by Wil Barrett
January 9, 2017
It may be the second Monday Morning Debrief of 2017, but given most of us had a holiday last week, we’re calling this the first proper one of the year. Following a silly season of feasting on mince pies, roast tatties and 8-days straight of turkey sandwiches, we’re now officially past the point where it’s publicly acceptable to drink gin at lunchtime. Not that it stops us, just that we all get frowned upon more so from here on in.
As the first proper weekend of 2017, it seems like everyone was keen to break free of cabin fever after spending far too much time with family than is medically recommended. We’ve got loads of riding adventures coming to you from both Singletrack staffers and contributors far and wide, so sit yourself back and enjoy the ‘brief!
Our tame Social Media Man, Andi, dashed out for a Slushy Sunday Soiree on a lovely steel hardtail from Production Privee. Given the rain we’re currently getting dumped with at the moment, it looks like his timing was ideal! But on a different note, how good do those green DVO forks look good on that frame? Yummo!
Adele Mitchell went searching for muddy puddles in Surrey Hills over the weekend, and from the looks of things – we think she found them!
“I decided against having a drink on today’s ride. Listen very carefully and you can hear my Camelbak – currently nice and clean and lounging in a cupboard – laughing.”
A bluebird morning up Cademuir with @misswinton was a cracking start to a day chatting the pitfalls of XC racing (including no biscuits) and how enduro has made everything 225,000,000% better (includes biscuits). Few folk work harder on or off the bike than this stoker. Grab @singletrackmag issue 111 out Feb 8th for the full blether 🚴☀👍 @trekfactoryracingenduro @trekbikes @bontrager #Scotland #Cademuir #tweedvalley #sunrise #dawn #dawnraid #bikes #bicycle #cycling #mountainbike #mountainbiking #MTB #singletrackmag #trekbicycles #trekfactoryracingenduro #bontrager
Our roving main-man in Scotland, Pete Scullion, was on duty over the weekend snapping some ripper photos of Enduro racing young-gun, Katie Winton. Pete’s putting together a story for Issue #111 of Singletrack Magazine, and we cannot wait to see it!
Meanwhile, Chipps and Wil were off in Bradford in West Yorkshire covering the National Cyclocross Championships for Grit.cx. ‘Cross racing in the UK has exploded in recent years, and is becoming popular amongst mountain bikers as well as road riders looking for something a bit different. And a bit different is right – the course that competitors were hammering around in Peel Park in Bradford was intense!
Many Elite mountain bike racers are using cyclocross racing as a form of off-season training. Not only is it brilliant for fitness, it’s also ideal for those wanting to sharpen their skills. Ain’t nothing quite like trying to two-wheel drift through muddy corners on 32mm wide tyres with drop bars! Tracy Moseley is one such mountain biker who had a crack at the National Champs on the weekend, though she found the racing super tough and finished outside the Top-5.
Both Chipps and Wil were broadcasting via Facebook Live through the weekend, and you can check out all of their videos on the Grit.cx Facebook page. There’s some great behind-the-scenes footage of what goes on in the pits (utter madness!), as well as some bike check videos for those who aren’t really sure what these curly-bar devices of torture are all about.
Wil even got out for a lap of the course to put together this painful video. It involves Wil trying to hold the wheel of the National Series CX Champion and Team Kinesis UK rider, Hannah Payton, and her very fast brother, Tom Payton. If you’ve wondered what it’s like as a mountain biker trying to race around a cyclocross race course, then make sure you watch this!
Further up the country, Tom Nash combined the two best things in the world – bikes and pies – for what we would consider a successful day out on the bike earlier last week.
“My great pal Stew has been a pilot in the Red Arrows for the past three years and has basically been wrapped in cotton wool for the whole period in case he broke himself. Prior to him joining the Team, we used to mountain bike a lot. This ride late last week was his return to the mountain bike. On a borrowed bike (he sold all of his) there was a sense of nervousness as he took to Green Wing, a brilliant flowy but natural trail.
The photo with his grin to me absolutely encapsulates everything that is so good about mountain biking. Friends, mud, bikes, tales, pies, bike chat, life chat, coffee, cake – it was all in that couple of hours. (as was more testing of the Gore jackets and the Morvelo shorts which you might recognise in the photos!) Stew is also god-father to my wee boy so, after we had got all sideways on the trails, Luke (wee boy) who is just four, joined us for a ride along a local bike path. He was away! The whole occasion was one of those that will go into the memory bank forever.”
Rachel Sokal had already notched up an adventurous weekend over Christmas, so some outer-rim urban exploration was on the cards for the first weekend of 2017.
“Ride was limited to an urban spin in Edinburgh, which was rather underwhelming until we came across an abandoned steel and mining works for cheeky trails and “new and old” steel photoshoot.”
The exploration sensation, Tom Hill, went exploring over at Skye and found this bothy at the right time. Seeking shelter from some unpleasant weather outside, Tom also found what he reckons is the most remote copy of Singletrack Magazine in the UK – reckon he’s right?
Post-human super fit machine, Jason Miles, put some serious training hours in the bank over the weekend with a visit up to Cragg Quarry not far from Singletrack HQ. If any American-based MTB apparel marketing managers are checking this out – this is what winter garments are designed for.
Our poor old Art Director Crayons had a nasty spell of food poisoning over the weekend, and spent most of his waking hours wrapped around a toilet bowl. Which is nice. He did say it was quite an effective post-holiday weight-loss program however. But as much as wants to share his new secret with everyone in the office today, we’ve decided that today is a strictly no-kissing day at Singletrack Towers. Because we’re serious about health here, and we have to take the necessary precautions.
Because Crayons was so poorly on the weekend, he enlisted some help with a glamour shoot of the Ibis Ripley LS that we’ve got on longterm test – keep your peepers on the website for his first look, with some very slick photo taken by his better half (that’s why they’re so good FYI).
King of the Lake District, James Vincent, also got out on the weekend, but was on the other side of the lens high up in the sky. James got his hands on a DJI drone from Lakes Cycles, and has been getting to grips with both flying it, and keeping it trained on a rider down below. And by the looks of things, he’s getting the hang of it a lot more than he says he is!
Oh and if the Facebook video doesn’t work for you, then check out the Instagram video below from James Vincent.
Flying a drone is easy. Flying a drone and making sure your subject is framed nicely is a whole different ballgame. I have lots to learn! @itsdannyoc @lakescycles @loweprobags . . . #lakescycles #lakesmtb #evilbikes #insurgent #lakedistrict #phantom #dji #loweprobags #mtb #eskapee #drone #fromwhereidrone
Photographer extraordinaire, Ben Gerrish, was also training cameras on mountain bikers over the weekend;
“Shooting at Whinlatter on Saturday, for the Wonderful Wild Women mountain bike social. Wonderful Wild Women’s ethos is to get everyone out and active, in a comfortable environment, they’re doing a really cool thing. Give them a look too. There was a really great group out, new and old friends and a range of abilities, but a full day on the hill left everyone stoked to get out riding more. Success!”
And there you have it – a full-as weekend of riding, shooting, racing and video action!
What about you? Did you also get out on your two-wheel freedom machine? Did you tackle an event? Or perhaps you marshalled or helped run an event? Let us know in the comments section below, and for those of you who just want a little bit more of a distraction before really jumping into 2017, here’s Fresh Goods Friday Live!