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How is it that I can love listening to a particular band, yet my friend hates them? Or that I can dislike food that is someone’s favourite dish? Or that I can laugh at a comedian who barely raises a titter from others in the office? We’re all different and our wants and likes and dislikes are a complicated blend of upbringing and experiences and aspirations, mixed in with a healthy dose of what our friends are doing, what we’ve enjoyed in the past, and what we’d like to do in the future.

I recently did a classic ride that a friend had suggested as an absolute must-do, bucket-list kind of a ride. It involved a lot of Lakeland-style hikeabike, for a suitably rocky singletrack descent. And repeat. The pair of us barely ticked over ten miles in three hours. While it was scenic and challenging, it was so very different to the kind of riding I normally do and I realised that I much prefer to ride up whatever I’m riding down the other side of. Probably something to do with living here in Yorkshire where the climbs are steep, but nearly always rideable. Does it make his ride not-great? Of course not, and I accept that he just likes that kind of stuff – and likes to earn his descents on the back of an hour or so of hoofing his bike up a hill. I’m more of a ‘ride up, swoop down’ kind of rider. I’ve had a similar clash of pictures of the perfect ride with friends on the south coast, where their idea of a good day out is an endless rolling panorama of chalky singletrack over lush, green hills. Nothing technically challenging, but then also, there’s no reason to stop and rest, eat Haribo, chat and look at the view. When I last rode there, we (but mostly they) skipped and danced on the pedals for nearly 40 miles that day. And while my wheels hadn’t left the ground and I’d not had to carry or push a metre, I was absolutely hollowed out by the end of it.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: There Is No Right Or Wrong. Choose a bike, any bike, and enjoy it. International Adventure: Panning For Trail Gold In Arizona. Huw Oliver finds gold in the ghost towns of Arizona. Classic Ride: Don’t Mynd If I Do. Tom Hutton rides the Long Mynd in search of forgotten corners and new trails. Behind the Scenes: Colour Wheels. Sim Mainey finds out how the next bike fashions are decided. UK Adventure: Cornish Fasties Barney Marsh goes to the edge of the UK and finds a world of overlooked trails. UK Adventure: How To Lose Friends And Alienate People. Sanny reduces the nicest man in mountain biking to rude words. Hope’s Helping Hand. Chipps checks out a bit of innovative thinking from Hope Technology. Bike Test: Overlooked Awesome. Daz Hall checks out three smaller wheeled, shorter travel bikes that you probably should be riding, from Bird, Cotic and Santa Cruz. Column: Jason steps out of his comfort zone. Pete’s Pros: Rock[et] Science Manon Carpenter may not be racing much, but Pete Scullion finds she’s still aiming high. A Day In The Life: Fort William Saskia Dugon goes behind the scenes at this noisiest of World Cup races. MTB Culture: The Quiet Revolution Rich Rothwell argues that GPS technology has opened up a whole new world of mountain biking joy. Last Word Hannah gets to ride somewhere she thought might only be a far-flung fantasy.

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Other Articles in this Issue

Huw Oliver goes searching for singletrack gold in the arid mountains of Arizona.
It’s the Long Mynd Jim, but not as we know it. Tom Hutton proves there are still real classics out there just waiting to be discovered.
Sim Mainey goes behind the scenes to find out who decides what colours you’ll be wearing and riding next year, and what will be old hat the next.
Barney takes a trip where few bike journos have dared to tread – Cornwall.
Sanny takes on a Lake District pass too many, nearly breaks Mark and makes Nick Craig swear.
How one engineering student’s idea became a reality thanks to Hope Technology.
Three 27.5in-wheeled bikes that often get overlooked in favour of their bigger travel siblings.
Pete catches up with an enthusiastic and at peace Manon Carpenter on her South Wales home trails
A look behind the scenes of Fort William’s biggest weekend of the year
A safety and navigation essential for longdistance riding? Or another bleeping digital crutch for those who shouldn’t be in the wilderness in the first place? Rich Rothwell looks at the dramatic influence that GPS units have had on our sport.
Hannah takes a mountain biker’s pilgrimage.