Dirt worker Jon has just been out to the US of Uncle Sam on a mini adventure. He popped into Gamut, the chain device people and took a few holiday photos. I thought it might be an interesting story, so here it is:

"So anyway..."

It is mine to sit in the office, the London office of Factory Media, and make sure the adverts go in Dirt (and Moto) and all the people that support the mag are happy. Once a year I'm allowed on a trip out, they call it... Annual Leave. This year, just before Christmas, I went to California. On an aeroplane.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

California; it made sense for me to go for a bit of cycle whilst out there, what with it being the home of mountain biking etc.... A simple ask for advice from the boys at Gamut USA lead to a very gracious offer and thus I was duly taken out on the cycle of my dreams. I could tell you about it but it was all a bit of a blur and instead of gaining an insight, you'd just get jealous.

What wasn't a blur was back at Gamut HQ, the home of the Graziosi family and industry that results in the creation of their chainguides. A garage full of CNC machines, lathes, racks of tools, bikes, an Alfa Romeo racing car, stocks of parts - this is where it all happens. I took a few snaps, for posterity, and here they are now.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

10 at a time the CNC machine went to work on making the edges of the bash guards super smooth. Letting the machine take the strain? Mike didn't get to ride, he had to stay all day and mind it whilst Juan took me out. On a Sunday. Tough break.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

I'd never seen one of these CNC machines in action before so watching it methodically working it's way around was, oddly, a bit of a treat. You don't get an idea of it in pictures but the bit only makes tiny movements. More than that, it was great to see people with a passion for riding making stuff for us all to use, at all hours they can and putting lots of love in to it.

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Saladini leads. World Cup 4X, Maribor, Slovenia

The finished result looks like this, resplendent in a unique Union Jack design. I smuggled this one out with me and have sent it down to the editorial boys to try out.

Thanks to Juan and Mike from Gamut and Anthony from Specialized for their generosity and excellent trails.

Jon Vincent

JONS MOUNTAINBIKING GAMUT ADVENTURE