Last year was a huge success for us, running coaching sessions and guided rides for adults and kids. We've done all sorts; school holiday camps, fortnightly kid's club, adult group coaching, guided rides and many team building sessions. We even did our first multi-day trip to Fort William with 12 kids! Our season officially ended on the last day of November, taking December off to rest, knowing that we'd need to hit the ground running in 2020.
While enjoying (enduring) some brief downtime in the festive period, we realised that we hadn't ridden together properly for virtually the whole year - even racing had taken a back seat. In winter many chose to cosy-up and life slows down, but while the trails are quiet we seized the perfect opportunity to kit-up and head out to ride for the love of it
The bleary-eyed journey north started in complete winter darkness.
The typical ungodly winter blackness of 6 am is a little less insufferable when the motivation of dreamy riding spots tickles one's fancy in all the right places - the mast at Inverness most certainly hits that spot - so we dragged our bleary eyes into the van, de-iced the windows and set off on our mini-mission of muddy marvel.INVERNESS
After a quiet slog up the A9, we arrived full of stoke at Craig Dunain and set off up the hill towards the radio mast, bags laden with media kit and snacks instead of group shelters, maps and spare clothing. The rest of this bike story is best told in nice big photographs:
After a sublime shred session, the golden sun was just beginning to touch the horizon and so we headed down and spent the evening at the Skatepark playing on the wee bikes (it has floodlights!) while trying not to embarrass ourselves and the MTB community with our lack of tricks... We then refuelled in town with a humungous sports-dinner and bedded down for the night.
After a chilly (but awfully cosy) spoon session in the van, we were rudely awoken by a coach-load of jolly coffin dodgers who had unfortunately been misinformed of the opening time of their intended Nessie-themed tourist attraction. They seemed to be fairly upset by this misnomer and so instead proceeded to swarm our van and peer in while we were trying to get our chamois on! Fair to say we made a rather swift exit and headed onwards back down the A9 to our next riding spot. LAGGAN WOLFTRAX
Remarkably exquisite topography has enshrined Laggan as a favourite riding venue, so was a fitting final destination on our quest for riding excellence. We experienced all four seasons in one day, including a beautiful snowstorm that left a dusting of dancing sparkles on every horizon.
Riding without the pressure of time constraints, the responsibility of others, incessant questioning and freedom from standard-issue equipment was liberating and refreshing.
Building a career within the industry you love is fantastic - we get to ride bikes all day, 'er day! However, combining passion with work can present its own challenges, this one in particular caught us by surprise - we'll definitely be factoring in more off-the-clock riding trips in 2020 so watch this space.
Reflection is the way forward! ...stunts on Laggan Slab while a light dusting of snow fell around us was a stunning finish to a mini-epic riding trip.
We're always preaching it to our clients - regular focused practice and self-assessment is the best path to improvement. That's exactly what we did for ourselves - we reflected and identified something we hadn't previously comprehended and took action to improve.
We work for TRAILCOACH
and we wear ENDURA
- follow Gregor
on Instagram.See you on the next adventure!