The first instalment of Tanney Trails took the Flannel Crew to Perth, Western Australia. The grueling 30 hours of stale plane food and sleep deprivation were well worth the sacrifice for what we would discover.
After stepping off the plane into the blistering Australian heat, it felt like a pizza oven had punched you in the face. We collected our bags, scooped a rental car, and headed for the hills.
The first stop on the trip was the ruthless moon dust and famous pea gravel of the Mundaring trail network. Our goggles were working overtime with each lap looking like a Dubai sandstorm erupting through the pines.
There was no shortage of air miles to be found in the sleepy hills of Mundaring with the flannel flying high.
When the sun started to dip into the horizon, the shadows made for some much-needed shade and perfect opportunity to session some road gaps.
A highlight of the trip was the opportunity to be coached by World Champion Enduro rider Sam Hill. Longtime friend Dave Long and owner of Empire Cycles put on an amazing clinic.
When the fastest man in the world is giving you advice you have no choice but to fake it until you make it.
Trying to find traction on this type of dirt was similar to rollerskating down a water slide.
With the legend himself watching on, the first lesson was do not hit the tree. I did not pass lesson number one.
Sams coaching clinic was like watching the movie dodge ball. He transformed the Average Joe's into champions without having to dodge wrenches.
Next we visited craft beer country Margaret River. A mixture of eucalyptus and pine trees littered the trails as we battled the heat to ride some epic terrain and surprisingly tacky dirt.
The stunts hidden away in the pines had us feeling like we had never left the mountains of Canada.
Jarrad Lawrence snagged this next shot. He rides almost as fast as that fancy shutter speed of his.
To finish everything off an Australian straight arm salute was just what the doctor ordered before the pilgrimage home to the great white north.
"What is the Flannel Crew?" Was a question that came up at every post ride parking lot beer. The best way I can summarize this is in the words of a new found parking lot buddy.
"So you guys are like the Jehovah's Witnesses of mountain biking, you just knock on peoples shuttle rig windows, throw beers at them, crank their stereos to ten and force them to accept the stoke into there life"
Photos: Jayme Hunter / Jarrad Lawrence Words: Austen Tanney