Monday, 8 February 2010
Downhill gravity bikes
This was a Summer trip to Les Deux Alpes in about 1998. We Just completed building our second major skatepark, 'Rampworx' in Liverpool. We had a heavy deadline we had to meet and to celebrate, me, Louise and Tim Stamp a good friend who worked alongside me on all the parks I built, jumped in the car and took off.
A great trip all round: snowboarding up on the glacier, skateboarding on the mini ramp, riding trials bikes up the mountains, para-penting down the valley and the Tour de France mountain stage coming to town during our stay.
The highlight of the trip turned out to be hiring these weird downhill bikes.
They had no pedals, crazy 20" wheels with ultra-fat 8"wide soft tyres, a beefy aluminium frame, and disc brakes.
The deal was to take 'em up in the cable car to the start of the snowline, and ride the bikes down.
At a rough guess I would say it was a 7-8 mile ride down. We togged up in all our skateboard pads and helmets and spent all afternoon, in the blazing 75 degree heat, blasting down the dusty mountain fire roads. It was definitely a case of "Go as fast as you want" and at some points, we were really hauling at 50 plus MPH with some very hairy corners and big drops if you were to get a wobble on and go over the edge.
Louise also came along on a 26" beach cruiser and on a more sedate journey down, she took these pictures.