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Thanks to all the amazing people in my life male and female that have helped me live the 'life' I lead and do the things I have done, especially my family who have supported me in so many ways, my great friend Dave Manby for his confidence to employ a very young wide eyed female as his safety kayaker for his business in Eastern Turkey in 2000, that opportunity has given me the confidence to do so many things in life. Great things have been done to get women to this point in the short time of human history and we should take time to celebrate that, in surfing the women now have equal prize money something other sports should be rightly ashamed of not equaling! There are too many women who work and play in the outdoors that inspire me to start naming them, I hope like we all do that in some small way I have helped others on their journey in life and I continue to enjoy and get great satisfaction from doing that with my small coaching business.

Once we have had our day of 'celebration' lets get back to work as we're only part of the way. 

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Just had a great weekend up at the Kendal Mountain Film Festival 2018. The Friday night ‘Bike night’ hosted by Santa Cruz is obviously the main focus for riders, with some fantastic films on show including a showing on the big screen and interview with X Games Dirt Jumper Matt Jones and other personalities interviewed live on stage by Rob Warner and Lee Craigie it makes for a unique and fun evening of ‘bike’ related entertainment.

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There are also lots of other inspirational talks, films and general outdoor 'stuff’ going on over the weekend and if you can drag yourself away from the hills, crags, lakes & rivers and trails in the Lake District. Films that we watched and where totally blown away by where:

Stocked On MS: https://youtu.be/qpLy-sbAKP0 , Twin Galaxies: https://youtu.be/o-ZMCRkUmZs and Frame of Mind even though I'd seen it on the computer it was evening more amazing on the big screen. 

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A couple that I reallywanted to see but ended up missing was Stumped, Dirtbag: Legend of Fred Beckey, The last Honey Hunter, Weightless, Becoming Who Was Me and My big white thighs & Me.

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We ended up out on a ride & ‘hike a bike’ over Helvellyn (with a 969m elevation gain I was glad I had my oval chainring on!) on Saturday with ‘amazing’ views and plenty of big hill riding fun with some of the Santa Cruz guys before attending the Award night in the main theatre by the basecamp. Sunday we took in a few more films and talks before heading home after another fantastic WE.

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If you have never been the 2018 dates are 15th to 17th November 2018 so get yourself booked in and we will see you there!

Ally. 

We popped back up to North Wales just after Christmas to take Ally's parents home however we also managed to coincide our trip with the first snow of the year ( I always said Ally was a bit Snow Angel!) We caught up with some old friends on the Horseshoe Pass and set out for some fun. Heading up to the Mast the view were as spectacular as we remembered them from out 7 years of living up there. We did not have our bikes with us so while the lads Super T AKA Tom, Rich and Anthony rode (kind'a) we walked in the fresh snow.

Clear Blue skies made for some amazing views down towards Llangollen and over the Cheshire plains while to the West Snowdon and the other North Wales mountain's were clearly in sight.

Anthony, Rich and Tom had a blast in the cold fresh snow and after a couple of slides and tumbles they all started to get used to the conditions and make the most of the conditions.


The views as they rode were amazing with the clear blue sky for a back drop it was great to take it all in as the guys rode by.

Tom who just lives a couple of hundred meters away on the 'Pass' made it look easy keeping the speed on the bike and not using the brakes but letting the snow slow him down where he wanted.

It was great to be up there with them and it just goes to show that sometimes its just worth getting out there! It was also great for me Ally and wee Finlay to get out in the fresh air too!


The little 'Bear' was quite snugly in his winter 'fur!'

Wicked day out in the snow with them and it just goes to show that sometimes it's just worth getting out there even when the conditions are not that great!

Bob


 

We were up in out North Wales Skills Area at Onegiant Leap in Llangollen over Easter doing a spot of trail maintenance and sorting it out for a busy summer program of courses.

We did a bit of staff training with our latest recruit so Finlay had his first trail building session too. . . . . .

However he soon got bored and had to go have a play in the trees!

Not sure where his mum was?

Big 'thanks' to Tom AKA 'Super T' for providing the digging power as ever.

After a few hrs work we had to go and have a play too obviously!

Lovely to be back up North and working on the trails as ever.

Bob

Looking for a MTB Bike Venue that will tick all the boxes and keep everyone happy? We went to Livigno last year with our baby and can highly recommend it. Here's a quick pic video to get you fired up:


 

We spent ages researching for trailers that would give us the freedom to still ride some better trails and also just get about as a family and it seemed like there was only one option that we could find and that was the Tout Terrain trailer from Germany.


