Ever thought about spending the summer MTB season in Morzine? It's a dream come true for the lucky few who can do it. Endless trails, chairlifts, world class downhill and singletrack at your doorstep Yes, the summer season in Morzine is a mountain bikers nirvana, but what's it like when you are working? When you are not on that mountain bike holiday, when you have to earn your turns?

The Seasonnaire is often pigeon holed into being young, on a gap year perhaps, or a lifer who simply cannot let the good times end or won't face the reality of a 9-5. The truth is seasonal workers come from all walks of life and ages, as the days of being paid £50 a week for a chalet host job are long in the past we see more people looking for career changes rather than just a break from the day to day grind.

That's the beauty of the seasonal job. It can be whatever you make it. A step away for afew months, a stepping stone to a permanent move abroad or a considered move to a company or field of employment that's totally new, make of it what you will.

MTB Beds have been employing staff since our first Riders Weeks in 2014. Our team has grown from it's first host couple to include mechanics, drivers, guides, chefs, hosts and a full time team. Working with people is always a roller coaster as anyone who employs staff will tell you, immensely rewarding with some amazing highs and lows. We learn from our team constantly and consider ourselves fortunate to have many returning crew each year, many have become good friends and all we consider family. The summer of 2021 was a tricky one to be sure, but for every cloud there is a silver lining and our team in 2021 was definitely one of them. They overcame set back after set back, restrictions, changing policies and more, but remained professional, punctual and delivered holidays with a constant smile and positive energy.

Meet MTB Beds Host Gabriel

After a tough couple of years clients in 2021 arrive in a resort like Morzine full of both stoke and often a bit of worry. You never know if the news reports or web searches are telling the whole truth about what you'll face when all you want to do is have a bit of a holiday. Our job is to remove the concern and deliver the mountain bike holiday of a life time, our staff are key to that. They are the face of the business, who you'll see when you step out the van, at breakfast, dinner, in the workshop.

What's like from their side? Step into the shoes of Gabriel, a chalet host in 2021. Originally from Madrid, Spain and someone we hope you'll be seeing alot more of in 2022.

Boosting on Super Morzine

Alarm. It's dark and as I move to switch off the phone that shoulder i landed on a couple of days ago twitches again. Weirdly the pain feels good, like a hard gymn session it's the feeling of a good time had but my body is paying the price. I look over to my best friend and room mate Santiago, his phone is buzzing too but he's not up, he's off today and must've forgotten to turn off his 7h alarm.

Shower. I'm ready for another day, first stop the bakery. Pedalling down the street Morzine has barely woken up. At the Bonbonnerie there is no line so i'm straight in for some warm crusty loaves that go straight in the pack, my French is coming along, I don't feel like such a tourist with my accent and the bakery girl is nice enough to help me with my punctuation.

Swapping one office for another

Tapping the code into the front door I see chef is up and has started to get prepped, croissants are in, it's normally me doing that but he's in a little earlier today, we've got each others backs. We give a nod to each other and a simple "coffee?" is all that needs to be said. I get to it, 1 for us and 10 pots for the clients, it's the first thing they'll be looking for when they arrive soon.

We set the tables after service the night before so all that needs to be done is coffee, milk, juice, yogurts and pastries for each table, hop to it and there might just be time to stand still for a minute before they are in for breakfast. Chef asks me if i stayed for another beer last night after he left. I was tempted but today I want to be fresh, I'm filming and shooting with Scott today and have something in mind. Everything almost fresh when the young couple come in, I smile under my mask and give the a good morning, they look tired but have been up early most days as they've been making the most of the weather to explore the Swiss side. I ask them where today and they are heading up with one of the guides to Chapelle de Jacqicourt, an enduro loop in Les Gets, I'd almost forgotten I'd asked Ben to look into that for them, he must've have done it, awesome.

Summer brings the dust!

Breakfast follows a pretty steady routine, by the second or third day the clients have their schedule, some early, some late, some want to chat and some just need afew minutes to gather their thoughts. Everyone gets a smile and a a little sprinkle of stoke either way, can't hurt. Poached? Scrambled? You need a fresh coffee pot? No worries, John is up of his seat over there and ooks like he needs something, ah yes he's keen on the pain au chocolats, better beat him to the kitchen to top up the basket and remeber that for tomorrow. As service winds down I start heading outside to see people off, maybe chat about where people are headed or talk about the day trip to Pila we have going tomorrow.

Everyone is out the door and up the hill so out comes the checklist. It's not long but it helps me remember the best order to get things done so I can get up there and ride myself. I check in with Chef first while we clean down the brekkie setup to see what he's got on the prep list, tonight is schnitzel with Italian coleslaw, mac and cheese, it's covered, shopping is done. Getting round all the jobs in the morning is pretty fluid, it's up to me how long I take, as long as it's done and done right I'll get plenty of time up the hill, though there is always something everyday that takes that little bit longer. Today it's the sauna door, it's not shutting. Maybe someone closed it a little harder than they should have but it's only a couple of screws on the latch to tighten. Last tick done. Mark, where's he at? I know he had afew hire bikes come back last night, maybe there's a back log I can help with, he's come and helped me wash up enough times and I want him with me on the lift so I go see the workshop, he's packing down, we're good. Rubbish gets to the bins and that little voice from training week still hassles me about recycling, of course I do it.

