Click the links below to view reports
- Les Arc
- Verbier June
- Verbier August
- Poland
- Golspie / Balblair
- Laggan & Ben Nevis
- Austrian Alps
- Chamonix Alps

France – Les Arc

Date
August 2007

Score
8/10

Trails
Single-track heaven with a great variety of red and black graded runs that link up with the ski lifts. As good as seen in the photos in our Gallery

Guides
Good knowledge of the area and picked routes to suit our requests. Also, a bike mechanic was available at night

Accommodation
We stayed at the ‘The Goat Shed’, which was basic but clean, comfortable, had a drying room and a large garage. All agreed the food was great and the evening three-course meals were welcomed after a days riding

Nightlife
No nightclubs and the pubs were very quiet, the only negative aspect of a fantastic holiday. Not really a problem as we were happy to chill out with beers at The Goat Shed and talk about the days riding

Neeps on Holiday
Neil Macmillan, Zak Thomson, Tim Mackley, Barry Coull, Mona Petrie and Gavin Taylor

Transfer
Geneva to Les Arc about 2.5hrs

Holiday Company
Trail Addiction www.trailaddiction.com

Report Author
Gavin Taylor

Neil Neep
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Switzerland – Verbier

Date
June 2008

Score
8/10

Trails
Verbier is pretty quite in June, past the ski season, and only one lift running, which was running 4 times a day. Verbier is at about 1600m and normally the uplift went to ~2200m. This gave you lots of elevation to play with! With runs named as 'Tobogan' and 'The Ultimate' you get an idea of what the area has to offer. Having ridden in Spain, I thought I knew what switchbacks were, however these switchbacks are tighter, some were impossible to ride around without hoping the bike round them! In Switzerland they call them Swiss corners. Every day had a mix of fast flat out smooth to slow and technical with everything in-between and in the week we never rode the same track twice. On the last day we hiked up to do the full Ultimate, and then got to ride a new track. With something like 1400m of vertical descent it was super flowing and sweet.

Guides
With 8 years of working in the area Phil and Lucy know the place like the back of their hands. This allowed them to pick tracks that really pushed our riding for the whole week.

Accommodation
The Chalet we were staying in was superb. Well stocked workshop, drying room and spacious accommodation. Also the food was brilliant.

Nightlife
A couple of bars were open in the centre - T bar was where we ended most of the time

Neeps on Holiday
Kevin Harper, Robert Brookes

Transfer
Geneva to Verbier about 2hrs

Holiday Company
Bike Verbier www.bikeverbier.com

Report Author
Kevin Harper

Taken from Verbier Aug 08
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Switzerland – Verbier

Date
August 2008

Score
8.5/10

Trails
Great single-track trails and many options, so much so we only managed to ride half of them despite full days, (accept Friday). Trails consisted of everything from easy to very difficult switchbacks, jumps and steep descents. In some places these trails were very technically challenging and exposed to steep slopes. A few rides required fire track climbs and road climbs to reach the single-track trails, but was always worth it. Also, sometimes the trails ended at the bottom of the valley away from the lifts but we simply caught the train back to Verbier.

Guides
Our guides and hosts Jonas and Oscar were brilliant and did their best to ensure we enjoyed this holiday

Accommodation
The Chalet had fantastic views, great rooms, plenty of space and very comfortable. Also, we all agreed the food was amazing

Nightlife
Most evenings after the last run we met up in the Apres Bar for a few bars and chat about the days riding. We went out a couple of times at night and found the town reasonably lively for a summer season. One particular night Neil MacMillan suggested we had a night off the drink to focus on the next days riding, this resulted in many beers, spirits and shots being drunk in Mont Fort late into the night, good times!

Neeps on Holiday
Neil MacMillan, Neil Stables, Barry Coull, Kenny Coutts and Gavin Taylor

Transfer
Geneva to Verbier about 2hrs

Holiday Company
Powder and Dust www.powderanddust.com

Report Author
Gavin Taylor

BarryGav
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Poland MTB Challenge

Date
July 2008

Score
9/10

Report
MTB Challenge Poland started 4 years ago, similar in format to the Trans Alp/Rockies events; it involves 8 days of staged racing (approx 4-5hrs/day). The route traverses the southern mountain boarder region between Poland and the Czech Republic on a mixture of tarmac, fire track and single track terrain with plenty of climbing. Entry options are solo or team (pair only). Teams must ride together at all times throughout the race - a good opportunity for developing your drafting skills.

