Friday, December 28, 2007

Mitchell Scott's Swiss Bliss story, July 2004

MITCHELL SCOTT uncovers mountain biking 'perfection' in the Swiss Alps, plunging down ancient trails by day and dining on raclette and fine wine in chalets by night

ZERMATT, SWITZERLAND -- In the Valais region of southwestern Switzerland, where gondolas, trains and chairlifts bridge the gaps between river and ridge with uncommon frequency, I stop my mountain bike because I have to. My forearms are pumped from braking, but this isn't the only reason I must pause: The trail ahead of me contours downward through mountains carpeted by tall evergreen forest, providing yet another stunning view.
The path beneath our tires is ancient,and right now, on a bike, it is delivering otherworldly joy. Slightly more than a metre wide, it has been worn by the traffic of civilizations coming and going.
Ten mountain bikers from British Columbia have gathered here to ride "perfection" -- at least that's what we've been told.
With Whistler native Chris Winter and Valais local François Pançhard as guides, our crew will cover 25,000 vertical metres of single track over eight days, dine on raclette and fine wine in Alpine chalets at night, and stop for cappuccinos and pain au chocolat halfway down 2,600-metre descents just because we can.
We are some of the first foreigners to experience Switzerland like this -- the first to blend the modernity of lifts, the technology of full-suspension bikes and the country's historic trails.
Three years ago, Winter, an entrepreneur and avid cyclist, started researching the possibility of guiding downhill bike tours in the Swiss Alps, where he had spent a portion of his childhood skiing. His research fuelled the formation of his tour company, Big Mountain Bike Adventures, and eventually led him to Pançhard.
The son of a mountain climber, Pançhard's green eyes and conniving grin belie a certain imbalance. He is not following the footsteps of his thirty-something peers, taking high-profile jobs in New York and Paris, making heaps of cash in Geneva playing with oil baron cash, driving BMWs and wearing fancy watches.
Instead, Pançhard runs his own CD-ROM trail-mapping business, spending day after day documenting the labyrinth of single track that drapes Switzerland like a giant gill net.
He lives high in the mountains in a tiny little cabin with his beautiful Hungarian wife, and almost every day during the summer explores his homeland by bike.
"The Swiss mountain biker rides up the gravel road and down the gravel road," explains Pançhard. "They don't ride single track and they think lifts are for wimps."
But Pançhard has gone against the traditionalist ways of the Swiss and swallowed his pride. He rides lifts with his bike all the time. Almost all Swiss lifts -- of which there are hundreds -- allow bikes, some on platforms, some on little hooks, and some on which you have to hold them yourself. From the top of each spreads a weave of hiking trail, cow paths and double track that meander through some of the world's most spectacular mountains. Some traverse, some go up, but once you've won an elevation of 2,400 to 3,000 metres, most go down -- for a long, long way.
Worn smooth since the Dark Ages by a perfectionist people confined to a relatively small, rugged land, much of the 67,000-kilometre-long lacework of walking paths links farms, churches, villages and peaks. And just like everything else Swiss, they are of superb quality. This is a country obsessed with time, so it makes sense that everything is built with a timeless quality -- local villages even hire unemployed residents to rake and manicure their proximate trail networks. As a result, they are naturally contoured with drinking fountains and benches in the farthest reaches of every valley.
On one particularly perfect afternoon we find ourselves high above the glitz of Verbier, with the 4,807-metre Mont Blanc massif -- Western Europe's highest peak -- in view just across the Rhône Valley.
Earlier that day we traversed narrow, derailleur-claiming cow paths through Alpine meadows hued by an August dawn, and descended to a decommissioned road through winding, dipping single track as it ran beside a medieval aqueduct. Wandering across a steep forested slope, we then climbed 1,000 metres on gravel roads to a steep path that tops out somewhere near 2,700 metres. Here we sit, with the starting point of our ride -- a quaint stone-and-log lodge near the top of a ski gondola -- barely visible across the valley. We snack on cheese, sausage and chocolate, marvelling at the vertiginous relief leading to the Rhône.
It seems like days go by until we stop again. Steep single track melds into wider trails through sub-Alpine meadows with ground cover that is brick red, mustard and rust. There is a collective tingle when we notice that the patterned vineyards, orchards and roads along the Rhône's banks are still tiny details in the vista before us. We speed into forest, where the trail widens even more, and banked corners and jumps emerge with regularity. With cramped fingers and rattling biceps, the thrilling speed and blurred forest rush in upon me in a wave of sensation.
After 20 kilometres of uninterrupted descent, we whiz through vineyards to a village where we buy beer, cappuccinos and sandwiches. We load our bikes into the trailer, crowd into our van and drive an hour up the mountain-walled Rhône Valley to another little gondola that takes us, two at a time, up to a mountainside village. We spin through narrow streets past stilted houses from the 1300s to a store, where our backpack is stuffed with wine and cheese and more sausage and bottles of weak European beer.
Then it's off to another gondola that carries us up to a modern little hostel tucked above the lift. On a sun-draped deck we sip Löwenbräus and savour views of glaciers, ragged peaks and lush green valleys. We drink and eat and try to recall the thousands of spectacular intricacies of the day, afraid we'll forget because there are so many. Over the course of eight days we ride an average of 40 kilometres a day on our bikes, routinely climbing 600 metres and descending 3,000.
In Zermatt, a picture-perfect ski village in the Upper Valais, we ride the apogee of Swiss ingenuity: The train up to Gornergrat, a lookout at 3,130 metres where a four-star hotel offers views of Europe's highest peaks. The sun begins to set and the hikers and trains have all gone and we ride a path that is more a living, pulsing vein than a trail. We are cells coursing to a preset destination. We travel in unison and only need to react to the subtle turns, dips and switchbacks of hard-packed earth.
We spend the night in another immaculate chalet, this one high above the shimmering opulence of Zermatt. Through a window the Matterhorn fades into dusk, and someone says he feels like a king. Not kings, but raiders that have finally landed on a legendary shore. In Switzerland, or the Land of Perfect Single Track, the trail goes on and on . . . and then on some more.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

