Live to Ride - Episode 1 - The Last Days of Summer

Nov 10, 2010 at 4:59
by Russ Clark  
This is the first in a series of video edits and articles that follow ordinary riders through the muddy season. Every month we will feature different riders, styles and locations to bring you a true depiction of the UK mountain bike scene.

Read on for the full story, video and pictures!

Most of us here in the UK have enjoyed a long, warm and mostly dry summer of riding and September has been by far the driest month over recent years. It almost feels as if Mother Nature is giving us one last burst of t-shirt riding weather and long weekend days before the gloves and hoodies come out for the short winter days. This is the time of year when I always tell myself there are some redeeming features about the winter. I’m really looking forward to taking my flask (Thermos) to the woods and getting a nice, hot cup of tea half way through the day to warm me up. I can’t wait for those days when it’s so muddy that the only sensible thing to do is dig and get something amazing built in a day. Don’t get me wrong, I love the summer, but there is something to be said for enjoying the winter as well. So, as the evening dirt jump sessions grew shorter and shorter I decided I needed a new focus for the off season.

photo
After hitting the trails hard for Nico we found some nice jumps to session at the end of the day. Photo By Tom Gaffney

My name is Russ Clark, I'm 29 years old and I've been riding mountain bikes on and off since I was about 12. I've done a lot of racing over the years from small DH and local XC races in my teens to 24 hour XC races in the past couple of years. After entering a few small DH races this year and doing reasonably well, I've decided that I want to have a proper shot at a full season while I'm still young enough to be seriously competitive. Next year I plan to enter the British Downhill Series and will need as much training over the winter as possible. I want to show the wide range of locations and styles of riding we have in the UK as I train for the race season. I believe that training should include every style of mountain biking from XC to dirt jumping - it all helps towards becoming more confident on two wheels and building a wide range of skills that all come in handy on a downhill track.

These stories and videos are intended to show what an average rider gets up to over the winter months. I wanted to create something that appealed to your everyday mountain biker that does a bit of everything, from dirt jumping to downhill. The videos would have to be as professional as possible so I got in touch with local film maker Nico Turner via the Pinkbike messaging system and asked if he wanted to be part of the project. He instantly took to the idea and soon we had a full plan for the winter and the ideas were flowing. The core for this whole thing is simple - we want people to watch the videos, read the articles and think “Yes! That completely sums up how I feel when I ride with my friends!” instead of “I wish I lived in the mountains”. I love watching all the pros doing their stuff as much as the next guy, but I also want to see people like me just having a good time on their bikes and give people some inspiration to get out in all weathers and enjoy the winter. We have some world class trails in this country and we produce many of the world’s fastest riders, so wouldn’t it be interesting to see a slice of the UK mountain bike scene at a roots level? After all, this is the proving ground for the likes of Gee Atherton and Steve Peat. I will also be meeting up with aspiring downhillers and dirt jumpers, as well as some more accomplished ones in an attempt to showcase the talent we have on offer in the UK. Expect to see everything from local lads with a bit of talent to full on professionals.

Views: 18,490    Faves: 242    Comments: 57


In the first episode we want to show off some of our local trails. The first location in the video has been a regular riding and building spot for as long as I can remember. Over the past few years we have developed it into a place that has something for everyone. Here you can see me riding everything the area has to offer, from a nice set of dirt jumps to the ultra-flowy berms, rollers and big gaps - all ridden on my trusty hardtail. Unfortunately it is on private land so I can't give away the location*. The second section was filmed at Ambergate, Derbyshire. Ambergate is a great little downhill spot with plenty of techy, loamy trails to get your teeth stuck into. We managed to track down Mitch Ingley and Elliot Machin from the Squadron who gave me a few tips on how to ride really fast as well as providing great company on the trails. Mitch and Elliot are no strangers to racing at the national level and it shows in their skill level and their attitude towards the sport.

photo
Elliot, Mitch and myself being documented by Nico. This pretty much sums up the day! Photo by Tom Gaffney

Next month we will have something completely different. Expect to see more concrete, wood and a nice bag of tricks from some local maniacs. Keep watching for more great videos!

-Photos by Thomas Gaffney.
-Video by Nico Turner

*If you are reading this and know the location, please do not post anything about it in the comments below. The land owner is kind enough to let us build and ride there for free so please do not jeopardize this if you enjoy the trails.

Author Info:
russclark avatar

Member since Sep 20, 2009
14 articles

41 Comments
  • 7 0
 BEEFCAKE!
  • 4 1
 beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeefffffff
  • 3 1
 CAKE
  • 3 1
 i like beef
  • 3 1
 Do you also like cake?
  • 2 1
 sure !.. chocolate is better .. hahaha ,,
  • 1 0
 do you like fishsticks?
  • 1 0
 porkballs
  • 3 0
 kanye does
  • 1 0
 Russ/Nico this is fantastic work, long have we waited for something like this on PB, a diary of british riders at british locations, really looking forward to the next episodes. Let's hope we get some snow soon for some Alpine DH action Smile
  • 1 0
 Yes Ant! I really hope it snows this year!
  • 3 0
 Looking forward to the next ones mate. Thats got me ready to build and ride this weekend
  • 2 0
 Thanks a lot this has really got me stoked on winter you have got it summed up above the good old Thermos Flask Smile Roll on winter and your Edits with Nico Thanks dude
  • 1 0
 Cheers mate, great reaction!
  • 1 0
 It's inspired Bren to spend another winter knocking down berm's! Razz

I really need to get a big bike!
  • 1 0
 Yes you do! I know someone who's selling an sx trail frame if you're interested?
  • 1 0
 Haha Jesse It wasn't me but lets not get into that :/
  • 1 0
 now now!
  • 3 0
 Nice work Russ/Nico it's stuff like this that motivates me to get out every winter and do what I love.
  • 1 0
 Ace.
  • 2 0
 Nice! Enjoyed the music choice, love the Black Keys. I've been riding in the desert for three years, nice to see some lush trails.
  • 1 0
 Have you heard the album that the first track is off? Its called Blakroc - The Black Keys' hip hop album - its awesome!
  • 1 0
 You boys back home are lucky you can ride through the winter. Sunday was my last ride where I live for another five months. Oh well, I'll just have to put up with skiing and snowboarding every weekend till then...
  • 2 0
 its a hard life!
  • 2 0
 Nice vid. Good to see some Uk trails and weather! Looking forward to the next one.
  • 1 0
 haha, ambergate, me n a few mates built the trail with the rocks into the wooded bit with the big kicker at the botom! great vid of some great woods
  • 2 0
 Suck a good video,I enjoyed every second of it Beer
  • 2 0
 sorry, such *Also , that trail was sick! tup
  • 1 0
 hey can someone plz tell me what editing program can do that moving name thing
  • 2 0
 great idea, Look forwad to seeing the next installment
  • 2 0
 dope. great vid. thanks russ!
  • 1 0
 Great video Smile Totally gets me stoked to ride and build great filming and editing and riding all of those involved
  • 1 0
 great edit, if you are around in surrey, kent area let me know
  • 1 0
 yesssss riding are track in ambergate!!!
  • 1 0
 What bike was the big bike he got out , empire?
  • 1 0
 Session 8
  • 1 0
 Seriously good!! British riders are so slick.
  • 1 0
 nice vid, the first trail looks similar to mine. *THUMBS UP*
  • 1 0
 This Is Sikk Russ.
  • 1 0
 This Video is V.O.D.







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