Trails
The balance is much more towards technical single track riding than the likes of the Trans Alps, road use being kept to a minimum. Expect sections with steep and rewarding descents as well as fast flowing forest single track. This is a long distance XC event at heart though, so expect the usual fire track riding to make up the daily distance. Typical daily routes were 50-70Km with 1800-2500m of combined ascent. Break down of terrain was 65% fire track, 25% single track, 10% tarmac. Temperatures ranged from 28-320C and we’d highly recommend riding in light coloured kit. Bright sunshine and the lack of rain meant dry, dusty trails with huge grins. Most popular bikes were hard tails or efficient pedalling bouncy bikes like Spez Epics, shod with Racing Ralph’s or similar fast rolling rubber.

Accommodation & Food
Options for sleeping were in the local organised schools gymnasiums or the plush hotel package for 300 euros extra. The hotel was the one selected and it is highly recommend without a shadow of a doubt. A comfy bed & shower plus an extra carb loaded meal each night over the schoolies package. Breakfast and afternoon meal was provided for everybody regardless of accommodation package.

General Organisation
On the whole the organisation was excellent; routes were well signed (apart from a few oversights) and transfers daily between hotel and race start/finish were regular and on time. Feed stations were positioned every 20 Km with a great choice of fruit (melon, bananas, apricots etc), energy drinks and the staff well trained in helping you force food down your throat. Organised bike security each night in the schools was taken seriously and gave no cause for concern. The 2hr return transfer from the airport (Wroclaw) was provided for 60 Euros each.

Who's this for?
Generally med/high fitness XC riders who like epic mountain riding with technical skill.

Neeps at event
Tim Mackley, Rob Brookes (Team: Ecurie Neeps)

Holiday Company
MTB Challenge www.mtbchallenge.com/en

Report Author
Tim Mackley

Tim & RobTim
LandscapeTim
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Scotland - Golspie / Balblair

Date
November 2008

Score
7/10

Trails
Gospie - Although it's not as well know as the 7 stanes in my opinion these trails are equal to Laggan and worth the 3.5hr drive from Aberdeen. The red/black loop consists of one up hill to the Sutherland Statue and then one main desent back to the car park. The first part of the downhill is black, which starts with execllent jumps. The rest is technical, rocky sections. We enjoyed this first downhill section but struggled a little at times due to patches of black ice. The second part of the downhill is fast, red grade trails with small, fun jumps along the way. There was less ice here due to the shelter provided by the trees and we enjoyed this section so much we looped it several times. In summary, Golspie has very well designed trails by guys that know what they are doing. Golspie Trails weblink.

Balblair - We decided to tackle the black despite the snow covering sneaking, random patches of ice. Obviously we all slid off a few times and had to walk some sections, but we really enjoyed the rest of the trial. The first part was technical and over rock slabs with several north shore links, but not as hard as the Laggan black. The other part included great fast sections with some switch backs. We all agreed that we'd love to return in the spring when it's ice free. Balblair Trails weblink.



Accommodation
Four of us stayed at the The Granite Villa in Golspie. The bikes were locked in their secured garage, the rooms were spacious & comfortable, and the breakfast was excellent. Also, it is located 2 minutes from the start of the trails. This B&B would be my preference for our next visit. Granite Villa weblink.

Nightlife
Ehhh..... Not the best place in Scotland for a night out but the locals were friendly and we enjoyed a few beers/whiskys and some good pub grub.

