We’re on the downhill run to Spring, just a few more weeks of slop and then surely the trails will be drying out and the sound of lambs reaching our ears? Until then, there’s time to get your ‘best bike’ prepped for better weather, and maybe there’s even time to get your body in shape for a few big days out once things warm up. To remind you why we ride and of all that is good and still to come, we bring you Issue 117, a ray of sunshine in the final throes of winter…
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Let’s see what’s inside…
We’ve got our usual dose of adventure for you, with three UK based rides to inspire you to hit the trails.
Path of a Prince – Pete Scullion takes us on another historical Coffin Road tour, this time in the wilds of Scotland, in the footsteps of Bonnie Prince Charlie.
Trail Hunter – Border Blasting – Tom Fenton heads to the northern fringes of England in search of more of the best trails the UK has to offer, this time skirting the Scottish/English border on a frigid day.
Classic Ride – Duddon Valley – Tom Hutton takes us on a tour on the Western side of the Lake District – away from the big tourist crowds, but still big on scenery.
Maybe one of your rides will have you pondering the meaning of life? In this next feature we take a look at people who have found a new life in the bike industry.
Quit Your Job – We look at people who have made the leap from ‘normal’ jobs to working in the bike industry. Could you quit the rat race and turn your hobby into a job?
We hesitate to call this next one a ‘technical feature’, as that might imply a level of skill and competence you’re unlikely to find. But you will get an entertaining read from our Technical Editor, Wil.
Bamboozled – Wil takes on a build-your-own bamboo bike kit. Will he glue himself to the frame? Will he be attacked by a panda? Will he build himself a bike, or a bike shaped object? Wil tells us the tale through his epoxy-induced high.
Back on more familiar technical feature territory, we have two test features for you this issue:
Bike Test – Unsprung Heroes – Chipps checks out fully rigid bikes from Kona, Pinnacle and Surly and discovers that no suspension doesn’t mean no fun. It just needs a re-evaluation of your outlook.
Group Test – Platform Clip Ins – Wil checks out eight pairs of pedals with platforms for support as well as cleats for security. Full reviews of the best four will be published in this issue, along with summaries of the runners up.
Light relief and thought provoking frivolity are included, because none of us should take life too seriously:
Charlie The Bikemonger sets all judicial process to one side and passes his decrees on what will or will not be banished from the cycling world for ever.
Column: Jason Miles
Our award winning columnist is settling in to his new life in Scotland – by going on a ski holiday, where he learns that being a beginner again can be refreshing. And finding a whole new avenue of kit to need.
PLUS in our Premier Edition (subscriber-only) section:
In our subscriber-only section (available to subscribers, directly from our shop, or from our Premier Dealers), you get a whole chunk of extra Singletrack goodness. This issue we’ve got two big features for you to get stuck into:
A Thousand Sand Dunes – Four friends set out to raise money by crossing the world’s largest dune desert, The Simpson Desert, in Australia. People tell them not to do it, but they load up their fat bikes and do it anyway and they survive to tell us the tale.
Yorkshire Grit: An Interview with Adrian Carter – Chipps chats to the man behind Pace Cycles, the British brand that’s slipped from view in recent years, but as we find out, this none-more-Yorkshire brand is quietly preparing for a renaissance.
And four columns to make you think and laugh. If you don’t snort out loud at least once reading these, it’s probably been too long since you rode a bike:
Less Measuring, More Doing – Joe Parkin marvels at the ability of adults to take the fun out of fun.
In The Beginning – Olly Townsend says you need attitude, not kit, to get hooked on mountain biking.
Bike Beans On Toast – Antony de Heveningham wonders whether cycling needs to like haute cuisine, or just beans on toast.
Last Word – Charlie the Bikemonger recalls the time he was mistaken for a bear.