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Snowdon

From a previous trip. Banger by Duncan Philpott

Snowdon

It’s the last week of 2012, the weather is typically wet but abnormally warm. Danny ‘Widehead’ Whitehead (my very good friend who’s been studying in America since the summer), Dave ‘shit line choice’ Camus and myself decided to do something a bit different. After much persuasion and being asked “Are you on crack?” I managed to sway them into riding somewhere that wasn’t a busy trail centre or muddy, boggy local XC loop.

Instead we went to Snowdon.
Why, you might ask, did we choose to do this? It may be without the dust, jumps, tree cover, bright sunshine or chairlifts and gondolas of the alps but for some reason it gives just as good a buzz but without driving for 24 hours and splashing a load of cash.

The Ranger Path is not designed for anything more than plastic walking boots from your local outdoor store so the trail does have a few sneaky rocks which you don’t see until the last second, especially when trying to go flat out and holding a straight line rather than weaving around to avoid obstacles.
There are flat out and wide open sections where you’re hopping over rocks hoping that there’s not something jagged on the landing. Other sections are slower and rockier but still quite wide so staying off of the brakes and skipping over holes is much easier than trying to take each hit as it comes. Other sections have a few flat or off-camber corners with loose gravel but also banked, almost switchback sections which allow you to feel like you’re on a proper track. The very last section, known as Mordor, is much slower and involves picking lines to make it through without catching your front wheel on a gap between boulders and being pitched over the bars.

From a previous trip. Banger by Duncan Philpott

The combination of high speed at the top and slow, tech stuff at the bottom make it feel like you have the variation of tracks like bike parks in France, Italy, etc. Perhaps not quite as much variety but it’s better than nothing. Also, weather conditions can definitely spice it up a little. 50-60mph winds, snow, ice and cloud cover definitely alter the experience a touch as Danny, Dave and I found out on the penultimate day of 2012. As we were pushing up we spotted at least 3 people with crampons attached to their boots and rucksacks full of survival gear, yet all we had were five tens on our feet and sandwiches in our bags.

As we neared the summit the wind picked up, it was the strongest I’d felt for a long time, and we didn’t think we’d be able to ride at all from the summit to the start of the Ranger path. Climbing to the top, we stopped for brief periods when the bikes were almost being blown from our hands and crouched when we were being toppled over. The view wasn’t spectacular although we didn’t plan on staying long as cold and numb hands aren’t ideal when trying to descend a mountain.

Due to the conditions we doubted it’d even be possible to ride. Every attempt at trying to walk with the bike on a slippery surface in high wind would almost put you on your arse. However, once we’d set off and had enough momentum to stay up it was an amazing feeling. Leaning into the wind to stay on course, the tyres having just enough grip to counteract the moment and not disappear from beneath you. Every now and then the wind would pick up an extra 5-10 mph and you’d slide from the left to the right without even steering in that direction. Seemingly easy sections on previous visits were made all that more challenging so the feeling of accomplishment for making it through the top section with just a couple of dabs on the thicker sheets of ice was much greater.

Once we had made it over the railway track and further down the Ranger path we dropped out of the cloud line and there was less ice. The trail was now riding like on previous experiences, still a bit damp but when only making a few direction changes this isn’t much of an issue. The wind speed was still quite high until we reached the lower third of the mountain, until then you had to try and keep both wheels on the ground to prevent the front wheel being swiped away by a side wind. This is more difficult than it sounds though as there are boulders just asking to be hopped off and over. The last section of the main descent is known as Mordor and contains a few surprises with it being a steep, narrowly cut path with rocks of all shapes and sizes littering it. Every time I’ve come to this section I’ve somehow managed to make it through blind. Once we reached the end of it cleanly Dave and myself couldn’t resist a cheesy high five…

‘Mordor’. Banger credit: Duncan ‘Dirt cover’ Philpott

The gradient of the Ranger path levels out so a short pedal is required. To make it back down to correct side of the mountain a short push is required to reach the start of the ‘Telegraph Valley descent’. A flatout section of track with rocky drainage ditches that you’re hoping at around 35mph (according to strava…) and one or two flat corners. This leads you onto a road taking you straight back into the heart of Llanberis.

Strength In Numbers + Dudes Of Hazzard Premiere!!

Strength In Numbers + Dudes Of Hazzard Premiere!!

It’s that time of year again…. Competition to follow.

