A lovely bit of eye candy to round off your working year

Every issue of MBR we have a section called Big Pictures, featuring the best bike photos to hit our inbox that month. These are the best of the bunch.

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MBR February

James Vincent | @JamesVincent

Typical isn’t it? You’ve scoured maps, planned and plotted the route with your mates for ages, only to discover that the trail you’re hiking up looks pretty gnarly with some wicked corners and sketchy features. So you start to wonder… what would this be like if we rode back down it? And before you can say, “Damn, that looks like a prime piece of singletrack,” you’ve turned around and are discovering that is indeed just that.

MBR March #1

Tristan Tinn | @TristanTinn

Mountain biking is a release; resetting the mind and body. Regular exercise stimulates the growth of neurones in the brain, boosting memory. In the body inflammation and insulin resistance are reduced. Indirectly mood and sleep improve, stress and anxiety are reduced. The most beneficial rides are those that push beyond your comfort zone covering new ground. I am strong advocate for dawn raids, they seem to provide the ultimate reset. Navigating new ground beneath the stars, for the cloak to be lifted at sunrise offers its own micro adventure. For those willing to make the sleep sacrifice; it’s a small price to pay.

MBR March #2

Roo Fowler | @RooFowler

For a relatively small country, Slovenia more than makes up for it in variety; after traversing exposure-riddled scree, Juliana ambassadors Rachael and Julia drop out of the rocky dark ominous woods, and into this patch of bright heavenly singletrack with the perfect opportunity to drop a foot and kick up some dust

MBR April #1

Tristann Tinn | @TristanTinn

At this time of year, it’s not a proper ride unless you venture out or return under the cover of darkness. Seeing stars erupt into the night sky is one of nature’s greatest pleasures – not one we are often treated to in the Lakes. A bitter night beneath the stars, with snow crackling underfoot is a rare treat; one that must be treasured. Reflecting snow extends the blue glow, providing extra daylight without the help of turning clocks.

MBR April #2

Daniel Roos | @DanielRoosPhotography

A few years ago Madeira became the hottest mountain bike destination in Europe, hosting an EWS, a segment of Brendog’s Deathgrip movie and countless other media appearances. But Cintra, Portugal, may well be set to usurp the island paradise thanks to its abundant trails, efficient shuttling and shorter flying time. The fact that YT (for its recent Jeffsy launch – pictured here) and Canyon, among others, have chosen Cintra to showcase new products speaks volumes about its schralp factor.


Tristann Tinn | @TristanTinn

Land tumbles into lochs. Riders intrepidly traverse serpentine singletrack, seeking, thrill, clattering rocks cascade in their wake. The sense of grandeur Scotland protrays far outstrips its geographical size. Large landscapes loom over each and every crest. A lifetime could be spent exploring its intimate intricacies, each hour you invest in this land makes you yearn for more. Return on a different day, month or year and your surroundings will have elvolved, rarely mimicking familiar form.

MBR June #1

Dan Hearn | @DanHearn

Looking for a riding destination that’s easy to get to and has it all? Then check out Sintra in Portugal with WeRide.pt. There are a crazy variety of trails available to ride in a small and efficiently uplifted area, so you can pack in the runs until the urge to hit that beach with a cold one becomes too much to resist

MBR June #2

Tristann Tinn | @TristanTinn

Loose scree slithers down the hillside below my feet. Still air pierced by scattering of slates. The riding is slow speed and of surgical precision. Wheels placed in precise planned positions to navigate the tight turns. Good traction exists between soft compound rubber and only those rocks embedded in the earth – trust a loose one at your peril. Speed gathers as the turns widen, small scree is scattered in the riders wake as he completes the couloir.

MBR July

James Vincent | @JamesVincent

A late season cold snap had left the mountain summits under several feet of snow, forcing us to cancel our planned assault on Carn Ban Mor and stick to trails at a lower elevation. That doesn?t mean we had to miss out on the good stuff though, as the trails around Aviemore in the foothills of the Cairngorms National Park are still immensely challenging, relatively quiet and a whole barrel load of fun.

MBR Summer #1

Tristann Tinn | @TristanTinn

Drawn out summer evenings allow extra hours to be lost to some laps. Hours of hard winters graft finally harvested. Brakes scrub quietly, tires bite into fresh packed turns, carving out roots which lie buried beneath. As the minutes roll on by, the sun falls from the sky. Rays pinball between the obstacles of the atmosphere; space debris, clouds, mountains, trees and ferns. Finally it falls and dapples the trail beneath our eyes, as time flies by.

MBR Summer #2

Laurence Crossman-Emms | @Laurence_CE

For the final day of a road trip around the UK with Nukeproof team riders, we arrived in the Lake District, home to Mr Gas to Flat, Adam Brayton. Adam called in a favour from the awesome Honister Slate Mines to enable us to test our 4×4 credentials up to the top. Greeting us there were a series of jumps he had built years ago from piles of loose slate and scree. In no time at all the scree was easily manipulation into some mini freeride lines – kick it in a ride it! Luke Cryer and Adam swapped challenges before a rain storm called the end on play time.

MBR August #1

James Vincent | @JamesVincent

The Lake District’s beauty is sometimes only matched by its post industrial brutality – an abundance of huge slate spoil heaps and open quarries litter the countryside, offering a technical challenge for both bike and rider. Against an ominous sky, Neil Hamblin picks up the gauntlet and surfs his way down this loose, barely defined and constantly changing sea of slate. Come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough…

MBR August #2

Roo Fowler | @RooFowler

Occupying a mesmerising valley close to Trento in the Italian Dolomites, the Paganella bike zone of Andalo, Molveno and Fai are another gem untapped by British riders. Here you’ll find the silkiest of flow trails shoulder-to-shoulder with the most relentless, forearm crushing enduro trails this side of a World Cup DH track. Here, Bike Connection Agency head honcho, Simon Citatti, drops in on one of the roughest trails we’ve ever ridden.

MBR September #1

Tristann Tinn | @TristanTinn

Throughout the day the sun hovers in the sky, motionless. Approach the the end of the day and it nears obstacles, such as the horizon. It fascinates me just how quick the sun or moon passes the horizon when watched closely. This shot tells a moment where I soon realised just how fast we rotate around the sun. Phone in hand, frantically trying to position the rider as the sun races to meet the peaks north across the Solway Firth.

MBR September #2

Sim Mainey | @SimMainey

While riding down Helvellyn with Pat from Identiti Bikes for a Best Of British feature we spotted this S-bend. Pat thought it had potential for a good shot but I wasn’t sure; the backdrop looked stunning but the trail looked a little dull. We decided to give it a go. As Pat set off a thin band of light started making its way across the fell, arriving at the S-bends just as he got to them before fading away to nothing. Who needs a flashgun when you have mountain light?

MBR December

Tristann Tinn | @TristanTinn

Autumnal colours are elusive; as a photographer each autumn I feel the pressure to capture the colours at their best. This is a real challenge, as different species turn and shed at different rates. Too early and you’re met with green, too late and bare branches stare look a state. Especially after strong winds take more than their fair share. This image illustrates all of this; verdant evergreens, naked branches, browning bracken and sneaky switchbacks to boot.