From Dirt Issue 113 – July 2011
Words by Rowan Sorrell. Photos by Andy Lloyd.
Where there’s blame there’s a claim – you know the deal, you’ve all seen it and felt the knock–on effects, insurance goes up, councils taking down swings and play areas or your favourite jump spot flattened. There are even solicitors dealing out cards in A&E hoping everyone will take them up on a quick buck. Common sense decisions have for the most part been removed from us and gone are the days where you learn from your mistakes. You can’t make a mistake now, it’s too risky – someone has already removed the park bench that could collapse all of a sudden under your fat behind – lesson you might have learnt, lose some weight or that timber rots when exposed to the elements.
We as a society have become risk averse, not by choice might I add, but by a self perpetuating desire from the powers that be to eliminate all choice and potential harm from us, the drones. It’s enough to drive you mad, thank god for mountain biking to get away from all of this, a chance to let loose, be free and truly do what you want to do, except that not even mountain biking is free from the shackles of H&S and landowners are particularly twitchy about their liabilities. You see trails have to be designed to be low risk, so more often than not that drop–off or gap jump that you wanted to build into the trail ain’t allowed as someone might hurt themselves on it which can come back to bite the landowner on the rump.
So what a breath of fresh air, for the iXS Macavalanche (for one day this year on the 30th April) the shackles were off at the refreshingly open minded Glencoe resort in the Highlands of Scotland. I guess the fun police missed their guy when Frazer Coupland (head honcho of No Fuss events) announced his intentions to host a mass start downhill race from the top of Glencoe Mountain to the bottom, starting in the snow and ferrying bikes and riders to the start by piste bashers and…a helicopter>>