The gap trails Coed y Brenin's taking its legacy forward with new trail developements Welsh government funding is bringing new blue trails to an area of the country that is typically dominated by the hard stuff and black routes.
Adidas and Five Ten bring you an all-female riding film including Vero Sandler, Casey Brown, Tahnee Seagrave and plenty more.Everyone has the vision of the perfect trail in their head, but more often than not, don’t have the means to make it happen.
'Adidas and Five Ten bring you an all-female riding film including Vero Sandler, Casey Brown, Tahnee Seagrave and plenty more.Everyone has the vision of the perfect trail in their head, but more often than not, don’t have the means to make it happen.Vero Sandler teamed up with the guys at Revolution Bike Park to put her ideas into dirt.Adidas and Five Ten then built a feature film around it.You can watch the trail for Vision below. . The post Trailer : Adidas and Five Ten Present Vision. appeared first on Wideopen Magazine .'
If you missed the racing from Les Gets, France, then catch up with the short highlights from one of the most exciting downhill races ever here.Les Gets might not have been used for a World level downhill race since 2004 but boy did it deliver.
It’s that time of year again when riders from around the globe head to Malmedy to ride Nico Vink’s handiwork at LooseFEST.Nico, Clemens and Sam have been back at it, crafting some monster jumps and berms for the 2019 LooseFEST XL event.
'It’s that time of year again when riders from around the globe head to Malmedy to ride Nico Vink’s handiwork at LooseFEST.Nico, Clemens and Sam have been back at it, crafting some monster jumps and berms for the 2019 LooseFEST XL event.Eric Palmer was on hand to document the final build and the first hits on these jumps that wouldn’t look small on a ‘crosser… . The post 2019 LooseFEST XL | Build and First Hits. appeared first on Wideopen Magazine .'
Team Wideopenmag’s Chris Hutchens put all his experience to practice and bagged a win in the Masters category at the 2019 Megavalanche.On his third time of asking, Chris Hutchens gets a clean run at the 2019 Megavalanche and bags himself a 12th spot
'Team Wideopenmag’s Chris Hutchens put all his experience to practice and bagged a win in the Masters category at the 2019 Megavalanche.On his third time of asking, Chris Hutchens gets a clean run at the 2019 Megavalanche and bags himself a 12th spot overall, and crucially, the fastest Master on the hill.Photo by Laurence Crossman-Ems The Megavalanche is one of the longest running downhill events ever and continues to sell out each year with new riders and riders returning to seek redemption on this monstrous event.This event has to be on your bucket list.I headed back there for the 3rd time to seek my redemption and try to tame the mountain.Here’s my account on making it to the podium on race day.For me this event was always on my bucket list.I remember flicking through magazines as a teenager seeing riders fully tucked battling as they descended down the Pic Blanc glacier above Alpe D’Huez.This was inspiring, it looked mental and I was hopeful to one-day ride the event myself.When you’re a teenager mental events seem appealing… I spent the week with the Nukeproof team riders including Kelan Grant, Jackson Davies and Natasha Bradley.All week was spent riding and is one of the great aspects of the Mega.With a good network of trails, the qualifying track, the main mega track and other events going on during the week there’s so much to keep you busy.It was only made better with the riding company and the many recognisable faces around the town.You can’t help but bump into people you know.Photo by Hoshi Yoshida. 2019 would be my 3rd time racing the event.I first did it back while I was a student in about 2011 tying it into a road trip in my Ex AA VW transporter I picked up cheap (these are probably collectors items now). I remember battling through the Friday qualifying run from the back of the grid to 6th or 7th to make it onto D row in the main event.Last year I battled with Yoanne Barelli but pipped him to take 2nd in my qualifying heat.This year I had a fast heat with Nico Quere winning but I was happy to settled for 3rd without too much of a battle.Check out my Qualifying run here . This would put me in the front row for the main event on Sunday, which would definitely help with achieving a good result.For those not familiar with the Megavalanche the event is split into a number of races over the weekend with the 2000+ male riders getting placed in the 3 events of 350 riders.The main event on Sunday morning, the B race following the Mega on Sunday and the Challenger on the Saturday.Women, Ebikes and other odd categories (i.e. tandem and penny farthing) run separately around those events.Photo by Hoshi Yoshida.Natasha would race on Saturday so Kelan, Jackson and I made sure we headed up to the mid way climb to give