Surrey Hills MTB


Go Pro

20 to 30 minute Hike-a-Bike

So I’m still obsessing about Mont Jovet. It’s getting a bit worrisome to be honest. We are under 3 months from our Les Arcs trip and I simply keep thinking about the phrase “20-30 minute Hike-a-Bike” described on The Inside Line site…

The phrase fills me with a certain amount of dread for two specific reasons:

  1. Many moons ago on the first TFIT Morzine trip a certain Greg LB took us on a “slight trail detour”. That would be a slight trail detour that was straight up (and I mean straight vertically up) the side of a valley in Switzerland. We all made it to the top (and the ride down was simply epic) but Oh my God it nearly killed me.
  2. The ability of anyone who rides a MTB to underestimate the obstacles ahead for the benefit of those who are unaware. You know, it’s the phrases like “Oh it’s all downhill to the pub from here” or “Yeah, just a short easy climb”… only for the horrible truth to be revealed in a bucket full of sweat and usually excessive swearing.

So in preparation for this and because I needed to spend some time fettling my Scout’s suspension I’ve spent quite a lot of this weekend out on my bike including a cheeky old-skool ride up to the PB with Mark T and Bob M.

As we were pushing up a particularly vertiginous climb to the top of the bowl I was talking to Bob about bike carrying (i.e. the 20-30 minute Hike-a-Bike) and he was wondering if there is such a thing as an MTB shoulder strap to make a climb not only hands free but also slightly easier than slinging your steed over your shoulder.

So this morning a quick Googleisation revealed the answer is basically no (unless anyone can enlighten me otherwise?) which I am very surprised about to be honest. I found a bucket load of advice on bodging straps and backpack mounts but none that really came up with an answer. I did however find this extremely enthusiastic video from Dan Milner on Epic TV giving sage advice on hauling your rig the right way. Maybe it’s just a bit of well placed padding with some good technique then? We’ll see.

I also took out the GoPro as it was such a glorious weekend and while filming down Flat out Fun managed to capture me completely stuffing up a corner and eating some dirt. Best thing about a GoPro sometimes is seeing how appalling your line choice and body/bike position is (guilty) just before you hit the floor!

So as penance I thought I’d share this “how not to ride a corner” snippet. What a tool!


Cow Cam

Just watched a brilliant video by Tim from Wales with some highly sage advice for those of us who aspire to make slightly more interesting MTB footage with just your GoPro.

Tim is a not only a bit of an expert on getting the best out of your action cam (although I think I’m a bit more scared about standing on mine!) but also a friend of the “squirty cream”.

Anyway, if you’re looking for some GoPro inspiration for your next MTB edit I highly recommend you check out the post on Tim’s blog here.

Watch it to the end… I’m still having nightmares…

Biggles Learns to Fly

Or should that be “Mr F learns to fly”?

So I managed to drag my butt up to the pub last night see meet up with the TFITers who had blasted around the Bowl and back. Mark T was out on a Specialized StumpJumper 27.5+ which was an interesting looking ride. I think Mark is not 100% convinced with the plus setup and will be glad to be back on his normal steed asap – a small review may follow (Mark?).

Post ride (or post walk for some… ahem), conversation turned in two directions – Les Arcs and the impending arrival of a DJI Phantom 3 Pro…

I think Steve will be making a chalet reservation in the imminent future (woohooo) and it looks like Tig and Craig D may be up for driving duties – well done chaps.

So the drone – well yep, Mr F has only gone and bought one – a DJI Phantom 3 Pro for work purposes obviously – but also I suspect for the joy of filming the occasional MTB outing… including perhaps Les Arcs 2017…? I’ll pester Mr F for a fuller review when it’s actually arrived – and actually been used!

I’m still slightly amazed that over the last couple of years we have not seen a squadron of drones buzzing around in Morzine – either private or commercial. I read a while ago that there was an active debate about people flying drones in the mountains and how the resorts should respond to it i.e. Issuing a limited number of licences or something similar. I guess the concern is that everyone who rides in Alps seems to have a Go Pro – imagine if everyone similarly had a drone! With prices on these things dropping all the time I guess it’s only a matter of time before the mountains are echoing with the sounds of small buzzing things hitting trees, rocks, etc, etc and their owners sobbing at the results.

Personally I am all in favour of responsible usage to get some killer footage – there is only so much head/chest/bar/arse cam footage you can watch….

And speaking of Les Arcs and drones and MTB and seeing as it’s Friday – have some YouTube goodness on me:

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