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I have spent 2019 looking at spreadsheets, planning the Next Big Thing and seeking out classic mountain bike destinations to go to for fun.

Hopetech Women’s Enduro

Before you ask, I’m a bloke. I checked. So why am I choosing an event that I couldn’t actually enter as my event of the year? 2019 was my second year of attending to support my wife, Vic. The event is held at Gisburn Forest. It’s local and very handy, but it’s not my favourite trail centre – there’s not enough flow for me. So it’s not the trails themselves that make this annual event my choice for the year. That can only leave the atmosphere and the organisation, which are both exemplary and utterly inspiring.

It’s an event that attracts first-timers as well as the likes of Tracy Moseley and seems to elicit the exact same reaction from all the entrants. I have never seen so many smiling faces milling around the gaggle of trade stands at the start arena. Everyone talking, laughing, trying to warm up around the fire pit, eating free pancakes. No sign of race faces or quiet contemplation before the harsh competitive racing to come – just a bunch of racers all happy to be in the same place at the same time.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: Old Friends UK Adventure: Ochils the Noo Classic Ride: All Weather Lake District Column: Jason Miles International Adventure: Revelstoked Tech: When Did It All Get Good? Editors’ Choice 2019 Pete’s Pros: Jamie Nicholl Bike Test: Bling Bikes Still Going: Lucky Shorts International Adventure: Davos On The Cheap Interview: David Cachon International Adventure: Greek Highland Hopping Last Word: Unhealthy Obsession