xmas vid starring your favorite guides!

This is some funny shit! Sent to us from our favorite San Fran ripper, Miss Chantal. I had no idea Joe danced so well. Thanks Chantal...you rock!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year

Turkey taking over...a few too many glasses of red wine. Life's good.

Thanks to all for riding with us in '07, welcome to the family. Here's to a fantastic year ahead!

When in doubt, ride big. Peace. From your friends Big Mountain.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

smells like more monkeys

Part two of Mr. Smith's adventures in the land of junglee descents, cervezas and summer-time heat. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

smells like monkey

Dave Smith went on our Costa Rica DH trip, Pura Vida, in February. Read about his experiences here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

the best part



really what it all comes down to are the people that you meet and the connections that you forge when you are riding your bike. while partying with Jonny, Wade and Jaimie last Sat night we decided to meet at Wade's on the Shore the next day for a ride. I was thinking that it'd be a mellow spin and it turns out that about 10 or so other friends and friends of friends show up and we climbed up to the snow line and then rode this new loamy secret trail. By the time we rolled back into civilization it was completely dark out. It was so much fun we were all hollering like kids.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

just released: new type of trip!

Big Mountain is launching a new trip in the Alps...winged base jumping! You think you're ballsy? Check this out.

tasty helmet cam clip

check it out.

video

Saturday, December 01, 2007

copper canyon online press...Trek Remedy!

though you might be interested to see some of the play the new Trek Remedy and Big Mountain have been getting. Check it out...UK website Bike Radar and then some news from our friends at NSMB.com in Vancouver and a stellar photo essay from Sterling on bikemag.com.

It's official! The new Trek Remedy is all time and the riding in Mexico with Big Mountain...is too! Come join us in 08!