The guys out there were really helpful and it looked like their single trailer would do the job perfectly. A sturdy steel roll cage protects the little fella along with the 5 point harness while it's 45cm width, single wheel and adjustable 16mm to 200mm shock give it the ability to handle berms, rocks and pretty much all that a Red grade trail can handle.

This ability to bank with the bike as you corner also greatly reduces the lateral forces on the little one too.

We took the bike out on to the Rookie Green trail in Afan Forest Park to give it a go and see how it all works. We have got the baby seat and child support kit too so we had a bit of playing about to get used to it all and see how it works best for Finlay. Riding wise you hardly notice the trailer behind you and its 'dry' weight of 9.5kg's is testament to its great design.

We had a short but great first trip out with it and we will put up more as we explore our new riding life with Finlay. He seamed oblivious which I guess is the good thing however in a few month's we hope he is whooping and hollering around the trails with us!


 

So here it is a quick write up on our amazing couple of weeks riding in Livigno Italy. After a drive out from the UK with a stop in Southern Germany to give wee Fin a break we drove through the final couple of hours and through the last tunnel into the amazing valley that Livigno sits nestled in between the mountains in between Switzerland, Italy and Austria.

Our holiday started off with a couple of fun packed high octane days on the Mottoline DH trails with Jen (Ally's sister) and Rich, Clive, Dave and Lucy from the 'There Will Be Mud' crew who were also out there for the first week. The Mottoline area is fantastic array of trails all right off the lift with drops jumps, northshore, wall rides as well as flowy and more technical trails including a DH World Champs DH track.

It's definitely a haven for anyone who likes the more 'challenging' trails! We split our time riding the trails and hanging about in town and down by the lake with Finlay. With lots to do, see eat and drink this was never the 'short straw!'  

 Here is the Mottoline trail map:

As well as these trails Livgno is surrounded by an amazing array of XC trails up and down the side of the valleys and over 2000m+ mountain passes or linking in from the two lift areas (Mottoline and Carosello3000) Whether you're after amazing riding or amazing views or both it really has it all! WE took trail 26 down the valley and were rewarded with a fantastic day out on the bikes together.

We then started to explore the other side off the valley on the Carosello3000 lift system, we had previous contacted them about getting the Tout Train trailer on the lifts, which they were fine with. With it's newly developed 'flow' trails and stunning views of the surrounding mountain and valley the trails here are superb fun and we had some real fun riding.

We obviously had to stop and sample the local beer too!

While we were checking out the trail network we started planning a two day ride camping by a lake on the middle night on one of the trails, you can ride it in a day, however we wanted to stretch it out and enjoy it rather than rush it as we had Fin with us in the trailer! 

We climbed out of the lake on an exhausting trail up to the high pass at 2300m we were rewarded with a real sense of achievement and also some stunning views.

The reward was a sweet bit of singletrack descending in to the next valley to the amazing Blue lake for our overnight camp.

 We had a bit of a thunderstorm pass through but Fin seamed to enjoy his first night of proper camping too.

The next day we had to climb over another high pass with a welcome stop at a farm for some well earned refreshments and a bit of a dry out. We were welcomed in as usual and had the best latte's made with fresh milk from the cows on the farm while we checked our progress! 

We still had a good few days left, so we whiled them away cruising around town checking out the many shops and cafes. Whilst riding even more fantastic riding trails.

We where in Livigno when the Nine Knights Competition was been held up by Mottolino and we got to see some amazing riding by a World Class line up including the UK's Sam Pilgrim.

 

Livigno is not the easiest place in the Alps to get to but its well worth the extra journey and they are developing more trails every year. Being a duty free enclave keeps the overall cost down too and there were some great bargains to be had in the many shops. We will be back for sure!

Big thanks to: 

  • Santa Cruz & Juliana bicycles, Bronson and Furtado were faultless as ever and gave us a fantastic ability to ride the steeper and more technical stuff with confidence but still have the ability to ride up the amazing mountain trails while towing the trailer with Fin! The BOS suspension we run soaked up the big hits well and were as smooth as ever on the trails.
  • Toute Terrain, again the single-trailer is such a fantastic piece of kit, it has allowed us to keep riding as a family and Fin definitely loved being out and about in it. 
  • We never needed our Sweet Protection lids however knowing there the best on the market is comforting for sure and our riding gear performed faultless in a wide mix of conditions. 
  • Fenwicks Bike products kept everything clean and running smooth.
  • Fibrax Brake pads definitely helped keep everything under control out there! 
 

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