Journal of an Ordinary Freerider

It's been a long time! A year. Yes, 12 long months without a post on the Sombrio website. As you may know, the end of 2013 was a difficult time for the brand but since then, its leaders have built a new, solid house in the same backyard so that the label doesn't forget its roots. Everyone at Sombrio is 100% focused and the future looks bright!

As a brand ambassador, 2015 will be my third year with the company, and for me, it's hard to explain how happy I am about that. If you've read any of my previous blog posts, you'll know that I'm not going to win an FMB World Tour, or travel the world for 'Where The Trail Ends 2', but freeride mountain biking has been my lifestyle for the last twenty years or so and I really want to share with you what motivates me to do it!

Since my last blog post in 2013, I wanted to tell you the story of my favourite bike park: Cheptain Dirt Camp (CDC). Firstly because it's an incredible site and secondly because CDC is proof that you can build a real Gravity Bike Park away from the highest mountains.

Don't forget your bike

If you come to visit Paris, don't forget to bring your bike. The CDC is only 30 minutes away from Paris, which makes it a perfect place for all tourists/cyclists after a few days at the Champs Élysées, the Eiffel Tower or the Louvres. This private place was one of the first bike parks in France. You can do a day tour for 10 euros or a year tour for 50 euros...not bad.

It's a non-profit organisation: all the money goes to buy tools and pay the rent and insurance. Cheptain Dirt Camp has two distinct areas: 6 Freeride/DH trails on the East of the hill and a real slopestyle zone on the West. All the trails are shorts but full of jumps (gaps, hips) and with well build berms, so everything is perfect for the speed addicts.

To each his own

These days there is a lot of controversy about slopestyle competitions: some freeriders are fed up with parking lots: they want to ride their big bikes on big jumps. So a year ago, some of them decided to create their own series of events, the Fest Series. This is great news because some of the biggest competition organisers forget that a slopestyle course, in the early days of the sport, was an area where every competitor could do whatever line and stunts they wanted on whatever bike they wanted. Today, there is only one line and dirt jump bikes are the weapon of choice for most professional riders.

It's not a problem if, for some of you, my way of thinking seems "oldschool" because some people don't forget the origins of slopestyle like the Cheptain Dirt Camp diggers. Bridges, wooden drops or step-down and big jumps are just next to some step-ups and dirt jumps. The bike you ride doesn't matter, be sure you can find a line to have fun.

Free and relaxed

Last October, the CDC held a contest which was a stop of the "Y Games". It was a perfect exemple of what a slopestyle event should be: freeriders and dirt jumpers were competed against each other without sectarianism. Each rider could do his own thing and at the end of the day everyone felt free and relaxed. On the podium, after the finals, you could find dirt jumpers and big bike riders. The Cheptain Dirt Camp success reside in his crew: a melting pot of riders from different backgrounds and from all generations: Jam, Gouge, Gilles, Marc, Candy, etc., you guys rule!

So, for me, this event was a total success and shew that we need to stay united, open minded and don't forget our roots. Be sure to find me with my buddies there in 2015!

Untill next time