covered 5,000 miles.

Writing on his blog, he said: “Take into consideration that my cycling experience maxes out at a foray into France and you might get an idea of how challenging this bike ride will be for me. I expect the tour to take eight months, cost me a small fortune and provide no shortage of sunburn.  “It should be brilliant.”

Mr Morris hopes his ride will raise awareness for Abingdon’s Rotary Club of Abingdon and Solar Aid, which provides funds for solar replacements for kerosene lamps in Kenya.   Dr Shpend Gerguri and Dr James Broughton who devised the bike, road-tested it on an eight-day trip through the Alps before it was put on the market by RAW Bamboo Bikes.

RAW managing director Rachel Hammond said: “This will be another great road test for the bike. We look forward to following Jack’s progress and hearing how the bike performs.”   Bamboo was chosen because it has a higher tensile strength than steel and adds vibration-absorbing qualities to a bike frame.

Jack's progress can be followed at his blog here - check it out, it is well worth a read.  All at SMB Bearings wish you the best of luck on your adventure!

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Brave or stupid?

You decide!

You certainly wouldn't catch me up a ramp that big (without the aid of coma-inducing levels of alcohol)... :0)

Friday, 9 December 2011

Toby Newman, downhill skater...

Our friend Toby Newman has put together this little video edit for us...

Thanks for sharing Toby, it's always great to see enthusiastic young talent - keep up the great work!

Instructables Christmas...

Have a few minutes to spare at work?  Things a bit quiet at the moment?  Never at SMB, but I image there must be a parallel universe where these things occur... :0)

Check out Instructables Christmas list of things to make and do... snowflakes, pop-up cards, christmas trees - they tell you how to make it all!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Schaeffer Mclean, 7 year old sponsored skater...

The latest action from awesome junior skater Schaeffer Mclean- every video sees him improving by leaps & bounds, literally!

Friday, 25 November 2011

Spoky Woky (aka Marie Bougourd) & the happy days of Summer...

A gorgeous video edit from number 3 ranked IGSA wonder-woman downhill-skater supremo, Spoky Woky...

Spoky Woky's comment:

"I leave my home 5 weeks to follow Downhill events in europe , awesome trip , nice people ! can't wait to do it again next year !" 

We can't wait to see how you get on next year Spoky Woky, you're a real inspiration!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Schaeffer Mclean, sponsored skater...

It's been a little while since we've heard from Schaeffer, our most awesome junior skate hero.  It appears that he has been astoundingly busy, as usual, & we are delighted to bring you his latest video adventure:

Schaeffer & his Mum, Eve, have just won an award for this video which placed second in the Alongquin Outfitters Adventure video contest.  Richly deserved guys, well done!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Photo of the week - night riders...

Thanks to Team for Ride for sharing these great photos...
Philippe Dupuy

Fabien Prual

We love it!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Glen Pointon Fly Fishing Blog: Canal pike bashing

Lovely photo post from our friend Glen Pointon - his mate with the orange baseball cap/Berghaus beanie combo might need to learn to shut his mouth for future pictures though! :0)

Exciting news... Real Cycling is back!!!

 So exciting! One of the best bike blogs in the world is back up & running after a year's absence - check it out here ...  if you want someone to tackle the world of all things bike who has a fabulous, wry sense of humour then this is the blog for you.  Glad to see you back Real Cycling!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Spoky Woky (aka Marie Bougourd)

What a busy girl Spoky has been! Check out this awesome interview with Longboard Girls Crew: http://longboardgirlscrew.com/2011/11/spoky-woky/ - it features our very own Spoky & her exploits & quite rightly lists her as an inspiration to many on the IGSA racing circuit & beyond.

And she's just launched her own blog too! http://spokyonwheels.tumblr.com/

You go girl!

Friday, 28 October 2011

F1 in Schools - Team Adactus

SMB Bearings are proud sponsors of F1 in Schools competitors, Adactus.
Congratulations on the launch of your new website guys, we look forward to keeping up with all the latest news on your progress! 

F1 in Schools is a multi-disciplinary challenge in which teams of students aged 9 to 19 deploy CAD/CAM software to collaborate, design, analyse, manufacture, test, and then race miniature gas powered balsa wood F1 cars.  Teams must raise sponsorship and manage budgets to fund research, travel and accommodation.