Natasha a little encouragement.As an already accomplished 4X rider the 21 year old sender was taking on this event for the first time.It was also here first race longer than about a minute, an hour longer than a minute.It’s the polar opposite to what she’s used to I would say and showed just how good a bike handler she is.Some start issues and a nasty crash slowed her down Natasha battled up the field to finish 15th in the Womens.An outstanding performance especially after she had to call for a medic, pick herself up from a big crash and power up a 4-5 minute climb after putting in a BMX style sprint after ditching her goggles with us.I can’t wait what she brings to the table in 2020.With the racing on Saturday over it was time to prep the bikes for Sundays main event.I grabbed my camera and ran through my bike following my Qualifying run.You can check the video of my bike check here . Photo by Laurence Crossman-Ems.An evening of tinkering, watching the nail biting DH World Cup in Les Get and Talladega Nights we turned in early ahead of our 6am lift up to Pic Blanc summit.Some three hours before the race start riders begin to funnel up the hill.It’s critical to wrap up for this, especially when the winds up and the temperatures plummet.It’s cold up at 3300m even in summer.Kelan and I headed up with Rob from Nukeproof.Nerves always run riot and that final gondola is often filled with a silent chill.What are we doing?What have we let ourselves in for?Every year you question why you’re about to pit yourself against some of the fastest and fittest riders out there.It’s that feeling of finishing which never get’s old.Photo by Hoshi Yoshida.Riders quickly takeover the Pic Blanc summits lift amassing in the hundreds.The toilets quickly begin to smell and stress levels increase.Luckily for us the wind had calmed from Saturday and the hovering toilet roll above the toilets that was reported from Saturday was no more.Row by row we were called to line our bikes up.Due to the fairly low levels of snow this year each row would be 2 deep and packed into a narrow area.Lined up all you see is the slope fall away from you.This year the first straight was littered with rock patches.Just what you want to see.I think it would be a lie if you said you weren’t a little scared of that first section.We knew it had already claimed a few victims during Saturday’s races.I would slot in behind Liam Moynihan, next to Connor MacFarlane and surrounded by many other top EWS riders.As the boards to count down the race appear the helicopter appears overhead, the music begins to pump and the heart rate quickly rises.What a feeling this is.Photo by Hoshi Yoshida.Off the start I opted to aim for the rocks to the right, maybe not the fastest but after assessing the snow I figured this would pull everyone into a narrow spot.It wasn’t flat and the angle of it would be hard to fight.The rocks were however pretty loose and a lot slower than the snow but I’d already committed.I t did keep me out of some of the carnage.Unfortunately Kelan Grant went down hard, sliding on the snow and then hitting the rocks hard.Heal up my friend.I got round the first bend and began to pick things up along the narrow traverse.This bit’s scary.Left and then you dart down another big slope.The tyre buzzing between my leg and the smell of rubber.This would leave a fairly obvious bruise in the end.A few wobbles, slides and close calls later I was approaching the end of the snow.Liam and I sat behind previous winner Remi Absalon.Our little chat on the snow set things up for a pass.Smoothly by him and then a few other before we got to the traverse.For anyone who’s not raced the Megavalanche this bit then get’s narrow with few passing spots.I slotted behind a few riders.I sat patiently, biding my time, for a bit anyway.A few riders would ride up behind me and an attempt to pass the riders in front only resulted in getting past one.A few expletives were shouted in an attempt to get past.No way was I going for some crazy overtake and increase the risk of crashing at altitude and on a remote location on the hill.Photo by Hoshi Yoshida.Finally I got past and would continue the traverse around towards Alp D’Huez ensuring I didn’t blow up at this stage in the race.I wanted something for the bottom.This bit is one of the toughest sections especially if you include the long climb up to drop down towards Oz.I picked off a few more riders.I enjoyed a good battle with a number of other riders as we got closer to the bottom.I pushed hard and tried to power past rider whenever I had a chance.Passing on the single track at this stage is near impossible.Certainly risky… I could spot Moynihan in the distance again.I pushed on but wasn’t going to catch him.This year the finish location had moved and ensured you were absolutely done by the end!I’d roll into 12th, my best Megavalanche result to date.Now being in my 30th year would also mean I’d win the