Northern Grip is an annual celebration of mountain bike culture, following on from the hugely successful inaugural event in Ramsbottom last year it returns on 8-9 July and moves over the valley to Lee Quarry.
Northern Grip organiser, David Agnew says, “Last year’s event was amazing with our audience loving the combination of trail activity, new bike demos, music, food, and beer. Lee Quarry is a fantastic venue for Northern Grip to shine a spotlight on this year and we’ll be building a festival hub to bring all the comforts and culture which people loved last year – and much more. A bigger, better and bolder Northern grip will include big and little bike brands announced in the coming weeks offering an opportunity to make the most of two days around Lee Quarry and the Rossendale Fells.”
How much bigger will it be? The festival hub is aiming to be double in size for this year. The organisers are hoping to at least double the amount of attendees this year too. More food, more drink, more trade stands, more demo bikes, more music, more surprises and more trails. The whole festival will be very moreish.
More trails? Oh yes indeed. Lee Quarry and neighbouring Cragg Quarry are just the start of the riding on offer at this year’s Grip. The relocation of the festival to Rossendale allows for an unprecedented amount of varied riding. Wild riding, mild riding, singletrack, gravel, rocks, roots, 30km monsters, 3km pootles… you name it. We’ve even got some climb-free options if you want cruise and views. All mapped out and way marked on the day for your convenience.
As with the 2016 festival, there’ll be some surprises out there on the hills too. The epic sausage rolls and the acid-brass band surprises of last year’s Grip will be hard to top but top them we shall. You won’t want to miss this year’s show.
Northern Grip will celebrate the majestic mountain bike and what it can bring to people’s lives. Northern Grip 2017 is sponsored by Leisure Lakes, with partners Alpkit, Dirt Factory and Team JMC, with the support of Rossendale Council, The Whitaker, PMBA, the National Trust and Sustrans.
Northern Grip 2017
Red Bull Media House unveils the teaser for its latest feature, Blood Road, coming out in 2017. The bold documentary captures ultra-endurance mountain biker Rebecca Rusch’s inspiring voyage in search of the crash site where her father’s plane went down during the Vietnam War. Blood Road won the Sun Valley Film Festival’s coveted Audience Award, following the film’s world premiere that opened the festival.
Rusch’s father died in 1972 when his U.S. Air Force fighter plane was shot down over Laos. Audiences are taken on a powerful journey as Rusch teams up with Vietnamese competitive cycling champion Huyen Nguyen to cycle 1,200 miles of the notorious Ho Chi Minh trail in search of his crash site more than 40 years after his death. The two women navigate the dense jungles of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, discovering a shared humanity that can help heal the wounds left by this historic conflict.
I’ve spent most of my life racing around the world only to find it was all leading to the most important journey of my life. To be able to share the story with the help of Red Bull Media House is a powerful gift to the memory of my father. I’m so proud to be the messenger for this important tale of healing and discovery.—Rebecca Rusch
Directed by Nicholas Schrunk and produced by Sandra Kuhn, Blood Road is more than a history lesson, it’s a daughter’s love letter to her lost father, and a remarkable undertaking fueled by the power of a newly formed friendship.Although Red Bull Media House has been producing films for several years, Blood Road is Red Bull Media House North America’s first feature film to be written, produced, directed and edited entirely in-house. The small production crew rode enduro motorcycles with gear strapped to their backs to capture this story despite the many challenges presented by unpredictable jungle terrain.
“Blood Road is a testament to Red Bull Media House’s commitment to independent cinema, storytelling and the power of human perseverance around the world,” said Scott Bradfield, Senior Vice President of Production and Development for Red Bull Media House North America. “We are very proud of this film, which shares such a unique and inspiring story.”
Blood Road will release worldwide in 2017. For more information about Blood Road and where and when it will debut, contact Red Bull Media
This weekend in the Dyfi Forest the 2017 Atherton Academy intake enjoyed a weekend riding with the Trek Factory Racing DH team. It was wet, windy and hard work but the three young riders dug in and showed us the kind of talent and determination that earned them these coveted training places. There were smiles for miles as Mille Johnset, Luke Williamson and Jamie Cable shredded Dan Atherton’s Dyfi trails, chilled at the skatepark and collected their specially designed 2017 team strip.
Dan Hearn was on hand to capture some of the action.
The weekend started with a meet at Atherton HQ. It quickly got like Christmas as iXS protective gear, Bell helmets, and new team strip and casual wear were fitted and distributed. Team Director, Dan Brown and Dan Atherton gave a short welcome while Head Technician, Joe Krejbich made sure that set ups were optimal on the Trek Session 9.9s.
Jamie ” like Christmas morning!”
I’m delighted to be working with these three young riders. Without taking anything away from what they’ve achieved so far, all of this year’s intake have so much to learn and such potential for growth that it’s going to be very exciting to be a part of that journey. The primary objective for all three of them this year is to gain a solid foundation of race experience.—Dan Brown
Browny leading by example.
