Today’s update is going to resemble more of a photo essay or giant Instagram account, with slightly more words. Why is this? A few reasons:

  1. I’m fingered after another 3,500m of shredding all over the place in the bag
  2. Another BIG day looms tomorrow…
  3. The photos do much better justice to the day than I can with wordsmithing it

The plan today was to head back to Les Gets (Turns out the ‘T’ is silent), hook up with the boys and hit Morzine and all its associated goodness. It has a relatively legendary reputation in terms of riding in Europe, so I wasn’t about to pass up the chance to scope it out. Still, Meribel wasn’t making it easy to leave behind for the day, not to mention I would be missing out on some serious stalking now most of the World Cup PRO’s are in town:

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Dirty Cannondale XC ONLY tent photobombing my morning view

Still, MUST maximise on the riding, so it was back into the Dirty Skoda and back on the road. Just driving around France is rad, mainly as its Europe and as a great man once told me “You can basically get your cock out anywhere here”. Even when I took that advice for a piss/pit stop, the scenery just happened to be awesome:

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Best urinal view EVER

Waiting for me in Les Gets was a DH Gang Bang… Yes, two DH bikes vs the Trail bike… It may be one of the most capable trail bikes on the planet, but there is still a big gap to the DH bike action. Especially when one of those machines is piloted by this man:

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“Gonna make you feel my rental, bitch”

Containing Spanky on a DH bike is a big ask, but as if that wasn’t bad enough, pilot #2 and our host for the day was a semi local. No matter where you go in the world, if there is a lift and bike park close by, there will be another thing no far behind those two: The Aussie Shredder.

Sure enough, our one was ready to go and ominously, he was named Mark, which gave me mad flashbacks to Feb and the lessons being dished out by Mad Markus. Our First stop for the day was Super Morzine. No, I am not just adding in the ‘Super’ part for effect, that’s its real name. And its popular too… Look what happens when you build rad trails that all finish at a chairlift that only uploads one at a time, for real:

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Bigger than a queue for free mini-toothpaste

Someone needs a field trip to Whistler to get schooled on Chairlift Ops by the looks. Still, it was sunny, we’re in France, about to hit mad trails, so no need to complain at all. One thing they don’t need to be schooled on here is how to make big jumps. This fucker was massive and I got a sweet video of a dude casing the FUCK out of this one:

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The Widowmaker

The first lift up unveils a plethora of sweet twisty trail left and right that rides even better than it looks… Like a mad serpent of radness twisting its way down the mountain:

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If it berms, we can shred it

Given this was Spanky’s Dirty Nomad cherry popping debut, I had to outline the need to stop constantly to take photos, especially the ‘Top of the chairlift with mountains in the background’ mandatory pic. Germans looked on and laughed in German at the choreography:

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“Do we get to ride at some point?”

There was a simple rule of thumb in Super Morzine for the riding: If in the open, sweet, fast, berm pinning goodness. The minute you went near a tree: Absolute terror. Especially if there was any sign of roots, which all seemed to be angled perfect to attempt Nomadicide, particularly when I was trying to keep up with the big bikes. 160 runs out a lot quicker than 200:

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Like riding in brown toothpaste

There was no fucking around here, straight into an advanced run for the ‘warm up’, my shredding hang over from a massive day before making me more than a bit rusty. No such issues for Mark, getting straight down to sending it business:

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Damn locals

Some excellent riding here, especially the way the berms are layered from hit to hit, not all the jumps made sense, but when you got a good train going, it was ON:

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Lay it over and boost it

Whilst that action was sweet, the woods were lethal… The roots wanted to put you down just for looking at them. I found out the hard way in pursuit of Spanky, the trail is to my left in this shot, not the tree to which I am heading for:

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Getting loose would be an understatement

We made sure to hit all the main Super Morzine lines a couple of times, before Tour Guide Mark decided it was time to head to Chatel in the next valley. Getting there was an odd combo of rocky gnar:

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How’s this for a contrast?

And sticky, read slippery, dirt:

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I’ll just lie and say the DH bikes are behind me

It was around this time that it definitely occurred to me how obscene bordering on inappropriate that I have a new Nomad 3 frame now back in the Global HQ when I was having SO much fucking fun on this one… Yes, I know what the reviews say and I hope they’re right, as if so, the next version must be a fucking MAD weapon. The green machine was stunningly awesome today:

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Don’t listen to them… There is nothing wrong with your top tube length…

We then hit a massively fun trail down to the Chatel bike park… Not super Gnar, but high speed, rad berms and some decent jumps. I probably liked it because it allowed me to get some decent Go PRO footage:

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The Spankster roosting the Irish pig

It was absolutely one of those runs where you get to the end and everyone exclaims “FUCK YEAH”, in-between panting like a pug on heat, it was a long one. It also required much fisting:

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BOOOOM

This place is crazy, you chair up, drop into another epic valley and there will be another chair lift to take you to the next run or valley, I lost count of how many valleys and chairlifts we hit today, it was golden. Chatel was a bermorama, more sweet trails and Mark gave us the tour of key facilities, wisely keeping us out of the Black runs in the woods, which have been seriously fingered by rain and now essentially suicide missions. The open stuff was more palatable:

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Outside elbow up…

His best piece of advice though related to this thing. Its no secret that the only time I like a gap is when is contextually linked to a mini skirt, so I wasn’t about to hit it anyway, but Mark’s casual briefing was excellent: “You probably don’t want to hit it blind, its not really that big, but you may get a surprise if you don’t know its there”. By surprise I assume he means break your collarbone:

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“I can make it… I can make it…”

It was a tad sketch down in Chatel, so we decided that with the weather shifting, time running out and hunger starting to move in, it was time to stop Assing around:

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That pun is just total ass

Speaking of ass… I was sent a reminder on the next uplift of what I wasn’t really missing at all. Not hating on Road riding, clearly I do a LOT of it, but it was a reinforcement that if you peel back my thin and cheap veneer, you’ll find mud and not tarmac at the core of things. An amazing time can be had road riding, see the Japanese Alps or Spain for evidence, but for me, there is something about Mountain Biking that can not be matched and right now, the MTB Mojo and fire is running rampant. And fuck no, I don’t mean XC riding:

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Grinding it out – 13.5kph

With much enthusiasm, Spanky/The Stig was pumped for his final summit-slash-scenery photo of the day before we started the long run back to Morzine:

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“Can we go home now?”

The final run back was a ripping descent that had a mix of rad single track and old school high speed/high consequence action. a fitting end to another BIG day before arriving back in Morzine:

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No doubt the scene of a few walks of shame, Morzine style

Being a trained and certified bike mechanic, Spanky then gave us a lesson in how you properly fuck a Rental bike at the end of a day of thrashing it:

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“You need to get right into the linkage and bearings ideally….”

To be noted, this was a bar that offered its free bike cleaning facilities when you brought a drink… How golden is that? If you’re thinking of buying my current Nomad, I didn’t use the jet blaster… Much… How do you cap off an absolutely awesome day on the bike in BIG mountains? There can be only one answer:

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Chur bro’s

Big ups and thanks to Spanky and Tour Guide Mark for an awesome day of riding, Morzine and its associated cousins definitely worth checking out, my advice is to see if you can get here when is been dry for a bit, as its EVIL in the wet. No wonder the French produce so many DH World Champs and riders.

Tomorrow? Well, something awesome in store and a bit of a surprise, so watch this space…

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