Masters category.A huge bonus for an amazing week with the Nukeproof team.Sadly Kelan wouldn’t make the finish and opted to take the gondola down.Jackson would suffer from a mechanical and did his best to get down but wasn’t what the Aussie had hoped for.His consolation was winning the no chain race earlier in the week.Photo by Hoshi Yoshida.If you haven’t done the Megavalanche before I can’t recommend it enough.It’s a superb event, super friendly and pretty satisfying just to finish.It will continue to be a stand out event.I just hope the snow continues to provide a good coverage in the coming years.With global warming occurring there’s always the chance the event will need to adapt.We should be OK for a few years though.I can’t thank the team at Nukeproof enough for their support during the Megavalanche week.Check out our top tips for preparing for, and racing the Megavalanche here and here . . The post Hutch Storms to Take The Masters Win at the 2019 Megavalanche. appeared first on Wideopen Magazine .'
Our tech-ed-in-chief Rob Weaver and tech writer Seb Stott met up with Chris Hall from the Downtime Podcast to record our very own edition of the show – download it now!
'The Downtime Podcast has become a must-listen for fans of downhill and enduro racing, so we met up with main man Chris Hall to find out more about it for an article in the mag – and to record an episode of our own. Our tech specialists Rob and Seb covered all sorts of topics, including how we go about testing all the bikes and bits of kit that come through our doors. So if you’ve ever wondered what exactly we do here at MBUK , give it a listen below! You can read the full story behind the Downtime Podcast in MBUK 371 , out now. But, given how many legends of the mountain bike world Chris has interviewed, we wanted to hear what moments have really stood out for him – aside from our episode, of course! Here’s his top five so far… 1 UK legend Josh Bryceland “For me, personally, turning up at Josh Bryceland’s canal boat, sitting down and having a cup of tea and a chat like I’d known him for 20 years was just unreal. But he’s so humble and so nice, he just totally disarmed the situation.” www.downtimepodcast.com/josh-bryceland 2 EWS racer Yoann Barelli “The other one that I was excited to do but didn’t know what to expect was Yoann Barelli. I just love his energy, and I wondered where he got that from and how real it is. Because you see people that are ‘up’, but you don’t see the behind-the-scenes struggles and stuff. He’s really cool and the way he looks at stuff is interesting. When I asked him how he manages to be so happy all the time, he said he just appreciates the beauty in the simple things, like the way the light falls through the trees on a certain day. He’s not looking for big things, he just takes time to understand and see the beauty in everything. I often think, ‘I need to channel my inner Yoann Barelli’.” www.downtimepodcast.com/yoann-barelli 3 Scottish enduro star Katy Winton “Katy Winton is just a bundle of joy and energy. I remember we did the interview on Skype, the first time, and I asked one question and she chatted for about 20 minutes, and I was like, ‘Mint!’. For me, that’s a good podcast – when they just open up. And she talked about some of the challenges she’d had with overtraining and the food side of stuff when she was in her younger years doing cross-country. She’d never really told that story before, not to anyone outside of family or friends, so that was pretty special.” www.downtimepodcast.com/episode-8-katy-winton 4 Sports psychologist Rob Copeland “Rob Copeland was really interesting and, again, totally off-piste. It came up with Josh that he’d worked with Rob, from a psychology point of view, looking to unlock his potential. I’d never sat with a psychologist before, and that whole idea of focusing on the process rather than the outcome seems to come up quite a lot on the podcast. It’s good to have goals, but focusing on them means you’re going to be disappointed. Instead you need to have that process of, ‘if I do this, then this, then this, and I do everything to my best ability, then the result is the result’.” www.downtimepodcast.com/rob-copeland 5 Downhillers Eliot Jackson and Neko Mulally (who do the Downtime post-race shows) “Eliot and Neko – those boys are amazing! They’re both super-analytical compared to some riders, in what they do. But they’re super-open and chilled too. They’re just amazing and super-nice guys, and they’ve treated me really well. Neko’s been a big supporter from the start.” www.downtimepodcast.com/leogang2019 Our tech writer Seb (centre) and tech-ed-in-chief Rob (right) showed Chris (left) around some of our favourite trails in the Forest of Dean before retiring to the Pedalabikeaway cafe to start recording. Pic: Steve Behr'
Ben tests the Commencal Clash that sits somewhere between an enduro and park bike to see if you can have one bike to do both.
