Live to Ride - Episode 2 - The First Signs of Winter

Dec 13, 2010
by Russ Clark  
Something a bit different for episode two. Local grass roots downhill at Cannock, some sick moves from local shredder and all round top bloke, Jesse Jones. Then down to Woburn Sands for my birthday session with Dan Bateson and friends!

Read on for the second episode - story, video and pictures inside!

First a bit of news...
Featured riders Elliot Machin and Mitch Ingley from last month's episode will be leaving The Squadron and riding for Solid bikes next season. Elliot will be on the UK team and Mitch on the trade team. They plan on racing World Cups so I'd like to say a big good luck to them both - stoked for you guys!

Missed out on the first episode? Click here to catch up

On Saturday the 20th of October, I opened the front door at 8am to the first cold morning of Autumn. I put my bike and myself in Ben's car and left for Cannock Chase Timed Practice. There was a chill in the air, but we soon warmed up to a great day of riding. A few crashes, bent front wheels and snapped rear mechs meant that some people had an expensive weekend, but somehow I managed to get through this one without crashing and set a time I was happy with. Every month Cannock Chase is host to the Racers Guild timed practice. It's great practice for getting used to the start line nerves and an ideal introduction to competitive mountain biking. I ended up with a best time of 47.5 seconds. The fastest time of the day was set by featured rider from episode one, Elliot Machin with a 45.9. Click here for a video edit of the day by Ian Harvey

While all this was going on, Nico was busy filming the first section of footage for episode two. His mission was to meet Jesse Jones at Wirksworth skate park to do a little early morning filming. Recovering from a foot injury (he trod on a hot nail, don't ask), Jesse said he would be taking it steady although you can't tell from the video. I met Jesse through Pinkbike after inquiring about a fork he had for sale and soon ended up meeting him to ride local parks and dirt jump spots. He is one of the most consistently dialed riders that I know and always puts on a show. This made him a prime target to be a featured rider in the series.

This is Jesse spinning it at Wirksworth. Photo by Lejdi Daga Vel Dagmarian

I asked Jesse for some personal info;

Name? Jesse Jones
How old are you? 21
Where are you from? Derby, England and this is my first road fools!
Riding since when? About 5 years now
Favorite trails? Wirksworth, Mount Hawke skatepark, Woburn, pump tracks!
Obligatory silly question - How do you like your eggs? Scrambled with loads of salt, pepper and ketchup nom nom!

Jesse at Cornwall

A couple of weeks later we took a short road trip down to Woburn Sands for a session on their famous, ever changing dirt jumps. Woburn has a history of battling with the threat of demolition and recently had a narrow escape from complete closure of the area. Local support was overwhelming and thankfully secured the future of the place. My first experience of Woburn was October last year on the last hot weekend of the summer. Halfway through the day a handful of top level pros showed up and turned a great session into an unforgettable one. Since then it has been one of my favorite places to go and ride.

The idea was to set off nice and early to make the most of the day. However, "Saturday morning" and "early" don't mix very well in my experience! After putting my downhill bike in the boot and wrestling my hardtail on to the bike rack I finally got to Nico's place for about 10am. With an extra camera man (Ryan Tyler), two bikes and even more camera equipment than usual the hatchback was pushed to its limits! We got to Woburn about 11:30am and, after Nico had established who Dan Bateson was, decided to crack on with another day's filming. Dan Bateson is a Woburn local and I think I've seen him there every time I've been over the past year. He was always one of the smoothest riders, but now he's got the tricks to go with it.

This is Dan earlier in the year. Sick flip table. Photo by Samuel Anslow

I emailed Dan for some personal info;

Name? Dan Bateson
Age? 17
Where are you from? Bedfordshire, ride and dig at Woburn
Riding since when? Nearly 3 years now, dirt jumps and race 4x
Sponsors? I have a flow deal with Identity Bikes
Obligatory silly question - What's your favorite tyre pressure? Whatever Maz pumped it up to at Ison when he built my bike ha ha, probably about 60 psi!

