HERE YE, HERE YE! LET IT BE KNOWN TO ALL YE – SUMMER IS OFFICIALLY HERE! …YE
Well, ok, maybe unofficially then. It might go away for a bit (it probably will now that I’ve said that), but for all I care (and everyone else around the UK), Summer did in fact make a very welcome appearance throughout the past week, reaching a crescendo of balmy heat over the weekend that resulted in some of the best trail conditions that we can remember for some time. And yes, I’ve probably just jinxed all of us, but to hell with it – I haven’t really seen the sun for about four months and I’m JUST A LITTLE EXCITED BY THAT.
For this week’s Monday Morning Debrief, I’ve been inspired by the past weekend’s warmth and have decided to plant a suitably chirpy groove for y’all to listen to. Imma do this each week for the Monday Morning Debrief, kind of like Hannah does with Fresh Goods Friday, because like our riding styles, we’re all a bit different here at Singletrack Towers. So allow me to indulge you in some of my musical flavours, and let me know what you think of them each week in the comments section below.
Got it playing through your headphones? Good stuff! Let’s get on with it then.
Monday morning is here and we’re starting the week properly, with a brew and a flick through the fresh look Premier Edition of Issue 112! . What’s inside: Morocco Blues | The Berwyns | Zombie Apocalypse Biketest | Riding Romania | @hansnowayrey and @danny_macaskill take on Mt. Kilimanjaro & much more! . Get your hands on a fresh copy now, in the shop at singletrackworld.com . #SingletrackMag #LongLivePrint #Fresh
As you most likely would have already seen, heard or smelt, the brand new issue of Singletrack Magazine is in the house. If you’re a subscriber, you would already have your greasy digits all over the fresh issue, and we hope you like it. This one is bigger and bolder than any other issue we’ve put together – literally. There are more pages, more content, and more photos, and we’ve also got some new-style features in there.
Don’t have a copy yet? The most excellent news I have for you my friend, is that you can get your very own copy of Issue #112 RIGHT HERE!
Had a great day today introducing @wilrides to the Lake District, even if we did have to fix about a million punctures on Castle Crag @orangebikes @singletrackmag @loweprobags . . . #lakesmtb #lakedistrict #dualplyornothing #punctureparty #castlecrag #orangebikes #poppedhischerry #singletrack #rockgarden #mtb
Moving along from new issue excitement, I just gotta go back to the start of last week. Even if that might be against the strict rules of ze Monday Morning Debrief. But hey, it’s about mountain biking so allow me to indulge. Having taken last Monday off work, I shot up to the Lake District to catch up with Mr Lake District himself, James Vincent, who took me on a tour around some of the most popular trails around Keswick. In a sentence? IT WAS RAD!
Back to this weekend then. And Chipps Chippendale was (surprisingly) back in the country long enough to do some things aside from queuing at the airport or sitting on a train. In fact, he had enough time to volunteer a very sunny and warm Saturday doing some surveying around Calder Valley for a flood assessment project. I can’t confirm or deny what they were actually doing, but there’s a photo of people with weird-looking tools and devices in their hands appearing to be busy, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Volunteer jobs completed, it was then time for our Fearless Leader to stretch the legs out on some Calderdale singletrack to reacquaint himself to a bicycle saddle after two weeks of intensive travel time. That first ride always hurts so much…
With the bike riding element sorted, Chipps then rested his behind and got the acoustic guitar out for a blues jam on Sunday morning, just in time before the universe called again and sent him back off to London. What sort of tunes do you think Chipps would have been strumming on his guitar? I’m guessing something from the nu-gregorian-step genre.
After a week spent building, chopping, sanding, and insulating, Mark also got in some saddle time underneath the big ol’ sun. Mark’s giving a new test bike a shake-down after pulling it out of the box this week, and you’ll be able to read about it soon enough. But less about the bike, and more about that beach! For those of you who don’t know, this is a wee beach not far off up from one of our local pubs, which Mark pushed up to during his weekend’s ride. Unfortunately, we’re informed that all footage of Mark sunbathing in his budgie smugglers has sadly been destroyed…
“We showed Sam from Sheffield round the Surrey Hills trails and told him it is always this sunny and dry here. It’s just a non-stop exotic holiday, basically.” – Adele Mitchell.
“After spending the last two weekends in the aural, visual and populous melee that is Enduro racing, I was rather craving some riding tranquility and solitude. Enter a demo XC machine, miles and miles of buff local singletrack and the only the company of the tweeting birds. Bliss.” – Rachel Sokal.
“120 mile Sandstone away this weekend with three riding buddies that haven’t all been together in over two years. As normal when you get together with true mates, it just seemed like yesterday. Scorching weather, stunning scenery and the odd gate…” – Tom Nash.
For those who don’t know, the Sandstone Way is one of the newest long distance waymarked trails in the UK. It starts right on the Scottish border at Berwick-upon-Tweed, and wriggles its way down alongside the Northumberland National Park before finishing up in Hexham.
The way that every great ride should finish! Well, not specifically at a pub in Newcastle, because that could be quite out of the way for some riders, I mean, it looks like a good pub, not that I’ve been there, but it still looks quite good, and hey, if you’ve got decent beer and a beer garden then it’s pretty hard to go wrong, so chances are this is a really good pub, but what I meant was that every good ride should finish just at a pub, not specifically this one.
Moving right along…
Closer to home, there was plenty of sun bathing going on in Calder Valley too. The above shot was taken looking back down towards Todmorden after descending down one of the best downhill trails in the area. Swell.
There weren’t just loads of ramblers, dog walkers and riders on the trails over the weekend. A herd of other locals insisted on shredding some singletrack too.
Despite the warmer weather and the lack of rain over the past week, there were still remnants of wetness to be found. David Hayward undertook some detective work to seek out evidence of the prior week’s rain, and unsuspectingly came across this quite devilish bog. A proper sticky bog that resulted in a comedy OTB excursion with the bike remaining firmly in place as it landed.
After David’s mud reconnaissance mission, a bunch of us sought out some dustier trails up on the tops across Tordmorden and Hebden Bridge. Short sleeves and everything!
Several men climbing on top of a rock to establish their dominance over the local environment. Well done lads, well done.
And several hours of riding later, riding was completed in the way that all great rides should…
Okey dokes. There you have some riding stories from our weekend in the beautiful spring sunshine. But less about us, and more about you. We hope you too got out on two wheels on the weekend, whether that was a rapid blast around the local loop, or a longer jaunt on an epic ride you’ve been planning for some time. Either way, we hope it was splendid!
Still looking for some post-weekend procrastination? Well here’s a little nugget from us to you – it’s last week’s Fresh Goods Friday Live, complete with awkward tyre removal and weight-weenie gram counting.