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101 MIN READ TIME

BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME.

Mountain biking, it’s fair to say, would be nothing without the trails we ride. Some of us are finding our fun on tracks that have been in use for centuries, others at purpose-built trail centres, complete with on-site bike shop and café. But a lot of the sport happens on trails that occupy a murky middle ground. Whether it’s a rough line scratched into a hillside, or the perfectly sculpted result of many hours’ graft, there are many trails which were built by riders for riders, often without any kind of permission.

Theese trails always used to have a low proffle by default, with knowledge of them passed on by word of mouth. They would pop up in VHS video footage, or photo shoots in magazines, and their general location might be alluded to, but finding out anything else about them would often be tricky. The arrival of the internet changed the game, and you can now find locations, photos and videos of many trails that would have previously been locals-only secrets at the swipe of a finger.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: Longer Shortcuts Chipps encourages us to expand our mental maps and seek out the hidden byways between here and there. In between, happiness lies. UK Adventure: There Be Dragons Here! Probably… Sanny takes advantage of the long dry summer to check out a Lake District route reputed to be so wet, steep and horrible that only a fool would try it. Column: Jason Miles Jason just wants to ride a long way. However, he’s not keen on being judged for it. Classic Ride: Clwydian Hills Tom Hutton takes us on a tour of this lesser known riding spot in an eort to persuade us there’s more to Wales than trail centres and Snowdon. International Adventure: Just When It Was Going So Well Jason Miles dons his best Lycra and jumps on one of the worst bikes he’s ever ridden to take part in a local Spanish stage race. Spoiler: he doesn’t win, but by getting to hear the tale, you do. Interview: Simon Gallup - There Is No Cure Best known as the bassist from The Cure, Simon Gallup is a cycle nerd and collector of Orange Bikes. Chipps goes to check out what’s in his shed… quite a lot as it turns out. Behind The Scenes: Build It And They Will Come Antony de Heveningham takes a look at unauthorised trail-building and asks whether this is breathing life into the trail network, or threatening its very existence. Behind The Scenes: MIPS - Twisting My Melon Our resident neuroscientist Dr Barney Marsh checks out the technology behind MIPS helmets and the injury risks driving their development. Bike Test: XXC We test out three short-travel, full suspension bikes from Intense, Saracen and Yeti to see how this new crop of slack(ish) but swift bikes compares to their steeper cross country brethren. Plus much more…

Other Articles in this Issue


Singletrack
Out in the car, running errands on a Saturday lunchtime…
In search of trail treasure, Sanny and chums tackle what is reputed to be ‘the worst trail in the Lakes’. Do they find a hidden gem or should they have heeded the warnings?
YOUR BIG RIDE. IS IT PURE?
Tom Hutton dodges the sheep but feels the heat at one of the lesser-known mountain bike hotspots in North Wales.
Jason Miles headed to Valencia for a multi-day stage race armed with his race shoes, a positive attitude and, well, that was about it, actually.
He plays in a world-famous band and has toured the globe for the last 40 years. And yet, all he really wants to do is ride bikes. And if he can’t, then he likes nothing better than to talk about them.
Are ‘pirate trails’ breathing new life into our trail networks, or threatening their very existence?
MIPS invited us to Sweden to explain its in-helmet safety system in words that non-neuroscientists can understand. Luckily we have our own actual PhD neuroscientist, so we sent Barney to translate.
firee bikes that take the short travel full suspension bike to another world.
Thee first of our trio is the Intense Sniper. While
Saracen’s rebirth has been covered well-enough in these
Yeti’s SB100 is a 120mm forked, 100mm rear travel crosscountry
If you only want to go fast, everywhere, just get the
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Sanny takes a step into the alternative bike world of Ben Cooper. What he finds is that it isn’t just about the bike. Not even close.
Barney takes a good hard look at whether the legend of ley lines might hold spectacular secrets of sumptuous singletrack.
Charlie Kelly and Joe Breeze retrace one of the most important rides in mountain bike history, 1978’s Pearl Pass tour.
SHAKESPEARE’S SISTER