Curtis Keene: On Track – new episode out now!

Just watched this from start to finish – one of the best yet I reckon! Some brilliant, funny and insight-filled footage from Curtis, Jared and the Specialized Racing crew, a hilarious section of CK riding one of his old home trails on an ancient Stumpjumper, and then footage from the EWS round at Valberg, featuring the epic battle between Hill and Vouilloz. Right near the end, you’ll see THAT clip again of Vouilloz absolutely thundering round one of the last corners of the race at outrageous speed, foot out flat out. Amazing!


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EWS Finale Ligure – full highlights out now!

Well after the awesome 1 minute highlights posted yesterday, the full half hour highlights video from the Enduro World Series final in Finale Ligure is here!

Incredible footage on some really savage tracks, terrifying exposure on stage 5, and the amazing sight of fans packing out the entire length of the brutal DH Men, which this year was the last stage of the weekend – a fitting conclusion to a truly fantastic season!

Congratulations to Richie Rude & Cecile Ravanel for the wins – and “thanks & goodbye” to sporting legends Anne Caroline Chausson & Nico Vouilloz.

Enjoy the footage!


EWS Round 8 – Finale Ligure, full recap video.

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It’s a wrap! 2016’s EWS is all done……

What a season! The 2016 Enduro World Series has come to an end, and what a year it’s been – high stakes racing on serious big mountain terrain, legends entering the discipline, retirements, crashes, moments of sheer genius and many, many more highlights.

While we wait for the full highlights footage from the mad, bad Finale, check out the one minute roundup!

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When trail traps hurt more than their intended victims

At first glance, it might seem that the recent (or should that be latest?) scandal involving disgraced ex-Minister Ron Davies has a narrow scope of victims, but a broader view demonstrates far reaching potential impact for the Caerphilly economy.


It’s safe to say that nobody expected to see the former MP at the centre of the Clapham Common and Tog Hill “badgergate” scandals back in the news for video seeming to show more woodlands based misdemeanors. It’s even safer to say that we didn’t expect the wildlife charity he is trustee of to firstly attack members of the public asking them for a response to the news, then to condemn the actions in a press statement, then retract the statement, go back to a highly defensive (and some would say secretive) position and delete further queries from their social media page, before finally giving a very reluctant comment but refusing to comment on the trap situation. In fact, the mystery spokesperson wouldn’t even give us a name to attribute the quotes below to:



We tried to give Caerphilly Woodlands Trust fair right to reply, but received a less than helpful response from their secretive social media spokesperson


Casting aside the potentially horrific consequences of the traps laid, and the impression that the Caerphilly Woodlands Trust would rather close ranks than address the issue of their rogue trustee, there’s another angle to this sorry story – the value of mountain biking in economic terms to a local area, and the risk to those revenues if participants in this high value, growing sport are forced out.


At the very same time as traps were being laid in the woods, the Scottish Government’s Developing Mountain Biking in Scotland (DMBinS) team was hosting an arena at the world famous Eurobike trade show in Germany, having just had verification from the Office of National Statistics that mountain biking as a sport, an industry and a tourism/visitor driver was worth a staggering £363 million to the Scottish economy* (*source: “Scotland’s Pedal Power”, September 2016).



Strength in numbers!


Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation & Energy, even comments “Scottish Government is focused on increasing Scotland’s international impact and it is fantastic to see a niche industry with growing importance like mountain biking excel in Scotland. We have the perfect terrain and conditions for the activity. It is great that entrepreneurs are inspired by the world class mountain biking in Scotland and are going on to utilise the support available to them to develop new products and export them across the world. With global cycle sales topping £31 billion per annum, Scotland can be well prepared to develop its offering in this sector. The support offered to these companies is first class and is undoubtedly helping to expand their business and grow the Scottish economy as a result.”


These figures might on the surface seem huge and distant at national level, but even on a city or town microeconomic level, there’s a staggering set of revenue figures from the sport and participants.


