Theirs & Ours: Seven years in heaven

A new regular feature detailing a product we want or need, another we own and cherish, and one we make. 

In this first instalment, Misspent Summers director Ben tells us the story of his treasured Sombrio mtb shoes (seven years he’s had them! Yuck), the eco-friendly oil everyone should be using and the first guidebook we made.

We own: Sombrio Loam Mid top

Our lives together started in the Dirt Magazine offices seven years ago: I photographed them and swiftly introduced them to their new tenants, my feet.

My feet were not looking for a short-term contract, but something more permanent. As we got to know each other we learnt, explored, rode bikes, crashed and built trails together. We realised this would be a long-term thing.

We formed a bond, they showed me they were more than just a shoe, their sturdy build and supportive shape taught me to build a trail without any other tools and that their laces could also be used as a belt. I took them to places they never thought they would go, from peaks of the Alps to the bottom of muddy Welsh bogs.

I’ve stamped them into rocks, scarred them with pedal pins and drowned them numerous times. Yet they’ve stood by (underneath) me for seven years now, and our relationship has blossomed. Dare I say it, we might be sole mates. We’ve been through thick and thin together (as thin as their soles now) and quite literally moulded together.

As they age their battle scars become deeper, yet they are more comfortable and enjoyable to wear than ever. With age comes wisdom, and these shoes have a lot. Here’s to the next seven.


We want: Green Oil – Wet chain oil

Bikes are great, but some parts of them… aren’t. I am guilty of not putting much thought into buying oil, usually I’m in a panic because of a newly ‘golden’ chain. But Green Oil and a handful of other companies are making me think more about my lube purchases. They say their products are 100% plant-based, 100% biodegradable and use recycled bottles.

It’s not much of a change, but I want to be using this oil on my bike. Companies with environmentally conscious products are leading the way to a brighter and more sustainable future, and that is something I feel good about supporting.

Green Oil

We make: Punta Ala Trail Center guide

Approaching Punta Ala in Tuscany, the southbound E80 road is a wild ride, renamed the Supercross section. This is where excitement for bikes really begins, as you’re wide-eyed trying to avoid obstacles, truck ruts and potholes. Leaving the motorway, you’re immediately transported into the picturesque countryside snaking along the stunning coastline.

Eventually ending up at the gates for the resort, it’s quickly apparent that you’re staying a stone’s throw away from the beach. The passionate mountain bike community within the resort itself makes you feel welcome and relaxed.

This is where the real fun starts: our guidebook helps you to find out all about the resort, invaluable local knowledge, mini features, places to eat, where to ride and much more while recounting some stories from visits we’ve made to this paradisiacal destination.

Punta Ala Trail Center guidebook

Misspent Summers MTB books


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