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Barney takes a good hard look at whether the legend of ley lines might hold spectacular secrets of sumptuous singletrack.

Thee phone call, when it came, was a surprise. Usually I’m treated to emails from behind the veiled curtain of the Singletrack offce; they’re normally terse and to the point – and they are usually enquiring as to the whereabouts of the copy I promised them the previous week. Or occasionally, the previous month.

So to actually have a voice on the other end of the line was a surprise, and it was pleasant to perceive it as vaguely human. “Ley lines,” it intoned. “We want you to write an article about ley lines. We reckon they’d be great things to use for mountain biking.” Yes, I paraphrase (I may have been hungover), but that was the general gist.

Theis, too, was unusual. Normally (without wishing to pull back the veiled curtain of glamorous mountain bike feature writing too much) it’s me pestering them with harebrained schemes they might consider to run as a feature. I’m still convinced that mountain biking monkey tennis is a goer.

And that pull-out exposé about Shreddies in a mountain biking context just needs a little more coercive persuasion before that Pulitzer will be MINE. But to have the Voice From On High actually bestow such an idea upon me? Well, I was honoured. And touched. And a little bit suspicious.

I am, you see, a bit of a sceptic. I have been rigorously trained (ha!) in the ways of science, and I have had all the inclinations of Woo beaten out of me with a large stick (with ribbons and bells on, natch). But the ley line is something that has heretofore escaped my gimlet-eyed scrutiny. So let us put scepticism to one side for a moment, and take a quick look at the history of ley lines.


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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…