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Archive for April, 2008

Dan and Rosie skills unleashed!!!!

Categories: Mountain Bike Skills Courses, Uncategorized | April 30th, 2008 | by mikestafford | no comments


Intermediate skills course Sat 26th April

Rosie seen here working on a negative drop off position, put it to good use later in the day when she performed her biggest step drop to date.

Below Dan demonstrates good form on the slab steps fro the Pike at Rivington. Great day out, with Rosie pushing her skills levels up a good few notches well done you two.

Dan hope to see you up in the Lakes for that advanced course.


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Snow Joke in Rivington Blizzard!

Categories: Mountain Bike Skills Courses, Uncategorized | April 30th, 2008 | by mikestafford | no comments


Intermediate skills course 6th April 08

Pictured above are Ruth, Lara and Alison in a freak snow blizzard up near the Pigeon Tower Rivington.

It was freezing all day but spirits were high and improvements were made all round. The afternoon climb kept us warm but when the snow arrived we had to get out of the strong winds, sheltering behind a wall. Hard day all round but they kept going, the freezing wind and snow showers prevented a climb up to the Pike and it was a quick return to the car park for a quick change into warm clothes.

A ride to remember on a summers day when “It’s just too hot”

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Old Dogs and New Tricks!

Categories: Mountain Bike Skills Courses, Uncategorized | April 30th, 2008 | by mikestafford | no comments


Beginners skills course 30-04-08 Good day had by all today at Rivington, seen above are Joe, Dave and Dereck. All signed up for Beginners course and did themselves proud, perfecting drag brake turns, drop off’s and narrow single track to name just a few. Strange weather hot and cold all day but good views from the Pike and just a sprinkling of rain on our return journey. One or two tired legs as we got back to the car park, but big grins and strong handsshakes all round. Lots of talk of upgrdes before they come back for Intermediate course!

 Look forward to riding with you guys again cheers Mike.  

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Woollybacks battered but not beaten!

Categories: Mountain Bike Skills Courses, Uncategorized | April 30th, 2008 | by mikestafford | no comments

Gale force winds battered 14 riders from the Woollybacks mountain bike club Sat and Sun 19th+20th April. The riders all members of the St Helens based bike club had signed up for our beginners and intermediate skills courses after the club recieved lottery funding.

Beginners course

Above from left to right are Andy, Tracy, Steve, Lee, and Ric. Although some were experienced riders they had chosen the beginners course to get back to basics with instruction to improve their skills. Lots of drills, thrills and just one or two spills made for a great day all round. With huge improvements on drop offs climbing slow speed turns and log lifts. Well done guys.  

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Russ Goes Black at Innerleithan!

Categories: Rate my ride, Uncategorized | April 7th, 2008 | by mikestafford | no comments

Hi Mike

Thanks for a fantastic day, learned so much. The weekend after went up to Glentress in Scotland for a week with my son and did an ‘Intermediate’ two day course up there. To be blunt, it was a bit crap and I learned more on the one day course with you than I did on the two days with them.

But I managed Spooky Wood, and even took on a 20km XC circuit of Innerleithen (black!) and managed it, falling off only once. That technique of just sitting off the back of the saddle and rolling off pretty well got me round everything. The drag braking also really helped just to stabilise the bike when I was getting a bit carried away. I also bought a better bike: a GT Avalanche 1.0 with discs which feels so much more fun and nimble. Also interested in your comments on pedals on this blog: I lashed out on a pair of DMRs with studs (£50!) but actually worth every penny as I feel so much safer and more confident than on the standard cheapo original equipment. Pedals are for life, not just for Christmas.

So, I think it is only a matter of time and money till I come back for the intermediate. Am also riding my road bike daily now to work, just to build up the stamina.Wow. Hooked.Cheers, Russell.

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Bike film festival

Categories: Uncategorized | April 6th, 2008 | by Clare | no comments

WITH the risk of reinforcing a stereotype, mountain bikers aren’t your average arty farty types. So it was a mixed review last night for the I Bike MCR Bicycle Film Night.
A series of 10 short films was screened at the Manchester Dancehouse Theatre, near Oxford Road, to celebrate ‘the bicycle’.
Art house theatre directors focused on a range of subjects centering on cycling – with plenty of food for thought. Whether its groundbreaking community cycle initiatives in Columbia or way out commemoration services for fallen bikers in New York City, there was varied evidence that cycling is at the heart of millions of people’s lives across the globe. Quite where the kissy kissy cycling fitted in is anyone’s guess.
But organisers certainly saved the best to last with the Klunkerz.

What a refreshing eye opener to the start of mountain biking per se. The very founding members of a sport that now fills the hearts and minds of so many. Here they were, the cycling enthusiasts of Northern California Marin Country, reliving all their teen tales of field testing, designing and building the very first mountain bikes and why.

big names

Fisher, Richy, Specialized, Shimano – all the brands we live and breathe – and how it all began. A truly mesmorising trip down memory lane.
What is so compelling about this film, is the sheer devil would have ‘em attitude that made it all snowball so uniquely. Gathered at their favourite descent in Mount Tamalpais, they challenged each other to complete a time trial faster than their mates. And blessings me to the guy who finds a new part in a dumpster or junkyard that might just shave a few seconds off their times. These were the original speed fiends; the original down hillers.
The sense of commoradory and healthy competition gives way, of course, to business – as the group soon realise they are sewing the seeds of what becomes a multi-billion pound industry today. Sad but true.
Seeing their tale on the big screen, though, is well worth the jolly. Not only might you feel a little more respect for your jumpstumper, you may also be inspired to push the boundaries. After all, that’s what the Klunkerz boys did, and look where it got them.
Find out more at and

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Cycling in China

Categories: Feature field | April 6th, 2008 | by Clare | no comments

Mountain biking has a lot to say for itself in terms of fresh air, fun and frolics. But I left the trails for a week recently to go to Shanghai and Guangzhou with work. Needless to say the mountains were few and far between – but the two-wheeled advocates were out in force.

It was amazing to see how many people take their lives into their own hands on the streets of Shanghai cycling not only in all weathers but against the odds! Check out the driving conditions they are up against every day!

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