Pacific to Caribbean in Costa



Hey, how's it going eh? All's well with me, the adventure continues here. I am sitting in one of the nicest hotels that i've ever stayed in near a town called Pacueras somewhere on the way to the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. 12 of us are doing a road ride from the Pacific, over a whole bunch of very steep hills and mountains to the other coast. This is our first trip here with our sister company, Cycleventures, but definitely not our last. This trip is going to become an annual classic! Highlights? Where to start...we started the trip in this ridiculous hotel perched on the top of a mountain overlooking the ocean, then we began to pedal... It was hot for the first few days than as we got into the mountains it cooled off nicely. Our biggest day was a climb up 3450 meter Volcan Irazu, the highest active volcano in Costa. Ouch. For me, one of my hardest days on a road bike, but SO worth it. Some head winds, steep sections and altitude. The riding has been unreal on this trip and it's kicking us all into great shape. I will be very ready for powder in Whistler last this week!!! Tomorrow we ride 50 km than hop in a boat up a river for 2 hours to a remote lodge (only accessable by boat or plane) called Tortuego that's tucked up at the Nicaragua border. We are going to relax up there and do some eco boat trips with a guide and check out the wildlife before taking a small plane back to San Jose on Tuesday.

Here's a few shots...Paulo chilling after a climb and then railing a swooping corner on the way down Irazu! Yeehaw!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Pura Vida baby!



Sitting in an office in downtown San Jose right now looking out at the blue sky. The weather in this city is perfect, reminds me of a spring day or just after a summer rain...warm, yet cool and fresh. That's the thing, everyone thinks that it's steaming hot in Costa Rica. It is, but just on the coasts, in the mountains it's perfect for riding. Speaking of that, our Pura Vida trips are filling up so if you are thinking of coming along this winter...let's go! I strongly recommend combining the trip up with a few days on the beach. How about that: ride hard then chill hard on some of the finest beaches on the planet. I'm down here doing some recon for a few film shoots that might go down this winter then i'm hitting the road bike for a first ever coast to coast ride that starts in a few days. I didn't know that they paved roads nearly vert...she's going to be STEEP! Looking forward to some solid exercise before heading home to winter and storm laps at Whistler. Yeeehaw!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Mehico...Remedias ultima all-mountain!



I didn't get a chance to write more from Creel Mexico...sporadic internet service and busy days of riding and drinking around the bonfire and some jumping the bonfire and a pinata session too. More importantly, how was the new 6 and 6 Trek Remedy? Unreal. Be prepared for a tight tight ride both up and down, just the way i like it. When it's time to climb she was nimble and able to conquer tight technical power moves with ease and comfort. Everyone who climbed it was blown away. On the downhill...plush and quick; a rail-a-thon. I was like a little kid each day when it was time to ride...i could not wait to get out on it!

Here are a few pics...a killer view point of the actual Copper Canyon (NSMB.com's Cam McRae in the yellow on the right) and a native Taramuhara family watching the crew saddle the Remedys in front of our cabins.

By the way, the riding in Creel and Copper Canyon is KILLER! Stay tuned for more info. We're going to be posting some new dates soon...Come on!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Viva la Remedy!



We're hanging in north-central Mexico this week near the famous Copper Canyon in the town of Creel. What's going on? It's Trek's new 6 + 6 Remedy that's being unveiled for media. Psyched, the new Remedy looks KILLER. As i write, the mechanics are building up the bikes and the event officially starts tomorrow. I'll write more soon...got to run.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

nascar


NASCAR Coach Reveals Winning Strategy: 'Drive Fast'

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Peru

October 2007
I've spent the last 10 days mountain biking in Lima and Cusco with my friends Daamo, Lorraine and Ruth (or, as will be described on my Revenue Canada Form T2124-07 Statement of Business Activities - Deductions for Operating Expenses: "participating in a reconnaissance trip to evaluate the terrain and trails in Peru as a possible new destination for Big Mountain Bike Adventures".)
Before I explain why I've concluded that Peru is unquestionably one of the most remarkable places to visit and ride, I'd like to introduce the crew on my trip:
LORRAINE BLANCHER
Canadian National DH Champion: 1998, World Masters DH Champion: 2006
Hometown: Revelstoke, British Columbia
Age: 31. Sign: Scorpio
Occupation: Ministry of Transportation dispatcher, helihiking guide, mountain bike coach
Bike: Rocky Mountain Slayer SXC 70
First mountain bike: rigid black Nishiki Banshee
Favourite post-ride meal: avocado salad
Weirdest thing ever eaten: bear jerkey
Last song downloaded / CD bought: Dashboard by Modest Mouse. Bought a CD at the Cusco Airport earlier this week from a Peruvian pan flute street busker for 9 soles (about $3)
Tattoos: lower back
Pets: no
Last book read: Let My People Surf, Yvon Chouinard (founder of Patagonia)
Favourite ride: Keystone Standard Basin, Revelstoke

