Surrey Hills MTB


Morzine MTB 2016

Morzine 2016: Yeeessssss!

I just a little bit excited! Ok, I’m disgracefully unstoppably explodingly excited to be specific. In fact I’m more excited than “Excited Jack McExcited, winner of this year’s Mr Excited competition” (all due plaudits to Richard Curtis and Ben Elton)

So it’s been a long, long, long tedious wait for today ever since I first thought about the possibility of this year’s trip (as I ran down the Les Gets bikepark trail for the last time).

Since then it’s all come together nicely, so a big thanks to all who have assisted, ventured an opinion, put up with “incessant emails” and generally tolerated my “constant wittering” about it…

I confess I’ve been slowly counting down the days, and not metaphorically speaking, every single flipping day until we’ve reached this most halcyon of days…. departure day!!!!

This evening 15 of us TFITers/MRMTBers/Notable Others will be wending our way to Gatwick, Heathrow and Bristol to board flights to Geneva. We lovingly packed the MVOJ last night and uttered soothing words to our steeds as they were whisked away.

So speaking of the MVOJ, Andy T and Peter H are already “en-France dans le MVOJ” and are hopefully having a good journey. I’ll post some updates here if I get any during the day.

So all I have to do now is count the minutes until 4:00pm. For those of you heading out from Witley later – you need to be at Matt W’s to catch a van at 4:15pm. That’s now Bob, Mark, Matt, Steve, Tim, Malcolm, Leigh, Buz and Tig. Oh, if you’re looking for Mr B and Buz, they’ve been in a pub in Witley since 2:30pm…

Me, Craig D, Andy C and James G are heading to Gatwick straight from work. Andy P will be departing from Bristol later.

The flight out of Gatwick (North Terminal) is EZY8482, departing at 20.15. So, if you are reading this at work, can I just say “Passport? Wallet? Hand luggage?”. And I’ll see most of you in Gatwick later for a pre-flight pint.


Shred Like a Girl

So ze Bandit? She is ready….

Just finished my month-long (at least) procrastination on which tyres to fit for the Alps. I’ve “controversially” gone for Specialized Butcher Grid on the front and Maxxis High Roller II on the rear rather than my normal Schwalbe Hans Dampfs. I’ve never ridden either of these before so will be interesting to see what they make of Morzine. Not that there is anything wrong with the Schwalbes – I like them – but I figured I should try something new this trip.

I run my tyres tubeless, which I know is not everyone’s “bag of badgers”, but it works for me. Aside from, of course, the joys of getting TR tyres on the rim…

The Butcher (as are all Specialized tyres in my experience) was an absolute b*stard to get seated on the rim but I have to say the Maxxis slipped on like a dream. Maybe it had something to do with being hung up for an extra 20 minutes, but I don’t think so. But Oh My God – the Grid – is as stiff as a freshly starched cucumber that’s be frozen solid. I think it will withstand the most determined of Alpine Marmot attacks… if I’m lucky…

Both tyres are 2.30 but don’t look overly “chunky” on the Hope Enduro rims and both feel on the mucho tacky side – which is a good thing.

I’ve also fitted a fresh set of pads to my XT’s which I’m shortly off to bed in down a local lane then after that I’m gonna “move-away-from-the-bike-and-stop-fiddling-with-it-for-god’s-sake-it’s-fine-you-muppet” – to much procrastination can be a bad thing.

Oh yeah – the post title? So I was up at Tamed Earth earlier having a chat with Tom and picking up some lube and stuff and noticed a Pivot Mach (4 – I think?) in for some work. It had an awesome sticker on it which I highly approve of….


One teeny tiny week to go

Huzzah. Hurrah. And lots of other words that end in ah.

One week to go, yep just 7 tiny insignificant days to wait until we get some well earned French Alps wheel time in Morzine. That would also be 5 working days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes or 604,800 seconds – calculators on the internet – gotta love them…


Some logistical things:

We are packing the van on Wednesday 6th July at Matt W’s place any time from 5:00pm onward. Turn up when you want, personally I doubt I’ll get there until after 6:15 / 6.30pm, but the van will be ready when you are.

Bring your bike, your ‘hold luggage’ bag and anything else you want to go in the van (and possibly a beer or two?).

In terms of getting the bikes into the MVOJ, I’m expecting that we will have to turn handlebars into your frame and possibly take wheels and pedals off, so come prepared for that. As with all van packing “shenanigans” it will be an evolutionary process.

Also this coming Sunday (3rd July) we will be getting creative with “pallets” at Matt’s place at about 4:00pm ish and are intending to construct some kind of “frame” in the van for putting things onto. Feel free to turn up and offer encouragement, point, laugh or other things if you want to.

Note: Bike padding will not be provided (I’m not your mum) so if you want your pride and joy protected from knocks and bumps and things – bring your own “padding”, “bubble wrap” or the “downy embrace of a mudbunny” yourself.

You also have 7 days or specifically one weekend to get your bike and kit in order, so if you’re missing anything (like I am) all I can say is “what the hell are you reading this for? Crack on.”

Personally I am spending Saturday doing last money transfers, fitting new tyres and bedding in a couple of sets of pads to take with me and packing my bag. I’ll also be sorting out my extra insurance through in case that is something you have not thought about yet.

