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Until recently, I believed that Steven Seagal’s films were fantastic. He was never flustered, had ninja skills and an awesome ponytail… the perfect action man. Unfortunately, this was based on the memories of a teenage boy watching on a crackly TV set in the back bedroom. Now, many years later, I have rewatched those films and realised that they are utterly, utterly terrible. Except Under Siege. Point being, your mind can play tricks on you.

Holding that thought, I’m aware that my memories of the Doethie Valley might also be skewed. In my head, seven kilometres of immaculate singletrack snake down a wild Welsh valley. Red Kites play overhead, a beautifully clear river burbles below and the rolling hills are totally deserted. The only sounds are those of my tyres as I sweep round another perfect corner.

I’ve not ridden down the Doethie Valley for a good five years so is it going to go the way of Big Steve? Another cherished memory cast to the wolves? I start to doubt myself. I remember how far from anywhere the ride is and how it takes flippin’ ages to get there. How the first half of the ride is essentially one long fire road and how there’s no café within a tenmile radius.

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About Singletrack

UK Adventure: A Dead Good Day Out Pete Scullion follows one of the Lake District’s coffin trails, from graveyard to pub. UK Adventure: Down The Sandstone Way Oli Townsend checks out England’s newest long distance trail. International Adventure: Rumble in the Jungle Jason Miles races across Sri Lanka, fuelled by tea, coffee, and a fear of elephants. Trail Hunter: Through the Bogs of Time Tom Fenton revisits the remote, and rather wet, Doethie Valley. Is it as good as he remembers? Singletrack Room 101 Resident Grumpy Mark presides over your submissions to Room 101. Classic Ride: Avebury, Wiltshire Tom Hutton explores the rolling hills and standing stones, while testing Murphy’s First Law of Mountain Biking. Grouptest: Waterproof Shorts We’ve ground our gussets, soaked our seams, and wet our waistbands in search of shorts to keep our derrières dry. Bike Test: Living the Ti-Life Jason Miles stops stroking and staring at three polished 29er lovelies from J Guillem, Kona and Stanton and takes them out to see whether they ride as well as the look. Through the Grinder An array of goods sprinkled with summer rain, ground in summer mud, and very occasionally exposed to actual direct sunlight. Grinder Bike: Scott Scale 710+ Scott’s plus size hardtail put through mile after mile of testing. International Adventure: Murky Morzine Our Rob heads off on his summer holidays, which prove somewhat damp, but nonetheless fun. International Adventure: Blackburn Rangers Chipps goes riding in the wilderness with the varied characters who will be promoting the Blackburn brand this year.