Fun in the sun at Northern Grip 2017

Quick fire Q&A with Bex Baraona
School Cycle Sessions

What’s not to love about a summer Saturday in the sun with friends and bikes? For the second year running we headed for the Lancashire hills to be part of the Northern Grip mountain bike festival.

On Saturday 8 July, the Dirt Factory team loaded up the van and headed up the M66 to spend the day at Northern Grip 2017. From its cosy beginnings in the heart of Ramsbottom, this year the festival’s base moved to Lee Quarry and Stubbylee Park in Rossendale.


For us, last year’s event was all about challenging festival goers to the bunny hob challenge. This year however we had our new Dirt Factory BigAirBag in tow. We pitched up in the main festival hub alongside our friends from WeRide, Olfi and other exhibitors.

The site of the Dirt Factory airbag at Northern Grip 2017 was perfect. The roll in had a natural slope and from the start we had a great view over all of the festival hub. With three of us on setup duties we managed to get the Dirt Factory BigAirBag unloaded, unravelled and inflated in record time – just over an hour.

After a few test runs from Dirt Factory team members we soon started to get a steady stream of festival riders hit the ramp and sample the airbag for the first time. It seemed that many seasoned bikers were initially a little reluctant to hit the jump into the airbag. Younger riders less so.

No matter what the age, getting the first jump done quickly led to many more runs and lots of smiles. We encouraged everyone to have a go and provided advice, tips and demonstrations to make sure all newcomers were confident enough from the outset.

Passionate about cycling

Big shout out to young Tom who started the day having never jumped onto an airbag. He soon found confidence, inspired plenty of older riders throughout the afternoon and by the end of the day had a bag full of tricks in his locker. Tom is passionate about cycling and will soon be embarking on a mammoth cycle journey around the full Tour de France route. Best of luck from all of us at Dirt Factory.

It seemed the Dirt Factory BigAirBag was also a big draw for spectators, photographers and filmers alike. We had a visit from a photographer from Rossendale Borough Council, capturing a flipping rider from Leisure Lakes. We also had a film crew from ITV capture Nick from Shack Wrap jumping onto the Dirt Factory airbag.

Happy riders

All in all it was a super day, we chatted to lots of happy riders and introduced Northern Grip festival goers to the joys of the airbag – most of whom had never been on one before. Our afternoon ended with the party sounds of Mr Wilson’s before packing up to head home.

Big thanks to Tom, Jamie and the Northern Grip organisers for putting on another great event.

Dirt Factory Air bag