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On a recent holiday to California, I was brutally reminded of a side of human nature that I’ve never been very comfortable with. The ostentatious displays of material wealth and the traits that drive it were everywhere to be seen, from the size of the SUVs and trucks, the thousands of multi-million dollar beachfront properties, to the yachts in the marinas. The primal urge to have the best, biggest, fastest, or most technically advanced possessions from cars, laptops, phones and even everyday appliances such as kettles seems to be ingrained in us and almost impossible to resist. This is especially true when it comes to the choice of which bikes we ride. In the relatively short history of our sport, bikes have advanced at an exponential pace, and invariably these advances have focused on making bikes bigger and, as a result, faster. Forks and suspension have more travel, wheels are larger, handlebars wider, tyres fatter and frames longer, lower and slacker. And these trends are the result of the demands of riders wanting to go bigger, faster or further. They’re also a result of the same basic urge that makes us buy cars that can do double the limit at which we’re allowed to drive on public roads.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: There Is No Right Or Wrong. Choose a bike, any bike, and enjoy it. International Adventure: Panning For Trail Gold In Arizona. Huw Oliver finds gold in the ghost towns of Arizona. Classic Ride: Don’t Mynd If I Do. Tom Hutton rides the Long Mynd in search of forgotten corners and new trails. Behind the Scenes: Colour Wheels. Sim Mainey finds out how the next bike fashions are decided. UK Adventure: Cornish Fasties Barney Marsh goes to the edge of the UK and finds a world of overlooked trails. UK Adventure: How To Lose Friends And Alienate People. Sanny reduces the nicest man in mountain biking to rude words. Hope’s Helping Hand. Chipps checks out a bit of innovative thinking from Hope Technology. Bike Test: Overlooked Awesome. Daz Hall checks out three smaller wheeled, shorter travel bikes that you probably should be riding, from Bird, Cotic and Santa Cruz. Column: Jason steps out of his comfort zone. Pete’s Pros: Rock[et] Science Manon Carpenter may not be racing much, but Pete Scullion finds she’s still aiming high. A Day In The Life: Fort William Saskia Dugon goes behind the scenes at this noisiest of World Cup races. MTB Culture: The Quiet Revolution Rich Rothwell argues that GPS technology has opened up a whole new world of mountain biking joy. Last Word Hannah gets to ride somewhere she thought might only be a far-flung fantasy.

Other Articles in this Issue

How is it that I can love listening to a particular
Huw Oliver goes searching for singletrack gold in the arid mountains of Arizona.
It’s the Long Mynd Jim, but not as we know it. Tom Hutton proves there are still real classics out there just waiting to be discovered.
Sim Mainey goes behind the scenes to find out who decides what colours you’ll be wearing and riding next year, and what will be old hat the next.
Barney takes a trip where few bike journos have dared to tread – Cornwall.
Sanny takes on a Lake District pass too many, nearly breaks Mark and makes Nick Craig swear.
How one engineering student’s idea became a reality thanks to Hope Technology.
Three 27.5in-wheeled bikes that often get overlooked in favour of their bigger travel siblings.
Pete catches up with an enthusiastic and at peace Manon Carpenter on her South Wales home trails
A look behind the scenes of Fort William’s biggest weekend of the year
A safety and navigation essential for longdistance riding? Or another bleeping digital crutch for those who shouldn’t be in the wilderness in the first place? Rich Rothwell looks at the dramatic influence that GPS units have had on our sport.
Hannah takes a mountain biker’s pilgrimage.