Riding styles are often a product of the environment, scene and geography you are brought up in. Despite being of relatively small size, the UK has a huge variation in scene. With the launch of the new Nukeproof Ridewear and its continued evolution to cover the needs, wants, and desires of our customers and athletes. With Nirvana and Kashmir for those that want performance, and Blackline and Outland for that more laid-back casual ride look, each line contains multiple items. There’s also the addition of Nirvana multi-layer waterproof outerwear and merino baselayers to keep riding whatever the conditions. With this in mind and to get to know the eclectic mix of athletes, it seemed fitting to do a road trip! Thanks to Land Rover for the loan of a new Discovery Sport to do it in comfort!
Formulating a structured and strict plan (on the back of a napkin) to show off the variety of the new Nukeproof Ridewear. Picture/ Video man Laurence Crossman Emms and me- the chaffer, looked to cram in 4 “locals” ride spots into 4 days with 5 of our athletes thought the UK. 4x World Championship Medallist Natasha Bradley in the South West, Ex BMX pro Ed Williams in the Midlands, Team Wideopen Mag ace, current Scottish Enduro Champ Christo Gallagher in Scottish boarders, and Mr Gas to flat Adam Brayton in the Lake District. Nukeproof’s male model extraordinaire, man of style and also double Wold Championship 4x medallist; Luke Cryer also tagged along.
Day 1 | Dartmoor Country Park
After seeing the building of this park on Kye Forte’s Instagram, we gently persuaded Natasha to take us to the awesome new Dartmouth Country Park in Devon. 30 minutes from her home town of Torquay and set in a family friendly holiday park, we were all stunned by the new skills area. If you need a “family holiday” where you accidentally stumble across some trails, this is the place! Built with some of the best local builders behind it, the park is an insane way to help you progress and have fun.
As a former BMX racer and now 4x star, Natasha is no stranger to sending it big, but it was amazing to watch the progression. After a day sending the mulch jump with some coaching/ persuading from Luke, she had dialed the art of the “suicide no handers”.
Rumours are more downhill/ enduro style trails will be going in soon! With light fading and a hectic schedule, we started the trek north fueled by service station burgers and coffee. Soon we were cruising up the M5 to the infamous mountains of the Black Country to meet Ed Williams.
Day 2 | Midlands
After years riding and working with BMX, Ed made the switch over to MTB in recent years and is now a ripper that can be seen on many an enduro podium. Considering the lack of mountains, the Midlands scene is awesome, it’s not just Cannock Chase trail centre either. Pockets of riders have crafted their own trails in the surrounding woodlands and hillsides. Ed took us to one of the original legal spots; Kinver Freeride park.
Huge credit to the Kinver local’s for creating a variety of big jumps, dual tracks and some awesome short, sharp natural trails. After seasoning multiple lines, we rounded the day off at another local BMX/ dirt jump spot.
Day 3 | Scottish Boarders
Continuing the theme of fine dining in service stations, this time with the colonel’s finest chicken, we kept heading north. Arriving in the boarders of Scotland, we met up with Team Wideopen’s Edinburgh enduro ace Christo Gallagher.
Secrecy surrounded the spot he took us too and despite being some of the finest private trails we have ridden, we can’t delve into them. But huge thanks to the people responsible for these trails, who are why the UK scene is so good. Trail guide Christo was on fire on his local trails railing the corners and leading Luke into some Monster gaps.
A fine day to own a bicycle. After a slightly early end to the day thanks to over exuberance and a tree not moving, we headed back south to the Lake District ready for our date with Mr Adam Brayton (dinner in a lovely local pub if anyone is keeping tabs).
Day 4 | Lake District
Slightly wired by a high strength Gas to Flat coffee, we formulated the day’s plan. With weather looking a little ever changeable, we stuck to the hard stuff. Adam called in a favour from the awesome Honister Slate mines to enable us to test our 4×4 credentials up to the top of the slate mine. Greeting us at the top was a series of jumps he had built years before from piles of loose slate scree. In no time at all the scree was easily manipulated into some mini freeride lines! Luke and Adam swapped challenges before a rain storm called the end on play time (Nothing to do with the call of the Slate mines radical coffee shop!).
The National Trust has quite a firm grip on riding in the Lakes, but they are kind enough to allow bikes to ride gems like the Honister pass. The weather cleared to give us a beautiful backdrop for the flat out, rocky run down home.
And with that our mini trip came to an end. A huge thank you to Dartmoor Country Park, National Trust, Honiton Slate Mines and Land Rover for their support. And to all our riders and photographer Mr Laurence Crossman Emms.