'Ben tests the Commencal Clash that sits somewhere between an enduro and park bike to see if you can have one bike to do both.With a 180mm Rockshox Lyrik and 165mm rear wheel travel, the Commencal Clash Race that Ben has been testing isn’t quite an enduro race bike or a park bike, so what’s it best at?Ben finds out below.Photos by Dave Price.Key features: 180mm front, 165mm rear travel 27.5” Wheels SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed drive Concentric rear triangle pivot at rear wheel axle.Euro 3499 Commencal-Store.co.uk Ben has just finished a 4 month stint riding the Commencal Clash Race.Not quite an enduro bike, but more of a freeride or park bike designed and built with fun in mind.It is hard to categorise the Clash… Frame and Build The Clash is built on a sturdy alloy frame with the main pivot sitting just above the bottom bracket and the shock actuated by a linkage hinging on the downtube.The rear triangle pivots around the rear axle, in the same way as Trek’s ABP system, isolating the rider from pedal forces and in theory boosting braking performance and reducing rider fatigue.All the pivots run on super-smooth enduro bearings which should mean a long lifespan and stiction free suspension performance.Despite loads of wet and grimy rides and plenty of hose downs the bearing and linkages were all running perfectly through the whole test.Nothing came loose and it all seemed to be well assembled and thought through.All cables are routed internally and the whole bike runs super quiet, thanks to the chainstay protector and decent cable routing.There is a downtube protector, sturdy looking gussets and beefy welds that give you confidence to send this bike hard and not worry about whether or not it can take it.The Clash Race runs on a 180mm travel Rock Shox Lyrik and is paired up with a Super Deluxe RCT Coil shock running a 450lb spring.I was surprised to see SRAM Guide brakes specced on a bike like this, and would have expected Codes instead.As it happens the Guides were bang on, giving me plenty of control and modulation throughout, and enough power when paired with the 200mm rotors front and rear.Shifting was straight forward throughout the test and was provided by a SRAM Eagle 12 speed groupset mated with Truvativ Descendant cranks and 32t chain ring.On size large and xl, the cranks are 175mm long.Personally I would prefer to see shorter cranks to give better ground clearance, especially on a long travel bike like the Clash.The only thing missing in this department was a chain device.Apart form money saving, I can’t see why you would not spec one on a bike like this?The Commencal was rolling on Spank Oozy 350 rims on Formula hubs and grip was provided by Schwalbe’s Magic Mary up front and a Hans Dampf in the back.Finishing kit was mostly Commencal own brand, with a KS Lev Integra dropper post to round things off nicely.The geometry numbers are a little bit different for a bike of this travel and it hints at a more flickable and playful nature suited to party laps and senders rather than out right race speed.At 65 degrees the head angle is a bit conservative, especially given the 180mm fork, however the 467mm reach on a large is bang on by modern standards.I was also pleased to see that the chainstays come in at 434mm as I was expecting them to boast about how short they are, trying to slam the rear tyre up behind the seat tube.When you combine these numbers with the -12mm bottom bracket drop and a bit of suspension sag you get a really nicely balanced bike that is very capable in a lot of situations.Up Hills Clearly the Commencal is never going to win any hill climbing competitions.In fact it could well spend a lot of its life on a chairlift, tailgate or uplift truck given its attitude and build.Having said that, if you just sit and spin, then it does a good job of winching back up the fire road.It comes with a climb switch fitted to the shock and although I generally never use this feature I anticipated I would, given the travel and the fact it is coil.Actually I found that with the shock in climb mode it damped it so much I found myself bobbing back off the now heavily damped platform.It didn’t go as deep in the travel, helping with climbing geometry, but it wasn’t as comfortable as just spinning along with the shock open.On tech climbs the coil shock and Hans Dampf hook up nicely, but you are always conscious of pedal strikes when skipping up over steps, rocks or roots due to the long cranks and suspension sag.Down Hills I was really excited to get this bike pointed down hill to see what it could do.I have not ridden many bikes with coil shocks and was looking forward to a magic carpet ride, floating over