today i got up and thought i'd try to find some for want of a better description 'off piste' stuff, didn't really happen but as a result i decided to use the ST4 which has only 4inch at the back and 5 1/2 inch at the front, that said i love the way this frame rides, just feels like it has more travel than that and climbs pretty well on technical stuff.
the route was similar to yesterday as i wanted to compare the ride from the Patriot i rode before, initially the ST4 was a winner, off the top of the super morzine lifts was faster, easier and just simply better, everyone else seemed slow around me but then it is gravel track initially then singletrack but all a bit up and down but peddally which suited the bike, then came the first actual descent, which is a bit of a means to an end to get to another lift, it's rocky, rooty but fun and surprisingly not that bad on the ST4, and again once on the pedally section it's a winner, this section is also sort of in 2 parts and the downhillers were again faffing like nobodies business, basically if you can imagine a trail centre were there is a natural stop in the trail, like the top of a climb when you wait for your mate or the bottom of a downhill when you wait for your mate or just randomly stop to adjust your camelback/helmet/tyre pressure/belt/helmet cam/seatpost height, you name it! if there was a option for stopping they did and its the main reason i was constantly overtaking downhillers, they keep stopping!!
the good ones stay to the side of the trail though but the numpties spread out like some sort of trail rot!
when i got to the mossette lift there was a big queue, which is rare here so i just chilled out and waited for the queue to go down, at this point everything was perfectly sunny and dry, this was to change later
i descend to morgins and the got a lift out of the valley towards champoussan but the trail was closed as they were doing some work on one of the lifts for the winter season so i had to pick up a track that took me way lower than i wanted to go meaning that i had to climb back up to where i needed to be to carry on the route, just aswel i was on the ST4 then! i got round to the next lift and was met with strange looks as i was basically an outcast for not being on a downhill bike!
the next bit of trail winds around the edge of a mountain pass towards croset and after a descent followed by another climb chucks me out down a four cross course but is realistically more of a short downhill course, i then had to get the lift back up to the mossette to meet up with Carl and Sian and their friend Robin for lunch, this meant hitting puncture alley like yesterday, the top section is wet and rocky with loose rocks all over, this is where i really missed the patriot! i downhiller overtook me like i was stood still!beaten i headed to Mamo's place in Linderet, it's cool, quality food and not daft money which is rare over here!
lunch eaten and the thunder and lightning started
the lifts around us closed
this meant that we could still get back to the chalet no problem but effectively cut us off from the trail we wanted to do, now what most people do out here when that happens is just head home, we decided to climb from linderet to avoriaz, only 6km on the road but a bit of a slog! i did most of it in mid ring 2/3/4 and wasn't too dead at the top at which point the heavens opened just as we crested the top, we took cover under some trees as the hail stones were beating us to bits, we waited for it to ease up then headed off initaillt down a trail which then picked up the road to morzine but then picked up a track called 'stingers' because you have to ride through some nettles to get to it, steep, wet rooty, off camber, the St4 was fine but the nobby nic tyres at this point were not fun to riding! managed to get down there ok though with only 3 dabs! we then rolled back to the chalet with the intention of getting cleaned up and hitting Bar Robinson for a Mutzig or 2 but the look on everyones face said, "i'm dead, perhaps not!"
next surprise was that Ffion Griffiths was having dinner with us, not to mention Emmeline Ragot, for those that don't know, Ffion is pretty handy on a bike to say the least and Emmeline is the french national DH champ and also the current DH World Champ! how awesome is that, both were top girls and happy to chat, not to mention Ffion's T5 van is way cooler than mine
and it's running 20 inch wheels (something i want) and is the 174bhp (something i couldn't afford) and has a really cool finish on it which turns out that is what she's been up to, somewhere between paint and vinyl rap, wierd but cool and only £600 to do
anyway, here's some pics from the day, hope you like them
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