Supporting those that facilitate our sport.


Our first episode for Radon's Euro Trails was an iconic dirt jump location in Spain. Palm trees, balmy evenings and teenage kicks were order of the day. For Episode 2, which we filmed back in October 2019, we wanted to tell more of a story, and bring light to some unsung hero's.

We were amazed Radon backed this for a number of reasons;

1) The builders behind trails are not sexy, glamorous or often well known, despite their creations being loved by thousands of people. This makes it harder to grab the audience's attention.

2) Because of issue 1, assigning budget to a project like this takes some serious conviction and a long term view of where you'd like your brand to be placed. We know that supporting trail builders creates good brand capital, as it should, but it takes longer to get cut through. 

With all that cleared up, we jumped in the van and set off for the 4 hour journey south and west to North Wales.




Whereas for Episode 1 we were putting two riders together for the very first time, and they got on well, for this Episode we had 3 old friends. Radon rider, geologist and former World Champion Manon Carpenter; Social media sensation, illustrator and style cat Veronique Sandler and all round good egg, designer and architect student Monet Adams.  

All 3 are superb bike riders and really in touch with the trail building side of riding, which gave us a brilliant dynamic to work with, which was also really enjoyable. 

As we'll try to do for the rest of the series, we wanted to add in a guest rider who knows the area. Enter Al Bond, a rider ITommy used to race against, former British Champion and all round good egg who generally shuns the limelight. 

We couldn't have asked for a better bunch. 


Martin Sands is the man responsible for One Giant Leap at Llangollen. A sheep farmer by day, Martin doesn't fit the stereotype that we tend to assign to trail builders.  

Back in 2008, Martin stumbled across a fee cheeky chaps who's built some trails on his land without his knowledge. This wasn't the most auspicious of beginnings, and as Martin says "I was over-ruled by my 70 year old father, who thought an NPS (British Downhill series) was a great idea" . Not convinced, and possibly wary of a bunch of testosterone driven bike riders, Martin spent most of that weekend "watching quietly from a distance" . Like most farmers, Martin knows much more than he lets on and he quietly impressed by the whole scene.

Now, 10 years on and having "started digging in 2009 and having never really stopped since" Martin, despite not being a rider himself, is an integral part of the UK riding scene. There's no fanfare, people rarely know who he is, but he is a champion facilitator for thousands riders enjoyment each year. 

Summing up

As mountain biking has became a sport that has developed (or possibly these are now more amplified) sub-genre specificity, it's key to remember that the ride itself is the core element of what makes mountain biking tick. To the younger generation, style and image are everything, to the largest segment of the market, 30-50, this isn't so important, but having a good time is. At places like Llangollen those differences are forgotten and the riding takes precedent. 

That's why men and women like Martin are so important to our hobby, lifestyle and sport and championing them feels, well, just right.