Dan again at Woburn. Photo by Duncan Philpott

It was a bit damp after a few days of rain so Dan put some hard work into making the trails rideable (thanks Dan!) while we went to check out some of the new freeride senders. This was the first time I have taken the big bike to Woburn and I'm so glad I did! If you like big gaps and drops then there's plenty there for you. The rest of the afternoon was taken up sessioning the dirt jumps and the pump track. Dan managed to pull some nice tricks on the smallest hip in the world and I decided that I need to learn something other than tables and x-ups.

Views: 31,499    Faves: 473    Comments: 76

We made the most of the day, got some of the best footage so far and even got some filthy service station food on the way home. I couldn't ask for anything more for my birthday bike session!

Next month - get ready for a classic day of shredding our local trails in the snow to give a unique perspective on having multiple riders on multiple trails. Then we went down to the Forest of Dean with Ollie Jones, Blake Samson and Ray Samson for a bit of winter DH. Check out the teaser below:

Views: 4,567    Faves: 12    Comments: 16

Every month we intend on visiting at least two locations for each episode. If you know a spot near you that deserves coverage then get in touch! We are always looking for new places to ride!

Video by - Nico Turner

Author Info:
russclark avatar

Member since Sep 20, 2009
14 articles

  • 5 0
 Loving this and looking forward to where it goes over the next episodes. Amazing news about Elliot and Mitch they deserve it with the effort they have put in this year and thanks for the mention and the link to my RG film. You could not be in better hands than Nico's the video is sick.
  • 1 0
 Thanks mate! It really seemed to round off the blog nicely by having the link in there. The RG needs as much coverage as possible, its such a good thing for downhill in this country. Plus the video is great and has quite a lot of me in it Wink
  • 1 0
 do an episode in wharncliffe? quality place to ride and theres new tracks poppin up all the time Smile
  • 3 0
 see the ep 3 trailer, those trails are really close to where I used to live
  • 1 0
 awsome u should have stayed there lol
  • 1 0
 yeah forest of dean is sick, should have stayed haha Wink
  • 1 0
 Im in your video, dirt jumping on a full-sus. herp derp.
  • 2 0
 (insert harry potter joke referring to sword of Godric Gryffindor here)
  • 3 0
 Original, well written, beautiful videography and a great start to a sick series!
  • 1 0
 Cheers John!
  • 2 0
 Unbelievably brilliant Russ, can't wait for next months episode. Keep it up.
  • 4 1
 you dun kno about danny-b!!!!
  • 4 0
 go on jesse!
  • 1 0
 Cheers man Smile
  • 1 0
 That is the Shit guys!!! Really cool riding and filming. I ride down at Woburn myself and seems like you guys have done a bit of work down there in recent months. Excellent..
  • 2 0
 Beefcake! Nice one russ, such a good entertaining read!!! Smile
  • 1 0
 Good stories/ articles. I like to see all the reviews on places to ride. Sweet riding.
  • 1 0
 Wirksworth skatepark is awesome Smile
  • 1 0
 Top stuff guys! Makes me realise how lazy I've been this year!
  • 1 0
 What bike was he riding in the DirtJump sesh?
  • 1 0
 Its an Identiti, P66 I think (if you're taking about Dan Bateson). I'm riding an Evil Faction. Cheers!
  • 1 0
 Great vid by the way, Woburn is awesome.
  • 2 0
 yea Brother Ali!!!
  • 1 0
 +1, awesome!
  • 1 0
 anyone know the song in the third episode teaser ?
  • 1 0
 Black Mountain In The Future - Stormy High, thankyou
  • 1 0
 The band is called Black Mountain and the track is from the album In The Future
  • 1 0
 thanks guys
  • 1 0
 Sick vid! Razz
  • 1 0
 Haha thanks dude Smile

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