by Hannah Dobson
April 3, 2017
Glorious sunshine and light winds, plus a dose of motivation in the form of #BeMoreMike added up to the perfect weekend for riding, as well as generally being outdoors and appreciating the world outside our doorsteps.
But first, Mark decided to start bashing about with hammers and stuff inside his house. You can’t keep him away from power tools for long. It would appear that in builder mode, Mark switches from his usual coffee to vats of tea. We wonder if he has a special tool belt, dungarees and pencil for behind his ear too?
Luckily the wood yard (they’re considering offering him a loyalty discount) is closed on a Sunday, so there was nothing to keep Mark indoors any longer.
Hannah started the weekend with a good ride home. First of all she had the pleasure of bypassing a whole load of queueing traffic, then there was the joy of a deserted main road, and then – in the middle of said road – there was a pair of mating toads. You may recall she was feeling responsible for the death of a toad earlier in the week, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to make amends. With nowhere safe to place them away from the road, she did the only sensible thing: she put them in her pocket and rode on to collect the kids from school. Cue much excitement in the school playground, before the toads (still mating) were released to the safety of a nearby park.
On Sunday had the best ride she’s had in ages, taking in a mixture of road and trails, 45km and 1000m of climb, plus oodles of birdsong and big views.
Wil also had a close call with an amphibian. He’s now off on his holidays in the land of no internets, so this is the last we’ve heard of him.
Chipps is (working, not on holiday) also in a land of no – or certainly very limited – internet, but managed to get this through to us:
I’ve been on a whistlestop tour of south east Asia, visiting China, Hong Kong and Taiwan in as many days for a future feature on bike manufacturing out here. I’ve been going from factory to meeting to dinner a lot, so there’s not been too many chances to wander round (and none at all for bike riding), but I have had some very nice food. The beef noodle soup here is amazing. – Chipps
Other members of the Singletrack gang were also out and about:
For the second time in two weeks I cranked up my diesel engine for a little Enduro racing, this time at the Welsh Enduro Series on the Foel Gasnach DH trails. After a few days of heavy Welsh rain the trails were super sloppy and the challenge became one of staying upright rather than riding fast. This weekend’s learning points: I need to invest in some spiky mud tyres, flat shoes and clay are super slippy, your biggest crash will be on the easiest bit and there’s always a chance for a fag break if you walk the transitions. Still, pretty pleased to sneak into the podium in third. – Rachel Sokal
Danny Wilson was out doing crazy things at Havoc Bike Park. He says it’s only the Freeride stuff that’s crazy and the Downhill trail is ‘totally rollable’. This photo shows a rider hitting one of the biggest Freeride features. Eep.
My #30daysofbiking efforts – my small part in a worldwide initiative where participants ride a bike everyday in April – got off to an underwhelming start as I was ‘ill’ (exposure to wine) on Saturday so only managed a 10k outing. Meanwhile, Sunday involved a long drive and no time so this is, basically, my entire ride. – Adele Mitchell
Good effort Adele – 30 Days Of Biking is more of a challenge than it might at first appear. A bunch of the Singletrack gang did it last year – you can see how they got on here.
Fresh Goods Friday last week was a more subdued affair than usual as we digested the awful news of Mike Hall’s death. Mark pays tribute to him at the end of this broadcast.
Last but not least, here’s Fresh Goods Friday Live from last week!