What is your dream holiday? | The Question

Every issue we pose a topical question and get various people to answer it. This time it is…

What is your dream holiday?


Words by Mike Rose. Photo by Victor Lucas


My dream mountain bike trip for 2013 would be tropical and remote. I’d love to visit the Reunion Islands in the Indian Ocean. Everything about it looks amazing! The mix of cultures, French, Indian, Chinese and African, give it a unique atmosphere and island vibe unlike anywhere else. Getting to know the local culture, people and food would be so interesting and fun. The island’s geography looks amazing too; it has an active volcano, dormant volcanoes, lots of calderas, natural amphitheatres and massive gorges, all which make a pretty incredible landscape. I bet there’s loads of cool little paths and trails to explore on bikes. There are whales, sea turtles, dolphins and exotic fishes swimming around the coral reefs. The snorkelling would keep me entertained all day, and even better if there’re some waves to surf. I’ve heard that Reunion has the record for the highest rainfall in a single day anywhere on Earth, so I’d need to time it right! Even without a bike I think it would be the business. With a Megavalanche on the island, that would give me even more reason to go.


I have two dream holidays: One of them is renting a big motorhome and travelling through California, Utah, Nevada, Colorado and New Mexico. Stopping at places like Mammoth, Lake Tahoe, Moab, Telluride and Durango to ride DH, enduro and dirt jumps, some of it with my kids, and eating tons of Mexican food for breakfast, lunch and dinner, for a whole month. But since our off–season never really is an off–season (but the busiest time of the year), this might never happen. So my more realistic dream holiday would just be staying at home in Switzerland and driving our team bus to the best places, hitting all those beautiful singletracks in the Alps with my new bike. Some of them with the help of lifts, some of them without, but mostly followed by a session on one of the pump tracks. Obviously I would have my downhill bike with me, just in case there would be any fun DH tracks on the way. I’d be stopping the bus at some crazy locations with good views and spend the evenings with family and friends, which I hardly have enough time for during the season.


The main issue I always face when deciding on where to go is either sticking with somewhere that you’ve been to before (and you know has great riding) or trying somewhere new and risking it not being as good. I’ve been lucky to have had one of the best years in terms of riding new places, and the two that really stand out are Les Arcs in the French Alps and Torridon in the north west Scottish Highlands. Both offered incredible natural singletrack, technical and flowing, and mind blowing views. I also got more sunburnt in Scotland than I did in France, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the norm. As much as we all think we know the riding in Scotland, the sheer amount of undiscovered (at least by the majority of people) trails there is pretty phenomenal.

However there is one place that I’ve wanted to go riding for a good many years. Not just from press articles and web stories, but mainly from friends who I ride with here in the UK (i.e. people who know the type of riding that I enjoy) and that is Downieville in Sierra County, California. It has a legendary status for the sheer scale of the singletrack network there – Second Divide, Sunrise, Mills Peak, Butcher Ranch, the Lakes Basin trails, to name just a few. Fifteen–mile long uninterrupted downhill trails, interspersed with natural swimming holes, shuttles run by Yuba Expeditions take the sting out of some of the (very) long climbs. It’s definitely on the hit list. And I think the weather is pretty nice there too.


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