We’ve come a long long way together… (Vitus Escarpe VRX Long Term Review)

NW3
Cadair Idris

Its been two years since I decided it was time to change my full sus bike (Giant Trance X2) and after much research I decided on the Vitus Escarpe VRX.

Longer and beefier forks. Wider bars. Bigger wheels (650b). I was excited! Continue reading “We’ve come a long long way together… (Vitus Escarpe VRX Long Term Review)”

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You can at Cannock

You can at Cannock

I’ve been a bit negative about Cannock on Instagram and on Facebook, calling parts of it a little boring and dull. In my video above I even said I hated it for starters. But lets have a think about it for a moment.

I would definitely visit it again if in the area

Its been almost 3 years since my first visit to Cannock Chase and true to my word I came back as I was in the area.

The sun was out and my meeting was literally a 10 min drive away so I couldn’t wait to get on the bike. Within minutes I was, well, underwhelmed.

In 3 years I have come to want more from a trail centre.  Don’t get me wrong the facilities and centre are great with a bike shop and cafe and a Forestry Commission office (where you will pay with a card to park if you don’t have the £6 (yes £6) to pay for parking.

£3 for 2 hours or £6 all day.  I’d have liked to have seen a 4 hour option as 2 is not enough to enjoy the trail and have a coffee – actually 2 is probably not enough to even get around the trail unless you just race it.

The setting is nice and the forest is very picturesque but the trail surface is in most places a sort of sandy cobbled finish which is a bit sketchy and I would have done well to have lowered my tyre pressure I think.

Parts of the trail just don’t flow, and they could do if a single tree here or there were removed or the trails were routed around them.  There are a number of spots where bars wider than 750mm will not fit so you have to slow and weave your way past them.

There is a section called the Devil’s Staircase which features some steps (duh), but the steps are unnecessary in my opinion and spoil a perfectly good steep switchback.

Anyway – enough of that. I did manage to find some flowy bits – Look out for Pot of Gold and Lower Cliff – these are probably the best sections for flow.

The other highlights for me were the technical Black sections and woodwork.

I’ll let the video tell the rest of the story.  Hope you enjoy it!

Would I go back? Have I changed my mind?

Well yes, sort of.  Its not my fave place to ride by a long way, but it has some rewards for your visit.  I also want to return and visit the Stile Cop down hill trails and I’ve had the offer of an off piste guide for some additional fun.

PLEASE subscribe to my YouTube Channel and like the video PLEASE – Or write some comments.  Thanks.

4 bikes in less than 24 hours

No it wasn’t my birthday, but somehow I managed to ride all 4 of my bikes at the weekend all with in the space of 24 hours!  Here’s how it happened.

Bike 1 – DMR Wrath
Location – Devizes Skate Park

DMR Bikes -  WRATH
Will I ever grow up?  Fat chance!

My daughter was going to play with a friend for the day in Devizes, so when I dropped her off at her home I took my DMR Wrath the skatepark. The DMR Wrath is a kindof half BMX cruiser and half jump bike, I’m not sure I can go down to a 20″ BMX so I think this bike has to move on sometime soon so I can make room for a proper jump bike (or maybe I’ll just fit some forks to this one??).

The skatepark is great fun, with some 4 and 5 foot quarter pipes which are great fun to pop out of and to drop in.  It makes you think about your back wheel and chainring positions you have to “jump” in.

My goal for the mini session was to “air out” of one 4 foot and clear the coping to land on an adjacent 4 footer – sort of like a kicker jump.  I just about managed to do this and left before the skateboarders I was chatting to could convince to have a go on 4 wheels!

Bike 2 – Genesis CDF
Location – “Around town”

Genesis CDF Cyclocross
Enjoyed riding this so much on Saturday. Must ride it more!

Under the pretense of going to the bank to get my kids their overdue pocket money out, I decided to help the environment and make the short trip on my cyclocross bike instead of taking the car.  What should have taken 30-40 mins took almost 2 hours as I had some fun on the dry and dusty trails taking the long way home.

Bike 3 – NS Bikes Surge EVO
Location – Local trails, Calstone

Hardcore Hardtail - NS Bikes Surge EVO
Can’t quite decide if I’m gonna keep the 30T chainring yet. Back to 32T?

A friend of mine has decided to get a mountain bike to get some exercise and lose a bit of weight. Saturday evening I had offered to introduce him to a short local loop to get him off road. He and his wife are also a friends of my wife and she actively encouraged me to go out with him (this couldn’t get any better)…

So we had a little pedal as I got him introduced to some locations on his doorstep he had never even been to.  Once he’d had his intro, he went home for a curry and I had another blast around.

Bike 4 – Vitus Escarpe VRX
Location – Cotswolds

Vitus Bikes Escarpe VRX
This is the life!

This was my only planned ride for the weekend and the weather was perfect for an explore around some semi-familiar trails near Uley and Dursley in Gloucestershire.

Some great fun was only dampened slightly by one of the gang having a potentially really nasty over the bars moment on the most tame part of the trail.

We still managed a couple of hours riding and enjoyed the sun.

Short video below of Sunday’s ride.   Next stop Ladybower Reservoir!

Drone filming and jumping

Clumps 1
Back to the top again

My mate Gary has a drone. A DJI Mavic drone. And now I want one!

I’ve found my wings again this last few weeks at a local spot and we had a great time on Saturday hitting the singletrack and the jumps in the woods.  When the woods opened out a little we thought the drone would be a great way to capture some of the action.

Clumps 2
Time for Take 2, or is it 3?

Its so cool to see yourself in action like this.  Regular readers of my blog will know I like to try and take the GoPro off me and the bike from time to time, but you can’t get footage like this unless you actually get the camera in the air.

Gary has previously flown RC helicopters, but his newest toy is a DJI Mavic and he’s working towards obtaining his CAA Permit to take drone flying a little further. Also if you didn’t know, you actually need a permit in order to legally fly a drone further than 120 metres and out of line of sight (or something like that).

Clumps 3
And that’s a wrap…

Anyway, enough of me droning on (I crack myself up sometimes), its time to let the riding and the aerial photography do the talking. So here’s the awesome results of Gary’s filming on Saturday afternoon, and go follow him on YouTube or Vimeo here.

 

All stills and the video thanks top Gary Lee / Ridgeway Drones