Pro-rider Alex Stock rolls BMX and rides on and off-road (bikes as well as motorbikes), but has fast become known for his top Enduro placings for Team Kona.
Here he speaks to Sam Bowell, resident mountain biking holidays blogger, and reveals how he prepares, his thoughts on UK bike parks and DH tracks, and what he looks for in a perfect bike set-up.
He’s also booked in a return ride-off between the pair on Alpe d’Huez – because the last time Sam and Alex met…
If you’d rather take it off road than face the monotony of the road, mountain biking in Lanzarote has much to tempt – and a testing variety or surfaces, tracks and tough tundra to push you and your ride.
Lanzarote is favoured by small groups of lycra clad roadies enjoying the miles of sticky black tarmac – but not exclusively; the MTB scene here is alive and well.
And while its volcanic days are long since over, Lanzarote still has it’s share of hot rocks and routes – here’s more info about the Canary Islands for off-roadies.
OK so lets get something straight from the off: I’m proud to be one of those riders who is more than happy for gravity to do most of the hard work for me.
That’s not to say I’m lazy or am adverse to a bit of pedaling, but I’m not going to win any XC trophies any time this decade.
So when I set out on a gentle ride this morning, I wasn’t exactly expecting to complete the 25-mile loop which I had fleetingly toyed with over breakfast.
Fortunately I had a very generously loaned out Kona Process to test, rather than the lumbering big-rig I would normally be piloting, and my punishing loop became little more than a (heavily frosted) piece of cake.
Having recovered from the excitement of that first blast on a brand new steed, thoughts will often turn towards tweaks and upgrades that will help further increase enjoyment levels and comfort.
For those new to the scene the variety of aftermarket kit can be overwhelming and confusing.
It’s no surprise then “What’s the first thing I should upgrade on my new bike?” is such a frequently asked question.
Upgrade all Contact Points
Start with the basics: those things that are going to dramatically improve your time in the saddle. Think contact points, for both you and the bike: Bum, hands, feet and tyres.
So you’ve conquered Europe’s bike parks, and everything Stateside has shut down for the ski season. All you want to do is shred, but the hills are alive with the sound of piste-bashers.
If you’re in need of some serious R&R, (ride and recuperation) but all your mates are out hunting powder, then it’s high time you considered a soil-searching trip to the Southwest Pacific to sample the best mountan biking trails in New Zealand and all the islands have to offer.
The “land of the long white cloud” offers a mountainous South Island and a volcanic North Island, with hours of saddle time to be had on both.
As winter sets in, and memories of carefree summer riding become increasingly distant, our thoughts are drawn toward the new mountain bikes of 2013 and dreams of an upgrade.
So, take five minutes to remove that last bit of singletrack dust from your lungs, put 2012 to the back of your shed with the dry lube and summer tyres, and prepare for the new year.
And to offset the alpine flashbacks and trail cold-turkey, look for a little inspiration and retail fantasy.
This year coming expect new bling, fresh trail centres and even fresher rides; and what better way to celebrate it than by checking out 5 of the hottest new mountain bikes of 2013?
Teva are well known for their robust trekking sandals. I have had the same pair of Teva Hurricane’s since 2002, and despite wearing them every summer and on plenty of holidays, they are still in good condition.
But this post is not about sandals: Teva make a full range of footwear, including this recently launched pair designed for mountain biking.
So, let’s see just how they match up when on the bike and in the rough.
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