Equipment Mountain Biking

Thorpe Cloud – I’ve done it.

Rising to nearly 1000 ft in the south Peak District with a very clear ridge line, a nice country walk 4 weeks ago, turned into a me getting very excited about bringing the bike back. So I rallied the troop(s), and looped Jamie Hewitt into the mix, a fellow GoPro Family Member. This was never going to be an epic day’s ride, more an adrenaline hit, but why not?

This was also the perfect time to test out some of my new gear I’ve very kindly received from GripGrab. Storm Doris had passed shortly before, so heading to an exposed peak with winds in excess of 50mph probably wasn’t the best idea for riding, but sure put their gear to good use.

First and foremost, Thorpe Cloud. What’s it like? Well, do you like hiking, with a bike? If so it’s right up your street. There’s a lot of climbing, about 30 minutes of intense climbing, and even then you can’t get right to the top due to it getting too rocky to ride down, if you’re not an Atherton. We were however pleasantly surprised by a hikers trail on the north ridge which doubles up nicely as a great bit of downhill single track. There were also huge gulley’s and the much steeper, south ridge, but with 50+ mph winds, safety won the battle with trying it. A full video will be going up sometime in April, so be sure to keep an eye out for that.

GripGrab; their promise being to build products that makes sports more enjoyable no matter how cold, wet and windy it is. So first up is the Winter Raptor glove.

I’ve always been a fan of a heavier built gloves, so wanted to give these winter specials a true testing. They actually felt reasonably similar to my Troy Lee Design pair in terms of fit, but the quality was noticeably turned up a notch, as was the windproofing. My hands were kept comfortably warm but not at the extent of sweaty palms. Clearly, some breathable technology going on here. The thickness neither had any negativity on feel, underlined by riding my DH rig, which absorbs a lot of the high frequency bumps. Any negatives? The gel inserts, which I’m a big fan of in other gloves, were too much in this case, with finding my hand sliding on top of them if I put a lot of pressure through. That aside, I’m thoroughly impressed by “NAME”. The key outtake I took was, quality and the overall look aint bad either!

The second, more experimental test was GripGrab’s Aquarepel Leg Warmers. I’m no fair weather cyclist, happy to get dirty, wet and a bit cold, but what if I could avoid all of that and stay comfortably warm? Well that’s exactly what happened. Good thing the body receives all 5 senses, otherwise who would have known it was blowing a gale? Using their on-site size guide, I chose medium, however after time, the thigh part does slide down, so I’ll explore this further on a proper pedal ride. There was also little moisture in the air to give their water repellent qualities a true test, but they’ve sure peeked my interest in wearing them…

I’ll be sharing my thoughts throughout the year on the suite of GripGrab products I’ll be testing.

In the meantime, go ride Thorpe Cloud. The locals will love you. Genuinely, curiosity and excitement was expressed by everyone we bumped into.

Peace out.

Mountain Biking

Thorpe Cloud – I’ve got to.

I’ve found a new spot I’ve got to ride.  

I headed to Davedale in the Peak District last weekend to give my new Hero 5 Black a running. In short, it’s good, check out the shots below. Key benefits over my Hero 3 Silver?

– Screen; it’s obvious. It makes shooting and reviewing your shots 10 times easier than connecting with your phone. Ultimately getting you using you GoPro more than ever. 

– Exposure; the Hero 3 struggled with varying light levels in one shot, but the Hero 5 tackles it well, akin to a DSLR. Shots now take on another dimension. 

– Voice Control; well if you like shouting at your camera up a hill… I’ll get back to you all on this one. 

So Thorpe Cloud…

Im picturing this being my English Redbull Rampage and Instabanger opportunity. 

At nearly 1000ft high, not only do you get great views of the surrounding countryside, there appear to be various routes down. Fast and smooth, or steep and rough in the gullies. Awesome.

From what I’ve researched on the net and social, no one has ridden down it. Likely due to legality, but that should never hold you back. So first one to ride Thorpe Cloud maybe?

So sometime later this year, with the longer days, I’ll head back across to Dovedale with the Canyon to see what it’s like on two wheels. 

On the topic of hills to ride, let me know if you have any suggestions in the comment below!


GoPro Hints and Tips

Four GOPRO angles to try this season

The season is almost here. The Ski season I mean. I was in Tignes, French Alps, earlier this year and have been counting down until the snows returns; And it’s making a return this weekend!

Fortunately, but unfortunately in this case particularly, i’ve just bought a house, so a ski holiday is well and truly off the cards this season.

So to imagine i’m there again, I thought it i’d put together a quick listicle on four angles to try this season with your GoPro. Last season was the first time I had my GoPro while skiing, previously it’s always been shaky, pixelated, cam corder footage, so it was good to finally get those Instabangers going. 

Anyway, without further ado, here are my top four angles to try this season;

3rd Person

Using either your ski pole with a handlebar mount, or in the below case, my GoPole, position the camera so that you’re framing yourself, the skis and ideally where you’re heading in the background of the shot. 


 Not the obvious one here, but try strapping your GoPro to your ski boot or lower leg, in this case using a GoPro Chesty mount and capturing the pistes from the Ski’s perspective. This angle works particularly well when going through powder or with flick ups of snow. It gives the shot that sense of speed and energy.

Reverse helmet POV

Surely the whole point of skiing it to wear your pair of iridescent lensed Oakley goggles no? For those groups shots at the top of the lifts, on the chairlifts or at the restaurant enjoying the sun, get a group selfie by using the GoPro 3 way, or GoPole Arm in this case, to capture those groupies from a new perspective. 

The Chesty

Its your stablemate, can’t go wrong angle. Beware though, your typical chesty shot taken on the slopes will be pretty dull unless there’s something in the foreground to give the shot perspective. Whether that be your hands, or skies in deep powder as you crouch over, experiment with getting that true POV shot. My particular favourite is leaving the restaurant into the white out – it really captured the atmosphere.

With all four of these switch to time-lapse mode and away you go! 1 every 0.5 seconds ideally. These all do require various mounts so head to Amazon for a browse. 

Got anymore, any better? Hit me up at and i’ll add them to the article with credits – don’t forget your explanation. 

Peace out.