Neeps on Trip
Mona Petrie, Zak Thomson, Tim Mackley, Thomas Nissen, Stephen Boyd and Gavin Taylor

Report Author
Gavin Taylor

Golspie - MonaGolspie - Tim, Mona, Stevie B & Thomas
Golspie - TimGolspie - Thomas
Balblair - GavBalblair - Thomas
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Scotland - Laggan / Ben Nevis

Date
June 2009

Score
7/10

Trails
Laggan - Lots of thought gone into the trails at Laggan and they set a good standard for other centres to benchmark themselves against. There are now two red runs, the original 'Lower Red' and the new 'Upper Red', which is access via the start of the black run. We completed both red runs twice and the Orange run once, which is pretty easy for an orange graded trail. We noticed lots of improvements and maintenace on the Lower Red run, which was good to see. The black run was not attempted, the hard tail guys weren't that interested. In summary, great weather and lots of fun had by all. Laggan Trails weblink.

Ben Nevis - We split into two groups, Tom and Dan went to tackle the 'Witches Trails' (XC course) and Kenny and I took the uplift for the downhill runs. Tom and Dan were not impressed by the 'Witches Trails', lots of up hill fire track climbing with little fun to be had on the short downhill single track parts. However, Kenny and I had a great time coming down the downhill track, althought scary for me on my stumpy. These tracks are design with proper downhill bikes in mind but still fun on a full suspension XC bike. Despite the Red Run downhill not being official open, we managed to get lost and some how appeared on it with no choice to complete it. I personally love this trail, very technical and tests your concentration, but easy to complete even with below average skills, like myself. Nevis Range Trails weblink.



Accommodation
Stayed in Fort William and Brokeback A.K.A. Tom, book the accomodation for the four of us, two double bed rooms, mmm .....nice. All is forgiven Neil, and you'll be booking the accomodation for the next trip, Brokeback is sacked.

Nightlife
Enjoyed a great pub evening meal in the Ben Nevis in Fort William. Night life is interesting, Fort William is unique.

Neeps on Trip
Kenny Coutts, Thomas Nissen, Dan Hall and Gavin Taylor

Report Author
Gavin Taylor

Laggan - GavLaggan
Laggan - DanLaggan - Thomas
Ben Nevis - KennyBen Nevis - Kenny
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Austria - Alps - Ellmau

Date
August 2009

Score
8/10

Trails
Text to be added by Neil MacMillan.
Up and Downhill Mountain Biking Holidays weblink.
Additional Photos, click - 'Photos' then 'Guest Photos' then '06 - Neeps in Austria'.

Accommodation
Text to be added by Neil MacMillan

Nightlife
Text to be added by Neil MacMillan

Neeps on Trip
Kenny Coutts and Neil MacMillan

Report Author
Neil MacMillan

Austria AlpsAustria Alps
Austria AlpsAustria Alps
Austria AlpsAustria Alps
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Chamonix - French Alps

Date
July 2010

Score
6/10

Trails
We had a French guide that took us mostly to bike parks in and around Chamonix, like Les Houches, Planpraz (lift), La Flegere (lift), Vallorcine and Manzine. Manzine (Porte du Soleil) and the surround area is really for Free Riders, most people there have downhill bikes and they are needed. We (on our all mountain bikes) enjoyed the bike parks in and around Chamonix more but after we ditch the pede guide, we found some great single track. Apparently during July and August bikes are not allowed on the footpaths, hence why the guide avoid them, but there are not many walkers around, plus most walkers don't mind the bikes, so we didn't really understand the issue.

Accommodation
Adventure Base provided us with a great Chalet with a hot tub, also the food was amazing. They provided everything we need and were very helpful. The only downside was the pede French guide whom didn't understand all mountain riding or have a passion for it. We believed he thought his role was Safety Office, telling us what we could and couldn't do, however we just wanted someone with good local knowledge to show us the best trails. Adventure Base.

Nightlife
Chamonix is a beautiful and lively place both in the day and at night, hard to beat it.

Neeps on Trip
Gavin Taylor, Kenneth Coutts, Barry Coull, Neil MacMillan & Steve Hamilton.

Report Author
Gavin Taylor

Youtube Clips
Clip 1. Clip 2. Clip 3. Clip 4. Clip 5. Clip 6. Clip 7. Clip 8. Clip 9. Clip 10. Clip 11. Clip 12.
ChamonixChamonix
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