“Strength in Numbers” – UK cinema tour dates announced

Dates have been announced for the UK cinema tour of “Strength in Numbers”, the eagerly awaited new mountain bike film from Anthill Films, the guys behind The Collective series of films, Follow Me and From the Inside Out.

“Strength in Numbers” is a new mountain bike documentary that explores mountain bike culture through the experiences of the world’s best riders. Anthill Films have created a film, which will change the way the world sees mountain biking, both on and off the screen. Presented by Shimano and Trek, Strength in Numbers combines progressive action and beautiful cinematography with compelling stories to show how the many different sides of mountain biking are all connected.  The filmmakers, who brought you ‘The Collective’, ‘Roam’, ‘Seasons’ and ‘Follow Me’, traveled the globe to find communities that represented the many sides of the sport, with film shoots in British Columbia, Nepal, Scotland, Austria, Switzerland, California, Utah and the Whistler Mountain Bike Park.

Strength in Numbers features a diverse selection of riders with some of the biggest names in the sport, including: Andrew Shandro, Brandon Semenuk, Cam McCaul, Gee Atherton, Graham Agassiz, Matt Hunter, Rene Wildhaber, Thomas Vanderham and Wade Simmons.  The cast consists of a mix of established pros, up and comers and local riders, with Anthony Messere, Adam Billinghurst, Rachel Atherton, Ryan Howard and Steve Smith also appearing in the film. “It’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to see what the Anthill boys have put together”, says world cup downhill champion Gee Atherton. “For me, as a rider, it’s exciting to be part of something like this – it’s a chance to help progress and grow our sport.”

For everyone who catches the tour in the cinema, they will enjoy not only the opportunity to see “Strength in Numbers ” in the big screen in all it’s Blu Ray HD glory but also get to watch “The Dudes of Hazzard” from homegrown rippers Jo Barnes, Liam Moynihan and Fergus Lamb, best known from their work with www.mtbcut.tv on the MOJO trail diaries and “The Dudes of Hazard” online films, in their inaugural big screen outing.

Following the boys on their European road trip adventures last summer, “The Dudes of Hazzard” is an irreverent and funny take on the mountain bike film chronicling their madcap attempts to race, ride, film and have fun on the way. Following on from it’s sell out world premiere in February, the tour will be the only chance to see the film on the big screen.

To follow the Dudes on their latest hair brained adventure, go to

www.facebook.com/TheDudesofHazzard

TOUR DATES

The tour kicks off with a double premiere night in GLASGOW at the GFT  (www.glasgowfilm.org/theatre) on THURSDAY 31ST MAY 2012 at 8.30pm and in Peebles at the Eastgate Centre as part of the Tweedlove Festival before doing a limited tour of venues across the UK.

Dates and locations already confirmed are as follows:-

GLASGOW Thursday 31st May 2012   GFT, 12 Rose Street 0141 332 6535 www.glasgowfilm.org/theatre

PEEBLES Thursday 31st May 2012  Eastgate Theatre, Eastgate 01721 725 777

www.eastgatearts.com
EDINBURGH Monday 11th June 2012  Cameo Cinema,  38 Home Street, Edinburgh  0871 902 5723        www.picturehouses.co.uk

LEEDS Friday 15th June 2012    Hyde Park Picturehouse, 73 Brudenell Road, Leeds   0113 275 2045   www.hydeparkpicturehouse.co.uk

SHEFFIELD Tuesday 19th June 2012   Showroom, 7 Paternoster Row, Sheffield  0114 275 7727         www.showroomworkstation.org.uk

PENRITH Date TBC     Rheged IMAX Cinema, Redhills, Penrith   01768 868 000

www.rheged.com

Tickets for all the venues (with the exception of the Rheged screening) are on sale from this week onwards.

Akrigg

Akrigg

On Saturday night a bunch of the TiS crew headed down to the Showroom in Sheffield to listen and watch Chris Akrigg. He was being interviewed by Cunny as part of the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (SHAFF) but details of the format were unknown. However, It was obviously gonna be Rad. I’ve personally been a fan of Akrigg for a long while, going back to his brakeless, Ghetto days when me and my mate John would always email each other when a new edit appeared.

The evening turned out to be a full career review, going right back to how Chris was born on to a Moto trials bike emulating his Dad all the way through to his resent recuperation. Cunny did a great job of guiding the brain dump and effusive flow from the rare beast that is a charismatic Yorkshire man. Akrigg’s stubbornness, commitment and determination are evident in his riding and he wasn’t shy about any of it. Dry, witty and laugh out loud funny Chris detailed his steady moves to becoming the professional rider he is today.

