Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Down Hill Riding and the World Cup

Where to go : Fort William
Why : The World Cup Down Hill course is here.

Check it out :

When is the World Cup : June 5 & 6 2010

You can I ride the World Cup course

Most of the Downhill course is open to the public, although there will be some sections only used for the World Cup.

The course is open for public riding from May 15th. The course then closes at the end of September. (you need the ski lift so when these close down, you are stumped) Oh the course closes over the World Champs week too.

Please check with Nevis Range for accurate opening times.

Telephone: 01397 705825

The Forestry Commission XC course is part of the extensive Witch's Trail network in the Leanachan Forest. It is also open to the public.

So whats the low down.

We advise, fly into Inverness on sleeeazy jet ( remember to book your bike in if you are taking one. However I suggest you hire there (more later on this). Link your car hire in with your flight booking and drive to Fort William. It is 104 km - easy as.

Exact address of the bike centre at the gondola for your sat nav : Nevis Range, Torlundy, Fort William, PH33 6SW , 0131 555 3820

Hire your bike from OffBeatBikes

Check out this web site with all the details ~

It makes it a lot easier with the car / flights and everything. It is also unlikely you will have the correct downhill bike geared up for this kind of riding. You can also get the gear. This is a must have, you need it all so please hire it !

OffBeatBikes brochures are in the Studio, so grab one !

Prices here -

Hiring an Instructor.

Highly advisable if this is your first time and especially if it is your first time to Fort William on the World Cup track.

You can get group sessions but you need to book ahead. I booked in with James for 1 to 1 session as I arrived on the day and wanted an instructor. The centre is very accommodating and got James in to help and he was great.

I suggest plan ahead and get a group session booked ~ 5 riders would be a nice number.

Details : Check out Alastair MacLennan's website: James will be doing some extra work for him over the summer.

Contact : James Shirley
Mobile no: 07584022481
Rate: £15 + £15/hr

Instructors will go through key skills with you before hand and show you the ropes.


There is plenty of accommodation. I found this awesome little spot and the land lady Emily was just lovely. I would suggest staying on the far side of Fort William , ie on the road that goes out to the DH track but further out. It makes it easier to get out to the track.

Here is the lovely B&B I stayed at and you can contact Emily. (£25pp – well priced and includes breakfast)

Emily Oliver
East Lodge
PH34 4DY,

home 01397-712678
web :

From East Lodge to the Bike Centre – 11 Miles

All that said, there is a bike only track to ride on up to the gondola and bike centre that runs from the city centre, so you can just ride on up, it is not to far.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Fort William - DH and XC mountain bike guide

James Shirley:
DH and XC mountain bike guide

I am a qualified Trail Cycle Leader and have been guiding for the last couple years. I have a likeable easy going personality and a passion for mountain biking. I grew up around Fort William and since the age of eleven have raced bikes at national level.

I started out my career as an XC whippet finishing 3rd overall, for my age group, in the Scottish Cross Country Series three years in a row. My attention these days is now focused on downhill with a few endurance races thrown in for good measure. I ride in the expert category for downhill and have competed all over Britain, France and New Zealand. As for the endurance races, I have been on the podium at all the No Fuss events as well as at Mountain Mayhem and Sleepless in the Saddle.

Born and bred in Lochaber, I know the best places to ride. There are some fantastic purpose built XC tracks as well as some epic adventures to be had through the mountains. I will be there to point you in the right direction and, hopefully, teach you a few things along the way!

I also do skills days on the world cup downhill track at Nevis Range. I can show you the fastest lines and give some advice to boost your confidence and improve your speed.

With my experience and local knowledge, you will have fun exploring exciting trails and learning new skills.

Andrew Clayton used James as his guide when he tackled the World Cup Down Hill track. 'James was fantastic'

If you up there, try him out - drop him a line

Mobile no: 07584022481
Rate: £15 + £15/hr
He takes a max of 6 in a group or 1 on 1

For further info check this awesome web site out -

Friday, 23 April 2010

Point2Fitness - Personal Training

Point2 Fitness has now entered into it's second year and over the last 6 months they have been developing a service aimed at amateur and recreational athletes, who are looking for a personal training coach without the financial or time commitments of a weekly training session.
This service would suit self motivated clients who are looking to take their training and performance closer to that edge (
Baz, a member of the British Rowing team who started Point2Fitness said ‘We have successfully worked with sports men and women to create effective programmes which focus on the areas that will make the biggest difference - anyone can slog away for miles on end or push themselves day in day out but this is unlikely to be an effective training strategy. Active recovery, free weights, core stability and injury prevention are all areas which can often get forgotten when training for a specific event or sport - this is our forte!’
Take a peak at their testimonials page -
This will compliment your Spinning training very well as summer kicks in.
Keep the focus,

Short Ride (30-50miles) - Surrey Hills/Windsor' on ProVo2!

OK get yourselves out tomorrow... weather looks good!!!

Nick is planning an easy ride as has Prince Risboro on Sunday, but there should be a couple of others which maybe planning different route.

Saturdays Short Ride (30-50miles) - Surrey Hills/Windsor

Time: April 24, 2010 from 8am to 11am
Location: Roehampton Gate Car Park, Richmond Park
Organized By: Nick "The Lick" Crabb & Co (prob Janette & Ian)

Event Description:
A 3hr-ish ride to the Surrey Hills/Box Hill area, split into different speed groups to suit training preferences. Groups will be for intermediate to advanced riders.

Beginner & New to group riding should practise in the Park with our partnered team the Fireflies...

8am kick off!

See more details and RSVP on ProVo2

Monday, 5 April 2010

How to jump your Mountain Bike

Taken from Mountain Bike 198

There are going to be times in your riding where knowing how to jump your mountain bike will increase your technical skills and speed. Even if you are not looking to become the next Cam McCaul, having the basics of jumping in your riding resume will help you out on your favorite trails as you rip through singletrack.

By being able to jump your mountain bike correctly, you can do things like…

* Skip over rocks and roots
* Get more traction
* Become a faster rider in technical sections
* Have more control of your bike at faster speeds

How To Jump Your Mountain Bike

1. Jumping your mountain bike all starts with a proper take-off. Pick a line and stick with it. Trying to change things mid stream will disrupt your flow and cause problems for you throughout the rest of the process.

2. Compress the bike into the face of the jump by pushing down on the suspension. This is known as ‘loading the bike’ and it give you more traction and control as you leave the lip. When you do not load your suspension, your body stiffens up and the rear wheel of the bike bucks upward causing an unbalanced take-off.

3. Once in the air, keep your body loose and keep your arms and legs bent while feeling where the bike is headed. If you stiffen up, you will go into an controlled ‘dead sailor’ where the bike tends to go where ever it wants to while your stiff body is along for the ride. This usually ends up in a crash that is nose heavy in nature.

4. Spot the landing and push the bike into it creating more traction. Use your arms and legs as your primary suspension, soaking up the impact with body movement. If you rely completely on your suspension, you run the tendency of a hard landing where the bike can lose traction and slide out from underneath you.

Those are the jumping basics that will get you started. The trick is to start small and build your way up as you get more comfortable with your bike being airborne. As you get better at launching your bike, you are going to notice that you start to use this skill in your trail riding to make your ride smoother and faster over roots, rocks and small drops.

Here is a video from Bike Skills to give you a visualization on how this works on smaller jumps.