Living Jackson

Benefits of cycling

The Most Epic Presenter Rides | Volume 1

(upbeat music) – I don’t even want to count up the total number of years
that all the GCN presenters have been riding for. But, that presumably
quite scarily large total does mean that between
us we have racked up a considerable number of kilometers. In some quite incredible locations, and many of which, have
fortunately, been documented right here on GCN. So out of that experience
then, which have been the best? (dramatic music) – I must say, it’s quite hard
to chose the best ride I’ve ever done since working with GCN. I love the Merita De La Metez. That place really is out
of this world stunning. And for complete different reasons, I also love riding the
final one hundred kilometers of Parow Bay, even if the
two couldn’t really of been more contrasting. However, the one that I’ve chosen is our epic ride in Gran Canaria. Really couldn’t have been any better. We sit in a lovely quiet place, called La Aldea de San
Nicolas de Tolentino. From there, we took a nice gentle climb, that just so happens
to be freshly tarmacked and is smooth as a billiard board table. After which, you have a stunning decent. It’s really kind of flowing,
not much need for braking but still plenty of exhilarating corners. And then, we had our first coffee stop. Always an important part of
any ride for me these days. Now the biggest climb
of the day came straight after that coffee stop, it’s
called the Serenity Climb. And honestly, it was one of the most beautiful roads I have ever ridden. I mean we did luck out with the weather. There wasn’t a cloud
in the sky on the day, but it really was stunning,
in every sense of the word. Now the main part of that climb is eight and a half kilometers long. But, it does drag on quite significantly over the top, to the lunch stop. Another important part
of any of my rides today. The highlight of the lunch
actually wasn’t the food. It was watching Si try
cafe bombon or leche leche. Basically, that is an
espresso with condensed milk. It was delicious, although
I’m not sure that Si agreed. (laughing) From there, there was still
about 1,000 meters of climbing to go but, the main
feature of the final part of the ride was the Valley of Tears. Now I’ve been really
up about this climb and it sounded horrific. So when I was designing the route, I included it, going down it obviously. And I must say it was, I
do not know how to say it. A bit sketchy in places. There were huge drops
off the side of the road. Not much in the way of fencing
to stop you going down them. So I’m going to describe
it as a thrilling decent And it led us back to our
hotel, which was perfect. It ticked all four boxes for my best ride; Sunny, coffee stop, lunch
stop, down hill finish. And I thoroughly recommend it. – Wow that’s a really,
really difficult question because there are two
rides that spring to mind. One’s the rad race which, was my second ever fixed gear
race, on a go-kart track which was really truly, truly terrifying. But, I guess the one, that
kind of beats them all has to be replicating the
1903 Tour de France stage, with Mark Beaumont, and like
all utterly bonkers ideas it came about over a cup of coffee. Where we kind of discussed how
hard was it back in the day. And so to find out we kind of
just decided to go and do it. The ride was just as I imagined, absolutely physically and mentally brutal. But I did enjoy every moment of it. I mean it was the beautiful summers day, riding through the
incredible scenery of France, with a world record holder to my left. Being able to chat with him and talk about all his adventures. But I think the hardest
thing, or the thing that really sticks in my memory
was the last sixty K. When the heat was pounding down. And it was so hot, we both well
thought we were going to get heat stroke so we started
stripping our polo necks off and decided to ride in our vests, pouring water over ourselves. I don’t think I’ve ever
felt like that before. I didn’t ever expect me
to really start suffering like I did then. And then I guess when we got to the finish there was a massive sense of relief, a massive sense of happiness. We had just completed
something I never ever thought I was going to be able to complete. And so that was quite amazing. So I, I think that’s why it
sticks in my memory the most, just because, it’s something
I never thought I could do. Get a hundred year old
bike from Paris to Leon in twenty-five hours without
stopping through the night. It was some ride. – For my own epic ride, I have
had a really tough choice. North Coast 500 in Scotland this year, Taiwan KOM Challenge,
couple of years back, Iceland last year. Well I’ve actually gone
for what was my first taste of bikepacking, which
in typical GCN fashion, just happened to be a quick
loop of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco with bikepacking guru and all around nice guy Josh Ibbett. Frankly, this goes down as
one of my favorite ever rides. Full stop, particularly
the third slash fourth day. So we were riding through
this incredibly remote valley, before taking on an
uncharted mountain pass. We found it on google earth, but it didn’t exist any where else. Tarmack very quickly gave way in to dirt, Day eventually gave way in to night, and we were still going up this mountian. When we got to the very top, we had to take a snap decision as to whether or not we needed to turn back to avoid a lightning storm that was coming perilously close. But in typical GCN fashion,
we didn’t, and we pressed on. And that, see that was a wise move. We camped out just over the other side. Brewed our coffee the next
morning in an incredible spot, and were then treated to one of the best decents of all time. Before catching up with the
GCN crew at a hidden gem of a guest house in another hidden valley, and we were treated to second breakfast. Yeah, now I don’t know
about you, but any ride that includes second breakfast,
is a good one in my book . Well those are our epic rides, make sure you let us know
in the comments section what your ultimate epic ride is. And we’ll consider it invitation and maybe we will turn up and do it for ourselves and make another GCN video. If you want to see a true epic ride right now, then why not check
out Ollie’s Iceland adventure, when he embarked on his
first ever gravel race? Otherwise give this video a big thumbs up.

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