Autumn is most definitely here, and that means its time to get out in the woods and feel the leafy goodness beneath our wheels. Here are ten things to remember to take with you:
- Your mountainboard – And yes, I’ve known people turn up to a freeride meet having forgotten their board.
- Helmet and pads – Always a good idea with trees, rocks, roots, team bad, etc.
- Spare wheel – Getting a puncture is no fun if you’re deep in the woods and the car park is a mile away.
- Tools – A spanner to change the punctured wheel and Allen keys to adjust your trucks.
- Water – Dehydrated brains don’t work as well as hydrated ones, and if you’re feeling thirsty its already too late.
- Snacks – Something light and easy, just in case you get peckish or need a bit of an energy boost.
- Camera – Whether you go for a headcam, a pocket snaps camera, or something more serious, its nice record what you get up to and share it with those less fortunate.
- Mobile Phone – GPS New runs, tweet that sweet slide, call other mountainboarders for a jumpstart if you’ve left your lights on; these new-fangled smart phones are very handy to have. Just don’t smash it.
- Headtorch – So the setting sun doesn’t have to ruin your fun.
- A philosophical approach to life. Sometimes you have a good day, sometimes you don’t. Freeriding is all about going with the flow, and not just when you’re riding.
The Remolition traditional new years day ride was pretty cool. Got to ride with a good bunch of people from as far away as Worcester and Peterbrough, on the best freeride terrain in the country, on my new board, wearing my new helmet. If you weren’t there, you should’ve been.
Sixty eight wheels, getting cold, dodging horse phlegm, running over little dogs, smashing hubs, smashing knee pads, sessioning s bends, fixing bindings with padded shorts drawcord, and not sliding nompas. Just another day at Macclesfield Forest.
We had fifteen mountainboarders riding at Randwick today, and although you might not have guessed it from the stick fighting, most of them were ‘Masters’, which you can read as ‘mature’, or just plain old. There were a few youngsters, but freeriding definitely seems to appeal to the more mature gentleman. Maybe it’s all part of a nice walk in woods on a autumn afternoon. And maybe it’s not for the majority of younger riders as it involves a lot of walking, and teenagers are lazy.
Anyway, we all seemed to have a good time, and it was great to see some old faces out riding again. Tim was back after a long time out due to injury and sports cars. Jon and Sam were back after months of hiking up mountains without a board to ride back down. Beiran was out on his flexi axles. And Horse tried out the new Trampa Brakeboard and got on really well with it. The twist in the Trampa deck and easy-to-grab stopping switch go together to give you a board that is pretty much perfect for freeriding. It sticks to the rough terrain, is pretty much indestructible, not too heavy for carrying back up, and as the brake works with eight inch wheels, it’s really versatile.
Don’t know why Trampa chase after the freestyle market. MBS have that pretty much sewn up and the growing demographic is the freeriders, which, as today showed, are in the upper age bracket, smart enough to choose a board that is the right tool for the job rather than one that looks pretty, and may want a brake to give them the added safety factor (A.K.A. paying the mortgage).
Seeing this many mountainboarders out together at the beginning of the freeride season (yes, I know every season is freeride season for some of us), always gives me hope for good times ahead, and shuts up those who moan about how mountainboarding is shrinking.
For more photos of what old men get up to in the woods, check out Nathan’s Facebook Album.
I’m up in the Lake District next weekend so our next Freeride Meet is Kings Wood on the 20th Nov. And while you’re on Facebook, check out the SurfingDirt page and like our Pumpkin Peril pic because we want to win. (Befriending Surfingdirt maybe required, but that’s not a bad thing). No terms and conditions apply.
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.