the rough stuff with the 180m Lyrik up front ploughing a path for me.The reality was a bit different for me, at least at first.The problem is, that whilst coil shocks are very trendy on enduro/trail bikes right now, they are reliant on having the right spring for the rider and the trail conditions.I rode a real variety of trails on the Clash, from fiddly, slippy, off camber tech to high speed bike park laps and everything in between.At 80kg plus my riding kit I found that I was over-sprung for the slower, muddier, trickier winter rides.I struggled to find rear end grip and with compression wound all the way out I was not going fast or hard enough to use the travel or get the most out of the coil shock.The situation was very different however on drier, faster trails and at Bike Park Wales where the spring was bang on for my weight and riding style.I had plenty of support, great traction and the shock was beautifully smooth over the rough stuff.If you normally only ride one type of trail then a coil shock is a great option, but if it were my bike, I would probably have a lighter spring for winter and a heavier spring for faster summer trails.An air shock removes this faff, but is not as cool in 2019.The Rock Shox Lyrik fork is a proven performer and it was my first time riding it in its 180mm form.I ended up taking all the tokens out and running a few more psi which really unlocked the full potential of this fork for me.I still found it to be progressive enough for big hits and rowdy trails, whilst being silky smooth off the top and through the mid-stroke.It gave me so much confidence going into sections fast and committed, acting like a ‘Get out of jail free‘ card for when my limited talent was waning.I really was impressed with the added control and composure that 180mm of smooth, well damped travel can give a bike and rider.In the turns the Clash is easy to ride and very capable.It has good front/rear balance in the size large tested and I enjoyed the maneuverable 27.5” wheels as I have mostly been on 29” lately.The Scwalbe Magic Mary front tyre is as good as all-round UK tyres get and a great option for the Clash.It just performs so well on such a wide variety of trails, and especially in UK winter slop.The Hans Dampf out back was in their lighter, trail casing which is a shame as it punctured on the second ride and then again on a further ride.It is just not tough enough for this bike and you should budget for a tougher rear tyre if you live somewhere rocky.In the bike park and over the jumps the Clash is rad.Just easy to razz about, well mannered, stiff, solid and chuckable.If you want to take the inside line and square the turn off with a big shralllp then the Commencal Clash has got you covered.If you want to hop up the edge, onto the high line to drop in and rail the racing line then the Clash will do that too.The fork suspension takes a lot of fatigue away from the rider and you never feel beaten up after a day of laps.The slightly steep head angle for the travel keeps things playful without being twitchy or nervous and adds up to a great fun park bike that is also capable on more mellow trails as well as the black runs.The only place that I found the Commencal Clash lacking a bit is on super-steep natural trails.As the travel is mis-matched (180/165mm) the head angle effectively becomes steeper that its static 65 degrees when you sit in the sag at about 30%. Then the trail points straight down and the fork goes deeper in its travel and you find that it lacks the steep ground capability of shorter travel bikes with slacker head angles.There is decent space to move around with the 467mm reach so you can make it work but it is never going to beat a focused enduro bike down tracks steep enough to make you clench your bum in fear.Reliability Apart from the rear tyre puncturing a couple of times, there were no problems with the Clash during the test.What do we think?The Commencal Clash is fun, capable and pretty versatile.It doesn’t really fit any specific category of bike, but that is fine with me.It is just a long-travel mountain bike.No marketing, no BS, just a great bike that some riders will really ‘get,’ but that is probably over-kill for the majority of the trail riding British public.We love: Sturdy, reliable build Versatile over a lot of terrain Fun, playful geometry Could do better: Suspension tune a little firm for most riders Steep head angle makes steep, natural trails more difficult You can check out the Commencal Clash Race on the Commencal website here . Read all of Ben’s other reviews on the Wideopenmag site here . . The post Tested : Ben’s 2019 Commencal Clash Race Review. appeared first on Wideopen Magazine .'
