As the video stream ends, my heart rate is sky high. I’ve just watched riders do the seemingly impossible, smashing up perfectly sculpted berms and getting wild on huge mountainsides. Adrenalin is pumping and I think to myself, “Hell yeah! I want to go and shred some crazy trails!” I snap back to reality as the realisation hits me – my local trails are shit.


Have you ever found yourself struggling for motivation to ride the same trails day in day out? Do your home trails bore you? Have you ever wished you were riding that seemingly endless alpine singletrack from the videos, enjoying unlimited lift access to shred the park all day long? Well, we certainly did, but then we hit our home trails with a fresh perspective!

Morning coffee


Think about your local trails… how often do you repeat the same loop, taking the same amount of time, riding with the same people, on the same bike, in the same conditions? It’s time to mix things up! We thought back to a time spent in Finale Ligure and asked ourselves what made the riding there so much fun? Sure, the trails and location were amazing, but what made it the most enjoyable was the social aspect of sitting with mates drinking espressos in the piazza with time to chat about life (and last night’s party) – the perfect way to start a great day of riding.

For most of us, riding time is precious, constrained by a time when we need to be somewhere else. This can make the ride rushed, almost stressful, sucking the enjoyment out of it. If that sounds familiar, it’s time to take action, and slow the hell down! Get creative and think of the bike; why not start your ride with an espresso stop? Just like Finale! Sometimes it’s better to reduce the time on the bike, and you will see that the ride as a whole was more rewarding. What’s better, more time in the saddle or more enjoyment? Quality, not quantity – less is more!

Mates Race

The social aspect is an essential ingredient for a fun time. Sure, I like to grind out a lap of the local woods on my own every now and again. However, when I think about the best days of riding I’ve ever had, the first that spring to mind are the ones spent with a group of mates, taking nothing seriously, passing and cutting each other up, and just generally causing havoc! If you spend too much time going solo, it’s time to grab a bunch of riding buddies and throw together a mini mates’ race. Nothing complicated or serious, just use your phone for timing and then focus on wild riding and rowdy heckling!


After the racing is complete, why not find a nice spot for a BBQ, kick back, open a few beers, and just enjoy the good times with your mates! Finish the day off nicely with one last dose of carnage and chaos by chasing each other down in a train… just one last excuse to get wild and push a lot harder than we should! It feels great to chase quicker riders, riding at my limits – and over them – adding a whole new aspect to a trail on which I swear I could describe every rock and root in great detail!

Trail building


I remember railing a corner and hitting the brakes in alarm as I found my mate standing in the middle of the trail. “Why are we stopped?” I grumbled. With a shake of the head, he pointed to a tree down over the trail which I had somehow managed to miss – and it was the perfect height to have clotheslined me off my bike! That time we pushed our bikes under and carried on, but this got me thinking: when was the last time I spent ten minutes of riding time to drain some water off the trail or fix a blown berm? Next time you’re smashing round your local loop, stop at a section that feels a little tired and give it a quick facelift! This will not only reinvigorate the trail and help its longevity but should feel pretty rewarding for you whenever you pass through there again.


Sure, we may live just thirty minutes away, but who said you need to head home after a day on the trails? With a sense of adventure, why not head back up the hill to set up camp; for us the hills here aren’t particularly big, so without much effort we can be rewarded with a panoramic view of the city’s warm glow below us. Even though we are all familiar with the location, setting up camp gives us the feeling that we are on some long endurance riding expedition. After an ‘al fresco’ dining experience, it’s time for bed. You can camp in the Alps, so why not at your local trail too?

Night ride

At the moment, the reality of winter is beginning to bite, with the leaves parting from the trees and the long nights drawing in, making motivation even harder to drum up. Screw that! Winter is the perfect time to get out riding, so dust off those lights and hit those muddy trails and enjoy getting sideways! It had been years since I’d been on a night ride, and I was shocked at how much the terrain transformed! I found features that didn’t even exist in the day, and suddenly I was feathering the brakes, nervous to push even though I felt like I was pinning it through some crazy video game!

Bike Swap

Here at the ENDURO Mag office, we have the privilege of a constant stream of exciting bikes coming in the door for reviews and tests, meaning we can mix up what we are riding without much problem. Obviously, you may not be blessed with the luxury of picking a bike before every ride – or maybe you are? Time to gather all your riding mates together again and perform a bike swap! The more extreme, the better: less travel, more travel, or even no travel…. Whatever you can get your hands on, it’ll definitely add a twist to your trails and might even make you a more rounded rider!

Sure, your local trails may not be world-class, but there is definitely fun to be had if you approach them from the right angle. Mountain biking is not solely defined by the trails you ride, but rather by the experiences you share – it’s not just a sport, but also a lifestyle. This focus on experiences is a good approach to life in general, not just bikes. Accept the circumstances and make the best of it, as the smallest details have the biggest effects in life. Just get on with it, it’s right on your doorstep! It’s time to fall in love with your home trails all over again.

Words: Ross Bell Photos: Christoph Bayer / Ross Bell / Trevor Worsey

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