thank you SRAM!

We had such an amazing week of riding, testing, shooting & eating cheesy food washing it down with loads of red wine, genepi and flaming shots from a flaming bar counter during the past week in Les Gets, France at the SRAM XO 10 speed DH product launch & media camp. It was great to meet and ride with some of the crew from the Munich & German SRAM headquarters, and of course all the media. It made for some great, very entertaining days out on the bikes. The trails out in Les Gets and the surrounding area are just amazing, it has something to offer to every style of riding and even though the little town was getting ready for their biggest weekend of the year, the Portes de Soleil ride (where 6000 people show up to ride their enduro bikes for 82km all along the Portes route), the trails were still not crowded and we got pretty lucky with the weather.

We had a great day of downhill riding, with trains of up to 25 people at times and Sven trying to shoot all of us. It was a mass photoshoot, with us having a great time ripping down the trails, and Sven stressing out trying to capture everyone. In true SRAM form, we were treated to lunch on top of the mountain in a beautiful restaurant, and they even had a sherbert orange plastic throne chair for HB or Peaty - they had to fight over it, but HB ended up in the throne with the only two girls: Rad & Shred, on either side feeding him grapes (in his dreams).

Every evening was filled with a special delicacy of the region, which always included cheese of some sort. We had fondue, raclette, tartiflette, and some more cheese to end it off. It kept us going strong though on our enduro xc ride the next day. Once again we had a party of 21 people plus our guide Vincent to make sure no one goes missing or gets seriously hurt. It was such a fun day of riding, well, I wouldn't call it riding, we raced everywhere and everyone. It sort of just happens naturally when you ride with a big group of people like that, and of course you have to prove yourself to all the guys when you are only one of two girls out there. It felt like we were having our own private SRAM enduro race with sick lines, passing on the insides, crashing, blocking, but most importantly grinning from ear to ear. Can you believe that no one got lost, no one got seriously injured and we only got 3 flats out of the whole group. Pretty unreal. Great mega training for me too!

We also managed some great photoshoots with Sven, Victor Lucas and the Parkin brothers who were out there doing the filming. I have to say that it was quite unnerving to be on a private shoot with Brendan Fairclough. He just makes everyone else look so awkward on a bike, and you feel like a bit of an idiot trying to hit the same lines (impossible, as he hits all the lines that no one else even thinks about hitting) as him and to try and look as stylish as him. Mmmm, o well, I tried my best.

All in all a great week of riding and testing all the new products with a great crew of people and new friends (Great meeting the crazy Italians - good luck in your quest to marry a Canadian girl and moving to Whistler  Tony Ollywood).

Thanks to Phillip & Dani for all your help to keep my bikes rolling perfectly - they were slaving away all week while we were able to get out and play. Thanks to Altino for organizing everything and I mean EVERYTHING - nothing was ever a problem, not even getting us a last minute private shuttle to the top of the mountain for a quick photo shoot. Thanks to Vincent, our guide for showing us all the sick trails out there. Ricky Bobby - it was so great to have another girl out there to hang with and to ride with - we need more women in this industry to keep the boys in check, and you had the coolest riding outfits EVER! Sven, thanks for making me push my bike up impossibly steep, rooty trails over and over and getting the bangers. Elmar for wanting me to represent and SRAM for giving all the riders and media a new custom SRAM Leatt DBX Pro brace. How freaking cool is that.

Next up Mega Avalancheeeeeeeeee!!!  Then off to another SRAM camp in Whistler for some more bike riding adventures.

Peace out

Anka

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