DAAMO SKELTON
Canadian National DH Champion 1997, 1999
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia (born in Sydney, Australia)
Age: 36 year old teenager. Sign: Gemini
Occupation: will bike for food
Bike: Marin Mount Vision
Sponsors: Marin, Shimano First mountain bike: 55 pound silver rigid frame singlespeed. Got bike in a trade for a jar a Vegemite and a case of Foster's Lager.
Favourite post-ride meal: tortilla chips with salsa and beer
Favourite flavour of energy bar: Sharkies. Fruit Blast ? (the ones in the blue package)
Last song downloaded / CD bought: Flashdance by Irene Cara. [ed. note: Daamo, an unabashed fan of 80s music, has many other redeeming qualities.]
Favourite beer: Corona
Weirdest thing ever eaten: roasted guinea pig
Tattoos: no
Pets: Kootenay (lab cross) and Dakota (cat)
Favourite ride: Burro Pass, La Sal Mountains, Utah
RUTH RITCHEY
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia
Age: 44. Sign: Leo
Occupation: Coast Mountain Transit Buses - Driver Instructor
Bike: Marin Rift Zone. currently for sale if anyone is interested.
First mountain bike: rigid Trek
Favourite post-ride meal: beer
Favourite flavour of energy bar: Cliff Bar Peanut Butter Buzz
Weirdest thing ever eaten: cockroaches coated in chocolate.
Favourite beer: Tecate
Pets: Copper (Rhodesian Ridgeback)
Tattoos: 3 total. Right forearm. Left bicep. Ankle.
Last song downloaded / CD bought: Art Teacher by Rufus Wainwright
Favourite book: A Fine Balance, Rohinton Mistry
Favourite ride: Cunning Stunts, Sunshine Coast, BC

Our group joined a tour which had the following 2 guys signed up: Luis Viallacorta from Lima and Scott Vizniowski from Peterborough, Ontario (but currently residing in Maranello, Italy)






Our guides:
RUSO COVARRUBIAS
Peruvian National XC Champion: 2001, 2004-2005
Hometown: Maras Cusco, Peru
Age: 35
Bike: Gary Fisher Cake
WAYO STEIN
Peruvian National DH Champion: 1999-2001
Pan American Games Bronze: 2001
Peruvian National XC Champion: 1997
Hometown: Lima, Peru
Age: 33
Bike: Santa Cruz Nomad
First mountain bike: light blue GT Zaskar, Rock Shox QR21 2.5" travel fork
Favourite post-ride meal: beer
Favourite flavour of "energy bar": Nestle Sublime Extremo Peanut and Milk Chocolate bar
Favourite beer: Cusquena
Favourite ride: Marcahuasi Stone Forest, Peru
Quote: ride fast or be last

And me:
Holy Trinity Elementary School Undefeated Grade 3 Recess Schoolyard Tetherball Champion
Hometown: Whistler, British Columbia
Age: 39. Sign: Scorpio
Bike: Marin Wolfridge. with a pair of Maxxis High Rollers purchased on the black market in Lima for 65 soles (about $21). Score.
First mountain bike: 1996 Rocky Mountain Hammer Race
Favourite post-ride meal: sushi
Weirdest thing ever eaten: deep fried iguana nuggets. Yes, there was a lot of tequila involved as well
Tattoos: no
Pets: no. Had a guinea pig growing up - a little horrified watching Daamo dine on a roasted "Snuffles" in Cusco.
Last song downloaded / CD bought: Stronger, Kanye W
est
Favourite book: Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut
Favourite trail: Aline. Whistler Mountain Bike Park, BC

And some of the locals we met along the way:

Quick recap of the trip:
- 10 days
- 0 other mountain bikers
- 55,774 total accumulated vertical feet of descending
- 11,385 vertical feet - longest individual descent
- 1 replacement set of brake pads
- 14,271 "why is everything....gasp...going dark???" feet above sea level – elevation of highest trailhead
- 3,500 switchbacks (2,500 on the roads used to shuttle the rides 1,000 on the trails)
- 3,450 switchbacks successfully negotiated (2,500 on the roads used to shuttle the rides 950 on the trails)
- 45 hours riding bikes
- 30 hours riding in shuttle van
- 2 hours "shuttling" by horseback. still haven't fully regained the feeling in my ass
- 4 apparently functioning traffic lights in Lima, a city of 8 million inhabitants
- 1,200 photos taken by Daamo
- 1,196 taken with the lens cap off
- 500 year old singletrack - (one of our rides traversed along a section of the Inca Trail)
- 7 pounds of seafood ceviche
- 8 bowls of cholco. Peruvian salty crunchy goodness. A little bit like partially popped popcorn kernels. But softer so that you don't have to worry about cracking molars
- 0 glasses of chicha – homemade Peruvian beer. Brewing process, according to the Lonely Planet Guide, is begun by chewing and spitting corn into a vat, which is then sealed and stored for several weeks to allow for fermentation. Establishments which sell the beer display a red flag above the door. Gaaaaaack
- 12 glasses of Andean lemonade. Blended ice, peppermint, ginger and fresh lemons
- 1 grilled medium rare elpaca (a smaller, woolier version of a llama) filet. retched.
- 24 imodium tablets
- 0 to 27 degrees celsius. Temperature range on the trip. Often during the same day. Routinely started rides wearing every piece of clothing that I had brought
- 2 Peruvian soles (about $0.45) paid for a pair of souvenir salt and pepper shakers shaped like the Machu Picchu peaks
- 1 trip of a lifetime


Hard to properly describe and express just how incredible this experience has been. Unforgettable rides, massive descents, endless fast flowy singletrack, challenging technical trails, spectacular scenery, unique terrain and topography, majestic Andean peaks, magnificent Inca sites and ruins, delicious food (wel...except for a few funky exceptions), amazing hospitality and the warmest friendliest people imaginable. There are countless people we met on our rides and travels who touched our hearts - from Wayo (one of the most thoughtful, easy going, and charming guys you will ever meet); to Willy Pro (owner of a bike shop in Lima) who kept his shop open 2 extra hours waiting for us to return from a ride in order to fix Ruth's brake line; to the young barefooted shepherd we met at the Megavalanche trailhead (he's the one who's waving in the picture above - the shyest, sweetest smile ever); to Juan (a porter on our horseback shuttle ride) who hiked back up to the top of the trail to retrieve Lorraine's forgotten camera and arranged to have it delivered to us the next day; and to all the people who warmly greeted and welcomed us as we passed through their lands and villages.

I am exceptionally lucky and privileged to have had the chance to visit and ride in Peru - hope you also get the opportunity someday.

Friday, October 12, 2007

sraper bike

Monday, October 01, 2007

New 2008 Remedy...



Six inches (150 mm), 28.5lbs and one hell of a new look. We're looking forward to getting this baby out on the trails in 2008. How long do you have to wait? March in North America. Let the games begin.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

storm



This photo is just before the sky puked on us on the island of Pag on Croatia's Dalmatian coast. a bad-ass storm came barelling in like a freight train and i love big tropical storms. BOOM! this island is barren, stark, rugged. all rock and some scub brush. cool place.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

eastern europa


Greetings from Ljubjlana, Slovenia. Have you ever been here? It's very nice. A small city of about 300,000 full of students and a sweet little old center of the city that kind of feels like a small town with bridges over a river and lots of outdoor cafes and bars and cool little hole in the wall shops and stuff. And there's a castle up on a hill over looking the town. It's sick. And I'm not done yet. Behind the city are big peaks that look a lot like the Dolomites, grey and rocky. There the Slovenian Alps. I pulled into a small little ski town a few nights ago in the dark and a big bike went hammering past me on a staircase. Looks to me like lift access riding is catching on here too. Then i drove past a bike shop today that was all Kona'd up. I better pop in and check it out. Might have to come back with my mountain bike. For now though, i'm about to embark on a 2 week road trip from here to Dubrovnik in Croatia. I'm pumped.