Contrary to the false impression given by Mr Davies in his statement to the BBC, mountain biking is far from a sport mainly practiced by spotty teens – by virtue of being an expensive hobby, it attracts a high value participant group that any region would be keen to host. A national mountain bike participant survey carried out in late 2015 found some truly staggering demographic information for active participants of the sport – a few highlights below:


  • Average age of 37 years old
  • 51% married
  • 46% have children under 16
  • £52,470 combined household income (vs a national average of £30,630)
  • 79% ride at least once a week
  • 2 years 9 months between bike purchases with an average spend of £1816 on a bike
  • 47% buy their bikes and accessories in their local bike shop
  • Average annual spend of £452 on spares, clothing and accessories


What does this mean on a local level? The local Caerphilly MTB group on Facebook, founded to give a voice to riders in the light of the latest scandal, has 372 members. Working with the above figures, the value of just 372 riders (who we know are only a tiny proportion of riders in the area gives some staggering results:


  • Combined household income “pot” of £19.51 Million – what region wouldn’t want a group of people with that spending power?!?
  • £79,027 spend on just spares, clothing & accessories in their local Caerphilly bike shop (£452 average spend, multiplied by 47% of 372)
  • Working on an established industry average “spend per head” of £5.45 in local cafes like the Caerphilly Snack Bar, and assuming just 30% of the 372 visit after a ride, that’s £31,627 annual food spend!
  • Assuming 30% of the 372 go for one pint and one pack of crisps in “popular with MTBers” pub The Black Cock after a ride each week, at a combined £3.90 spend, that’s £22,632 as a conservative estimate
  • 47% of bike purchases are in the local shop, at an average of £1816, every 2 years 9 months, giving a spend of £115,457 on bikes each year in the local shop
  • The additional health benefits are likely to see one less doctor’s appointment per year per person, at an NHS internal cost of £45 per appointment – that’s a saving of £16,740 to the local NHS trust!

A quick tot up of these very conservative figures above, shows that just on topline spend around their riding hobby, the 372 riders in the Caerphilly MTB group are worth £186,456 to the Caerphilly economy – never mind the fact they have almost £20M combined spending power by income, and the fact that there are estimated 5 times as many riders come to the area, bringing additional incremental spend around things like accommodation, parking and more.



Supporting the local economy – hungry riders pack out the Snack Bar


Clearly, this is a demographic that any region would love to have visiting and spending with them – the direct spend and economic trickledown effect benefit the whole area, not just the riders, which is why the Scottish Government have driven the DMBinS project – it secures the continued participation and economic benefits of the bikers, for the good of all the community.


It would be a crying shame for the dangerous actions of a few, and the mixed code of silence and outward aggressive stance from a charity connected to the culprits to put off either new entrants to the sport, high spending visitors, or long term riders concerned about danger from traps.



Skilful, committed, healthy, wealthy and young at heart – any region would welcome these sportspeople and their spending power!


Given the fact that so much is at stake both in terms of safety and boosts to the local economy, plus the fact the Caerphilly region has developed so many riders who are now competing on the global circuit – including Wales’ very own World Champion, Manon Carpenter, who rides some of the tracks that have been boobytrapped – isn’t it now high time that a local politician or councillor takes this on as a project, helps resolve conflicts and helps Caerphilly as a town enjoy the benefits of attracting a healthy, wealthy and young at heart sport?


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Mountain Biking Banned At BDS For 2016

Strictly in jest but funny as hell!!!!!

Head Jar

Mountain Biking Will be banned at next years British Downhill Series, it has been announced. Event organizer Si Putin released the following statement.

‘Having banned chainsaws, tear offs, Gopro’s, fun and any real incentive to pay a huge amount of money to attend our races we have decided to ban mountain biking for the 2016 season. You may think this it now renders the whole event pointless, but you’d be wrong. I’m still going to make some sweet dosh, and its going to give me the company I so desperately crave at the weekends.’

We caught up with customers at the Glentress Peel center to see what they made of the decision. ‘I think it’s a great idea!’ Said Tarquin, 43 from Edinburgh ‘I mean Downhill isn’t really mountain biking anyway because you don’t even ride to the top. I mean how are you suppose to discuss the fine details of…

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New Lapierre Spicy Team unveiled!

The day after this year’s Enduro World Series concluded, Lapierre unveiled their awesome new Spicy Team, now dragged kicking and screaming to the forefront of race winning weapons, with huge input from none other than 10 time world champion Nico Vouilloz!

Good friend of, Seb Stott, was lucky enough to get in a first ride on it, going for a spin with Nico himself – click the photo below to see what he made of it!


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Enduro World Series – from Crested Butte to Whistler

It’s been a hell of a week not just for the EWS, but mountain biking as a whole. Our sport was rocked globally by the tragic death of Will Olson, a 40 year old privateer at the Crested Butte round of the Enduro World Series.

There’s been loads of coverage out there so I’ll not rehash all that – this post is all about the incredible, touching and very, very poignant video here. Chris Ball’s words are amazing and the footage is very fitting tribute to a guy who sounds like a hell of a rider and a real character from what I have read.

Enjoy the video and keep hitting the trails.

Click the picture to view the video.

Click the picture to view the incredible video #goosebumps

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