We’re all passionate about creating a pathway to World Cups and a pro riding career. Ours is a young sport so there are many young talents out there who are in the dark about the opportunities available. A huge driver for me building these tracks is so that young riders can rock up and ride here on the same facilities that World Cup pros are using for their training, that they get to see real early that there is no reason that they can’t be the best.—Dan Atherton
Joe casts an expert eye over Mille’s Trek Session.
One of the most exciting things for me this weekend has been watching Jamie and Luke ride together and learn from each other, they are pretty much from polar opposite ends of the scale. Jamie relies 100% on his skill, Luke leans on his strength and power more so over the whole track they are pretty equal but you’ll see Jamie pulling away down the steep sections, Luke is faster where it’s flat – it’s partly physical make-up, partly what they are used to riding.—Dan Atherton
Luke and Jamie.
During Saturday night’s skate park session and Sunday’s DH shred the team were joined by Rachel and Danny Hart so the Academy had the advantage of two World Champions to follow down the trails!
It’s awesome how these guys would just watch us and then learn from that, if we did tell them something once, that was it they got it instantly, that’s so refreshing.—Dan Atherton
Mille Johnset. (Racing Youth Year 2)
16-year-old Mille has been working with us for a couple of years now, in last year’s first full season with the Atherton Academy she took a spectacular win at Fort William BDS (16 seconds clear of the field), the Scandinavian Cup and the Norwegian National Champs – despite 10 weeks off the bike with a liver injury.
Dan in the observer seat as Mille goes on the attack!
I spent a lot of time this weekend riding behind Mille, watching her throw herself into every corner! She doesn’t back off for anything, she’s so brave and her passion shines through in how she rides. Every corner, every pedal stroke she hits it with her full heart. After so long at the top of the World Cup game, Rachel has learned to become a very calculated rider but Mille reminds me of how Rach was when she was young.—Dan Atherton
Jamie Cable (Racing Youth Year 2)
Jamie is the least experienced racer of this year’s intake but he is a passionate and dedicated rider who has put in unbelievable hours on the bike to achieve the extremely high standard required to be invited to the Atherton Academy.
Does Jamie’s style remind you of anybody?
I got to know Jamie when I was running some Tuesday night coaching rides with the kids from the local school. There were two kids, in particular, Jamie and Tim, they were always pushing each other on, Tim’s already doing really well on the national XC races and Jamie’s gone a different way to focus on DH. The first thing I noticed about Jamie was his balance, years riding the Dyfi trails on his hardtail had taught him well! He’s so focused and single-minded, absolutely lives for his riding and his digging. He reminds of how we all were when we started out.—Dan Atherton
Luke Williamson ((Racing Youth Year 1)
At 14, Luke Williamson has seven years race experience behind him, first at the motocross track and since 2014 on a downhill bike. He has a series of local wins to his credit and in 2016 was 4th Overall in the British Downhill Series Juvenile Class (despite missing Fort William) and 2nd overall in the Pearce Cycles Series.
Luke! It’s easy to forget he is just 14 years old…
Luke is strong! A really powerful rider though you wouldn’t necessarily think so just to look at him, he outputs a hell of a lot of power in every pedal stroke. Maybe at 14 he relies a little bit on that strength but underneath and underpinning that there is a very talented rider. He’s really focused and already one of the most professional young riders I’ve ever seen.—Dan Atherton
Coming into its third year, the YetiTrans NZ presented by Shimano is prepared to deliver one of the finest enduro experiences on earth— where the cinematic scenery is unrivaled; the trails are hand-selected for being steep, deep and chock full of roots and rocks; and there is always cold beer waiting in the chilly bin at the end of the day. Multiply this by five, back-to-back days, with new adventures, quite literally, around each corner.
If you’re not one of the lucky 130 lottery-entrants to experience the Yeti Trans NZ firsthand, you can vicariously follow the adventures on Pinkbike starting February 26, for daily recaps and Trans NZ for links to additional media coverage and live social media stream.
“This has been a very good, wet summer for trails on the South Island,” said Megan Rose, founder and event director of the Yeti Trans NZ. “I am excited to add a new stage on day one that will produce the biggest grin factor of the day, on the hardest day of the week, which happens to be straight out of the gate.”
The first two days of the Yeti Trans NZ will be headquartered out of Craigieburn, a small community built into the rugged hillside of the Southern Alps. Riders will be whisked away to Queenstown, to race in and around the “Adventure Capital of the World” for the final three days.
“This may be the last time that we combine Craigieburn with Queenstown as paired locations for a 5-day enduro stage race,” Rose said. “But you’ll have to wait and see where we are headed next.”
The Yeti Trans NZ will be represented by a melting pot of 14 countries, including 26 percent calling New Zealand home, 38 percent Australians, 15 percent Americans and the remaining 22 percent hailing from Singapore, Chile, Europe and Canada. Riders will have almost 130km of riding, 6120 m of climbing, 8008 m of descending (less climbing, more descending than last year) to make it to the finish line on March 2.
“I traveled to New Zealand for this race to capture the unmatched beauty of the country as a racer and behind the lens,” said Nate Hills (Dillon, Colo.), Open Men. “I have yet to explore this corner of the world and am excited to dive into new trails every day.”
