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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines


Nigel Page and Chipps strap on luggage and join forces again. This time to ride a completely made up North/South traverse of the Lake District.


All I’d been able to hear for the last hour had been the octopus-like sucking noise coming from Nigel Page’s supersoft enduro racing knobblies on the featureless Lakeland tarmac. The mountains ahead, finally glimpsed in the distance, didn’t seem to be getting any bigger either. With every micro-downhill, I started to freewheel away from him. And now, though Nigel is legendarily cheerful, I began to think that his famously sunny disposition was beginning to slip in the face of this endless sticky-tyred water torture.

It was my fault, of course, and even on my regular trail bike, the sight of yet another straight, slightly uphill tarmac road was beginning to wear me down. And we’d not even got to the steep off-road bits yet. Or was that the actual problem?

Strong (footie) sock game, Nigel.

The last time that Nigel and I had done a long ride together was our West Highland Way jaunt (see issue 89) – a hundred-mile trip that we’d done over two days. We got away with it (just). We swore at the unrideable sections of Loch Lomondside and the endless pebbly scree of the Devil’s Staircase, finished after dark the first night, and needed friendly local encouragement on the second in the form of Fort William locals Alasdair MacLennan and Spook Munro who effectively rode out to find us and guide us home. At that time, I’d brought a knife to a mountain biking gunfight, in the form of my drop-handlebarred adventure bike with a minimally sprung (and damped) Lauf fork. Nigel had ridden his enduro-ready Nukeproof Mega. This time round, my choice of bike had changed to a regular trail bike, while Nigel had simply grabbed a newer Nukeproof Mega, complete with race-ready, prototype sticky rubber, fitted for one of the EWS rounds that he regularly competes in. That choice was proving to be a little ambitious for the smooth, flat roads in the early stages of my route.

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Editorial: Wear Sunscreen Chipps lifts the veil on the uneconomic world of newsagent magazine sales. UK Adventure: Going Over To The Dark Side Shorter winter days mean you can do a dawn raid without having to get up too early. Classic Ride: The South Downs Blue skies, chalky trails and endless riding make for a perfect combination. Tom Hutton takes on the trails around Cissbury Ring. Column: Jason Miles It’s not all about chafing and suffering in Jason’s endurance racing world. Sometimes it’s about haunted helmets… International Adventure: Letting Go And Finding Flow Some journeys aren’t about the miles ridden. Amanda explores the trails of Denmark, while unwinding some of the twisty singletrack in her head. UK Adventure: My Grandad’s Head In A Jar Adam Batty gets rad with his dad and his dad’s dad. And all thanks to some electric bicycle help. Keeping Track Of Time At The Trans-Provence 2019 saw the final Trans Provence. Tom Hill looks back on what made the event so special, from the unique view of those riders not racing, but working the course every day. Column: Still Going After a mere 20 years, Chipps reckons his SPD pedals are just about needing a service. UK Adventure: Making It Up In The Lake District Drawing a line on a map and following it over the roof of the Lake District is certainly one way to see the Lakes. Follow Chipps and Nigel Page to see if it’s actually a good one. Bike Test: British Steel Not just designed in the UK, but cut, mitred and welded here too. Three aggressive hardtails on test from 18 Bikes, Shand and Stanton are put to the test. International Adventure: Verbier By Train Can we really appreciate the places we ride if we’re helping to destroy them by getting there? Mark took a low carbon approach.