UKGE Welcome to the season

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As the UK Gravity Enduro Series kicks off next weekend in Triscombe, here’s a little video to inflate your stoke and buff your high-fives. Or something like that.

And the hard bit back up

Ride up, rip down, that’s the theme here.

And there’s a bit of a statement here about some of the between the seasons rule changes (such as full face helmet wearing and compulsory personal accident insurance…)

Off-Season Retrospective – from Alex at UKGES
“Rule changes eh? Yes, there have been a number of contentious issues in the off season that have had social media and forum types blathering away. I fear the decision to enforce the adoption of personal accident insurance may well lead to riders quitting UKGES. Especially if you only want to do a few rounds.

“Ultimately, if you want to race at the top level in the country you are gonna go along with it. Racing the British Downhill Series? Then shell out a similar amount of cash to British Cycling for a licence. Please bear in mind that somebody does have to lead. UKGES and the format as a whole has, be under no illusion, been abandoned by British Cycling. Without their backing, decisions about securing the stability of the series had to be made. You still have a top flight series to race this year in the UK and the building blocks are there to make it better – with your support.

“Before the days of racing enduro in the UK, you had to go abroad and I certainly had to turn up to those races with either a BC licence or private insurance cover; this is nothing new. Frankly, there are more important issues at stake, like expanding the number available race venues, increasing the depth and breadth of rider quality and ensuring that one day I can go to a race in the UK and not have to crap in a bloody portable loo! How many race organizers are investing in the infrastructure around the country that is needed to truly grow and develop the discipline? Much like the economy, it’s not just about numbers; we need depth, variety, balance and quality. Whilst this is an extremely popular format and growing every year, I can’t help but wonder if the race marketplace is a little saturated right now. Hopefully this will all result in some well thought out investment and the competition between events will only ensure that the quality of racing goes in the right direction.
That’s an end to the politics, let’s talk 2015.”

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Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

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