Its getting to that time of year again when the days are short and the weather begins to turn. Being a Mountain Biker in the UK means the weather isn’t really a factor whether you ride or not, we are a hardy bunch! But when you have the opportunity through autumn and winter to get out when its not cold or raining you grab it with both hands! Plus you don’t have to get up at stupid o’clock because its still dark until late! Bonus!
There is nothing better though, than being somewhere to watch the sunrise, apart that is from being at your local trail head to watch the sunrise with your trusty steed, knowing that the day has just begun and it’s all about to go Downhill!! ; D
Managed another trip out with the guys from the Healey Nab dig crew on Sunday. This time we made it a bit further and sessioned the Hope Line at Gisburn Forest. I almost didn’t make it out of the car park with my bike as i had forgotten to pack my seat post and seat after i took it off to get my bike in the car at home!!! My saviour came in the guise of ‘Tim’ from the Dog and Partridge in Tosside, who so very kindly after my very heartfelt plea lent me one of his for the day!! Thank you Tim!!!!
The Hope Line itself is Gisburns Freeride trail, packed full of jumps, rollers, drops and berms. Everything you need to put a great big smile on your face. The video is just a short one of us sessioning the final jump section and the pictures are stills taken from it.
Riders are , Me, Gavin Collins, Ian Harrison, Harry Shield and Scott Jackson.
This is just a quick edit of the now finished black section at Healey Nab. Its also my first attempt at not having the camera attached to me the whole time, and i have to say it got pretty addictive moving it about to try and get the best shot/angle! If the battery didn’t have a finite lifespan then i think that i would still be there now!
I’ve got a long way to go yet, but for the first go i’m pretty happy with it.
Had a cracking day yesterday with the guys up at Healey Nab in Chorley, putting a few little finishing touches , mainly a boulder to stop an unofficial chicken run, on the new line. (come on guys, its a black option, know your limits please and don’t ruin months of others hard graft!!!)
Had a pretty good ride after the clean up too. No video this time, if there was, all you would get is a great view of me going over the bars after a pretty heavy, completely unplanned nose manual into a berm! Didn’t end well and my helmet shows the proof! (always wear a lid kids!!!!)
Anyway, heres a few shots of some of the other guys…….. (Didn’t manage to get shots of everybody, was having too much fun on the new line, sorry guys, ill get you next time )
Managed to sneak an hour in at Healy Nab, one of my (fairly) local spots. Only hit the black option today but there is also a Red graded loop that is awesome fun too!
Healey Nab is dug and maintained by volunteers in conjunction with Lancashire CC. It is a really good scene there, especially on ‘dig days’ which seem to really be growing in popularity. Everybody is welcome so if anybody fancies lending a hand to keep the Nab riding sweetly, just check out I Dig Healy Nab on Facebook as details of Dig Days are always posted there.
Ive always been into my action/extreme sports, especially Mountain Biking. The dilemma I always had was whether or not to bring a camera with me. The answer to that was always no! I was always too busy riding to keep stopping to take photos. The other problem was that i’ve never liked riding with with a heavy pack on my back so taking my equipment was always a chore.
So, I have finally got around to getting a GoPro! (other action cams are available!) And, so far so good, it does seem to be the answer to all of my problems. I thought i was going to be a bit disappointed with the quality of the stills i was able to get as after all, it isn’t a 5D mkii but i have found myself not really caring! Its great to be able to just set and forget!
Here are my early attempts, firstly a quickly edited video and secondly a few stills taken from it. I never really intended to take stills from this to start with so I know that with tweaking some frame rate settings in the future they could be vastly improved but i am pretty pleased with them for a first attempt. I think i can now see my blog taking on a slightly different direction!
Another fantastic day weather wise brought me again to Lytham. My wife Emily of Emily Frances Photographywas undertaking a pre-wedding/engagement shoot so it was the perfect opportunity for me to explore a little more. My wanderings this time brought me by chance to Lytham’s oldest park, Lowther Gardens. This blog is not so much about the gardens but somebody i met there.
I noticed an artist studying and painting Water Lillies in the parks pond. The setting looked great for a few photographs, perfect setting for an artist immersed in his surroundings. I am not really one to so obviously take photographs of somebody and leave but i am not really one to try and start a conversation with a complete stranger either, which has probably resulted in me missing countless opportunities to get some great shots and maybe learn something new. After some more thought i decided to pluck up some courage and actually talk to him, whats the worst that could happen?
The Artist was Harry Caunce, a better person i don’t think i could have chosen. More than happy to let me take a few shots and have a chat. He has wealth of local knowledge about places and locations and lucky for me, who hasn’t been in the North West for too long, he was more than willing to tell me about them unlike some who guard some such things to the death! If you dont mind Harry, I think i may be asking a few questions in regards to where some of your work has been done, all of the places you choose to paint look incredible!
All of Harry’s work is painted on-site also and in all weathers which i think is becoming a rare thing. For me this adds something to his work which you may not get in works painted entirely or finished in a studio. Like a photograph, you can see the moment in his paintings. They are not just paintings of things or places but specific moments from these places creating a feeling of the mood of the day which may never be recreated. Harry could paint the same place over and over yet each recreation would tell you something completely different about the subject.
Thanks Harry for taking some time to speak to me, i will definitely be visiting the places you mentioned and probably picking your brains for more!