98% Buff in Calderdale

I rode up the Penny Steps today as part of my ride on the Mojo. I’m writing a review of the bike for the next issue of Singletrack, having been riding it in a couple of different builds over the past 9 months.  Everything out there on the trails is dry, fast and just yummy.

Heckle of the Week

I got heckled the other day by a five year old in Todmorden Park when I was riding the Blood. “You’re riding a girl bike,” the little monkey quipped. His mistake though was when he tried to race Greta on her Isla bike (pictured above). She’s quite good at cornering and he over cooked it trying to stay with her in the hairpin. Result = boy face down on the track and Greta with a big victory grin on her face.

Nobody questioned Nial’s gender when he rode the bike at Wharncliffe on Wednesday. Here he is with Ewan and Sam.

Testing, testing….

In the last week I’ve been lucky enough to ride a bunch of different bikes. Here’s Singletrack’s Orange Blood test bike. Yes it is a lot of fun, like a mini downhill bike – but without all the weight. Yes it is pink and yes I have started to appreciate the colour clashes that it incorporates. Great at Lee Quarry on the rocks, jumps and berms as well as on the technical trails of Calderdale.

Next up is the Kona Stab Supreme, a full on downhill race bike. It’s long and heavy and loves going fast. I’ve had a good day today riding it down at Wharncliffe on the DH tracks. Needless to say it ate the trails and loved the drops and jumps. This is a Singletrack long term test bike and will be ridden by Matt when he is back at full strength after breaking his ankle whilst out on his first ride on this very bike. I was relieved to survive the day intact!

And now for something completely different. I did a one to one skills day last week with Jeff who rides a rigid 29er singlespeed and decided to join him on the same kind of bike.

Chipps let me borrow his Surly Karate Monkey and fully rigid Jeff and myself spent time in loose rock, on the berms and on some of the rock slabs of the Black route at Lee Quarry. The rigid bikes were fine on all of these trails and here’s Jeff to prove it. He even looks almost happy, or maybe it just the vibration 🙂

Singletrack Classic Weekender 4 & 5 July

I was up at Lee Quarry today with Cy from Cotic, Brant from Ragley and Benji from Singletrack. We were riding the XC, Trials and DH sections from the upcoming Singletrack Classic Weekender. There will be 3 race sections over the weekend which you ride all on the one bike. Good idea don’t you think? Just like back in the good old days. Have a look on the Singletrack website for details.

We had a play on the trials sections which will be located in the skills area. We had mixed success riding against the clock and for the video camera and as the red mist came down we had a couple of spills and fails. Brant claimed crash of the day with his wheelie drop off the see saw. The image of him looping the loop and landing flat on his arse, still clipped in, will never leave my memory. Cy and Benji are enjoying the video replay in the photo above. Brant is savouring the endorphin rush below.

Brant will be the commentator for the event and Cy will be racing. Probably going faster than most people will be Rowan Sorrell, downhill racer and the man responsible for building the jumps and berms up at Lee Quarry.

Go Back & Do It Again!

Skills days are all about taking time to look at sections of the trail and putting good riding techniques into practice. Line choice and body position is what it’s all about, especially here on The Ginnel, a great Lee Quarry descent. It has rocks, turns and gradient changes. When you get the line dialled here you can fly down it with control.

….and here’s a group from yesterday’s ‘Stop Crashing’ skills days taking a really close look at the line on their way back up to the top to ride it again.

I did ride my bike as well at SSUK

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We liked that drop so much we rode it a couple of times! I guess that’s one of the advantages of messing about at the start of the race and then being stuck at the back of the field.

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And then we met some nice Victorian ladies who gave us Pimms from their lovely jug.

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After riding all the technical features on the course, Nial won the drinking competition to take the fantastic prize of a Singular Cycles Hummingbird frame and fork. Good lad.

Photos by Dave Anderson who did a great job of apprenticing Nial as a bike hider. The results below speak for themselves as does Nial’s cheeky grin.

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