Monday Morning Debrief 39

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It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, to over value the comfort that a supposed secure job provides. After what seems a long summer at the magazine I can see that now and realise the benefit that an enforced change of direction can offer.

In March I grabbed at the opportunity of redundancy and took that step into the unknown whith a fair bit of ‘I’m sure it’ll work out’ attitude to cushion the initial blow of leaving a job I’d been doing for a fair old time.

Goodbye old life, hello new…

Not a bad start to a new life
Not a bad start to a new life

And what a start to the new life. With a trip to Sedona to ride bikes in the desert, in warmth and dusty dry. Leaving behind the snow covered hills of the Pennines to ride in a surreal backdrop previously only seen in old westerns on the TV.

A month later and it’s on the road again.


We’re out in Lake Garda to cover the bike festival. A mixed week of bike shuttling and hours long climbs with some fantastic trails to descend. It’s an eye opening opportunity to embrace the Euro MTB scene, see the popularity of ‘freeride’ and fear the descending marathon riders who skid out of control whenever the going gets loose.

Shhhh uttle

A strange week of riding, exploring, portaging and partying all within what seems like a Norwegian Fjord that’s been dropped into the warm bit of Italy. Techy riding that stretches us both especially when the rain storms turn limestone trails slick.

Finale countdown
Finale countdown

A few weeks later it’s back to Italy but this time to the coast.

Finale is hosting the E*Thirteen Enduro Camp and it’s time to ride bikes in the heat again. Another week of trails that push technique and fitness, the 9 – 5 of nearly constant shuttle and run.

Can I get that in Med?

So much sun so early in the year was bound to have karmic repercussions and that payment was taken at Passportes.

Bike berm
Bike berm

The weather was cool but okay for the start of the week and the Lapierre Press Camp but took a turn for the worse at the weekend. Which would have been fine if I hadn’t been suckered into the ‘south is always warmer’ myth and packed something warmer than a thin merino base layer.

Where did the dust go?
Where did the dust go?

5°C in the valley and driving rain, shivering on chairlifts and hasty goggle purchases just to stop from riding blind. Probably the best time on a bike this year now it’s over and has run through the rose tinted filter in my brain.

It’s at this point in the year I daren’t go on any more Press Camps or trips for a bit for fear of damaging my marriage to a MTB’ing spouse ;o)

Ziller zippin'
Ziller zippin’

I manage to hold off until August but the prospect of Eurobike provides the perfect excuse for a road trip and better yet Sharon can come along too. The simple life of camp life and bike life. Riding in the mountains, long ascents and descents.

Get down
Get down

And before you know it Autumn’s here.

It’s been a quick year so far but I’m looking forward to slowing down and have the opportunity to take it all in. I’m pleased to say I wouldn’t go back to the old life now, it’s hard to see the downside to the new.

There’s a big world out there that needs riding, but for the rest of the year I’m looking forward to continuing a love affair with the local.

What did you get up to this weekend?

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