The challenge inspires students to use IT to learn about physics, aerodynamics, design, manufacture, branding, graphics, sponsorship, marketing, leadership/teamwork, media skills and financial strategy, and apply them in a practical, imaginative, competitive and exciting way.

The team say:

"Adactus is an F1 In Schools team from Lutterworth College in Leicestershire, UK. We are currently competing in our fourth year of the competition and have recently changed out name from Mach1. In our first year we won Best New Team at the Central England Regional Finals, In our second year we came first at the Regional Finals which meant we qualified for the National Finals and In our third year we won Best Engineered Car, Fastest Car and First Place at the Regional Finals. At the National Finals we won Best Engineered Car and Second Place. We were lucky enough to be given the opportunity to collaborate with a Malaysian team to compete in the International Finals in Singapore under the name Team Fusion in 2010.
After taking a break for a year, the team is now competing with the strong intention to come first at the International Finals. The team has welcomed two new members this year and has had a complete makeover with a new team identity."

We are very proud to be sponsoring you again guys, really looking forward to following your journey to the National & International Finals! 

SMB Skate crew update

Aaron Skippings has just updated his own blog & has been keeping us entertained with his downhill skating antics & general Facebook musings on life's important issues, like whether a Sherbert Dip Dab explosion, the aftermath of which was witnessed by his unsuspecting parents, could lead to an accidental drugs charge...

Maria (aka Spoky Woky) of 'Team for Ride' fame has just sent us the designs for her new downhill skating leathers & we are proud as punch to be displayed on her thigh... :0)


And here are some amazing images from her year so far...

Tony Leard & Doug Brown have been working on some publicity materials for us:

We are hoping to get some posters made up for the guys to use, especially as Doug tours extensively for his Skate Straight programme.

Shannon Francis has been busy too,

the Bristol stunt scooter rider has picked up a heap of new sponsors & still finds time to practise her second passion - video edits of her adventures...

I am sure that there's lots more to tell you, but that's all I can think of right now!
Happy weekend everyone :0)


Friday, 30 September 2011

John Griffiths, SMB sponsored skater update...

We've had a great update from John Griffiths this week:

"Its been non-stop this month! I don't like to waffle on so I'll keep it short and sweet!

Aaron Skippings pretty much covered our trip to europe... (see the video exploits here) it was rad, the hills where amazing and the party's where even better, coming home sucked I wish I was still there!

As for other events ride the dragon in Wales reclassified longboarding as a watersport, rivers on the track and standing water over two inches deep made the already technical track even more sketchy and racing was more a case of make it down alive than beat the competition. Luckily I managed to stay on my board enough to make it into the finals and third place!

What's more my bearings are still rolling fine even after being submerged underwater for two days in Wales...WIN!  Cheers for your help :) "

Thanks for your news John. We're delighted to hear that your bearings stood up to a bit of a battering :0)& many congratulations on the podium place at 'Ride the Dragon' in Wales. 

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Team for Ride - a new direction...

Thanks to Fabien (new President of Team for Ride!)  for the following news:

"So, I've been on a part of the Eurotour this summer and finished by a nice muscle tear on the left calf (I get hitten by a guy at 70 kph on the Euro champ final). Following to that, a sick leave of four weeks and still doing a lot of physio (6 hours a week), but I'll be able to be back on a board in three weeks.

This injury put me away from the end of the french championship 2011 and away from the podium of this one. :-/

So, about the French championship results:

Thibaut finished 2nd in streetluge and 3rd in classic luge

Marie: female 1st and 19th on the open (male / female / juniors)

Me: 7th in streetluge and 8th in classic luge.

Philippe was still not able to ride but is talking about coming back next year. This year he had focused a lot on the development of a new competition system and help the different event organisation to implement it.

Quentin: not much news... it seems that he is stoping skateboard for a moment.

TFR future:

after a first meeting we all decided to disolve the team, 'cause, Quentin is not wanting to skate anymore, Thibaut is far away in Britanny, Philippe want to come back in the competition but is not really sure. In fact there is only Marie and me who are sure to continue the competition next year, and Marie more than ever!  ut at the same time some decision were decided in other organisation we are in, some big projects of french elite camp, skate club, event organisation...

and finally people asked us to keep the name TFR and keep me as president. (Faby el presidente!)

