Petra Wiltshire's Blog

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July 2011

Mega Adventure Episode 3

With the van well packed with bikes, spares, kit and anything else we thought we might need, Phil and I drove from Morzine to Alpe D`Huez. We left Morzine in blazing sun to arrive in drizzle. Not too bad apparently to settle the dust! The hotel rented by Flow Mtb for the week is fantastic, perfect for mountainbikers. Very relaxed with great staff and good bar. The deal is fantastic with Full Board, entry and great ensuite rooms and bike storeage. Contact for next years Mega.

Terrace workshop at the end of the day with a beer!

First day was spent practicing the qualifying course with Phil, Willy and Neil from Morzine. The weather was fantastic and minimal bumps at this early stage during the week. I opted to ride the Rocky Mountain Flatline on the first day. I find the course is always a little daunting at first and a big DH bike gobbles everything up with ease, settling the pilot! The bottom of the track was new with BMX style berms and jumps. Great fun and hoot to ride in a train! Uplifts were a little on the poor side and a long wait in the heat is not what a rider needs when the bar is calling at the end of the day!

Willy, Neil and Phil enjoying a moonscape break from riding

Some of the accomodation was limited on bike storage in resort!

Bike Colditz

The ensuing days went by in a blur….Left my decision right till the last moment as to strategy and which bike to use. The Glacier was interesting, minimal snow and a black ice field and rock… Phil did not like it at all! He is right in saying it makes the race too much of a lottery!

Black ice fun for Phil!

I really desperately needed an up and downey seatpost, my Crank Bros Joplin was the wrong size for my bikes and pennies would not stretch to a Reverb…..Think these items are a mega essential and good for 10 minutes in a race!
The rocks were a bike beater and many a photo opportunity were made available each time we stopped to fix one of the flats! An omen for the race?

The bikes were getting a good beating but I have to say the RM Slayer was awesome, it did not miss a beat all week….

Needing some cleaning and TLC after a dusty day!

Mega adventure episode 2 with Passport!

Almost home from Passport du Soleil...6 hours in the saddle!

With the Singapore Bike Hash troops all in place and bikes readied…They took on the infamous Passport du Soleil….a 123km lift assisted route around the PdS with varying levels of difficulty and a real cross section of riders from all around the world. This year the expo area was hosted by Les Gets with new bikes and equipment from all the major industry players.

The group all managed to complete the route with minimal problems! After this epic journey we had a nice gentle “ish” day road climbing to Barme. A real leg loosener!

Rest stop at Cantine du Barme

The rest of the week saw the group take in an epic mountain adevnture with Thierry `Mountain Goat`Favre up under the Dents du Midi, a freeride day in Morgins and Gravity Day in Chatel Bike Park. They all loved the area and I think I even had a few Downhill converts by the end of the week.

So, with the Singapore Bike Hash folks safely through the week and bike bags packed…. It was off to attempt to complete my 7th Megavalanche!

Mega few weeks… Episode 1

Wow, what a few weeks. Time has flown and not sure where to start! My last few weeks on the bike began in ernest when Loh Ching Soo arrived from Singapore. Closely followed by Pat Fitzpatrick from Australia. Ching Soo is somewhat a Singapore enduro XC star and had come to the Alps for a holiday and some great XC riding and training. Pat likewise, is an amazing cyclist and cycle Guru. Having arrived fresh from working The Giro Italia with Bike Tours he was fit and raring to go. Pat, incidently is an amazing bike rider…Road, BMX, DH and XC are all in his repertoire as well as being Ching Soo`s and many other top riders coach!

The weather was a little up and down and the boys certainly embraced the elements and got down to some great riding. Day 1 saw them dodge the rain and get a great road ascent to Barme. Day 2 saw us drive to Les gets for some great riding around the Chapelle du Jacqui Court. Big ascent and amazing rooty tech descent
Chapelle du Jacqui Court

Ching Soo took no prisoners and got himself and heavy all mountain Scott to the top in record time! I was a slightly more leisurely last!

Pat and Ching Soo

The rest of the week saw us ride(in the case of Ching Soo and Pat) up Col du Coux and over to Morgins. It was great to see the level of technical skills of Ching Soo progress beyond all belief. He is use to flat forest terrain and the riding here certainly pushed his boundaries. I am sure his plans to do the Cape Epic next year will see the benefit of riding here.

With the departure of Ching Soo, Pat and I readied ourselves for the arrival of the big Singapore Bike Hash team. A mixed nationality group based in Singapore In preparation we took a sneaky blast out in the PdS with Wade Wallace from Cyclingtips blog fame. Wade is the editor of one of the worlds most successful cycling blogs. He is an amzing road rider, font of knowledge on all things bike, amazing photographer, and, not in the least bit shabby on a mtb either. We raced around some of the local tracks and the boys both bedded in their BMC Trail Fox test bikes. These are very lightweight high spec all mountain bikes.

The Singapore Group arrived in dribs and drabs with half the group doing a PdS recce ride on the Friday. I managed to crash my brains out on a rocky shoot which did not bode well for the rest of the week!
Bit of bruising!

Pats circus tricks waiting for the train in Val D`ìlliez

Next blog will follow the Passport du Soleil and Mega….

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