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53 MIN READ TIME

THROUGH THE BOGS OF TIME

WORDS TOM FENTON // PHOTOGRAPHY ANDREW HEADING

Until recently, I believed that Steven Seagal’s films were fantastic. He was never flustered, had ninja skills and an awesome ponytail… the perfect action man. Unfortunately, this was based on the memories of a teenage boy watching on a crackly TV set in the back bedroom. Now, many years later, I have rewatched those films and realised that they are utterly, utterly terrible. Except Under Siege. Point being, your mind can play tricks on you.

Holding that thought, I’m aware that my memories of the Doethie Valley might also be skewed. In my head, seven kilometres of immaculate singletrack snake down a wild Welsh valley. Red Kites play overhead, a beautifully clear river burbles below and the rolling hills are totally deserted. The only sounds are those of my tyres as I sweep round another perfect corner.

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About Singletrack

UK Adventure: A Dead Good Day Out Pete Scullion follows one of the Lake District’s coffin trails, from graveyard to pub. UK Adventure: Down The Sandstone Way Oli Townsend checks out England’s newest long distance trail. International Adventure: Rumble in the Jungle Jason Miles races across Sri Lanka, fuelled by tea, coffee, and a fear of elephants. Trail Hunter: Through the Bogs of Time Tom Fenton revisits the remote, and rather wet, Doethie Valley. Is it as good as he remembers? Singletrack Room 101 Resident Grumpy Mark presides over your submissions to Room 101. Classic Ride: Avebury, Wiltshire Tom Hutton explores the rolling hills and standing stones, while testing Murphy’s First Law of Mountain Biking. Grouptest: Waterproof Shorts We’ve ground our gussets, soaked our seams, and wet our waistbands in search of shorts to keep our derrières dry. Bike Test: Living the Ti-Life Jason Miles stops stroking and staring at three polished 29er lovelies from J Guillem, Kona and Stanton and takes them out to see whether they ride as well as the look. Through the Grinder An array of goods sprinkled with summer rain, ground in summer mud, and very occasionally exposed to actual direct sunlight. Grinder Bike: Scott Scale 710+ Scott’s plus size hardtail put through mile after mile of testing. International Adventure: Murky Morzine Our Rob heads off on his summer holidays, which prove somewhat damp, but nonetheless fun. International Adventure: Blackburn Rangers Chipps goes riding in the wilderness with the varied characters who will be promoting the Blackburn brand this year.

Other Articles in this Issue


Editor’s Letter
CHIPPS GETS PHILOSOPHICAL AND PONDERS THE INFINITE OPTIONS PRESENTED BY THE BAGGY SHORTS OF TIME
UK ADVENTURE
PETE SCULLION CONTINUES HIS SEARCH OF THE LAND FOR THE ANCIENT ROUTES THE DEAD WOULD TAKE ON THEIR FINAL JOURNEY. THIS TIME HIS QUEST TAKES HIM TO THE CORPSE ROADS OF THE LAKE DISTRICT
OLLY TOWNSEND CHASES SOME KEEN FRIENDS OVER TWO DAYS AND 120 MILES OF THE SANDSTONE WAY, THE NEWEST LONG-DISTANCE TRAIL IN THE UK
COLUMN
All walks of life have a Room 101 into which they can throw the daft, self-defeating and just plain annoying, and the bike industry is no different. In this column we invite you to suggest the items, concepts or even people from the bike world that you think deserve to be kicked down the cellar steps that lie beyond the door to Room 101. Our Judge Mark will preside over your case and sentence your topic accordingly
RACEHEAD
JASON MILES IS NO STRANGER TO BIKE RACING. BUT HOW WILL HE COPE WITH FOUR DAYS OF RACING THROUGH THE TEA PLANTATIONS OF SRI LANKA? AND JUST HOW MUCH CURRY CAN ONE MAN EAT?
CLASSIC RIDE
TOM HUTTON REPORTS FROM A BIG DAY OUT IN THE ROLLING CHALK HILLS THAT SURROUND AVEBURY’S STONE CIRCLES. A GOOD, LONG, FAST RIDE, BEST DONE WHEN DRY OR FROZEN SOLID
GROUPTEST
CHIPPS AND THE SINGLETRACK WET SUMMER TEST CREW TEST NINE WATERPROOF SHORTS THAT ARE GOOD FOR JUST ABOUT ANY TIME RIDING IN THE UK
JASON MILES TESTS THREE 29ER HARDTAILS MADE FROM THAT MAGIC METAL, TITANIUM
GRINDER BIKE
We had some summer! Well, some of us had to leave the country to see any of it, but it’s confirmed that the Grinder crew has been out on actual dusty trails on several occasions over the last couple of months. This doesn’t mean we’ve gone easy on our gear testing. Far from it! We’ve been out every evening, bashing stuff so we can tell you what works and what doesn’t
INTERNATIONAL ADVENTURE
OUR ROB HEADS ALP-SIDE, INDULGING HIMSELF IN BIKE LAUNCHES, STRONG FRENCH BEER AND THE PASS’PORTES DU SOLEIL. ALL JUST A STONE’S THROW FROM HIS FANCY CHALET IN MORZINE
HOW DO YOU REVITALISE A WELL-LOVED BRAND IN THE RATHER DOWDY WORLD OF CYCLE TOURING? IF YOU’RE BLACKBURN, YOU BRING IN THE AMBASSADORS. AND IF YOU’RE CHIPPS, YOU TAG ALONG TO FIND OUT WHAT’S GOING ON