Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A battle of the ups and downs

 Some of my training partners this past week!

I have been in Scotland for the past week, helping look after my mum.  Although I have been run off my feet, doing all the house chores, shopping, cooking, cleaning, walking, doing the driving and picking up of people and trying to train, I have been having a lovely time.  I also have an even higher respect for all the work that my mum has done over the years, and have enjoyed paying it back to her. She is genuinely the most wonderful woman on this earth.

My mum has also been understanding that I need to get out and ride, because it is good for my spirit as well as my body.  The weather has been really nice, blustery but a bit of resistance training never did anyone any harm right?!.  I can ride from my parents door to some beautiful scenery, with decent climbs, and sheep and lambs to  keep me entertained!!!

One of many reservoirs in the hills

These sharp steep climbs have been good for my hill repeats!

And riding home is always nice too!

Of course, I love going home because I get to ride at some of the 7 Stanes centres.

Scotland has some of the most amazing singletrack I have ever ridden.  It can be steep, fast, slippy and really rooty, but it made me the rider I am today.  Most people ride 26 inch full sus bikes.  Orange High 5 seems to be the bike of flavor just now!

Glentress and Innerleithen are 40 mins drive from my parents house (near Edinburgh).  If you ever visit Scotland you should ride all of the 7 centres the Scottish borders have to offer, plus all the wilderness riding to be found in the Highlands .

Early morning climbing the singletrack on the Glentress black route, lovely!

Of course one of the reasons I like to ride in Scotland is I get to meet up with old friends.  One of the guys I used to ride with a lot, Rich Beard, is someone I have to thank for homing my skills in the early days of riding.  He always gave me great advice. He is very very fast from racing downhill, so I used to try and stick on his wheel (I have truly lost my Scottish downhill riding skills now though!). I often think of him when I am racing because he used to always tell me to push hard right at the top of a climb and keep it going through the crest.  Simple advice but something that has stuck with me.

He still destroys me descending, but now I can destroy him on the climbs!!  And in his words, with the two of us, it's a battle of the ups and downs, a phrase I find so fitting right now.
Rich killing it as usual!

Rich is also super chill to ride with, often suggesting we stop to eat Jelly Babies (above)!  One thing I really miss about Scotland is that you can safely eat most jelly sweeties because they are not stuffed with artificial crap! I am bringing some stocks home with me next week also because my uncle dropped a ton of them off for me and the boyfriend Rich!).

Bottom of some new super bearmy blue run at Glentress.

Although this return to Scotland was not under such sunny circumstances, I can't complain when I have gotten to spend quality time with my family and friends as well as get some great riding in and take a break from the race scene for a few days.

I have a few more days left and have a family and training plan laid out which I hope will continue keep me on track for Trans Epic which is now just a couple of weeks away.


  1. Beautiful! We did a Scotland coast to coast mtb trip last year for our 10th year anniversary (which is today!)...absolutely beautiful! Hope your mum is feeling better soon! See you at the Epic! :) Donna Weiser

  2. Nice post and pics. Can't wait to exchange mum stories... I too have been helping my dear old mom recover from a variety of illnesses while trying to train for the Epic. Makes for a full day! See you at the TSE! Jill wiest

  3. Thanks for your kind comments ladies. Looking forward to meeting you both next week.