Difficult to pigeon hole and definitely his own man he is perhaps a sponsor’s nightmare. However, this uniqueness and creativity have marked him out and makes him a big draw in this Edit driven and social media market place. A self confessed media whore and part time Art Fag, his progression in riding and video production was evidenced by the showing of a series of his edits throughout the evening.

Starting at Trial Noir and ending with ‘If Not but When’ and step by step, left all the audience wanting more, particularly when tantalising details of the next project were offered. Back dropped by a slideshow of Victor Lucas’ brilliant photos the evening flew by ending with the horrific details of his injury and heart wrenching road to recovery (apparently he was going to try ‘that gap’ ALONE the previous week but it was too windy!). Happily Chris appears as determined and inspired as ever, ready to drop more golden nuggets for us all to enjoy. Hopefully the battle between his body and mind will be won and the surprises will keep on keeping on for a long time to come.

From the Inside out : Mustache Contest

Andy Jackson aka 'Machete'

From the Inside out : Mustache Contest

Do you want to win two tickets to the ‘From The Inside Out’ premier at the showroom, December 6th??

Some brillant entries creeping in as we near the end of Movember. Tache’s are at full length by now, flowing gracefully in the Sheffield breeze, killing ladies one by one.

Here’s what the guys at Recycle bikes have come up with:

Andy Jackson aka 'Machete'

Read on for more Tache action…

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From The Inside Out Premier: Dec 6th

From The Inside Out Premier: Dec 6th

From the Inside Out – UK cinema tour dates announced

Dates have been announced for the UK cinema tour of “From the Inside Out”, the eagerly awaited collaboration Anthill Films (the guys behind The Collective series of films) and The Coastal Crew.

Drawing inspiration from many previous films, riders and locations, with some of the locations now their backyard and the riders firm friends, “From the Inside Out” chronicles these riders journey to the locations they’ve always wanted to ride and expresses the lines and styles which have influenced them over the years.

SHEFFIELD   Tuesday 6th December 2011   Showroom, 7 Paternoster Row, Sheffield  0114 275 7727         www.showroomworkstation.org.uk

Tickets for all the venues are on sale from this week onwards.

Filmed entirely on location in British Colombia in Canada, widely regarded as the spiritual home of freeride mountain biking, the film showcases the world’s most talented riders at the very top of their game, including Brandon Semenuk, Steve Smith, Thomas Vanderham, Matt Hunter, Graham Agassiz, Mike Hopkins, Kenny Smith & The Coastal Crew.

To celebrate the release of the film on DVD, Blu Ray and iTunes on 1st December 2011, a limited cinema release of the film is planned for the UK. A number of dates have already been confirmed with more to follow.

For everyone who catches the tour in the cinema, they will enjoy not only the opportunity to see “From the Inside Out” in the big screen in all it’s HD glory but also get to see Anthill Films previous highly acclaimed release, “Follow Me”. Filmed entirely on location in some of the greatest riding venues in the world from Baja to New Zealand and beyond, “Follow Me” takes a look at why we love to ride – from back-yard sessions to ripping local trails and epic road trip, it captures the fun of riding from pushing limits with friends to the thrill of big mountain riding on the far side of the world.

The UK tour coincides with the release of the film on DVD. Copies of the film can be ordered from www.secondbasefilms.com/shop/ and will be distributed in Europe by www.x-tremevideo.com

To see what all the fuss is about, the trailer for “From the Inside Out” can be found by clicking on the link below.

http://www.thecoastalcrew.com/

To view the trailer for “Follow Me”, just click on the link below

http://www.anthillfilms.com/followme/

Dates and location confirmed for Sheffield:

SHEFFIELD   Tuesday 6th December 2011   Showroom, 7 Paternoster Row, Sheffield  0114 275 7727         www.showroomworkstation.org.uk

Tickets for all the venues are on sale from this week onwards.

The tour and the previous sell out film tours has only been made possible thanks to the continued generosity and support of the following businesses and people within the bike trade.

Carl at www.bikelove.co.uk for the Glasgow screening

Joe and the team at www.summitcycles.co.uk for the Welsh screenings

Andy, Keith and the team at www.biketreks.net

The team at www.cyclesurgery.com for the London screening

Simon at www.18bikes.co.uk and Scott at www.thebiketree.co.uk for the Sheffield screening

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