Full Enduro

This will definitely go down as one of those seemingly endless long hot summers. One heat wave followed the next with the occasional rain shower just prevent things getting too dusty and maintain optimal grip.

After a year off the bike in 2016 with a heavy crash affecting my back, I was really keen to get back out there, albeit with some nerves about having another heavy stack. The main focus of my summer was working as an aspirant guide and staying alive while short roping clients up and down 4000 m peaks and I couldn’t afford to get inured biking. With some amazing rides on my doorstep and the lifts providing easy access, the temptation was too great and on my days off I was able to get free of the rope umbilical and  go biking.

It was actually such a busy summer that I rarely had time to sit and contemplate and it was while I looked back over the few photos taken that some amazing memories were triggered.  I also got to ride Finale for the first time with local Luca Martini and Filippo Gualtieri showing us some incredible trails and even enlisting the services of the Italian enduro champ just to show how slow we’d become in old age. The possibilities seem endless there and by the end of a day when brain fatigue looms, its time to hit the beach to relax, swim and have an apero. Whats not to like?

I’m really glad I did as much riding as possible this summer. Growing up in Scotland I could only dream of living in a ski resort and being able to clock up 10000 m days on the bike. Reading the bike mags just made me jealous of our American friends in Moab, Durango and the like which seemed to be the ultimate alpine playgrounds back then. I write this with some nerve issue giving me a lot of pain down my leg and Im not sure yet how that is going to pan out – but it hasnt stopped me dreaming of more bike adventures!

 

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A New Sponsor – PLUM

This week I went down the Arve valley to visit the guys at PLUM and get a tour of their manufacturing facility and see how they make their tech bindings which have quickly become the connoisseur’s choice. And its easy to see why, as an engineer walking round their factory one see’s a quality controlled process that transforms aircraft grade aluminium from stock bar to the individual components of the binding by CNC machining. The components are then assembled and tested under the same roof.  The Felisaz family owned business is in its 45th year having a history of making high tolerance components for the motor industry and even Rolex!

PLUM have kitted me out with their ‘J’envoie du gros’ (I send it phat) binding which is slightly wider drill spacing than the well known Yak at 75 mm and an ideal partner on my Black Crows Nocta. A big thanks to PLUM. http://www.fixation-plum.com/?lang=enCourm-2

My Black Crows  resting after gorging on Italian powder on Courmayeur’s opening day – Black Crows Nocta 178 with PLUM j’envoie du gros tech bindings. Never thought I would ski so fast in touring boots in the tight trees. I am going to have a lot of fun on these this winter.
Courm

A moody day in the Aosta valley. Lurking cloud had us change plans from Helbronner. 20131128_164532

Beautiful things often come in small packages – 1000s of dollars worth of immaculate PLUM race heal pieces ready for shipping. 20131128_164854Tested to destruction in house. 

Aiguillette des Houches

AIg des Houches-2 AIg des Houches-3

Le Tour

Pre-season turns at Le Tour.  A velvet bed of hoar frost on the dark side contrasting with sastrugi wind buff on the other, golden late afternoon light and biting cold.le Tour-2 le Tour-3