Archives: Other

Student Life Is Tough

Student life is tough… naaaat!

This is my second post of the day. After two days of digging a new track, one night at Corporation, two days riding and all with a touch of man flu I thought I deserved a day off from anything bike related.
So I’m going to talk about riding bikes…
I finished my uni exams just over a week ago so I’m pretty free until lectures start again in September. I’ve had quite a bit more free time so I this is what I’ve been up to:

Night ride to Mam Tor – Aim: ride to Mam Tor and arrive in time to see the sunrise.

Sheffield Glow

Not too shabby...

Not bad like.

yeah buddy!

Riding at Blackamoor. This has been pretty standard over the last couple of weeks.

Top secret riding spot. All you’re getting is a picture and a sentence. This track is pretty natural and full of off-camber and loamy goodness mixed with high speed, the stuff of dreams basically.
sshhh, it's a secret

And to end. This is what I was listening to at the point of posting:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWkh5z7i_eY&feature=player_detailpage

Bolehills Pump Track Round 3

Bolehills Pump Track Round 3

The sun was out, the track was freshly dug and primed, and the excitement of racing was in the air. It could only mean 1 thing- the Bolehills Pumptrack world champs round 3 was on!

Owen, Freddie and Spencer’s efforts has seen a new inside line be created- with a straight line of moto whoops designed for maximum speed and creativity. With the Taylor family away on Fort William duty, the field was wide open in all categories, especially with a 2 way tie for 2nd in the overall standings in the 12-16 category.


11 and under

With the Monk twins away, here was a chance for the other guys to earn some points. Joe Williams put storming runs in to walk away with 3rd place, and his brother Oliver Williams just pipping him to the post to get 2nd. Charlie was pinned and fast as always and came home with his first win of the series, after 2 consecutive 3rds.

12-16

With a 2 way tie for 2nd between rivals Josh Malone and Seabass in the overall standings, this could be one of the races to watch- unfortunately Josh couldn’t hold it together and some cheeky pedal strokes earned him nothing but an early bath. Surprise 3rd place went to Joe Camus aboard his hefty Dartmoor Hornet freeride hardtail- some slick tyres on that bike and that boy could go steps higher on the podium! Seabass came in 2nd after narrowly being beaten by Marco Wood-Bonelli, who gains a 3rd win on the trot, and retains the series leader Jersey.

17+

The racing is always tight in the top category, and today’s was no exception! Chris Moonbay smashed a 11.48 top qualifying time, with Freddie close behind with a 12.20. This good form continued until semis- Moonbay being knocked out by Dave Camus and getting a respectable 3rd place. The final was a classic Dave-Freddie final, and was close and fast as always, with Freddie taking his first win of the series.

Thanks to Owen Robertson and Malco for putting this all together, a big shout out to Neil Cousins from Charge Bikes for the prizes and for everyone competing. See you at Round 4 on the 16th July!

Winter 11 is dead….

…Long live summer!

Col des Courtes

I am actually hoping to keep skiing all through the summer this year, searching out patches of snow in hidden shadowy gullies and probably skiing into some rock climbs up high, but my proper winter skiing is over now. It ended on a high. T’other week I skinned up the Argentiere Glacier with long time Cham local Ross Hewitt and Dave ‘Milky bar kid’ Searle intending to ski the Ammone, a huge and very asthetic line that would have dropped us bastard miles from Chamonix in Switzerland. Due to the logistics of ferrying cars and setting up lifts, and our apparent inept ability to organise anything more than ‘first bin at GM’ we decided the North facing Col des Courtes could be a good, and logistically easyer line.

Searler on the leisurely approch

Touring up to the face was pretty cool, the going was easy with a firm snow surface and just a couple of inches of fresh made it a very social skin with the 3 of us side by side having some good man-chat.  It was all very leisurely really. As our line came into view it was all looking very nice, no tracks, fresh snow and beautiful runnels running down the upper part of the face.

Myself approaching. Photog cred:Ross Hewitt

The bergschrund was conquered after a small false start too far left, with skis on and roped up. Crampons on now for the duration of the climb. Ross put a slightly ascending traverse in, and then started up the face proper. The going was fairly deep. No bootpack in before us meant some hard work, with some steps sinking boot deep, some waist deep wallowing and a bit of swimming. At least everything felt stable and the deep snow offset the ever-apparent exposure as we gained more height on the face. The rock band was ascended through a short gully on some ice and then a wee bit more wallowing.

Myself about half way up the face. Photo: Ross Hewett

My ‘bomber’ belay at the transition

The snow started to get hard and shitty near the top so we decided to crack the skis on, and forgo gaining the actuall col. Ledges were dug and sketchy belays were improvised with ice axes and ski poles in the unconsolidated pow. The battle to change over from crampons to skis is never an easy one, frozen crampon straps, exposure, dynafiddles, the ever present risk of dropping something important has me taking my time here for sure. I don’t wanna’ rag-doll to my death while trying to take a piss ether, so that had to wait. Though thinking about it I could use a few more GNAR points…

Searle

Down time. This is what we are here for. Ross and Milky are much much stronger climbers than me, both technically and fitness wise, but I can ski well so its a level playing field again. I feel an equal again. Rather impressively Milky is first ready and skis the first turns. A bit sketch at first after a few cautious jump turns we all relax a bit. The snow is good. He gets to a safe spot so our slough doesn’t kill him and its my go. The snow is good. Still cautiously jump turning I start to link a few turns instead of stopping in-between turns. It feels steep, even in the perfect conditions we have it in. We estimate it at 55degree’s. Its pretty hard to estimate pitch though. Everything feels so different in different snow conditions….45degree’s feels nearly flat in perfect powder, but put even the best skiers in the world on 45* in icy conditions, and over fatal exposure and they will be shitting bricks. A few weeks earlier I skied Cunningham couloir (50*) in hard hard snow conditions….it was scary as shit. I stayed on the rope for a fair way…..so we figured if this feels steeper than Cunningham despite having perfect snow…it was definitely fucking steep.

Why does looking up always look flat? Searle skiing

Me just after the ‘choke’. photo: Ross Hewett

Ice axes in hand we got through the rock band with skis on, and ropes away which made it all a bit quicker and we soon found ourself on the lower face linking some nice turns. Little jump over the bergschrund and we were free. Awesome line! Looking back up Ross and I took the piss out of Milky Searle’s ‘epileptic’ and erratic tracks and then for his apparent loss of his ice axe somewhere on route. Truth be told, Searle is doing very good skiing lines like this after the amount of skiing he has done. He has a bloody good jump turn on him, and will become a very good skier for sure.

The ski-out wasn’t without its fun ether…there was pretty much no snow down low, so we linked up patches of heather and grass until even the Scots man had to walk.

Good end to the season! Bike time now…

Back to top