Singletrack Issue 123 : Grate Expectations

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James Vincent travels to Cheddar, in the West Country for this issue’s Classic Ride, hoping to find fun trails and the one true cheese.


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Words & Photography james vincent

They say knowledge is power. I say knowledge plays its part, but it helps to get lucky from time to time. I’m off to the Mendips, and Chipps has taken great delight in telling me that “last time I was there it was comedically [sic] wet and muddy, but hey, you might get a sunny frosty day when everything’s solid…” Emails about the ride bounce back and forth containing such gems as “not sure when you were thinking of but you probably know it doesn’t hold up well in the winter?”, and “I don’t think the trails will be dry until May…”.

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There are country inns and pubs with rooms all over the area, along with numerous B&Bs or hotels, including The Plume of Feathers just down the road from Burrington in Rickford. If your budget is more limited, there’s a YHA Hostel in Cheddar itself.

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James Vincent

Having ridden bikes for as long as he can remember, James takes a certain twisted pleasure in carrying his bike to the most inaccessible locations he can find, before attempting to ride back down again, preferably with both feet on the pedals.

After seeing the light on a recent road trip to Austria, James walked away from the stresses of running a design agency, picked up a camera and is several years deep into a mid life crisis that shows no sign of abating. As a photographer, he enjoys nothing more than climbing trees and asking others to follow his sketchy lines while expecting them to make it look as natural and stylish as possible.

He has come to realise this is infinitely more fun than being tied to a desk, and is in no hurry to go back.

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