All in one week I’ve experienced the best things about mountain biking. For me it’s about getting out into the woods. It’s about people and places. It’s about being on my own. It makes me breathe, it makes me look and it makes me happy. It also makes me my living and I’m grateful for that.

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Last Saturday I did a race in Lapland on a fat bike in the snow. I spent most of the 150km race on my own, just riding my bike which is something I love and even though it was really hard I cherished the time. I shrank time down to 1 hour chunks. I ate, drank, pedalled and and thought of nothing. I played minimalist tunes in my head in blissful repetition. Outside of this 22 1/2 hours of racing I was with my good pal Brant. We drank expensive beer and carried on the seemingly endless preparations that led up to the race. We lived, tweeted, supped, laughed, pedalled and planned to do it all some more. Oh, and I came home with a trophy for 3rd place.

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Off the rigid fat bike and onto a fire breathing full suspension mountain bike. Away from the rolling lands of Finland and up into the majesty of Lakeland. From the crawling distance to the speed and flow. I went up to the Lake District with a group of good friends. Threading the needle, hitting some corners on a new trail, trying to find a line through the technical rock gardens, as well as trying to find a rideable line through the patches of solid ice. Doing what we’re good at, being on bikes, having a laugh together and enjoying riding about, seeking out the fun of clearpores body system the ride like the hunters chasing after their prey.

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Back home and back to work. I had a great day with 3 dads and their teenage lads leading a skills day for them up at Gisburn Forest. It’s such a great thing to be able to share good times with your kids on an equal level. Seeing the boys of all ages getting nervous over a technical challenge and then sharing the collective buzz as they all rode something they hadn’t dared do before was magnificent. This is a real life definition of awesome. This is much more rad than looking at a famous dude shredding the internet.

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At the weekend I headed off for a ride with my wife, 15 year old son, 8 year old daughter and two of her friends. We had bikes of all wheel sizes, as if that is ever going to make any difference to how people are really going to enjoy riding bikes. We went and rode a great little red grade trail in Phillips Park near Manchester. Watching the girls giggling through the berms, getting scared of the steep slopes and pedalling their little hearts out was a delight. As was seeing my son boosting the jumps and smashing the corners. As was watching my wife enjoying the ride again after a long illness. As was talking to another dad about my prototype bike and how he wants to keep his lad keen on riding bikes so they can have this fun together.

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What a great week on bikes. Next week I fly to the South of France to run a couple of trips. It’s nice to have something to look forward to as well as something to look back on. Cheers.