A slowing pro road career and a shattered wrist pushed Kieran towards an ebike and just how much you can ride with one between your legs.Photos by Matt Wragg.We’re not normal.Ask most mountain bikers what they fear most about injury and it’s not the
'A slowing pro road career and a shattered wrist pushed Kieran towards an ebike and just how much you can ride with one between your legs.Photos by Matt Wragg.We’re not normal.Ask most mountain bikers what they fear most about injury and it’s not the pain, the surgery or the long-term consequences.More than anything for us it’s the time off the bike.So when I shattered my wrist at the start of the year the crash didn’t hurt too much, the surgery was easy enough, even the sleepless nights as the scar healed weren’t too bad, but the six weeks off the bike were hellish.Normal people don’t think like that. 10 January.Around teatime.It was a stupid crash, but they always are, right?I can’t tell you why I crashed, I didn’t make a mistake, it was an easy trail and I wasn’t hanging it all out.That didn’t matter, I still I found myself being driven into the ground, face-first.I managed to get a hand out in time to break my fall, but that broke my fifth metacarpal and the cubitus.It took two operations to plate the cubitus and fix pins in the metacarpal.Six weeks to heal, then another two once the pins came out.Eight long, soul-sucking weeks… What made it worse was that almost as soon as I was out of the hospital my new bike arrived.Now that was torture.It was taunting me: sitting there with pristine tyres and gleaming paint and me stuck there with nothing but time to imagine how good it must feel.So instead of dwelling, I started planning, putting together the perfect ride to celebrate my new ebike… what better way to cope with being off the bike than daydreaming about getting back on?One of the best things for mountain bikers around where I live is the train system.It’s a thread of steel and rock through the mountains, connecting the villages to the world.At a time when an ebike is limited by the battery range, this means you can explore far further than you could otherwise – there are even bike racks on the trains so for a couple of Euros you can just hop on.This meant I could connect the two centres of my life – Peille and Sospel.Peille is my adopted hometown where my family and business are, and Sospel is where I started my new life once I had accepted that the life of a professional road racer was no longer possible for me.It was there that I gained my guiding qualification, I still run the weekly kids MTB school, so it seemed fitting to start the ride there, just a 20-minute train ride from my home.Climbing up out of Sospel you can take the iconic road climb up to the Col de Braus, but where is the fun in that on an ebike?I prefer to head up the Roccas trail.This long, rocky chute of a trail has been used in a few editions of the local enduros, but that is going down.Going up it is on the edge of what is possible with an ebike – you have to be decisive and precise to avoid pushing the bike up long stretches, but it definitely is possible.It’s the ideal test to see how much fitness you have managed to keep hold of – anybody who thinks ebikes are for the lazy should try getting one up here, by the time you reach the step ups at the top you heart is pounding in your ears, but you can’t let focus drift or you will quickly find yourself pushing rather than riding.Coming out of Roccas you head up you have to take a short stretch of road before you reach the next trail, Betto.This is another enduro race stage, but it’s a lovely climb.Sitting higher on the north-facing slopes of the mountain you have lush, deciduous woodlands with the forest canopy high overhead.Even in summer, it stays relatively cool under there and it’s a nice change from the intensity of Roccas, a steady spin up towards the crest above.Emerging from the trees you join the Crete de Lavinia which has one of the best views anywhere in the region.On a good day, you can look out far past Nice and maybe catch a glimpse of St Tropez.If