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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
Pocketmags Digital Magazines


Emma and Carly show how much fun you can have by being badly prepared and under-equipped in France’s bestknown mountain bike event.

The wildly popular annual event Pass’Portes du Soleil is a mountain biking shindig like no other. There are no teams, no winners, no timings, no pressure. It’s just you, your ride of choice and a handful of determination. OK, and maybe some beer…

When I first brought up the idea to take part in this event, Carly glanced at me, pulled a pained expression and continued on with her pint. That went down well then…

After a little more pestering, a heap of inspirational YouTube videos and a massive downplay on the amount of hill climbing involved, Carly finally warmed to the idea. Frankly, this change in tone didn’t matter a jot to me as I’d gone ahead and bought us both tickets the previous month anyway.

Our riding experience lies at opposite sides of (an extremely long) scale. On one hand, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to downhill riding in my teenage years, so I’m almost a decade in and feel as at home on a bike as I do in front of the telly with Netfiix filling my eyes and a deep dish, stuThed crust, six-cheese pizza filling my belly. Then we arrive at Carly’s experience. Three years ago I thought it would be hilarious (and it bloody was!) to ship Carly off down a black trail in Morzine on a borrowed bike, under the pretence that it was in fact a blue. Bless her socks, she pedalled down that thing like Napoleon riding into battle. Yes, she spent most of the descent on her arse and she’d ruined her favourite slip-on Vans shoes (she still talks fondly of them to this day), but she did it! After that traumatic encounter, Carly forgot about the bikey world until last summer when I spotted a beauty of a bike online that would suit her perfectly. Knowing nothing about bikes, when Carly saw the orange and camo green highlights on the frame, she was sold. My years of gentle brainwashing and subliminal messaging were beginning to pay off. You know those parents who force their – clearly unwilling – children into ballet and gymnastics, despite a hurricane of ensuing tantrums? Well, I was a bit like that. But in a completely healthy ‘I know what’s best for you’ way.

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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.