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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 115 > FINDING ADVENTURE IN THE ALPS


Turn your back on the uplifts of the Alpine honeypots and a whole world of adventure, hidden trails, mountain top restaurants (and endless hike-a-bike) awaits.


There had been childlike excitement building up over the previous few weeks. Texts and messages flying back and forth between Wales and France. Talk about kit choices, what tyres will be best, how and where will we eat, how much money will be needed, what’s the weather like in the Alps now? The questions just kept coming. It’s not like I haven’t been on an adventure before, hell, I’ve been on plenty. This time though I wasn’t organising it and, in all honesty, I’d done very little planning for what we were about to do. I’d merely booked some tickets to Geneva, packed my camera gear in my rucksack and filled any remaining space with what I hoped would be enough for a week’s riding.

Before I knew it, I was sitting on the floor of my friend’s that in Bourg-Saint-Maurice surrounded by French IGN maps, Beaufort cheese and home brew. The previous week’s madness and stressful work commitments had already drifted away and the strong beer and pungent cheese was helping to relax the mind. The realisation I was at the beginning of an adventure truly sunk in. Mountain biking trips to the Alps usually begin by rolling off a plane, grabbing my bike bag and heading to Morzine for a week of gravity-based fun. This trip was going to be a little different from my previous Alpine mountain biking trips with a hint of the unknown, no lifts, a rucksack full of essentials, fuelled mainly by local saucisson and the free mountain water that pours conveniently into wooden troughs all over the mountains.

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Trailhunter – Tom Fenton continues his search for the very best trails, and finds that Dartmoor might just have them. Classic Ride – Sanny takes us on a tour of the Merrick in Scotland, where there are great views to be had… if you get the weather. Grouptest – Wil puts eight sets of top trail brakes to the test – which four will make his pick of the bunch? Bike test – Better known for their carbon models, Barney tests out three alloy bikes from Norco, Santa Cruz and YT. Finnish Epic – 100 years after its independence, Hannah goes to Finland in search of fat-bike fun. Luckily all the bears are sleeping, and the moose are on her plate. Singletrack Recommended – We bring you the products that are so good, we’d spend our own money on them. Oddball – we love bikes, but we love other things too. This issue, it’s knives. It’s just as well we love each other in the office. Kit Bag – We take a peek inside the tool box of Ray Waxham, Trek’s enduro race mechanic. What does it take to keep the wheels of champions racing? Room 101 – Charlie dispenses justice for your complaints. This issue he has a couple of celebrity submitters in the form of our own editor, Chipps and a pioneer of mountain biking: Charlie Kelly. Jason Miles – Jason passes on his wisdom after years of racing as a top-level amateur endurance racer. Arizona – Charlie The Bikemonger goes on holiday where life is simpler and the trails are paved with cactus spines. Escaping the Bike Parks – Anthony Pease avoids the French bike parks and heads off for a hut to hut trip in the Alps. Whistler for Mortals – in this area better known for its technicality, Sanny discovers there are trails for those who prefer to keep their wheels on the ground. Last word – A ponder on the transient world of the mountain bike enthusiast.