you’re really lucky, you might even catch a breeze wafting in from the sea… The ridge opens out into a 50km/h blast down towards Baisse du Pape – it’s the perfect warmup for what is to come – a first check to see if everything is still working when the speed goes up, if the reflexes are still there and the bike is set just right.It’s then a short nip up the fireroad and onto the face of Mont Merras – this is where the descending gets serious.This has served as a stage on the Transprovence and many local extreme XC races and is the first real test of whether I can still throw the bike around when the stakes get higher as the loose rock seems to want to throw you from the bike.Out of Merras, you are almost straight into one of the most important trails for me – Yega.My overriding memory of this trail is after finishing the work opening it, we had a BBQ in the middle of nowhere with Corsican smoked sausage and a couple of bottles of Beaujolais.Hauling the tools out after that one was interesting, to say the least.The trail itself for me is a beauty, narrow and technical to wide and flowy, it’s an impossible task to keep clean as it is so far from civilisation, but I love it so much I can’t resist a lap.It also serves as the linking trail – up until now I’ve been riding on the Sospel side, but Yega brings me back to Peille and my home trails.Yega drops you at the Col de Banquettes and straight into Gazouil.This was one of the first trails I re-opened here – when we first rode this trail you had to cross the stream on pallets thrown into the water – not fun at high speed.We built a bridge over and since then the trail has featured in a few mountain bike and trail running races.It’s a fast trail, but one you have to keep your wits about you for as there are a few sections that can spit you out if you come in without thinking.From there it’s through Peille bikepark and onto the Val de Ville climb.This is another trail most people use as a descent, but it’s a tricky one to clean on an ebike on the way up to the iconic road summit – the Col de la Madone (it’s where Lance used to go to see if the “programme” was working well). We don’t waste time on the road here, crossing the asphalt and keeping on up the summit above and the start of the homeward leg.Sitting just below the antennas, some 1,100m above the sea below, Cabanelles is a bit special.At this height, inversion layers frequently roll in and you feel like you’re plunging into the unknown.It flows through several zones, from barren rock, to lush forests and grasslands, down to Mediterranean scrub on the lower flanks.It’s a trail I’ve put a lot of work into over the last few years and went on to feature as one of the stages in the first ever round of the World Ebike Series in April this year.A quick stint on the road brings you to Buampin, an unforgiving roman road that has featured in more than a few editions of the French Cup enduro series.I normally ride this trail up, as I think it’s more fun that way.No matter how new or shiny your bike, it will always feel terrible here as the square edged hits buck the bike about beneath you – it’s a full body workout, especially if you have been laid up… Finally, we reach Chemin de la Viella, or A8 as we call it.Every spring for at least the last ten years, the French version of the Simpson’s crazy cat lady can be found with a shopping bag full of tools, pruning, trimming and digging water evacuation.It’s an eye-wateringly fast descent where you can hit 60kph if you’re brave (or reckless) and is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.What better way to get home? 45km, 1,700m climbing and three hours.I’m sore, dusty, tired and grinning from ear-to-ear.And do you want to know the sick thing?After all that anticipation the feeling of getting back on the ebike, this ride almost makes the injury worth it… Have you had an injury that pushed your riding in a direction other than the turbo trainer or HobNobs?Let us know on our Facebook page . . The post Making the Most of An eBike in the Maritime Alps. appeared first on Wideopen Magazine .'