Les Terres Noires: The Black Beauty

Have you ever been scrolling through social media when a photo of a trail stops your thumb in its tracks? That’s exactly what happened to SCOR Collective rider Kasi Schmidt. Instead of hitting the like button he decided to hit the road and find out if the trail was as good as the photo.

With its dramatic ridgelines of black earth, the scenery in the French region of Dignes les Bains looks like something from another planet. It was a photo taken here that inspired myself and photographer Lennard Prediger to pack a van with bikes and cameras and visit this incredible looking place to make our own scroll-stopping photos.

Our first day of exploration was spent on our 4060 Z e-bikes. With challenging climbs and fast, freeride-style descents, Dignes is the perfect e-bike playground.

We followed ridgelines and slalomed down gulleys, leaving dust and laughter hanging in the air behind us, stoked for the opportunity the landscape provided us to express our creativity on the bike and behind the lens.

Eventually we found ‘Les terres noires', a black thread of singletrack between the green trees and yellow bushes that dotted the gray slopes. With endless flow from turn to turn the trail of our social-media dreams rode even better than it looked on screen.

The trails above the small town of Archail were the second stop on our gray earth tour and the ideal place for our 4060 LT enduro bikes. Fun lines, jumps and natural berms were everywhere, and we happily spent the day surfing the dirt and getting loose.

One particular highlight was a small hill, shaped by mother nature into the most perfect hip jump – no spade work required.

Time and bikes fly when you’re having fun and, as we headed for home, we knew we’d only scratched the gray surface of this incredible location.

Just as Lenni and I were inspired by a photo, hopefully our photos inspire you. If so, give your thumb a rest, stop scrolling, pack your bags and bike (personal photographer optional) and head to Dignes now. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.