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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 114 > SIMPLY THE QUEST

SIMPLY THE QUEST

Barney heads off to Shropshire to try to answer a question which has been bugging him – why are there so many good riders from such a quiet county?

ADVENTURE

Quests are nebulous things. The definition is suitably vague – “the search for something”, but it’s fair to say that journeys are involved. An uncovering. And perhaps, if you’re very lucky, a big reveal. I’d not go so far as to require an epiphany, but something hiding in plain sight that suddenly becomes obvious? That’ll do nicely. I fancied a good quest. I fancied sallying forth to uncover some age-old secret or two. Perhaps I could amass a motley crew of latter-day knights with whom I could gallivant around the countryside, righting wrongs and rescuing people from peril? Or, perhaps it might be more accurate to replace the word ‘people’ with ‘beer’. And the word ‘peril’ with ‘fridges’.

It had long niggled me that I knew so little of Shropshire. I’d ridden the Long Mynd, sure – and a wonderful thing it is too – but I’d always skirted over the county’s other charms en route to more conspicuous trails in either North or South Wales. But gradually it dawned on me that Shropshire seemed to be rather over-blessed with good riders. Very, very good riders. People like Helen Mortimer, Marc Beaumont, Neil Donoghue, Andrew Titley, Neil Halcrow – and there are plenty more.

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About Singletrack

This issue has adventures from every corner of Britain, plus features from far flung corners of the globe. Whether you’re stay-cationing or joining the jet-setters, this summer issue is sure to have you occupied for those hours by the pool or sheltering from the rain outside your tent. (Hand) Made In China – We get unprecedented behind the scenes access to some of the bike factories in China and Taiwan. Is it a sorry sight of oppressed workers in shabby conditions? Or skilled bike builders in state of the art facilities? Classic Ride: Northern Ireland – Ian Bailey finds us a rare legal loop around the trails of Northern Ireland. Trail Hunter: Snowdon – Just because something is popular doesn’t mean it can’t be a classic. Tom Fenton opts for the dawn raid on the highest peak in Wales. Bike Test: Killer Hardtails (in Innsbruck) – Three tough trail hardtails from Kona, Nukeproof and Trillion make the trip to Innsbruck to see just how capable a modern hardtail can be. Group Test: Hi-Tech Tyres – James Vincent checks out the current generation of burly rubber. Is there such a thing as a tyre for all seasons? Or even a tyre for a whole Lake District ride? He’s been getting the punctures so you don’t have to. Interview: Keith Bontrager – Keith has been designing bikes and components since the eighties. He invented the mantra ‘Cheap, light, strong – pick two’ and has been behind Trek’s component line for over two decades. Chipps tries to get a little more than the usual stock answers to the stock questions. Column – Jason Miles discusses the merits of riding the wrong bike. Room 101 – Charlie the Bikemonger decides which bike world items and issues shall be thrown to the bears, or whatever it is that lives beyond the door of Room 101, and what shall be allowed to continue to roam our earth. ST Recommended – We’ve picked three products so good that you need to go out and buy them now. All of them. Oddball: Fuel – Coffee…
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