Normally I’d apologise to you all for the Monday Morning Debrief having arrived so late in the day (the morning part of the title is somewhat misleading), but right now my internal body clock is so hopelessly messed up that really, I’m just thankful that I didn’t fall asleep at the handlebar during my commute to the office this morning.
Following our trip back to the UK with an unforeseen delay that had my wife and I in transit for no fewer than 40 earth-hours, things have been just a little topsy-turvy. So you’ll have to excuse my nonsensical mumblings this morning, because my brain is still somewhere on the other side of the planet, basking in 35°C sunshine while being hydrated with icy cold lager. Sorry.
To help wake me up (and probably you too) on this Monday morn…err…afternoon, here’s a little pick-me-up courtesy of Portugal. The Man. I had this song stuck in my head for the entire three weeks that I was away Down Under in Australia, so I’m going to listen to it again to keep the holiday dream alive for just a wee bit longer.
While I’ve got that tune going, I’m also going to indulge in a flashback to this riding shot that a friend of mine called Peachey took while we were riding in Bright, Victoria. Bright is up in the Victorian high country, about a 3.5-hour drive from Melbourne, and as far as I’m concerned, this place is mountain biking heaven. There’s a local brewery in town, a gin distillery, loads of wineries, some terrific cafes and eateries, and the area is home to all sorts of outdoor sports including paragliding, hiking and mountain biking.
It was a warm couple of days that we had there, but with a river that runs right through town, there are some ripping watering holes to cool off in.
Like this one;
On the other side of the planet, there were slightly different conditions for one of the biggest social rides in Calderdale of 2018 (so far). In case you hadn’t heard, our fearless leader Mr Chipps Chippendale is celebrating 50 laps around the Sun, and had a big ol’ party on the weekend to celebrate. The festivities kicked off with a group ride from Singletrack HQ in Todmorden.
“After weeks of just fixing bikes and not riding them, Chipps’ birthday was the perfect excuse for me to down tools and get out there. 20 miles or so of Calderdale hills with about 20 visitors, and as we reminded the flagging ones, valley miles count double. Here’s the birthday boy busting out some moves under Stoodley Pike.” – David Hayward.
Of course it wouldn’t be an official Chipps Birthday Party™ without music, booze and dancing, and there was plenty of all that in the evening at the Hebden Bridge Town Hall, where the Man About Town got to jump on stage and join the band for the opportunity to shred on his brand new Birthday guitar – complete in its resplendent glittery purple glory (the guitar, not Chipps).
Looking to shake off the winter cobwebs, Rachel went in search of singletrack aboard one of those funny horn-bar’d devices. I’m not entirely sure that will catch on, but hey, it looks fun!
“Less gnarr, more really good to be out. Took the drop bars onto the local lanes and mtb trails for a good airing.” – Rachel Sokal.
Burnt off all the pancakes… And everything else I ate today trying to keep up with @stu_thomson and @robfriel81 tonight. Tried a cheeky wee long exposure I’d had in my head for a while. Hard to get good stars and not overexpose the lights. I’ll take it as a first attempt though 🤘⭐🚲⭐ @wideopenmag @contityres @lomondtrossachs #scotland #trossachs #aberfoyle #queenelizabethforestpark #nightsky #nighttime #darkness #stars #milkyway #universe #galaxy #mtb #cycling #bicycle #mountainbike #longexposure #bikes #wideopenmag #contityres
The man behind the lens, Pete Scullion, has been soaking up the snowy Scottish conditions lately – how’s this experimental night time long exposure shot? We reckon it’s an absolute pearler!
Wil sent us this video from Down Under, where their mud appears to be a type we’ve not encountered before 💦🤔 . . “Just a rough wee edit cobbled together from some clips we shot out on the new Down DJ trail at Bright last weekend. That trail is a right old giggle!” . . 🎥 Peachey 🚵 @wilrides . . #dehydratedmud #ridebright #norcobikes #norcosight #dharco #SingletrackMag #mountainbiking #dustorbust @norcobicycles @norcobikesaus @gardy3199
To counter Pete’s snowy shot, here’s a video and another shot of the riding I left behind in Australia. If I look hard enough at them, I can almost forget the mizzle outside the office window. Almost.
Right, so that’s your fill for this week’s Debrief. But less about us, and more about you – what did you guys get up to over the weekend? Did you get out on two wheels? Or did you curl up in a cosy corner at the pub and settle in for some crucial carb loading? Let us know how you did your weekend in the comments section below!
And to wrap things up (for those wanting a little more time away from work email), here’s a hilarious Live video that Chipps and Hannah shot last week for Fresh Goods Friday, in which Hannah unknowingly suffers a sweatshirt malfunction. Thank God I was on the other side of the planet when this went down…