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Editor’s Choice | Our favorite Bike Moments of the Year

What was your most exciting bike moment of 2014? Was it when you rode your new bike for the first time, was it when you hit your first double or was it a crash that put you on a fast track to A&E? As bikers we all share those moments when biking so awesome, moments to remember and endlessly discuss over beers in the pub, sometimes years later. We find out the highlights from our editorial team, what was your most most memorable moment?

Jim Buchanan, UK Editor, Shrewsbury (UK)

Twitter | Instagram | Strava

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Whilst out in South Tyrol for the Design & Innovation Award we got to ride some amazing trails. They were tough, rocky and pretty scary in places, we rode loads of different bikes of all shapes, sizes and descriptions. It was when out riding with the amazingly talented Nico Lau and Manuel Fumic that I jumped onboard the much anticipated Canyon Strive CF Race.

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Two legends of the sport: Manuel Fumic and Nico Lau

Obviously I’m nowhere near the speed of Nico, but after talking to him about the technique of hitting rocks with his advice of ‘speed is your friend’ I blasted down the trails onboard this hot new beast of a bike. It was like a riding epiphany, I could go so much faster, the most fun, fastest, confidence inspiring trail weapon I had ever ridden. I was literally just smashing my way through the rocks with the ease and confidence of a much better rider! My smile was huge at the bottom of every run and my request for one of these as my next ‘Long Term Test’ bike was quickly made to the boss, now I’m just waiting with baited breath!

Christoph Bayer, Chief Editor Germany, Murnau (GER)

Strava | Instagram

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As so often, it’s the little things you remember most: Despite countless rides in epic landscapes on awesome trails, my personal best bike moment this year was during a short lunch ride just a few weeks ago. Dense clouds were hanging everywhere, everything was just grey on grey and temperature was around zero degrees – a typical day in November. But when I checked some webcams around my hometown, I noticed that the sun was shining above 1200 meters of altitude, over the clouds! So the decision was easy: Let’s leave the work and go for a quick ride! Less than half an hour later I met with a friend for a lunch ride with epic views! Even though we only enjoyed the sun for 20 minutes, it was a great feeling to escape the depressing grey for a short while!

Robin Schmitt, Director, Stuttgart (GER)

Strava

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The fact, that I have spent less time on my bike this year than at any time in my life makes it even harder to choose a single moment as the best. The only positive aspect of less biking: You enjoy the moments with your bike even more! The SRAM Trailhouse in Moab, USA, was quite a blast! I still dream of trails like Captain Ahab or Porcupine Rim! The crew, the landscape, bikes, trails, beer – everything totally clicked! Our trip to Fruita, Colorado, directly after the Trailhouse event was great too. In only one day, I made new friends, camped in the wild and discovered many new trails. Biking is friendship and freedom!

Trev Worsey, Chief Editor UK, Innerleithen (UK)

Strava

Cad and I had a blast at the Swiss Epic Race
Cad and I had a blast at the Swiss Epic Race

There have been so many moments this year but the one that stands out the most is not even about me. This year I was lucky enough to race the Swiss Epic; a six day stage race from Verbier to Zermatt – in a team with my girlfriend Cat, and it was a superb experience. It was a week filled with epic views and wonderful racing, but personally the most amazing thing was seeing how fast Cat had become. On the first stage we sprinted out of the gates with 200 other riders in our wave, and over the next 10km climb found our place in the middle of the pack.

The "Crazy English Girl" in Action!
The “Crazy English Girl” in Action!

Suddenly the trail plummeted into a long, technical descent; and we started reeling riders in. It was awesome to sit on Cat’s back wheel as she passed rider after rider, showering lycra clad, muscled up guys with dust. I caught sight of a really steep chute ahead, and could see queue of riders off their bikes, tottering down on carbon dancing shoes. “Rider” Cat yelled, as she pinballed down the inside line, one startled walker abandoned his bike and dived into the bushes, I have never grinned so wide. Many tales were told over dinner that night of the ‘crazy’ English girl on the big bike!

Joe Parkin, Chief Editor USA, Chicago (USA)

Twitter

It’s hard to pick just one moment from this past year, but I suppose the one that is the most memorable to me didn’t actually happen on a mountain bike. Or during the day, for that matter. It was the first night of a three-day riding and camping trip in the Arizona desert — maybe midnight or one o’clock, and a mountain lion (or two) came into our camp. The following is a bit of what I wrote about that trip:

It all started with a nice camping trip...
It all started with a nice camping trip…

The noise came from different places in camp—all points on the compass outside my tent. Words do not exist to describe the utter unholiness of the sound, but suffice to say it changed in tone and intensity from something eerily innocent and kind of birdlike to a sound that was demonic and full of rage. At times I was sure that something or someone was being devoured whole. It went on for minutes at a time and then the monster seemed to stop to catch its breath. And just about when I felt it was safe to relax, the terrifying chorus would begin again.

I knew I wasn’t dreaming, and was pretty sure that what I was hearing was some sort of earthly animal, but if a giant purple kangaroo with wings and a forked tongue had ripped open my tent and demanded that I hand over my soul, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

I didn’t move a muscle during the 45 minutes the big cat was in our camp, and continued to stay perfectly still for probably another 45 minutes after everything went quiet. The best moment of 2014? When morning broke and I was finally 100 percent certain I hadn’t become something’s midnight snack.

http://youtu.be/oVZCAQP6eQM listen to at least 2-3 minutes of it. that’s what I heard for 45

Hannah Roether, Trainee, Freiburg (GER)

Strava

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I’m standing in the beer garden of the Freiburg brewery, surrounded by large crowds of people, most of them in bike outfits. Some are pushing bikes, others are inspecting the bikes displayed in the many booths, tech talk everywhere. The second edition of the Bike Festival Freiburg is in full swing, everything organized by our club. More than 20 manufacturers display their newest products, some local riding schools offer shuttle runs to our trails. There are exciting testbikes, too. For me, this it my best bike moment of the year, because it’s the result of months of long preparations and the exemplary cooperation between volunteers and local companies – we put together our own bike festival! A unforgettable moment, which will be repeated next year for sure!

Tyler Malcomson, Intern, Ontario (CAN)

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This past summer I drove 4000 km across Canada to BC with two friends. The craziest part? I didn’t go for biking, my friends don’t ride! As we finished packing the car they offered to bring my bike. 40 hours of driving later we were in Kelowna and I was on my way to Silverstar with the guys we were visiting. Unfortunately a surprise lightning storm prevented the lift from functioning and we made the tough decision to leave.

Luckily they knew a local shuttle trail called “Vapour”, it was 7 km long and about 1000m of vert. Riding my 3 year-old Mongoose XC bike, I got way too enthusiastic and bailed within 30 seconds on the first steep section. Flat tire and ripped my shirt but whatever, I was having so much fun! Soon the forest opened up into the burn area from the massive forest fires years ago. It was spectacular, the first real mountain I had ridden on, so I was stoked! We were looking over the whole city and Okanogan lake and the weather was great. The trails were fast, dusty and had lots of sharp, steep rock rolls. That was basically my only ride of the whole road trip, totally worth bringing my bike!

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