Last chance to see. Samoens

Samoens. leaving nothing but traces in the dust.

Life is a temporary affair. As an organism you get between a few seconds and a thousand or so years on earth. As a species it seems you get about 10 million years until you’re outta here. As a rule, it’s the mass extinctions that’ll get you. There’s probably been five already (alas details are sketchy, there’s not many folk left afterwards to keep a record), which between them mean that 99.5% of the species that have been, have been and gone.

Today we’re possibly going into a sixth mass extinction with species getting the chop at a rate about 100 to 1000 times faster than “background” extinction. The interesting thing with this one is that whilst the others were as a result of natural events, the blame for this one is pinned square on our love of carbon and aluminium bits made in China.

This way to "Paradise" mostly because there's 1 turn that could kill you. You do need to have a paradise in your afterlife beliefs for that to work though.

Of course mass extinction isn’t all bad news (unless you’re the species becoming extinct I guess), every event has been followed by a period of diversification as new species arrive blinking into the light and leap up the reordered food chain. It’s how we got where we are today, thank you Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event.

What’s this got to do with a bike blog then? Very little.

Spence probably killed a worm with that foot plant. Does he care?

The Enduro World Series circus arrives in Samoens this week ready for the racing weekend next. Whilst you’re not allowed to practice the special stages under French rules, there’s nothing about driving 45 minutes over to have a go on the trails 8 days before the race. With so many trails and no idea which will be used, it’s unlikely you’ll ride the right ones.

Nina trying out spd pedals for the first time on her "wee" bike.

Either way, as of today all EWS riders are banned (that needs some caps-lock. BANNED) from the whole Samoens bike park. On foot or bike. So the weekend there was your last, err, chance to, umm, see the trails. Too tenuous a link?

At least deep in the woods the dust wasn't so bad. And the trails were just grand.

So Spence, Nina and me met in Samoens last week to get a feel for the trails in the dry. This is an important point as the last time we were here it was not dry, which is sort of where the intro comes in.

This trail was very, very dry.

The Coupe du France race here last summer was a quagmire. One of our first trails of the day included sections of Stage 1/3 which had been killed by the passing of 300 riders twice the year before. But, springing from either side of the trail was numerous new trails, similar but different.

Compulsory rolling endo round a corner shot.

After next weekend, when it will no doubt have rained and large quantities of earth transported from the hill to bikes and into the back of 300 riders cars and vans, there will be another set of destroyed trails on the hill with hub deep ruts and blown out berms. And hopefully from there more trails will be built, the old trails will be absorbed back into the forest and no one will die out.

Never too hip for puns.

Anyway, for anyone that wants to know, the trails under the GMC lift in Samoens are amazing. A lot like Innerleithen/Pleny off piste/Les Houches (pick according to geographic experience) in that they’re fairly steep, rooty, tight n twisty though trees yet often silly fast in straight lines (still through trees). The pictures probably say more. And if you’re reading this to get some handy tips for the race, Nicolai, Clementz, Graves is my thoughts, with cut down spikes and some Gore-tex. See you there.

Ooo I do like a loose dusty berm these days.