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Live to Ride – Episode 3

Russ Clark and the Live to Ride crew sent over episode 3 which sees the gang hooning about in the white stuff then sessioning the Forest of Dean trails.

Good work!

Saturday 27th November

Bri to Russ 8:26am: “Mate, have you looked out the window this morning?”
Russ to Everyone 8:30am: “Before anyone asks, yes we ARE still filming in the snow today!”
Nico to Russ 8:54am: “Raddd!!!”
Ben to Russ 9:00am: “I’ve not even got out of bed yet, so I wasn’t even aware it had snowed.”

For the past two winters we’ve had consistent snowfall here in the UK. So when we started this project I really wanted one of the episodes to be shot in the snow. I had no idea I’d get my wish so early in the season. The plan was to go to our local trails and attempt to shoot with four riders, exhibiting the way the trails split, cross over and rejoin each other all the way down the hill. We spent some time raking out the snow from some of the landings and got to work filming the first section. It was all going well until Bri slipped out on the run up to a 20 ft gap, clipped a tree and had an unintentional one-hander-lander! He took a knock to his shoulder which meant he wasn’t able to ride for the rest of the day. Thankfully it was nothing serious and he’s back to full strength now. Filming in the snow is hard work. Looking at these pictures, it’s hard to believe that only six weeks earlier we were riding dusty trails in t-shirts!

Ben Skinner-Watts sending the 30 footer in conditions not best suited to sending 30 footers. Photo by Maksym Lesiuk

Saturday 11th December

Time for some winter DH with a particularly random bunch of riders! The location is the Forest of Dean in south west England and the featured riders are Ollie Jones, Ray Samson and Blake Samson. It was a very early and very cold start to the day, but the conditions could not have been better. Most of the snow had melted and the trails were tacky and puddle-free.


Photo by Szymon Nieborak www.delayedpleasure.com

The Forest of Dean is definitely a contender for my favorite place to ride in this country. It was my first experience of proper mountain biking 15 years ago and still has some of the best trails I have ever ridden. This year they started an uplift service (flyupdownhill.co.uk) that runs permanently all year round. I’ve used this service in the summer and was blown away by the efficiency and value for money. It takes about 10 minutes to get to the top and when you get to the bottom, either the van is waiting for you or you’re waiting a matter of minutes for him to turn up. They don’t over book so you never miss out on a lift.

Photo by Szymon Nieborak www.delayedpleasure.com

Ever since I’d heard that Ollie was back from Whistler, I thought he’d make a great addition to the series. You hear these words used more and more to describe a rider’s style these days, but Ollie is definitely someone who I’d say rides fast and loose. I come from the old school of riders who get down the hill by being smooth and fluid, but watching Ollie cutting into berms and rallying over chicanes definitely opened my eyes a little. He is an aggressive rider, but has bags of flow. With plans to go back to Whistler in January and a hunger for more DH racing, he has a bright and fast future ahead.

I asked Ollie to answer a few questions;

Name? Ollie Jones
Age? 19
Riding how long? 3 years
Where do you live? Edwinstowe near pines.
Any sponsors? SC-Clothing
What do you hope to be doing in 2011? Winter training in Canada and Racing the same as this year.
What’s your favorite type of sausage? I like man sausage with man sauce.

Thanks to photographer Szymon (Lunatyk), we had some more special guests for the episode. Blake and Ray Samson had agreed to drive down and ride with us out of their comfort zone. Blake was on his fresh-out-of-the-box Diamondback DH rig and Ray had kept it real with his dirt jump bike (he even left his slick tyres on, the nutter!) His efforts on the rough trails were gallant, but he decided Blake’s full suss was a better machine for the job. Both Blake and Ray’s efforts on the final section of trail are a testament to their hard work and dedication to the sport. As the light was fading and we were shooting the jumps and berms over and over again, we realized that they hadn’t even stopped for lunch! I felt like I was ready to fall over even after stopping for a sandwich and a cup of tea!

Blake and Ray kindly gave me the answers to some very important questions;

Name? Blake Samson
Age? 25
Riding how long? Around about 6 to 7 years
Where do you live? Isle of Wight, but from Zimbabwe
Any sponsors? Ashton DiamondBack, Fox Mojo, Animal clothing, Halo wheels, Gusset part, TSG
What do you hope to be doing in 2011? Next year is going to be a very busy one. I am going to be doing all of the Animal bike shows and all the Euro comps that I will be able to get to, as well as a 3 week road trip in the US to start off my season.
What’s your favorite type of sausage? Lamb mint Cumberland, AMAZING!

Name? Ray Samson
Age? 24
Riding how long? 6 years
Where do you live? Isle of Wight
Any sponsors? DMR Bikes, TSG, Fox Mojo, Lezyne
What do you hope to be doing in 2011? Loads of traveling and training, ride more comps in Europe and the USA, enjoy life.
What’s your favorite type of sausage? They are all good, not fussed. Put it in front of me and I’ll eat it.

The daylight is now at its shortest and the episodes are getting harder and harder to produce, especially when there’s a 3 hour drive to face in the morning. I knew this project was going to be hard work, but this month has really been a test. The weather has forced us to cancel shoots, riders have crashed in the snow and ice and we are only half way through!

Next month we scope out a great spot to try some natural freeride lines and then up to Steetley Quarry near Doncaster with Ben Lord…

Forest of Dean photos by Szymon Nieborak
Video by Nico Turner

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