The midsummer solstice might be an exciting time if you’re a druid or Swedish, but it also has potential to us as mountain bikers. The 21 June, the longest day of the year (at least in the northern hemisphere -bad luck if you’re southern based) offers us the chance to ride longer, farther, higher, without having to pack lights. While robed druids are gathered at Stonehenge, England, to celebrate our solar system and Swedes drink through 24 hours of daylight, mountain bikers everywhere seize this unique riding opportunity before the year begins its slow slide towards dark, winter once more.
While our longest day saw me diving into a 3-long day epic MTB traverse of 100 kilometers/70 miles of the Italian Ligurian Alps, Italy, a ride that took in a hefty 4000m/6000ft of ascent and delivered a sweet total 6000m/9000ft of descent to literally finish for a dip in the Mediterranean Sea, other riders elsewhere annually make the most of midsummer to max’ their riding experience. Having some 17 hours or so of daylight to play with means getting chance to tackle that one epic you always wanted, but were too afraid of the dark. It means finishing with tired muscles, a sore ass, but a sense of triumph. If you have the legs for it.
Proving that freeriders and dirt jumpers are not as lazy as the common perception dictates, Diamondback’s Utah-based Eric Porter is one such rider, not afraid to seize the moment. Okay, twe haven’t yet caught up on what Eric did last week on this summer solstice (you can bet it was a long day though), but we’ve got a clear take on what he did last summer, below. If you think you can squeeze in more riding on midsummer’s day than this guy, then send us your film of the longest day. Otherwise, keep quiet and watch in awe as Eric, who is neither druid nor Swedish as far as we and Diamond Back are aware, celebrates the summer solstice in the best way possible, fueled only by Clif Shotbloks and Double Gulps from the 7-Up.