Singletrack Issue 127 | Making it up in the Lake District

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Nigel Page and Chipps strap on luggage and join forces again. This time to ride a completely made up North/South traverse of the Lake District.

Words & Photography Chipps

‘Puckpuckpuckpuckpuck…’

All I’d been able to hear for the last hour had been the octopus-like sucking noise coming from Nigel Page’s super-soft enduro racing knobblies on the featureless Lakeland tarmac. The mountains ahead, finally glimpsed in the distance, didn’t seem to be getting any bigger either. With every micro-downhill, I started to freewheel away from him. And now, though Nigel is legendarily cheerful, I began to think that his famously sunny disposition was beginning to slip in the face of this endless sticky-tyred water torture. 


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Chipps

Singletrack Editor

Chipps wasn’t around for the dawn of mountain biking in the UK, but he likes to claim that he arrived in time for second breakfast (about the time he shows up for work, then…) starting in the bike trade in 1990 and becoming a full time mountain bike journalist at the start of 1994. Over the subsequent quarter century, he has seen mountain bike culture flourish and diversify and bike technology go from rigid steel frames to fully suspended carbon fibre (and sometimes back to rigid steel as well.)

His riding style is best described as ‘medium, wheels on the ground, trail riding’ though he’s been spotted doing everything from endurance downhill racing to 24 hour cross country racing. He favours mid-travel trail bikes and claims to be wheel-size, gear, brake and tyre agnostic. In fact, his garage spans most bicycle flavours, taking in steel hardtails, carbon trail bikes, even a mountain bike tandem, along with road, touring and gravel/cyclocross bikes.

While he’s happy to chat about bikes all day, his real interest is in the people and places that bikes can introduce you to and he talks as fondly about the trails he’s ridden and riders he’s met as the bikes that took him there.

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