Startgate is always a bit of a nightmare and this time I got dropped right in it when someone (I won’t mention any names) said they were going to do it then mysteriously pulled out at the last minute! I racked my brains but under the pressure of a looming deadline I could only come up with some weak story about bluebells and psychotic deer…it just wouldn’t do. So what should I do? Call on some friends, make the call. So that is what I did and we ended up with two Startgates…ha. Take your pick.

Mike Rose.


Startgate? Well I’ve just been sat in one. Literally half an hour ago, I was at the top of the Pohorje mountain here in Maribor, Slovenia. It’s the first World Cup of the season and the feeling to be sat there waiting to go down what is one of the fastest most fun tracks ever was colossal. All I could think about while sat in that gate was how big a whip I could do off the first double and how quick I could go round the corners into the first wooded section. My thoughts on this track exactly mirror my thoughts on the rest of the year. Summer has cracked its head through the year’s crisp shell and we are set for endless amazing rides in the heat and dust with our mates. I’ve only ridden a downhill bike three times this year and being here having so much fun has reinforced in me a feeling that it is truly great fun. This first day of practice feels like the first day of summer too and also the first day I ever rode a bike fast down a hill.

You don’t need it to be sunny, you don’t need to be in Eastern Europe and you don’t have to be going downhill (although these things do make it better), you just need to be on your bike. So get on it ‘cause I can’t wait for practice tomorrow morning as much as I can’t wait for the rest of the year ahead.

Richard Cunynghame


There is about half an hour before this magazine has to go to print. Big Mike the editor has just phoned and asked me to get anything I’d like off my chest in 200 words. I said there was my neighbours dog turd…it’s not on my chest but rather on my doorstep and that’s near enough and I didn’t think an opening paragraph about poo would be all that interesting and it might be taking things a bit too far. “Just make it bike related and it’s all good”, said Mike, so poo and bikes it is.

One of the strange things in life is that when you get excited or nervous it makes you want to poop. I don’t know about you, but biking makes me excited. I remember the first time I saw photographer Sterling Lorence’s website I had to leave the screen for a moment or two and obey nature, his shots got me that excited to ride. The first race I ever entered was one of the worst memories I have. My bowels were working overtime on that day for sure, I was lucky to keep ‘er clean. Which reminds me that the first world cup race of the season is this weekend and I bet even though they’re all pro, nerves get those boys and girls real bad. Maybe worst of all for them because their results really count. The start gate of the first World Cup of the season probably gives ‘touching cloth’ an new meaning, I’m sure the dreaded turtle will be out in full force…Roadies sometimes poo into towels that are handed to them from the team car, now that is taking things too far…

Happy trails and good shitting.

Grant Robinson


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