Monday, 3 December 2012


Vouchers are now available for Sublime Rides guiding and skills courses, get them in time for Christmas - see the website for details.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Some great guided rides and skills rides so far this year, including some people making the most of the glorious weather we had recently. We have good availability at the moment for July and August, so if you're looking to brush up on those skills or experience some new routes in the Lakes with a qualified guide then drop us an e-mail to

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

5% off discount code now available for SingletrAction members and customers of Dales Bike Doctor (minimum spend limit applies). Click here to drop us a message for details.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Access, 'the right to approach or make use of.'

Once we swing a leg over a top tube in England, we don't actually have much of it! As mountain bikers we have access to just 22% of the Public Right Of Way (PROW) network in England, predominantly bridleways and byways, with the addition of the welcome permitted ways of the trail centre.
This bothers me a little, predominantly because I can't see any good reason why we shouldn't be able to go on our mountain bikes to the same places we can go on foot. Sure, there are paths in areas so environmentally sensitive they probably ought not to be explored on foot, but the other commonly touted arguments are usually down to perception rather than reality.
In Scotland the situation since the 9th Feb, 2005 has been rather different, with cyclists having legal access to almost all open areas under an 'Access Code'.
I think the situation in England could be changed for the better. Health and fitness is still up there on the political agenda (mainly because it cuts the health service bill!), sport and cycling also have a high profile. The current The Times 'Cities fit for cycling' campaign is doing very well, with a parliamentary debate moving things along nicely (interestingly the opposition party embraced all 8 points, to the government's 7 and demonstrating the 'draw' of cycling. The petition currently running on the government website asking for increased access for mountain bikers has just 3623 signatories. It needs to get to 100,000 to get a similar parliamentary debate.
If we don't fight our corner and sign the petitions to improve our sport in the uk, in all its forms, then we may find things heading in the opposite direction. The Country Landowners Association (CLA) have just released a report on their view on the PROW network, and it makes for disturbing reading. Taken at a glance the document calls for common sense, simpler rules, well maintained and signed access - objectives I will certainly hold up as being extremely worthy. However, reading into the detail reveals the unsurprising reality; that the CLA is actually interested in reducing access (where there is the slightest plausible excuse); preventing new rights of way being established; and moving towards permissive access (i.e. where the landowner decides where you can, or can't, go). This new document moves, as if a pre-emptive strike, against the accord they held until recently with organisations such as the Ramblers Association It is narrow-minded, thinking only of the interests of the Landowning minority, and should be recognised as the restriction of our rights which it would represent.
It should also be recognised, however, that the government's 'red tape review' is currently riding rough shod across many of the measures which have been put in place to ensure our countryside and special environmental areas are protected, without thought of our right to enjoy them. Lets not let our limited access rights be next...

Friday, 3 February 2012

Prototype Orange 29er Full-sus.

The article on 29ers in the latest issue of Dirt Mountain Bike Magazine has got me thinking quite a bit over the last couple of weeks. Through my friendships with the guys at Orange Mountain Bikes, I'm lucky enough to get the opportunity to ride and give feedback on prototypes from time to time (I spent quite a bit of time on a couple of different linkage prototypes a couple of years ago, which later became the Blood and current ST4). Recently though, at a Biketreks Demo, I had the offer of a ride on the new full-sus 29er.
Looking very like a five, this bike is actually endowed with a bit less travel, which, as a hard tail and sometime short travel enthusiast, rather took my fancy. The bike looks good, no doubt about it, typical Orange, slack and low. Quick pump around the car park by the shop and first impressions are good, doesn't feel as flickable as a five and it feels a bit 'strange', but there is plenty of grip generated from the conti rubber queen tyres on the damp tarmac. I won't go into the detail of how we run a Biketreks demo (there's a vid on the webber and an article on the Orange website, see the links page) but the mix of terrain is pretty well suited to getting an accurate picture of how a bike behaves.
This bike, however, was a bit of an enigma (wrapped up in a mystery). It was a fast roller, cruising away from the 26ers as we freewheeled, and nimble on the climbs too, quickly dispelling the myth about slower acceleration on a 29er. On the first rocky descent from Iron Keld, however, I'm not sure I was feeling it. A bit slow to change direction and not as easy to whip around the turns as a 26" wheel bike, it also felt a bit skittery when put to the test amongst large loose rocks.
Our demo ride meanders around Elterwater until it rises up and bubbles into Loughrigg terrace. And the bike comes alive! The acceleration is instant, the rolling speed addictive. It's an easy gradient, a smooth and straight run down the contours - but there are a few rocky sections to test the suspension. I know the lines, so I should, and speed needs to be carried. This bike does - KAPOW!
And that brings me back to the Dirt article. I ended my day on the 29er unconvinced. It's a bike which has obvious attributes, it carries speed like nothing else but I felt there was a trade off in the loose/rough and the tight. Perhaps it's time on the bike that I need though? As Dirt say; time to get used to the change in position, the change in the angle of attack needed in the corners, time to settle in, 'find the rhythm'.
I think that a lot of people will love this bike. If smooth terrain, swooping downs, fast climbs and long distance are your thing I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one right now. For me and the riding I do most often, the jury is still out, but I'm not a hater just yet and that Dirt article has got me thinking.

Give it time?

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Good blast around the 8 at Gisburn Forest this evening. Some good work has been done by the volunteers on the blue linking back to Stephen Park, the holes have completely gone! The new section just before it is also bedding in nicely and the mega swoop is pretty good fun, giving you enough speed to cruise up the other side if you stay off the brakes.

Join the Gisburn MTB Trail Development Facebook group to find out all the latest info on what we're up to and for updates on dig days.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Early Bird Offer - The weather in the Lakes this week has reminded us that the summer really isn't so far away and we all want to make the most of it! To help you do just that we're offering 10% off all bookings during January 2012! Ask for our Early Bird Offer.
A great couple of days riding in Coed-y-Brenin this weekend. It's been a while and I think I'd forgotten just how good the trails there are. Miles of superb flowing singletrack and all maintained in admirable condition.We didn't miss out on much of the way marked trail over the weekend and were especially impressed by the MinorTaur. For a quick sample of what this blue loop has on offer, check out your trail map and dive off the main trail and onto the Blue after a few hundred meters. You'll be rewarded by a sequence of superb berms and rollers to get you warmed up. At the bottom of the hill stay on the fireroad, take a sharp left up the hill when you hit the tarmac and you'll rejoin the main routes after a short stiff climb. This would be the perfect route for a mixed group, a stepping stone towards 'proper' mountain biking for beginners but with plenty of enjoyment to be had for the more experienced.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Amazing night ride around Grizedale last night! A great group; good craic, chilled on the climbs and flat out on the downs. A good night boys!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

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