Next year with TFR:

Organisation of a french elite camp to create a kind of "french team". it will take place in the french Alps

Organisation of "Telethon, Noon to midnight", a charity event to raise found for the genetical diseases consisting of a 12 hours ride on a 2km loop on inline and skate.
Organisation of the beginner race on the Parilly slalom race (should be Euro cup)

Organisation of regular session to make people discover the skate / luge and organise training for the people who want to develop the sport and improve the level. The goal is to create a real club with regular longboard lessons".

Wow - thanks so much for all the news Fabien!  We'll look forward to helping Team for Ride move forward next year, in whatever ways we can.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Aerocam Pro, another amazing customer!

We've been talking to Jean-Luc Fornier in France for a few years now, but we've only just discovered what he does with all the miniature bearings that we send to him & we are now truly awe-struck!!  

Jean-Luc is pictured centre, with friends on a recent trip to Africa
Jean-Luc produces arial remote control drones (see a demo here & here), the equipment allowing for extremely high quality, professional arial photography at a fraction of the costs involved in using a helicopter to get the same pictures.

Jean-Luc says:

"Our devices, which measures less than one meter wingspan, are capable of operating at very low altitude in very confined space.  It can therefore see the most inaccessible places with angles of shots unpublished. This is impossible with conventional means.  Our drone is equipped with a GPS sensor allowing the best possible position. The return video allows the framing of the shot from the ground station. This ensures that the shooting meets the expectations of the customer before returning to the ground".

He is currently involved in filming for various French TV channels,  see an example here ...

Jean-Luc sent us some amazing images of his recent trip to Africa, which truly demonstrate what an amazing machine he has produced:

You can find out more at Jean-Luc's website - as our French isn't quite up to it, we used Google Translate to get the lowdown!

Friday, 16 September 2011

SMB Skate Crew season update...

Aaron Skippings

Aaron tells us about his season:
"The season for me has been an awesome one , travelling countries and skating with friends is what its all about ,theres always that time in the year for us who cant skate because of the dreadful winter ,in that time saving money ,getting hyped up for the next year of skating just becomes natural as you know every bit of money you earn is another awesome day etc away shredding it up.

For me starting the first euro race in kozakov was brilliant as i had never had the chance to skate it before ,so many stories of how gnarly it was made me crave for it even more but there was always that butterfly waking up now and again in my stomach.

I can tell you now kozakov was one of the best tracks i have skated since almabtrieb,so fast and tech at the same time just completed it for me . shame about the weather but qualifying was in the rain which resulted in some fast people crashing out and not making the cut as there was only 1 qualifying run because of the time wasted in previous wet weather days.  I managed to qualify and was prepped for racing .OMG!  Racing was amazing, first heat was a proper tough one going up against some proper fast guys but i held them off and managed to get in there into 2nd place and get through to the second round.

2nd round was here ,all top professionals at the start line and then me ;), was a crazy race and have never been so fast in a heat but i didnt make the cut which wasnt a bad thing as i finished in the top 30!  Proper stoke right there! ,apart from the weather ,great event ,great people,great skating ,i will be back in 2012!

favourite videos/pics  - our bandito video ofcourse!

Euro Bandito from Oliver Slaughter on Vimeo.


Upcoming Events
ride the dragon in wales 17th-18th september:

Click here for more details
Thanks Aaron!  So great to hear all of your news & so many congratulations on a fine season.

Doug Brown

We've recently welcomed pro-skater Doug Brown to our crew... 

Doug does a great deal of motivational speaking & tours to promote the Skate Straight programme for youngsters, but still manages to fit some skating action inbetween!  Doug updated us this morning,  "Today I'm off on a skate adventure with a crew for fun and filming. I'm proud to announce my new sponsor is SMB Bearings out of England. This will be a great partnership as they are fully behind my efforts and they are good people. These bearings are great quality and the best I've ever had."  Thanks Doug!  We really appreciate your feedback on the bearings & are so pleased that you like them.

John Griffiths

No updates from John as yet, but he's heading off to Wales with Aaron to attend the Ride the Dragon event & has had a busy European IGSA season with some great results.
Schaeffer Mclean

The youngest member of the SMB Skate Crew, 7 year old Schaeffer has just return from a European skate trip & his new video is a corker!