I like this shot. I had some setting wrong on my camera (the truth is, i rarely use the settings but just go for it manually) and this is what came out. All i know is that the shutter stayed open while i panned. Nice riding too. I'm pretty sure that this is Jeff (hard to tell with the blurr, you know?), a Torontonian who is based in Berlin. He joined us on our Alpenrock DH trip in Swissland this summer. Thanks for the downhills and the laughs Jeff!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

the road less travelled



Hey, just a quick note from Nice. I'm hanging with Carla from the Kootenays and we're on the way from a road bike trip in the Dordogne region of France that she was leading, to Croatia for another roadie trip. On the way to the Dordogne i stopped in Provence, one of my fav places to road ride in Europe and had my ass whooped by photographer Scott Markewitz, from Utah who spends lots of time in France with his french wife. Scott is in amazing shape. I thought i was in good shape after a summer of climbing and descending the Alps, I guess not! I took a few photos in Apt, hope you like them. Tomorrow we drive south all day. I will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

bike



A few days ago i was lucky to ride with some old friends and new friends that where passing through the Alps doing a story for Bike. Holger Meyer, from Germany who rides for Scott USA, Hans Rey, photographer Scott Markewitz from Utah and journalist Dan Caruso, a funny American living in Davos Switzerland. I met the crew in a little town way up in the mountains. After about 9 back-to-back coffees we decided to pin it to Zermatt for some big mountain riding and photography. We were not disappointed...the sun was shinning and we shuttled up to 3100 meters. I took the boys on one of my favorite rides on the planet, a 4500-foot ripper that takes over an hour if your ride it non-stop. This trail is over the top. Keep your eyes peeled in Bike next year, she'll be a good tale for sure. Hint: think Haute Route on bikes.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Downhill...



Heading to Zermatt today on the Alpenrock trip. The trip started off well weather-wise but it's turned grey with sporadic precip and even snow at higher elevations. Snow in August! That's what you get in the big mountains eh? At least we had stellar weather for the first 3 days in Verbier and the Rhone. Regardless of the conditions, our group is pumped to ride their bikes and the level of stoke. We've been lapping up the big descents like a kitty with a cup of milk. Yesterday we rolled into our Sierre hotel after 9pm, covered in mud and starving. We descended 12,000 feet...two Brazillians. The hotel was fine with the mud. Gabe from Miami has never ridden in snow...he's praying for it. Today might be the day...will keep you posted. Cheers!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Electrico



A few days ago we were riding back from Klosters to Davos and came upon yet another turnstile and electric fence. They are common in the Swiss Alps to let hikers through but not cattle. I cursed briefly as i do as we were pinning down a sweet section of trail and had to stop, yet again. I tossed my bike over the electric fence part while Paulo opted to go through the turnstile...little did he know but the fence went up and over and as soon as he hit the fence above him with his bike he got shocked. He was OK despite doing a little scorpion dance and leaving his Kona hanging. The bike was buzzing, literally, as it hung there! Good thing he was OK...one tough Costa Rican!

This other pic is Nathalie Grether...hailing from Whistler BC. I was filming helmet cam with Nat today and she is a serious RIPPER! Yeeehaw...

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Riding in Livigno Italia and Santa Maria CH



