Hannah, could you sum up your 2016 season? It was great! Travelling with such a fun, professional and supportive team is just awesome! I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by such a nice ‘second family’. Having Jared join was a great addition, pushing Curtis and being like another big brother to me (as well as Curtis!). With Miranda being at some races too was the icing on the cake! It was a long year - starting in the beginning of February in South Africa to film a Destination Trail Episode, then a 4-day xc marathon race in Sri Lanka called ‘Rumble in the Jungle', then Sea Otter and the Enduro World Series, which finished in October. I’m loving every minute of it!Seeing so much of the world, what has been your favourite place?It was great to go to Sri Lanka again! It felt like an adventure to be racing in a relatively third world country, with school kids excitedly running with us through villages, elephant poo on the trail, tea plantations, jungle, and very spicy but delicious food!What's it like returning home after months of travelling and racing around the world?It’s much needed and always nice to return home. It’s nice to simply recharge the batteries and have a bit of a routine for a while. You have to stop every so often to really appreciate it all!Where do you call home and how long have you been living there?Home for me is up a little glen (or valley) near to Fort William in Scotland. I was born in the Lake District, but my family moved up to the Highlands when I was 7 and my brother Joe was 5. I love it here, especially now that I have my own little house! I would definitely live somewhere else for a while, but here will always feel like home.What do you enjoy doing in the off-season?Relax and enjoy! I'm chilling at home with family and friends, my own bed, cooking, playing my fiddle, just appreciating the simple, home life!What are the pros and cons to riding at home in the winter?The wet Scottish weather and shorter days are the challenge, but you just get on with it and wear the right clothes. You can’t beat riding on those cold crisp frosty days in beautiful winter light, then a cosy evening by the fire. Snow, fun. Ice, not fun! If it’s snowy I love it, but any ice and I’m out of there. Given how remote it is here, is there much to do?Not in the conventional sense, however, there still aren’t enough hours in the day! You don’t need to live in a city to have things to do. I really enjoy visiting a city, but love to come home to the quiet countryside. Riding bikes, skiing in the mountains, swimming in lochs, good friends… I enjoy the simplicity of country life and wide open spaces.What else do you like to do besides mountain biking?Yoga, ski, run, swim, road ride, play my fiddle, cook, bake, read, eat out, visit coffee shops, and shopping! Lots of things really!What's so special about Fort William that it keeps you here?
It’s a very beautiful place, wild rugged mountains, an intricate coastline with white sandy beaches and lots of islands, a great traditional music scene, and great people. If we had more defined seasons then it would be perfect, but it’s still great just as it is.How deeply are you involved in the local MTB scene?I love the local XC winter league races, it’s a great local scene with lots of enthusiastic people and families involved. In the summer there are the Time Trial’s which are always painful, but great training and motivation.What are your favourite trails here?I love the classic trails around Nevis Range, Glen Loy of course as it is right on my new doorstep, also Laggan and Aviemore have great riding, too!Do you prefer nicely groomed tracks or the wilder, more natural style trails?Natural, fast and flowy trails put the biggest smile on my face. I do like it all, though, a nice variety is good to keep things fresh. I prefer riding dry trails, though, which is strange coming from such a rainy, wet place!How do you find riding the Levo bike?Initially I was apprehensive but totally open to giving it a go. I first rode a Levo at Sea Otter last year, where I did the E-Bike XC race there. I didn’t know what to expect, it was definitely different and took a bit of getting used to, but it was such brilliant fun to ride and race on! It was just as physically demanding to race, with the extra power you just did twice as many laps.What in your opinion are the pros and cons of pedal assist bikes?In general, I think that they are great! They will never replace a 'normal' bike, but then again it isn’t trying to. Although a lot of people aren’t very open minded about them, yet, there is definitely a place for them and are getting increasingly popular. I love mine and the trail exploring possibilities it brings! It is incredibly fun and nimble once you’ve got the hang of the extra power and weight. Although still a relatively new bike, it’s awesome that there is already a women’s Levo! The main difference being the Body Geometry women’s touch points and the women’s RX tune. It would be really cool for more women and girls to give it a go, I’m sure it would result in more women out enjoying the trails! A guy with Spina Bifida recently messaged me to say that his Levo has enabled him to get back out on trails he hasn't been physically able to access in years, which is life-changing. It's also great for people to ride together who normally wouldn’t be able to. If it enables or encourages someone to ride who otherwise wouldn’t or may be put off by joining a fast group ride, then that's brilliant! As a tool to explore further afield trails, cover double the ground, and be just as tired at the end, it’s pretty awesome!So, when and where would you use this bike?At home, to go for a nice long spin, have some fresh air and loosen up the legs, but still get a good bit of distance covered.How often do you ride?It varies depending on the time of year and which part of the season we’re in. Anything from two to six times per week of varying length and intensity. I also run, swim and do yoga throughout the week. In the winter there’s usually quite a few big ski tour days too which is good cross training and so much fun! I love a good snowy winter!Who do you usually ride with?At home I ride alone a lot, as it’s easy to get out in the day when it suits and not worry about fitting around multiple people's schedules, less organising. I love to ride with my boyfriend, friends, and family, too, though! When I’m away, it’s, of course, great to ride with the team and other friends on the circuit such as my good friend, Anka. At the races, it is like one big travelling extended family, so there’s always friends keen to ride and go for a coffee.