"This video is part of a European skate adventure which was filmed across 6 countries. Sadly the Camera and footage was lost just before leaving the 4th country at Krakow Bus Station. This is the footage from a secondary camera of mainly the last 2 countries we visited. See if you can figure out which countries they were! Thank you to everyone who showed us skate spots - we discovered some amazing places. It has to be said that the Security Guard at the beginning kindly let us skate in the end. This is the story of Schaeffer's Skate Travels...."

Shannon Francis

The only stunt scooter rider on the team, Shannon's been busy honing her skills, hanging out with friends & putting together some great video edits of their escapades!

Team For Ride - the gravity sports gang!

Another succesful season for the French gravity sports team, getting good results consitently throughtout the IGSA competitions.  We look forward to a full season update from them soon.

Tony Leard

Lately i havent been doing as much skating due to an injury im dealing with from a recent fall.  But i should be on board soon. I'm mainly busy with graphic design lately, and busy filming trick tip videos for one of my sponsors. But everything lately is picking up good, and i designed a shirt for a company as well.

Check out Tony's blog for his latest news.

Thanks for all the exciting news people!  Wer'll keep you updated with all our skate crew's exciting adventures, as & when they happen :0)

Off to the Lake District for a week's kayaking now, so talk to you all again very soon
 (just as soon as I've dried out)!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Great Scalextric site...

If you're a fan of Scalextric, check out this site - it's the Northern Ireland Scalextric Club blog & they share loads of how-to guides, videos news & photos.

They have updates & videos each month, an example of which is shown below:

Check it out - it's great fun!

Friday, 2 September 2011

SMB Skate Crew welcomes DOUG BROWN!

SMB Bearings are delighted to announce that we are the proud new sponsors of skate legend Doug Brown. Doug started skating in 1986, aged 12 years old, won his first competition one year later & since then has notched up a frankly dazzling array of accolades.

Here, Doug lists his most memorable skate moments:

  • Winning my first skateboarding competition in 1987
  • Skating the 2002 - 2004 Summer Gravity Games
  • Eastern Supply Open House Demo NC 2004
  • Progressive Skatepark Appearance Atlanta 2004
  • Doing MC at Fuel Channel's Get Hook-T Up Tour 04
  • Texas Fort Bliss Military Base Demos March 2005
  • Canada Newfoundland tour July 2006
  • Skate Straight Hometown visit Jan. 2008
  • TV appearance on Good Co. Today Show on NBC May 2010

Through his many sponsors Doug has a range of decks, wheels, books, videos & is also a motivational speaker. His Skate Straight programme tries to teach youngsters key life skills, dealing with a broad range of issues, from bullying, drugs, education & self belief.

Doug's bio:
Chances are you've seen Doug Brown on NBC's Good Co.Today show, at the Gravity Games, AST Dew Tour, or even on a stick of X-Air Deodorant, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. Doug is a motivational speaker, published author of his autobiography Doug Brown: Beyond the Board, and founder of his highly acclaimed Skate Straight Program. From touring arenas with the band The Newsboys to visiting patients in hospitals with Athletes for Hope, Doug has proven to be more than just a skateboarder. Hidden behind his contagious smile and charisma is a wide range of talents and a strong sense of determination. Doug's love for the world of skateboarding began in 1986 after seeing Back to the Future for the first time. While the skateboarding trend has waxed and waned in popularity, Doug's commitment to the sport remained constant. Doug’s professional skating career began by chance at the 2002 Gravity Games, when he caught the eye of his first paying sponsors. He quickly realized his hobby became his living after a whirlwind of extensive traveling, industry events, demos, contests, and personal appearances. While he maintains a strong commitment to his skateboarding Brown has shifted his primary focus and energies towards his Skate Straight program entering schools, libraries, detention centers and being a keynote speaker for conferences. Doug Brown: Beyond the Board was published in 2010, and has added a new dimension to Doug's career. He writes of his life experiences and how it has been defined by a piece of wood and four spinning wheels. Brown wholeheartedly believes in positive change and the importance of hope and optimism. Notable causes and philanthropy include involvement with Athletes For Hope, American Red Cross, St.Baldrick's Foundation, SADD, and his own Skate Straight Program. Television appearances on NBC's Good Co.Today Show, Much Music Television, 54321, Fuel TV, ABC Sports, ESPN, Fox Sports, Planet X, Xcorps TV, and Sports Talk.

Friday, 26 August 2011


... & function, all in one pint-sized skate package - AWESOME!!!! 

