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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 109 > OVER THE HILL

OVER THE HILL

WHAT CAN A GROUP OF OAPS TEACH ADELE ABOUT MOUNTAIN BIKING AND LIFE?
PHOTOGRAPHY PAUL MITCHELL

‘Who are all those men?’

It’s a Friday morning in the Surrey Hills – a time of the week when we usually have the trails pretty much to ourselves – and I’m with my ride buddy Rachel (no, not that Rachel). We’ve paused at a fork in the trail and approaching us, at a steady pace, is a group of around 20 riders. By the time they reach us it’s apparent that most of them are well over 60: a veritable Dad’s Army of mountain bikers.

They stop and we exchange pleasantries – in fact they even invite us to join them. We decline, of course, after all, Rachel and I are rootin’-tootin’ cowgirls of the trails (in our heads, at least) – what fun could there be in trotting along besides a bunch of pensioners?

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About Singletrack

UK Adventure: Jacob’s Cracker – The nicest man in mountain biking, Nick Craig, gets some Glaswegian encouragement from Sanny as they see who can clear Jacob’s Ladder without stopping. International Adventure: Iceland – Bikepacking in Iceland. Best bring your thermals. International Adventure: The Scottish Connection – Three Scottish friends meet up for an epic road trip round New Zealand before they all go their separate ways. Interview: David Turner – Chipps talks to the reluctant icon behind this cult brand. Classic Ride: Sutton Bank – This steep Yorkshire road climb is known for being too horribly busy (unless it’s been blocked by a misguided lorry) to ride. But how are the trails away from the fumes of brakes and clutches? Bike Test: Sub £1000 hardtails – We check out three hardtails under the magic figure of a grand. There’s no carbon and no full suspension at this price point, but is there fun? You bet there is! Grouptest: Dropper Seatposts – We check out the highs and lows of the current dropper post market. Grinder: The team bring you goods ridden through the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. And possibly a touch of mud. Feature: Trail Leader 3: You literally put your life in the hands of a mountain bike guide. What goes into that experience? Silver Shredders: Mountain bike life doesn’t stop when work does. We look at a bunch of riders making full use of their newfound spare time.
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