Lights out in Ledbury

Nightride mountainboarding in Ledbury

Walked into a dark and misty Conigree Woods and felt my way up the nearest track-looking thing. Dropped into the gulley to warm up with my headtorch to light my way. Have to say thanks to the bikers for their strategically placed safety can (you know when you’ve been impaled), and for clearing loads of new tracks which I shall have to check out one day soon.

Then I wandered over to Threading The Needle, which unfortunately has a tree down about three quarters up, but with the moon shining through the trees I strapped in and rode it without lights. It’s easier than you might think, riding in near total darkness, you’ve just got to shut your silly brain off and let your body do it’s thing.

Final run was a nice chilled down after The Needle and even with a light I managed to fall over, but you can’t win ’em all.

And I almost got lucky. I think something in the woods thought my clicking ratchets was a mating call and kept answering with it’s own clicking.

It’s a downhill kinda day

Downhill mountainboarding in Wales

Great day riding three new tracks in Wales. Beautiful weather, beautiful place. Forgot my GPS but I had Brennig to read the map and chase me down the tracks. I’m not really into going fast. Used to be, but not anymore, I’ve felt the consequences too many times. But with Brennig close behind me I didn’t have much choice. That lad is going to be an awesome downhiller one day soon.

Back to Birdlip

Nightride at Birdlip

Haven’t ridden at Birdlip for years, but a nightride with Mutley fixed that. Riding down the a-maize-ing track in the dark and walking back up to earn the ride. Definitely. Then off to Wales for more new-track-madness tomorrow. at Sports Maker Conference at Sports Maker Conference

Yesterday evening I attended the first SportEngland Sports Maker conference piloted by Oxfordshire Sports Partnership. The Sports Maker programme is part of SportEnglands aim of creating an Olympic legacy that sees more people taking part in sporting activities. I chatted to various people involved in and responsible for organising sports in Oxfordshire and handed out some of our new business cards. Now I’ve just got to think about the next step. Training maybe…

Vee boarding

I spent the weekend at a Formula Vee race at Pembrey. It’s probably not the most obvious sport to compare to mountainboarding, after all their tracks are flat, but there are some parallels.

The Vee organising body is run by a committee of volunteers and has an annual membership fee of £30. The competitions, of which there are about 15 a year, typically see between 25 & 45 competitors. They don’t seem to have any big sponsors but instead concentrate on developing a sustainable business model. The people involved are all part of a strong community, and support each other by helping out with repairs and sharing race strategies. And they don’t get many spectators, just the few that come with the racers.

Formula Vee racing

All this makes me think two things. Firstly, that there are lots of ‘minority’ sports out there just getting on with doing their thing. And secondly, that we’re doing alright by just getting on with doing our thing.

Mountainboard spares

Mountainboard spares

Been sorting out all the spare parts I’ve collected over the years, including seven F3’s, various truck hangers, loads of springs and eggs, and more bolts and washers than I want to count. Let me know if you need anything.

Glentress: Scotland’s Mountainboarding Heaven

Glentress: Scotland’s Mountainboarding Heaven
Glentress: Scotland’s Mountainboarding Heaven

I’ve been exploring the mountain bike tracks at Glentress and found loads of cool tracks that are rideable on a board, including built tracks, northshore drops, footpaths, and tarmac roads. And I’m sure there are loads more out there. Think I need another roadtrip to Scotland next summer.