Practise your moves at work & your boss need never know...  The price tag may be enough to make you fall off your perch though, in the UK it is currently retailing at over £60! 

Andrew Jones Designs...

Another customer wows us with their wonderful creations!  Talking to Andrew (of Andrew Jones Designs) this morning, he told us about his outdoor sculptures & we are delighted that he's found our bearings are just the ticket to keep them turning smoothly.

Andrew says "While studying art and design at Newcastle in 1972, I co-designed the kite that marked the start of my working life for the next 30 years. That kite was the original Flexifoil power kite which is still made today. It was the unexpected result of a sculpture project exploring the wind. Power kite design is all about using the energy of the wind for a purpose (power kite sports). My work now is to explore and enjoy the wind for its own free spirit. "
Some examples of Andrew's kinetic sculptures...
"The word wind may suggest a powerful force, but it can also be a zephyr blowing gently around anything it encounters. Then, it is often at its most interesting. I turn those unseen movements of the wind into something visible; often chaotic, but sometimes fleetingly ordered or cyclic when the breeze is constant. I am pleased when the movement of the sculpture encourages an appreciation of other things moving nearby, and if the changing angles bring to mind other forms."

Not only are Andrew's creations a delight (if somewhat mind-bending if you watch them for too long), it's also a real privilege to talk to someone so deeply at the heart of creating today's power kiting. 

Being the owner of a number of loved and cherished Flexifoil kites myself as a keen kite-buggyist & land-boarder, talking to Andrew Jones is on a par with being introduced to royalty/Dr Who/Harry Potter - you get the idea! :0)

It has been a great couple of weeks for us here at SMB Bearings, we just love hearing how our customers are getting on & we've been really privileged to see some amazing & inspiring designs.  If you've got any products, ideas, videos or images that you'd like to share with us, we'd be delighted to hear from you too.

RC Quadcopter...

Just spoken to Jakub in Poland, who's responsible for this little RC wonder...

mwc quad - fiberglass frame from warthox on Vimeo.

So cool!! :0)
It also incorporates space & a frame for your Go-pro camera, so you can film your flights with ease.
See more details at Jakub's website http://quadframe.com/ 

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Bike Blenheim Palace 2011...

Congratulations to everyone who participated in the event at Blenheim Palace last weekend, to raise funds & have fun in aid of Breast Cancer Care

MORE than 5,000 people got on their bike to raise money for the charity.  The Bike Blenheim Palace festival hosted everyone from competitive cycling fanatics to families in the Woodstock palace grounds.  Competitors could choose from 60 and 100-mile courses through the Cotswolds, finishing at the palace, and a tough 20km time trial all on the closed roads of Blenheim Park.

The event was backed by Cycling Weekly (a great source of news, views & inspiration on all things cycling related).

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Human powered helicopter, experienced cyclists required...

Now that's a gadget!! Hovering for 11.4 seconds has secured a place in the record books for the Gamera team, and for its pilot Judy Wexler, who made the longest human-powered flight by a female U.S. pilot

For the last two years, a team of 50 graduate and undergraduate students from the Alfred Gessow Rotorcraft Center at the University of Maryland's Department of Aerospace Engineering has been designing, building and tweaking a lightweight, four-rotor helicopter that's powered by the human pilot suspended at its center. The hope is to build a craft capable of walking away with the American Helicopter Society's Sikorsky Prize of US$250,000.

The rules of this challenge - named in honor of helicopter pioneer Igor Sikorsky - state that the craft should get all of its power from the human pilot and that it should thus be capable of hovering for 60 seconds within a 10-meter (32.8-foot) square area. During this time, the lowest part of the machine must reach an altitude of 3 meters (9.84 feet) above the ground - if only momentarily. As of August 2011, no-one has claimed the prize.  Time to get the Meccano out & start building!

The lightweight pilots used throughout the project have also been experienced cyclists, and were free to design their own training regimes based on their specialist knowledge. The team "became aware through our testing that a more focused training plan that optimized for muscular endurance rather than cardiovascular endurance, and one which trained the motion that is unique to Gamera, would produce even better results," said Schmaus. "Moving forward we are working with specialists in Biomechanics to develop a targeted training plan." 

However, the team still think they're a long way off the Sikorsky Prize's target of 60 seconds flight, so there's still a chance for you budding designers out there to nip in & grab yourself a few dollars! :0)