I spent a couple of hours on the Stumpjumper yesterday exploring Cringle Plantation, one of the more technical mountain bike areas on the Isle of Man. Towards the end of the blue dot community trail I was transported into a magical woodland of mature, moss-covered larch, planted just wide enough to allow a carpet of wild clover to conceal the entire forest floor, and that carpet was now in full bloom.
End2End Mountain Bike Race
A couple of photos and some light reflection on my first ever formal mountain bike race, this year’s End2End challenge on the Isle of Man. This one’s been on my radar for quite a while now, but I’ve always found an excuse to duck out. Not any more.
First Lap of the Island
Another box ticked, another itch scratched: ride around the Isle of Man in one go. I’ve been wanting to do this for a long time, and seeing as it wasn’t a race I took plenty of photos along the way. One or two of them may feature a bike …
Longest Day, Longest Ride
The LDLR is a charity 24 hour endurance mountain bike race held annually around the time of the Summer Solstice, and as it’s just up the road from us I thought I’d drop in and snap a few pics with my trusty, dusty DSLR.
Of Fear and Loathing
House of The Rising Sun plays on the radio while I’m sitting in Eat, a down-to-earth yet trendy cafe in downtown North Vegas, wondering what to make of their signature dish: Shrimp and Grits. I ordered it because I have no…
France 1 : Brompton 0
Thought I’d have a go at cycling to Paris, but ambitions for 106 miles on the Brommie are thwarted early on by the weather. Still, it gets you out in the fresh air.
4 Lumps Classic MTB route
The Surrey Hills area is a mecca for mountain bikers, with rich terrain offering something for riders of all abilities. I’ve been riding here on and off for about 5 years now, following a route originally downloaded from a site that’s long since disappeared. It’s a pretty tough tour taking in four of the highest hills in southern England, but includes a bail-out loop if you want to cut out Peaslake and The Hurtwood.
Small Bike, Big Ideas
Another impromptu cycle ride, another cause to wonder if small bikes can be used for touring. Audax fans will tell you that luggage isn’t necessary, so why not extend the minimalist theme to your ride? Temptation to plan a longer trip is fuelled by an ad hoc ride home from my new job. Maybe I’m just eager to get out after being cooped up for a couple of weeks, or maybe it really is possible to go the distance with impossibly small wheels. Either way, this itch needs scratching.
London to Paris on the Avenue Verte
Sounds impressive, but cycling to Paris is easier than you’d think. The route uses established cycle paths, most of it is flat, and some is even traffic free. In fact it’s so popular that a small tourist industry has sprung up, ensuring you’re never far from a loo or a cafe. The best bit? A large chunk of distance is knocked out by the ferry, leaving you with a ride that Mum could do on her shopper.