Scoping Gisburn

Nigel on the Black 4X section near the Slab

Went up to Gisburn with Nigel Page yesterday to ride the trails and start planning our skills weekend of 16-17th January. Brant, the Ragley Bikes and Nukeproof designer, came with us too, all in the spirit of R&D. The weather was grim with a gale blowing and lashings of rain. Some of the more exposed trails were hard going so it’s a good job that I’m building some new features in the cover of the woods for the January weekend to complement what is already there. There are a lot of new developments happening up at Gisburn and the scope for future Great Rock skills courses is rapidly expanding.

“This is shit”

Brant got a bit cold and wet and didn’t like the climb up to Whelpstone Crag. He did like the volunteer section in the lower loop and Nigel gave us a mini workshop in how to do cutties while we were down there. If you don’t know what cutties are, they are sharp 90 degree turns where you skid the back wheel using pressure through the pedals. No brakes involved. Expect this to be included in the January weekend along with drops, jumps, bunny hops, cornering, pumping etc.

Pagey rides an Intense Tracer….quite well

and he has a nice company van

In other news I bought some new Straitline pedals because Nigel told me my pedals were shit.                                                        They are very GRIPPY

….and I was given this T shirt for my efforts as a new volunteer trail builder. Beard not included

Great Rock Mountain bike skills weekend with Nigel Page

A date for your diary. The weekend of 16-17th January 2010 will see a Great Rock skills intensive at Gisburn Forest. Guest skills coach Nigel Page will be joining me to deliver top level skills training across the main blue, red and black graded features at Gisburn. More details soon but expect the content to cover berms, pumping, jumping, drop offs and bucket loads of flow.

Nigel Page is the Team Manager of the  ChainReactionCycles/Intense Racing Team. He has raced at World Cup level in downhill as well as 4X British National Championships and is a National number 1 and National Champion in BMX.

Price for two days of skills training will be £120 per person bookable by contacting Ed on or 07545 228209

There will be 12 places available in total (riding in 2 groups of 6) and participants will work with both Nigel and Ed over the weekend.


Nicola riding drop off at Gisburn

Here’s Nicola, cool as a cucumber, standing tall and riding a four foot drop off on the downhill tracks at Gisburn Forest. Last week saw a skills day of ‘Achievable Rad’ where Nicola and friends got to grips with drop offs. Thanks to Alan for the photo and as you see, the sun always shines on the righteous.

Nicola is a mountain bike guide and can often be found working for Dales Bike Centre

STW Forum Mountain Bike Skills Day at Gisburn Forest

Coolhandluke shredding the berms at Gisburn

A great group of guys from the Singletrackworld forum came up to Gisburn Forest today for a special ‘Stop Crashing’ skills day. No one argued about what tyres were best for the current trail conditions or what is the current top dog of the washing machine world. Instead we had a day of skills progression, good craic and a nice pint afterwards in the Dog and Partridge. We looked at body position, riding berms, cornering and riding rocks as well as the essential skills of trackstands, manuals, rear wheel lift and a little insight into bunny hops. Cheers fellas.

All the bikes were either designed in Calderdale or California

Stumpyjohn has built some of the trails at Gisburn. Here he is owning one.

New Mountain Bike Trails for Lancashire

Bill’s Ragley Blue Pig and my Prototype Ti on Rooley Moor Road

This week I went on a site visit with Tony, Bill and Steve – Lancashire County Council Countryside Officer, Pennine Bridleway Ranger and Rights of Way Officer respectively. They are also mountain bikers and right good blokes who are working together to create top notch new trails for us to ride, that link in with the existing bridleway network. They are also working to put in new sections of bridleway. I like these guys.

“Ha, ha, I get a GPS and all you get is a bit of paper”

We rode the route of a proposed trail that links the Pennine Bridleway down to Lee Quarry. Including all the downhill sections of Lee Quarry it makes a great, long descent. We also hacked around the rollers and spoil heaps of Crag Quarry following what will be a red and black graded route that will be finished by March 2010. Expect berms and drops with plenty of flow. Over the winter there will also be a new section of red route built and a whole new skills area created at Lee Quarry. Great Rock will be running skills days using all these venues. WOOP!

Steve rides this well shonky singlespeeded old Kona rather well

Bill gets a company Ragley Blue Pig and a Land Rover. I think Bill wins.

Women’s Mountain Bike Skills Day

Kirsty practicing trackstands with Jane’s assistance

Really good day yesterday with a group of four women who had different levels of mountain biking experience. We looked at some of the essential skills including body position on the bike and getting the best table in the window of Mooch cafe.

Track stands, manuals, wheelies and step ups were on the menu as well as general climbing and descending skills, all wrapped up in a lovely Autumn ride out around Hebden Bridge.