Monday Morning Debrief 81

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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.

Vic dragged Mark away from the power tools.
Vic dragged Mark away from the power tools.

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.

Hannah Gorple Pennines

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.

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This guy just advanced to level 100 on frogger.

A post shared by Wil Barrett (@wilrides) on

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:

Chipps Crisps
No salt’n’shake?
Chipps Factory
Crisp factory?

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

Chipps noodles
Beef noodle soup…mmm

Other members of the Singletrack gang were also out and about:

Rachel Sokal
Conditions were not dusty.
Rachel Sokal
It looks cleaner from this angle.

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

Todmorden's answer to Red Bull Rampage?
Todmorden’s answer to Red Bull Rampage?

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!

Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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