Every year brings a completely new set of participants with fresh eyes for the tracks and scenery. “I am always jazzed up when people are stoked on the newness of an area,” said Ted Morton, Rose’s wingman for the week. “I am most excited for day four in Alexandra. You never know what Phil’s creative mind will have in store with the pink dots.”
The Yeti Trans NZ collaborates with and donates to local clubs who support local trail building projects that in turn provide access to world-class riding. “Kiwis thrive on recreating in the outdoors, and all of the clubs, communities, and Department of Conservation (DOC) have been incredibly supportive of sharing their backyard,” Rose said.
Rose’s goal in growing the event is to reach more viewers around the world. “The event isn’t about bringing in a stacked field of Pros— it’s about the experience, the camaraderie, reveling in each day, watching the wildcard riders come into their element racing blind on the tracks, and sharing the stories.”
About Megan Rose— Megan has been riding and racing bikes all over the world for 14 years and organizing bike events for the past six years. She splits her time between British Columbia and New Zealand, running the Trans NZ and Trans BC. Over the past three years, Megan has personally raced in over 40 enduro races, timed over 68 days worth of enduro races, and personally organized 30 enduro races. Megan and her team look forward to bringing you the best of the best from all of these perspectives.
Just a few days ago Fox Head gave us all a tease of Ride Your F#%king Bike, their upcoming movie, and the world premiere is set to go down in SoCal on March 3rd. The movie, which is “Powered by Chainsaw” in memory of the late, great, Stevie Smith—an integral member of the Fox Head team who was going into his sixth year with the brand—will see all ticket proceeds from the premiere go to the Stevie Smith Legacy Foundation. Tickets are available in limited quantities, so you’ll want to jump on it quickly.
Earlier this week Cycling UK launched its report “Rides of Way: Cycling UK’s Off-Road Report 2017” at the London Bike Show hosted at the ExCeL centre in London. The report’s findings are based on a survey conducted by the cycling charity with off-road advocacy group, OpenMTB, which ran for eight weeks from August to October 2016.
A first of its kind in the UK, Rides of Way provides unique insight into the current off-road cycling scene based on the 11,482 responses the initial survey received. Cycling UK believes the report will be of particular use to decision makers at a local and national level, major land owners, the cycling trade and campaigners who are looking for up-to-date information on the cyclists who take to the UK’s trails and tracks every day.
The report covers motivations for riding off-road, the impact it has on physical and mental health, riding habits, tourism benefits, the impact of technology and what the community believes is the best way of maximising the benefits of off-road cycling. In addition, Rides of Way looks specifically at the differences in the thoughts, attitudes, and experiences of women who ride regularly.
Among the findings of the report are the following:
– Health and fitness are top motivators for riding off-road for both men (31%) and women (26.3%)
– 91% rate off-road cycling as fairly or very important for their mental health, and 90% for their physical health
– Two-thirds cycle straight from their front door to ride on Rights of Way
– One-third of cyclists ride regularly on trails whose status they do not know, with a further 74% considering the current Rights of Way unsuitable
Paul Tuohy, Cycling UK Chief Executive, said:
“Over 30% of the 3.5 million bikes sold every year in Britain are designed for off-road use. That’s a lot of people who are looking to buy a bike purely for leisure, whether that’s riding with their families or heading to the trail centres, but there have been very few organisations doing anything to represent their interests. It’s time someone stood up and championed this silent majority. Cycling UK’s Rides of Way report shows most people are clearly frustrated by a system which could be much more accessible. There is so much more we can do to make off-road riding easier without creating conflict, and that will be Cycling UK’s goal as it launches its off-road campaign in the spring.”
Jon Snow, Cycling UK President said:
“Cycling UK has been at the vanguard of opening up thousands of miles of off-road access for cyclists; from winning the rights to use royal parks in 1885, to gaining the right to cycle on bridleways and long-distance cross-country routes in 1968 and successfully campaigning for the ‘Right to Roam’ in Scotland in 2003. Scotland has shown how it can be done with respect for all users and the environment, and for greater access to our green and pleasant land. It’s about time people in England and Wales enjoyed the benefits too.”
Tracy Moseley, Cycling UK Off-Road Ambassador, and Downhill and Enduro World Champion said:
“Cycling UK knows there’s room for vast improvement, and being sensitive to the concerns of walkers, horse riders and landowners, it is looking to work with all of these groups to open up our landscape responsibly. There’s a lot to be gained for everyone by increasing access: from the physical and mental health benefits for the riders to reinvigorating the rural economy through increased tourism. The winds of change are blowing in 2017 and, together with this report, I’m looking forward to helping make cycling off-road more open for everyone.”
As one of its first actions with its new campaign, Cycling UK will look to draw up codes of conduct with other user groups, such as the British Horse Society, and will promote responsible off-road cycling behaviour.
Hard copy versions of Rides of Way are available at Cycling UK’s stand at the London Bike Show, Stand No. LB1412, and for download here.