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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 114 > MY FIRST MOUNTAIN


Sanny and Dave take a trip down memory lane revisiting Dave’s first big mountain ride on more modern machines.


It is indeed a curious truth that given how many of us ride mountain bikes, precious few of them ever see any actual mountains. There is a strange comfort to be taken from the knowledge that you could ride up and down a mountain if you wanted to, even if you never have the inclination to do so. But what if the heart yearns for more? With bikes becoming longer and slacker and with travel increasing, today’s machines are considerably more capable than those that most of us started out on. As such, there has probably never been a better time to go off the beaten trail centre path and broaden your riding horizons.

Scottish trail fashion has peaked.

”Wil, you’re an idiot!”

A plan was hatched with Antipodean Wil, still new to this parish and keen to tackle a proper Scottish mountain. It was all going swimmingly right up to the point at which his skill set proved to be more Ian McCaskill than Danny MacAskill and he managed to dislocate his shoulder on the blue route at Glentress. Doh! Fortunately, my good friend Dave the Bastard (don’t ask me – all I know is that it comes from a case of mistaken identity at university) gamefully stepped in with a bonzer idea. “Why don’t we go up Ben Venue? It was the very first mountain I ever rode in 1993 on my mountain bike.” We were back in business.

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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…