Sorry it's been a while. We've been at a hotel where i could not get on the internet, just download emails. More info than you need to know, i know. Riding's been stellar; left Davos for Poschiavo, this little squeak of a town with a load of classic European style in a deep valley with a little red train that runs though it. Shuttled up a mad mad road in a Beamer X-somethingrather SUV to a valley in the middle of nowhere, hike a biked for about an hour to a pass and a statue of the Madonna that is the border of Italy and Switzerland...and then proceeded to shred 1800 meters of DH down to Italy. The trails been dubbed The Smuggler as it was an old smuggling route. Originally it was used by WWI as a military road. You should have seen the work that went into this thing - massive rocks pilled up and the grade is always 8%. Makes for damn good downhilling. Then swung over to Livigno and hooked up with our friend Darco and Hans Rey for a few days. By the way, Hans Rey is one of the nicest people, besides the fact that he rips!!!!!! If you ever get a chance to meet him, you'll be stoked. Livingo was buffed and rapido. Rode a killer trail in Bormio Italy too! Thanks for the riding Hans! Now we are in Santa Maria, a hamlet of a place in the far east of Switzerland where people speak Romanesch...an ancient dialect. It's real pretty here. I am officially BLOWN. We pedalled 50 kms today...and i feel like i've been on my bike every day for months...cause i have! Life could not be better. My Trek Remedy is taking the hits and rolling like a star....
Photos of Big Mountain guide Paulo Valle in Davos...and Hans, Paulo and guide Nathalie Grether rolling in Livigno. Talk soon...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Update from the front lines...



Sunny evening here in Davos, Switzerland. All's well. Today we rode a sweet trail that we dubbed "G 10 Summit Trail", a long traversing nugget of singletrack that is one of the best XC rips that we've found in the Alps. Another few days in Davos then it's off to Livigno Italy for some Italian riding....can't wait.
We wrapped up a stellar Cloudraker trip last week...I can still hear people's voices from the group and it makes me smile and laugh. Thanks for the good times all of you...I miss you guys! Highlights? The weather was outstanding which makes already beautiful Switzerland over the top. We rode lots and lots and it was unreal how swiftly and effortlessly our group moved through the mountains...few mechanicals and even fewer falls. What a great trip. Here are a few images. Enjoy!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Greeting from the Alps



How's it going eh? Just touching base from Lourtier near Verbier in Switzerland. Riding lots with a group of 12 from all parts - London UK, Whitehorse Yukon, Kamloops BC, San Jose Costa Rica, Vancouver BC and Georgia USA. Very good times indeed. We rode an epic loop this afternoon just up from the hotel, a 1.5 hour climb and 1 hour descent that was killer - fast, flowy and railing! Dinner tonight was local raclette and red wine...life's good. Here's a few shots of Paulo Valle from a few days ago. Enjoy.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Crankworx Slideshow

What's happening? If you're in Whistler this weekend check out the slideshow that we are hosting. Photos by Sterling Lorence, Stephen Wilde, Christophe Margot, Derek Frankowski and Chris Winter. Should be killer! Shows are at 7:30 and 9:30 PM. Entry by donation, all proceeds to local Whistler charity Zero Ceiling. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

DIRT MAG FEATURES BIG MOUNTAIN IN COSTA RICA



If you get a chance, grab a copy of the June issue of DIRT from the UK. In it, check out the 13-page feature on our Pura Vida trip. Thanks to London-based writer Stuart Millar and Rossland, BC-based photographer Derek Frankowski for a great tale and riders Wade Simmons, Dave Watson and Geoff Gullevich for ridin' so nicely.

DIRT cont'


DIRT cont'


Monday, June 11, 2007

Perspectives



It's important to get out of your comfort zone, to step out of your usual realm and see what lies beyond what you know and are familiar with. When you challenge your reality you expand your mind. Challenge your riding and expand your mind: do your usual loop backwards, ride with different people or grab your hard tail. There's nothing like coming home from travels with your mountain bike and stepping out your door and seeing things differently. Deep, I know. Ride+Travel+Explore.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Springtime





Hey mountain bikers...it's been awhile. How's the spring riding season doing in your neck of the woods? This time of the year you just can't get enough eh? Like candy. I just returned from a 2 week trip in Southern Africa - Botswana and South Africa. Very cool experiences indeed. We ventured into some classic African bush zones including mountain grasslands and savannahs and saw a plethora of wildlife on foot, bike and land rover. Highlights? In Botswana while camping under the stars in a 70,000 acre game reserve, taking my turn at night-watch from 2-3 AM while listening to howling hyenas, snorting impalas and roaring lions in the darkness. You definitely want to keep the fire stoked! And then surprising a heard of 20+ elephant while riding across the vast savannah. Here are a few pics. Enjoy. Happy riding.....