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A great email published in the latest MBUK from one of our guests who came on the Backcountry Pyrenees skills trip back in October. As he says here, he re-booked to come again straight away.

It’s always sunny in Hebden Bridge

You might have seen something about Hebden Bridge getting flooded on the news. Southern propaganda I say, it’s always sunny here. Come and see for yourself (just wait until after Friday when the pub re-opens)

2016 Basque & Pyrenees dates

All dates and details for the 2016 trips are out now. Click on the Trips heading above.

2015 has been the best year so far for the Great Rock trips run in partnership with Basque MTB. All the trips have a mountain bike skills element, which adds to the overall feel of the holiday without making it into a “skills clinic”.

Each day we spend up to an hour sessioning a section of trail or developing a riding technique. The rest of the day is spent riding, but all the time riders are under the eye of Ed, the skills trainer and Doug, the head guide. There is plenty of opportunity to follow or by followed by both of them and the feedback is that this really helps riders to progress their skills, flow over the trails better and take on new challenges.


We have three different trips.

The spring Backcountry Pyrenees has longer hours of daylight for more time on the bikes and concentrates on slightly lower altitude trails on mainly south facing slopes.

The autumn Backcountry Pyrenees trips take us higher into the High Pyrenees, with uplifts regularly taking us up over 2000m.

In the summer we run trips in the Basque Country on and near to the coast. Here the trails are shorter in length but rich in their technicality, beautiful ocean views and always close to the amazing Basque gastronomy to keep body and soul together.

On the Basque coast trips guests stay in one place and enjoy more off the bike time whereas the Backcountry trips involve more driving and staying in different accommodations. If you’ve seen the social media feeds then you know that we like to ride hard and eat well. Every year a good proportion of guests rebook to return again which we think is a great testament to the quality of both the riding, social atmosphere and great food that we like to share.

All photos by Douglas McDonald


So proud to have been a part of this event. Steve had an accident after the Vain Vagrant video launch party last year that changed his life. 1 year on and we’re helping him get back on his feet (pun intended)

Tim Royle of Whitenosugar Productions put together this video of the guided ride and party at North West Barber Co that raised nearly £3,000 on Saturday

You can read Steve’s story here and donate if you like.

Hebden Bridge Ride 25/7/15

It’s the Shakeyakey Ride! To book a place click ‘Shakeyakey Ride’ under the ‘Trips’ tab above

Be guided on Hebden Bridge trails, see where the Vain Vagrant film was shot and raise some money for a good cause.

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the launch of the Vain Vagrant film Great Rock will be organising a guided Hebden Bridge ride. We’ll ride some Hebden Bridge trails including some from the film, we’ll have a nice lunch, a pub stop and a visit to Old Gate for a pint to finish. Who knows there might even be some weird characters there and some prizes!

This is also the 1st anniversary weekend of a life changing incident that happened to one of our friends. Shakeyakey, a passionate mountain biker, was at the Vain Vagrant launch party and had an accident on his way home that left him paralysed and changed the way he now lives his life.


Shakeyakey’s story really touched me because I know how it could so easily be my story. I do dangerous things and I do daft things and even some of the normal things that I do could, in the blink of an eye, end with it being me in the wheel chair. It could be any one of us.

Wouldn’t it be great to do something positive that would be fun to do and help a friend? Yes, and that’s why all the money raised from the ride will go to helping Shakeyakey buy and adapt a home. There will be other events happening to raise money, this is just the beginning! Maybe we’ll even be able to get him riding off road again.

You can read more about his story here on the gofundme page.

Our great friends at the North West Barber Company will be donating all takings from their shop on the same day to the cause as well as hosting a party in the evening, to which we’re all invited.

Oh and by the way planning has begun for the follow up film to the Vain Vagrant, we’ll let you in on some secrets if you come along on the day.


We’ll ride all day from 9.30am to about 4pm with a lunch break at Old Gate in Hebden Bridge (so you don’t need to bring sandwiches but you will need money to buy your lunch and drinks)

You will need a mountain bike and be able to ride moderately technical, rocky terrain (think Red grade trail centre trail). You will be riding for about 4 hours during the day. It won’t be a race, this is a fun, social ride and no one will get left behind. If there are lots of us there might be some more technical trails that a brake away group will be able to ride.

All money from this day will be donated to the gofundme fundraiser page minus the amount that Paypal will deduct for processing the payments.

2015 partners


Great Rock is supported by some fantastic brands for 2015 and it’s something worth shouting about. I’m more than happy to recommend the kit that I use because it’s tried and tested by me and if it didn’t work without lots of faff and fixing then I wouldn’t want it. It also helps if the kit looks good and can put on a pretty face for the relentless Instagram photos!

Kit has to work well in the tough and rocky conditions of Hebden Bridge, as pictured above, as well as at Gisburn Forest, Lake District, Basque Country, Pyrenees and all the other places that it gets dragged, ridden, thrown in vans, carried up mountains, crashed, rained on, sun bleached, sweated on and cleaned over and over again. It’s making me all excited just thinking about all the adventures to come this year!

Frames are Santa Cruz

Clothing, helmets and pads are Sweet Protection

Drivetrains, brakes, pedals and shoes are Shimano

Forks are X-Fusion

Wheels are Mavic

Bars, stems, saddles and grips are Chromag

Tyres are WTB

Dropper posts are KS

Frame protection is Invisiframe

Chain lube and bike cleaner is Squirt

Waterproof socks and gloves are Sealskinz

Trail tools are Lezyne

Bike travel bag is Evoc

Haircuts and beard trims are North West Barber Co.