Phil Atwill and friends in Finale Ligure

Lads on tour

Phil Atwill wasn’t racing at the EWS in Finale Ligure but he was there to soak up the atmosphere, shred some trails and shoot this ‘street trials’ edit. Tommy C has the lowdown.

Words, photos and video: Tom Caldwell

The trip to Finale didn’t start on the most successful of notes. We all arrived at Nice airport and whilst trying to locate each other in the terminal, then realised that we were in separate terminals.

So there was an hour gone and it was getting late. We then move on to the hire car, that took another hour queuing to sort out and a lot of funds from our bank accounts with their bloody hidden charges. Damn you Enterprise. After dismantling a bike and really, REALLY cramming our boxes into the car, we were on our way along the French Riviera, and then into Italy, eating late night cardboard Pizza at the odd sketchy looking service station.

By this time, it was 2am and we’d just arrived at our destination, Finale Ligure. After several fly bys of our accommodation (MTB Morzine Beds) with the horn blaring out, and lots of banging on the front door, it was apparent we weren’t waking the boys up from their alcohol induced sleep.

We then wandered the streets trying to figure out what to do, and we all slowly accepted that it wasn’t going to be the best of night’s sleep. Phil came up with the idea of sleeping in a bike box, that we all instantly dismissed seeing as it was such a daft idea.

He persevered and proceeded to use my bike box as a bed to sleep in, and all the packaging as a make shift blanket. Ed then slotted in beside him to make the lowest budget double bed in history. Some old Italian man even kicked them in the night to see if they were dead or not!

After probably the worst nights sleep of my life, tossing and turning every half an hour to switch dead legs in the passenger seat of the hire car, we awoke, very thankful that it was over. Luckily we were a stones throw from the beach, so we wandered over at the crack of dawn to skip some stones in the waves and watch the sunrise. It was actually quite pleasant, especially when we all then went and got several cappuccinos each to get us through what was going to be a big day.

Before heading into the hills, we went for a cruise around the old backstreets and picturesque villages. That inevitably turned into a full blown street session for Phil, taking a few go’s to master his new bike-sliding-across-the-floor trick. The locals were loving it!

After the 40 minute uplift to the top of one of many hills in Finale, we were ready to ride, or at least try to ride on probably sub 2 hours sleep. The coffee seemed to work a treat along with a dose of excitement as Paulo from RideOnNoli uplifts showed us some hidden trail gold. Couldn’t even tell you vaguely where we were.

If you’ve ever been to Finale, you’ll be aware of the iconic Nato Base. You’ve probably seen it in a load of videos but it is such a cool spot. The valleys of Finale are full of character and this just tops it off. The question is was I dabbing the correct way or are they all dabbing the wrong way?

Finale’s night life was pretty amusing, especially in our crib. This was after only a few pints, but after a long, tiring day filming and riding, we didn’t have much food inside us to absorb said alcohol. It got out of hand very quickly.

Speaking of food, this burger joint was amazing. Inside the old walled town, with a brass band playing in the background, and big dirty burgers in front of us. Oh and a few more beers. That was the life.

After three long, hard days in the saddle and behind the lens, these boys were dreaming of getting in that warm, blue ocean. It topped off the trip nicely and rounded things off fairly successfully after an pretty grim start to the trip. Watch out for those floating backsides though, they’re everywhere along that coast.

There we have it. The boyband front cover. EP coming soon from ‘The Jeffs’.

Big thanks goes out to Paulo at RideOnNoli, MTB Morzine Beds for the sweet accomodation, Benson Richards and Propain Dirt Zelvy.

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