The start of the summer went off with a bang when the fan belt snapped, Its been getting good now though, I’ve not seen a drop of rain since I left on the 7th March, have rode heaps of tracks, visited amazing places and met some cool people.
After the Maxxis cup a convoy of Brits headed over to Lousa, a small town in Portugal with some big hills. The place is amazing with beautiful scenery, sun and some really keen locals. We ended up doing a full day of uplifts which the locals organised for us at about 10 euros each it was mint. The tracks were awesome with some real tight and twisty singletracks, nice sized jumps and even a 20 minute marathon run from the top. Its such a fun place here and I’d recommend visiting, potentially I could see it as being a top mountain bike holiday destination in a few years and have seen a couple of companies setting up. Funniest bit of being in Lousa was probably Al Bond trying a double flip into the river and taking it hard to his back and running stretch marks for the the rest of the week. Todd Kearney getting more punctures than you can shake a stick at at and Emyr Davis getting loose as a goose was also something that comes to mind.
After a nice mid week sesh at Lousa I headed to the second round of the Maxxis cup at Vigo. The track was really good despite a pedally section at the finish it had some hard sections and cool jumps. I ended up getting getting a puncture in the first run and got 173rd so was pretty stoked with that! It was cool to watch everyone in finals though instead of racing, Needles was so smooth he looked like he was cruising but did a hell of a time.
In the week we rode at Fafe which is another really good Portuguese national track, its steep and really loose with huge natural boulders incorporated everywhere on the track. The weekend we raced a Portuguese National at Ribiera da pena which was a good track, newly cut it changed loads over the weekend, quite straight but was flat out! It even has a 30 foot metal bridge crossing an a road which is up year round, I thought this was so cool that everyone is totally into bikes over here and not having a problem with anything. The race was up and down for everyone, If only they timed practice eh! Al Bond got a good result with 7th overall, myself 15th and a few other Brits tickling the top 20. I felt bad for Todd who I did all of practice with who was flat out but caught some guys up and we don’t think his time was right. Everyones headed back to England now except me and Alex Evans, it feels weird after having so many of us over at the start but I gues I should get used to it and maybe learn Portuguese as I’m staying till the first Euro world cups.
Thanks to everyone that’s helped me out with this trip, My Family, Joe and Box at Ram-bikes.co.uk, Ran for the Nema and Crank bros stuff, Shad at cyclestore.co.uk, Joe Inglesberg and Freestyle watches.