by Wil Barrett
March 6, 2017
“Good morning class.”
“Good morning Singletrack Magazine!”
“We trust everyone had an enjoyable weekend then? Perhaps you would be so kind to tell all of us what you got up to over the past couple of days? Did you brave the tail-end of winter for some wet and muddy action on the trails? Or did you curl up alongside the heater with a hot cuppa and a copy of your favourite mountain bike magazine for some quality indoors reading time? Or all of the above perhaps?
For this morning’s Show & Tell, our pupils appear to have been a very busy bunch indeed! We even had visitors join us for a wee jaunt to one of our local trail centres at the Gisburn Forest Hub. Perhaps you’ve heard of them? If not, please give a big warm welcome to our visiting students; Hans Rey & Steve Peat!”
Yes, well we try not to make a habit of namedropping, but when you get the chance to ride with two absolute legends of the sport, then we’re sure you’ll excuse us for doing so. I mean, it’s HANS FREAKING RAY AND PEATY!!
We spent the day out on the Gisburn mountain bike trails with a small group of riders. Needless to say with such esteemed riders in our group (plus Hans Rey & Peaty), we were pulled to a halt by the paparazzi on multiple occasions.
Despite the constant pressure from trailside photographers, Hans had no trouble putting on a performance on some of the wet and slippery log rides – what a professional!
Following our ride at the end of the day, we had the chance to finally get the snap we’ve been after for our new album cover. In stores soon!
Of course Hans wasn’t just in town to show off his trials displays to his adorning fans. He was getting in a decent ride before shooting off to The Grand in Clitheroe (just near the Gisburn Trail Centre) to host a Q&A session titled ‘An Evening With Hans Rey’. Hans has some incredible stories to tell from his 30-year sponsorship with GT Bicycles, where his role has morphed from professional athlete, to professional ambassador. As close mates that go way back and having joined Hans on loads of riding adventures over the years, Peaty was also there on the hight to help out Hans with some of the presentation. Our fearless leader Chipps was on deck to snap photos on the night, so look out for his article in the near future…
This is a different trail centre, but it’s one that’s a little closer to home. On Sunday Lee Quarry hosted ‘A Big Day Out’ – a social ride day to encourage riders to come out and show their support for the trail centre. With an open invite to local and visiting mountain bikers, Lee Quarry enjoyed a day of appreciation for its rocky and technical singletrack, with loads of riders heading along for a blast, including our own Antony De Heveningham.
We’ve been assured that the sun was out for most of the day and it was really dry except that Antony took this photo in the 10-minute window that it rained. Incessantly. For most of the day. Good work to everyone who showed up to support the Lee Quarry trails then!
“In the next instalment of ‘rides with playgrounds nearby’, we headed to Staveley in the Lake District. The weather looked better in the Lakes today for a change and we managed to avoid all but one small rain shower. Once again, first ride of the day in a small amount of sunshine went to my other half Nathan, while I went to the park with my girls. Then time to swap over for two very quiet solo hours on Lakeland trails. That’s the beauty of Kentmere, get away from Staveley and you quickly lose people – I passed two farmers and two walkers, and I was passed by a chap on an E-Bike on my final climb of the day, you know, the one where at the bottom you have one or two jelly sweets just to get you to the top!”
“Happily the rain was brief, there were glimpses of snow on Hellvellyn in the distance. The bigger days out in the Lakes are on hold for me right now but I still got to ride one of my favourite descents, Three Rivers. I love it’s mix of surfaced trail, into grassy, into loose rocky dropping me all the way back to the valley bottom. Back at the van, all was well with a sleeping baby and a tired and wet four year old who probably rode a good few miles on her balance bike. We celebrated a good day with hot chocolates and pies and sausage rolls from More Bakery in Staveley before heading home.” – Katherine Crompton.
“My first gravelcross CX Sportive yesterday, in the muddy slop and pouring rain of the Surrey Hills – and managed a pretty decent time so yay! To that. My tubeless tyres bought all the boys to the yard – or rather caused some bewilderment amongst a few older roadie-types when I casually mentioned that I too had punctured during the ride – and that my tyre had cleverly fixed itself. And the Singletrack MTB mud guard (a subscription gift, I think) also did its job admirably – even if it isn’t in The Rules.” – Adele Mitchell.
First #gravelcross event today – super happy with my @coticbikes #escapade – rode a super muddy 40km and, last time I checked, I was fastest woman over the distance. Not that I’m competitive or anything. And @wildernesstrailbikes tubeless tyres are awesome, btw. #unsustainablyhighstoke #coticbikes #coticescapade #gravelbike #cyclocross #wildernesstrailbikes #650b #cycling #surreyhills #surreyhillsmtb #womenscycling #cyclelove #ridecotic
We already knew that James Vincent could take a viciously good photo, but taking a selfie with a mouth-activated remote whilst manualling out of a muddy corner?? This man is an absolute wizard behind the lens – what a shot!
One of our Scottish correspondents, Tom Nash, was out riding the Bowhill Winter Duathlon on the weekend alongside some of the other folks from the Tweed Valley Bike Patrol. The trails look horrible right?
Meanwhile Tom Hill was out testing a plus setup on his Cotic FlareMax full suspension trail bike. After spending the past few months aboard wagon wheels, Tom is trying out a 27.5+ setup to see how the chubby tyres crack on. Nice!
“My weekend started early on Friday with my own Strada Bianchi, just with less white and a lot more muck and rain than the real version. There was quite a lot of manning-up required by the end of it. There was a change of bike, mood and weather on Saturday with a sunny day out with ALine Mountain Bike Coaching in Sheffield to practise launching my Rocket. By the end I could get both wheels off the ground in both a deliberate and control manner and didn’t once land on my face. Hurrah!” – Rachel Sokal.
And if you were wondering what the weather has been like up around our local area, this snap from our office Social Media guru, Andi, should give you some clues…
So we reckon that about wraps things up for this morning’s Show & Tell session. We hope you’ve enjoyed, and we hope you’ve been able to brave the weather wherever you are in the world, and get out on your own two-wheeled freedom machine.
Before we go though, we’ll leave you with a little more inspiration for procrastination – it’s Fresh Goods Friday Live!