The Accuweather forecast for Morzine is looking encouraging (20 degrees + and “mostly dry”) but apparently at the higher altitudes there is an outside chance of some persistent snow lying around so adjust your kit accordingly.

Any questions – feel free to drop me a line and watch out for the last Official Morzine 2016 email coming soon.

Oh yeah – last pre-Morzine TFIT tonight. Anyone up for a gentle “no-injuries permitted” ride?

5 Reasons to MTB in Morzine this year

Clearly I’m somewhat biased about this, with only 26 days until our 2016 trip, however I had to post this excellent article Dave D sent me from Dirt Mountain Bike – 5 Reasons 2016 could be Morzine’s Best Summer Ever by James Smurthwaite.

Aside from the obvious Crankworx and accomodation points, I was very interested that James notes the lifts are open longer and have generally improved for bikes but specifically the very relevant improvements in the Zore (above Super Morzine) and Chatel runs. And just because it’s on YouTube, here is a gratuitous teaser for the Champéry runs:

I remember talking to the guys at UpTheAlps last year about the summer season in Portes du Soleil and they were telling me about the general criticisms that had been levelled at the resort by local businesses who were generally concerned about the outflow of MTB riders to competing resorts. Mostly, it was felt, brought on by a lack of investment in the number and quality of the PDS trails and lifts. Well, it would appear the resort has listened and we wait with baited breath to see what these improvements are like.

I also have to point you in the general direction of another awesome video Mr D sent me of “Inner MTB Monologue” himself, the awesome Claudio Calouri route testing Leogang in the wet with Aaron Gwin (and chainless to boot!).

Claudio is simply a legend. Aaron Gwin is also simply a legend. And I love Claudio’s “rock garden noises” so very, very much (“Gah kak ka ak gah ka” is needed on a t-shirt). Check out the video on RedBull here.

Crankworx: Les Gets 2016

So we Surrey Hills TFITers are getting a bit collectively giddy at our impending Alpine trip (it’s now 29 days). We’ve had ‘comedy t-shirt’ suggestions for James G flying around as it is technically speaking his 40th Morzine trip.

Yep, the excitement level is starting to peak like a group of teenagers who have managed to swag a can of beer from an off-licence!


So to add to this general level of giddiness I thought I’d share a video I found on the Morzine Source Magazine site – “Building for Crankworx: Behind the Scenes” shot by a local videographer Will Nangle. I’d embed it here but it’s a faceinstatwitt video so no joy.

I’d recommend you check it out – my toes curled just watching it – wonder if this is going to be accessible when we get there? Because of course I’d be very up for that.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha – yeah right.

Hawaiian’ down the hill

Just emailed out the latest “Morzine Official Email” to all and sundry, confirming some details and what the next steps are. Unsurprisingly the response to “shall we have unlimited wine and beer appears to be a resounding yes”. Funny that.

Anyway, in the myriad of email responses, Leigh B raised a very good point, namely how to identify ones-self in the gallons of GoPro footage that we will be recording? Last year, Mark T employed the ‘genius’ technique of wearing his “OMG” Hawaiian shirt. I feel therefore we should all employ this technique this year because:

  1. It will be outstandingly funny
  2. I can’t imagine what a beauty Bob would wear
  3. The French will be all like “Porquoi?”

So, in tribute of this idea I advise you head over to and pick yourself a winner or indeed one that matches your frame colour – it appears MTB frame and Hawaiian t-shirts draw from the same colour range (they do Bermuda shorts as well Bob…). Karmakula have their shirts at £28.95 a pop and are frankly…. astounding!

Morzine 2016: 100 Days and Counting

Yayyy… Buckets of Joy… Two-wheeled ecstasy… and all round happiness and excitement.

We’ve reached a milestone today. We have 100 days (or 3 months 8 days in old money) until Morzine 2016 – the “Bell End Tour” (other names will be accepted).

Hopefully everyone has been out on the trails over Easter despite Storm Katie’s best efforts and the increasingly ‘spring-esque’ weather as well as the oh so welcome change in the clocks is, like me, turning your thoughts to dry and dusty trails…

Not that we are doing the event, but just in case you’ve forgotten what it’s like “over there” in that there Morzine, the very lovely people who organise Pass’portes du Soleile have posted this teaser for the 2016 event:

Quite a few of us have, but for those that haven’t – “gentle reminder” that you should have paid your outstanding £105 into the MBAOJ so I can pay the Chalet which I have to do next week. UPDATE: The chalet has just emailed me – I have to pay them the outstanding deposit on 4th April – that is next Monday to be specific so please get any outstanding monies in asap please

So we have flights, we have a positive slew of new / upgraded bikes, we have a catered chalet, we have a MVOJ, we have MVOJ drivers and we have the A-Team on Spotify. It’s all good.

Once the chalet is fully paid up I will also start chasing for MVOJ money – I’d appreciate if you can sort this ASAP as I’d like to get money to Bob and Andy T / Simon asap.

At some point soon we will fix a date for packing the MVOJ – candidates include either Chichester Hall in Witley, Bob’s yard just off the A3 near Ripley or somewhere else that suits Andy and Simon. You’ll need your bike and your bag obvs!

Keep your eyes peeled for more emails regarding van money and transfer money. Any outstanding questions – drop me a mail.


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