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Live to Ride – Episode Two

Russ Clark just beamed over episode two from his Live to Ride series.

First a bit of news…
Featured riders Elliot Machin and Mitch Ingley from last month’s episode will be leaving The Squadron and riding for Solid bikes next season. Elliot will be on the UK team and Mitch on the trade team. They plan on racing world cups so I’d like to say a big good luck to them both – stoked for you guys!

Missed out on the first episode? Click here to catch up

On Saturday 20th October, I opened the front door at 8am to the first cold morning of Autumn. I put my bike and myself in Ben’s car and left for Cannock Chase Timed Practice. There was a chill in the air but we soon warmed up to a great day of riding. A few crashes, bent front wheels and snapped rear mechs meant that some people had an expensive weekend but somehow I managed to get through this one without crashing and set a time I was happy with. Every month Cannock Chase is host to theRacers Guild timed practice. Its great practice for getting used to the start line nerves and an ideal introduction to competitive mountain biking. I ended up with a best time of 47.5 seconds. The fastest time of the day was set by featured rider from episode one, Elliot Machin with a 45.9.

While all this was going on, Nico was busy filming the first section of footage for episode two. His mission was to meet Jesse Jones at Wirksworth skate park to do a little early morning filming. Recovering from a foot injury (he trod on a hot nail, don’t ask), Jesse said he would be taking it steady although you can’t tell from the video. I met Jesse through that Pinky site after enquiring about a fork he had for sale and soon ended up meeting him to ride local parks and dirt jump spots.
He is one of the most consistently dialled riders I know and always puts on a show. This made him a prime target to be a featured rider in the series.

This is Jesse spinning it at Wirksworth. Photo by Lejdi Daga Vel Dagmarian

I asked Jesse for some personal info;

Name? Jesse Jones
How old are you? 21
Where are you from? Derby, England and this is my first road fools!
Riding how long? About 5 years now
Favourite trails? Wirksworth, Mount Hawke skatepark, Woburn, pump tracks!
Obligatory silly question – How do you like your eggs? Scrambled with loads of salt, pepper and ketchup nom nom!

Jesse at Cornwall

A couple of weeks later we took a short road trip down to Woburn Sands for a session on their famous, ever changing dirt jumps. Woburn has a history of battling with the threat of demolition and recently had a narrow escape from complete closure of the area. Local support was overwhelming and thankfully secured the future of the place. My first experience of Woburn was October last year on the last hot weekend of the summer. Half way through the day a handful of top level pros showed up and turned a great session into an unforgettable one. Since then it has been one of my favourite places to go and ride.

The idea was to set off nice and early to make the most of the day. However, “Saturday morning” and “early” don’t mix very well in my experience! After putting my downhill bike in the boot and wrestling my hardtail on to the bike rack I finally got to Nico’s place for about 10am. With an extra camera man (Ryan Tyler), two bikes and even more camera equipment than usual the hatchback was pushed to its limits! We got to Woburn about 11:30am and, after Nico had established who Dan Bateson was, decided to crack on with another days filming. Dan Bateson is a Woburn local and I think I’ve seen him there every time I’ve been over the past year. He was always one of the smoothest riders but now he’s got the tricks to go with it.

This is Dan earlier in the year. Sick flip table. Photo by Samuel Anslow

I emailed Dan for some personal info;

Name? Dan Bateson
Age? 17
Where are you from? Bedfordshire, ride and dig at Woburn
Riding how long? Nearly 3 years now, dirt jumps and race 4x
Sponsors? I have a flow deal with Identity Bikes
Obligatory silly question – What’s your favourite tyre pressure? Whatever Maz pumped it up to at Ison when he built my bike haha, probably about 60 psi

Dan again at Woburn. Photo by Duncan Philpott

It was a bit damp after a few days rain so Dan put some hard work into making the trails rideable (thanks Dan!) while we went to check out some of the new freeride senders. This was the first time I have taken the big bike to Woburn and I’m so glad I did! If you like big gaps and drops then there’s plenty there for you. The rest of the afternoon was taken up sessioning the dirt jumps and the pump track. Dan managed to pull some nice tricks on the smallest hip in the world and I decided that I need to learn something other than tables and x-ups.

We made the most of the day, got some of the best footage so far and even got some filthy service station food on the way home. I couldn’t ask for anything more for my birthday bike session!

Next month get ready for a classic day shredding our local trails in the snow to give a unique perspective on having multiple riders on multiple trails. Then we went down to the Forest of Dean with Ollie Jones, Blake Samson and Ray Samson for a bit of winter DH.

Every month we intend on visiting at least two locations for each episode. If you know a spot near you that deserves coverage then get in touch! We are always looking for new places to ride!

Live to Ride – Episode Two >>

Video by – Nico Turner

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