We trust you’re all feeling rested and refreshed on this crispy cold Monday morning? Re-energised and enthused to take on the start of another working week? Or if you’re someone with spawn, perhaps another week of school holiday fun and activities? Well you should be feeling recharged, because that extra hour of sleep is surely the only positive to come out of the end of daylight savings. Really, there are no other positives whatsoever. Humpf.
Ok, there may be one other positive. For all those who attended the Relentless 24hr race up at Fort William in Scotland over the weekend, the end of Daylight Savings meant only 14 hours were spent riding in the dark under lights. Which is great right? Ok, straws are being clutched at here…
A bunch of the Singletrack crew made the long journey up to Fort William for the weekend’s racing, including Chipps, who was señor mechanic for Team Singletrack; a potent pair made up of Beate Kubitz and Daz Hall. Both riders were a little *ahem* unenthused leading into the race, having been dogged by colds and various aches in the week leading up to it. Combined with a rather grim weather forecast for the weekend’s racing, we hear that both were reaching for every excuse under the sun to throw in the towel. But, thanks to some British stoicism (read: stubbornness), both persisted and saddled up on the start line along with a solid field of racers. 24 laps later, and not only did they finish the entire 24 hour race, they took out the Mixed Pairs category too!
“Me and Daz did Relentless. With Chipps in prime bike fettling / make fire / feeder / get back out there role. I overdosed on Strepsils but apparently that is not a good enough excuse to be let off a lap. Daz tried pulling a sickie to no avail. After 20 laps we bothered to look at the positions and we were winning. So no chance of sacking it off and having a pint and a nap. Through to the bitter end. 24 laps in total, 150km each and 4000+ m of climb. Pretty chuffed despite the lackadaisical approach.” – Beate.
Also flying the flag for Singletrack Magazine was Team Satsuma, made up of Vicki and Sarah who stormed the Fort William course to take the win in the Veteran Pairs category!
“Winners! Who cares that we were the only ladies vet pair, we could have stopped after one lap but we didn’t. Well done Sarah, was an honour to be your teammate.” – Vicki.
Elsewhere in the British Isles, Rossco was reintroducing his broken body to a mountain bike on a splendid summit-to-sea jaunt in the westest regions of Wales. Not quite as wet and windy as Fort William, and how are those ocean views!
Back in our backyard, our resident product tester, David Hayward, went on an exploration mission to seek out new singletrack;
“After finding a bunch of my local trails have just been destroyed by motocrossers, I went exploring some new-to-me bits of the moors, where it turns out most of the trails have long since been reclaimed by clumps of sedge. Lots of muddy hike-a-bike, weak sunlight, and a cold Northerly wind made it properly feel like the first day of winter.”
Likewise, Antony chased some Sunday sunshine with his partner Celia, both aboard slightly inappropriate cyclocross bikes. They had great pleasure in overtaking mountain bikers on the descents, only to be caught by said mountain bikers after Antony managed to pinch flat his rear tyre on the rocky singletrack. Five pinch flats and may tube patches later, and Antony is thinking about upgrading to tubeless.
More #dirtydropbargoodness, though this time from Rachel Sokal, who’s got a new Rondo Ruut on test for Grit.cx. With disc brakes, 27.5×2.0in tyres and a wide-range 1×11 drivetrain, it’s basically a mountain bike – as Rachel demonstrates here.
James Vincent, aka Mr Lake District, managed to get out for a solid ride in Cumbria, and it looks like he chose the right day to do it. As always, Jimmy snapped some certified bangers while he was out there too – how’s this shot!
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Oh Scotland on a sunny day, you are the best. A cracking respite from two weeks of storms and a new way down a mountain for the second time this week. What a view! 🗻🗻🚴☀🗻🗻 @wideopenmag @gopro @visitscotland @iamspecialized_mtb #Scotland #benlomond #Ptarmigan #ptarmiganridge #munro #munrobagging #mountains #mountainbike #mountainbiking #cycling #bicycle #mtb #Wideopenmag #iamspecialized #GoPro #visitscotland
Half-man, half-beast, Pete Scullion, was also on a mission to find certified bangers, and boy did he crack some glory shots up in Scotland! Here’s a POV shot from on top of Ben Lomond’s Ptarmigan Ridge, which according to Pete was “dispatched in A1 conditions“. A1 conditions indeed Pete!
In contrast, my weekend was spent grounded to local Calder Valley trails, with two full days of solid testing aboard several bikes that we’ll be featuring in the next issue of the magazine. The short version of events is this; Saturday was pretty cold, really windy, and filled with thrashy showers that kept the singletrack nice and splooshy. Sunday was much sunnier with blue skies, but brought forth the coldest temperatures of the season so far. My toes were positively on fire upon their initial submersion into an overly hot post-ride bath. Was a nice reward after all the effort really.
But enough of us, and what about you guys? How was your weekend of activities? Did you get out on the bike? Perhaps you also raced at Relentless? Or maybe you explored some trails new to you? We’d love to hear what you got up to, so tell us in the comments section below!
To help kick off the start of the week, we’ve got a tune inspired by Robbo, who caught a Roots Manuva gig in Leeds last week. Enjoy!