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Showing posts from 2014

Spring 2015 arrives a year early

Some people hadn't packed their bikes away yet and had been doing a mix of skiing and biking.  I had sold my bikes so instead had been studying for my next IML tests and doing a bit of walking in the autumnal weather that had returned to the northern Alps.

It was with news that Courmayeur was unable to open is ski pistes, and that the ever Swiss resort of Verbier was even offering reduced price passes as their ski area was so poor that several people were talking about more biking.  I was kindly lent a Mega, 26 inch, but it was superb to be heading out.
Five of us actually quite comfortably got our bikes into the back of the Bluebird minibus and headed down to Servoz for several laps of leafy goodness.  Load the van and repeat! We even managed to befriend a dog and take her for a lap in the minibus.  She eventually ran off when she had a chance to escape from Mr G.

After a stylish Super U carpark lunch where we were treated to such culinary delights as the goat's cheese and banan…

The annual big change in seasons

It's that time of year again when bikes get packed away.  Or in my case this season, sold.
I'm a mountain bike guide without a bike, but despite fluctuating snow line levels I'm in the mindset now of winter ski touring and snowshoeing.

Today we scored our first ski turns of the season.  Cham has not had as much snowfall as neighbouring Swiss Valais so it was time to drive over again, much like the end of the biking season.  The Valais keeps on calling us!

A few photo's, until next "summer time", enjoy:

Digging day

After my visit last week to the ever classic forests around Ludlow I was determined to make it back to my trail to sort out the fallen tree problem before I return to Chamonix for winter and skiing time! Happy with the results! Hope some people enjoy:

Welsh goodness

British perseverance paid offSome of us nearly turned down to a lower route after about 10 minutes in near 50mph Welsh winds up above Hay-on-Wye.  But we carried on and it wasn't too bad.  A great ride up, down and around The Black Mountains. Shame the iPhone died:

Being shown around my classic stomping ground

Another chance to be shown around trails.  Not as glamorous as Switzerland, but just as good! Mortimers Forest and Bringewood, Ludlow, Shropshire, England
The woods of Mortimers Forest and Bringewood are where I grew up mountain biking so I always love going back.  A few years ago I built a long section of singletrack trail to link in above a much loved piece of trail that had been a staple of rides for many years.  It was my way of giving back to the forest riders and builders.
Over the last few years whilst I've been away riding 1000m+ descents my Dad has still been out exploring every corner of these forests.  Sometimes walking with my Mother, other times out on road rides with his Wednesday night Pub Ride group or usually with his main Sunday morning off road group. They are trail connoisseurs, though they might not look it.  They are the type of group that make up every British Forestry carpark on a Sunday morning.  Escaping the wife for a few hours of banter with the boys.  No…

Changing times

Being show around Valais trails for a change People I've been riding with recently have been talking about the Emosson to Martigny trail and how good it is.  Me and Tom had been up there in June to ride the first half of the trail and loved it. blogged here. So I was keen to get back.

I wasn't keen to get up after a late night in Amnesia, but knew that the road climb from Finahut would sort me and Jarno out. 1 1/2 hours spinning wasn't too bad. Luckily the trail is great form the beginning, even if it undulates and you often have to get off your bike for a quick push up.  It still kind of flows, in a 'flow-tech' kind of way.

The views looking down towards Martigny and Sion were still great.  The trail really gets going after about 3 kilometres.  Basically from the Emosson the trail traverses North-Eastwards constantly hugging the mountainside to your left, and always with a big drop down to your right.  It's another one of those trails with everything in, slow and…

Aiguille de la Grande Sassiere 3751m

One of those pure adventure days *warning mega photo post*Ali-venturing as it's been known by over the summer.  When Ali from trailAddiction gets grand idea's in his head it always leads to hike-a-bike. Read here on DIRT Mag about a previous mission, its the highest rideable peak in the alps!
A special team was organised:  A top ten finishing team from the Bivouac Enduro, Mael and Max, Ali, myself and Fred the mountain bike mechanic from Mavic. All keen, all stupid?
And then my alarm went off at 04:30.  Time to eat and drink as much as possible.  I hadn't been up this early since ski touring in refuges last winter.  In my tired state I did subconsciously know how to load the bikes onto the trailer, it's easy after doing it everyday all summer.  We drove up towards Val d'Isere, then turned left up a singletrack road.  It was around 6am, and it was still pitch black. Slowly the sun began to rise: And the hike-a-bike continued and turned into carry-a-bike, but with the su…