Thursday, 5 June 2014

Mid Summer Madness

Hi all.
That about sums up summer for me, what with trail builds, design reports, trail maintenance contracts, the photography business (more on that later) family and the endless desire to squeeze rides into any gap I can.
I'm amazed that with the economy the way it is I still have clients that can find money for trail builds, I think the biggest change is that trail builds these days are driven by the local user groups, not by external agencies. These groups know what they want, do their research, have the community behind them and with all the right boxes ticked have no problems gaining planning permission and finding the money.
Smaller jump parks, pump tracks and skills areas built right in the heart of a community are where the fundings at these days; not requiring transport to get to and being able to be used by kids all the time - not just when mum and dad can load up the van and travel to an 'uber' centre.
All good by me, but I still pine for building endless k's of good old honest xc riders thin flowy single track  hugging the side of a lovely remote hillside with stunning views, maybe with a few rocky problems thrown in, the odd berm, maybe a little tabletop here and there, ahhhh well, maybe one day again.
The Aberfoyle build went really well, working with Chris Rogerson Contracting and his merry bunch of young keen trail builders, they're are always great fun to work with - what with their willingness to throw themselves over partly completed jumps all in the pursuit of good flow! See Pete above.
Alyth's next on the to do list, with their build imminent and much to do before the kids break up for the summer hols and Cycletherapy closes  down for a wee break somewhere hot and sunny.
Designs are out to various clients to start on their journey to a build, hope these happen, they're really worthwhile projects and would be a delight to build.
The photography business is also busy, I never intended for it to come on stream so quickly, rather I saw it as a long term plan to slowly develop my skills and client base to the point where I could use it well into my old age when trail building becomes harder. Call it future proofing (or my version of a pension plan!) However, the architectural photography side of things is very busy, with a good client, nice properties to shoot and the ability to learn something new with every gig - also, the level of accuracy and attention to detail required appeals to my OCD side!
Much as I love the action sports work, it simply doesn't pay that well and photography in my busy world has to earn it's keep, but every so often I have to grab the gear and head off to the trails to scratch that mtb photography itch!

No racing for me this year, not an issue just now, as I've regained my mtb 'mojo' and I'm simply in love with just riding my mtb on local natural trails, official and unofficial trail fairy work and just enjoying the ride.
Til the Autumn - bye for now.