There's more than just jumps in Chatel Bike Park

Roots in Chatel

Changed, helmet on, stuff a pastry down, lift pass and €10 in my pocket and I'm out the door. Scott is already in Chatel scoping some spots but it's only 11h and I got time to get there, the ride over from Morzine is always good, it's nice to get out of the bubble every so often. Today i've borrowed one of Specialized Enduro rental bikes, i've ridden it before but today she's mine all day, makes the ride over a fair bit faster so I'm hooked up with Scott at the top of Vink Line by 1130h. What I have in mind is at the bottom of the lift so we spend a little time riding the top section and getting afew clips, this bike goes good but she's a bit bigger than my usual ride so some practice hits are worth it. Damn that sun is hot though so pushing back up is gonna take it's toll. No bother to me I couldn't be more stoked, I could be back in Madrid sweating in my delivery truck, stuck in traffic.

I've flipped a bike a hundred times before but this one is different, the bike is new, my Fox kit is fresh and there's a pro videographer here to film it, normally it's just Santiago's I-Phone. He'll be here soon with Mark so I keen to get the shots and ride with the crew. Deep breath, drop in. Wooden ramps are awesome for this stuff, predictable and solid as I pull back and push through the pedals. No matter how many times I go upside down it's always a relief to see the ground come back underneath me. Soft landing, perfect. "Yep! That's good, now do it again please, different angle" Sure I think, I'll do this all day, a quick check of the footage brings the stoke, damn this camera is good. 5 flips later and we got it. Between that and the shots we got earlier Scott's got what he needs.I've gone down afew times though, ruined a top with a ripped shoulder but worth it.I'm fired up and so is he so we dial the lads and see where they are at, Super Morzine. Time to meet the boys and lap it out.

Warm up laps in Chatel

Chatel bike park

I get back to the chalet to smash a baguette, get changed and swap the bike out for my own, before we manage one of the best sessions of the season on Super Morzine, it's short awesome. Me, Mark and Santiago shredding, blowing up corners and sending. Scott has time on the way back and gets it all on camera, not going to lie it's good fun getting shots, we all want to see ourselves on camera and it helps fire the lads up.

The €10 in my pocket hasn't been touched, good day! Rolling back into the chalet i'm pushing my luck on time, 10 minutes to shower and be ready, Ben will know if i'm late, he always knows. I'll wash the bike after myself, there's clients in the bike wash area anyway. Another shower and I'm back up chatting to them, they've had a mint day on Le Pleney and they promise to show me the GoPro of Joe's stack on 10%, sounds gnarly, I better go see him. He's in his room peeling his jersey off, damn that's some savage gravel rash! I tell him to sit tight while i dig out some supplies from the med kit. He's covered by some antiseptic and i'll get one of his mates to stick a compress on his side, he's good though.

Dinner prep is done, chef is on it. He's been out for a ride too, just an enduro loop but he's full of energy aswell. I'm still buzzing from filming those shots today and as i restock the beer fridge i'm humming a Spanish rap song that everyone else hates. Santiago and I are the only Spaniards on the team the rest from all over Europe and though we all get along great, my music taste is not being endorsed by the crew.

Back to the chalet for service after a day on the hill

I always like 1925h. It's either quiet and organised, as long as we've all done our jobs, or it's a that last little bit of chaos as we get ready to feed 20 hungry mountain bikers, usually all at once. Since covid meant spreading our tables out across the dinning room, the long communal tables have gone, replaced by a kind of busy restaurant vibe, I like it. Plenty of time to talk to guests and when there's one client who takes an hour to eat a potato it's chilled, enjoy your spud you're in no rush, rather than 19 other riders who've all been finished for 10 minutes staring at you looking for dessert. The bread is cut, we warm it a little before service, water topped up and ready to go i just remember to put the couples bottle of wine they are working their way through on their table. I have to ask a coupe of the lads to grab a shower before dinner, they've been at the pub since they finished riding and no one wants to smell riding kit when they're eating, no drama they get it and are glad for the refresh. They are the last to leave the dining room aswell, we have a good chat with the chef about their home trails in Scotland, sounds awesome and makes me want to go ride up in the Tweed Valley one day.

Family dinner happens every night after service, the team sit down and have something to eat, usually the same as the clients so the food is always good. Over a beer at Le Crepu we're gassing about the day, Scott's showing me some of the clips he's already edited and inside I'm grinning pretty hard but try to stay cool, you know how it is. I'm back on in the morning so I won't stay for long but this beer does taste pretty good, maybe one more....

Flips for lunch in Chatel

how to backflip

To find out more about Gabriel get to know him and the whole team HERE.

Check the links below to get yourself booked onto one of our Riders Weeks!



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