On the last weekend of July I travelled to the Isle of Man for my first ever visit and to compete in a little known race, The Manx 100. 100 miles and 15,000 ft of climbing. Not a trail center to be seen.
Whilst it’s impossible to define what mountain bike riding and racing ‘is’, this ride and race epitomised what I personally love about the activity. Riding a mountain bike across big wild landscapes. Climbing big hills and flying down the other side.
I also really enjoyed the short time I spent with the locals. Passionate people who love the island. We were made very welcome everywhere we went. I also wrote an article about the race, the super enthusiastic organisers, helpers, their families and friends. My friend Dave Bell (http://www.someseedifferent.com) took the stunning photographs – I can’t wait to see the finished copy.
Issue 17 is available to subscribers the week after next and will be in the shops soon after. If you read it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did riding and writing about it. (http://www.rouleur.cc/privateer)
Recently I also took my MBL course with Rich Barnard at Cycle Active in the Lake District. It was a fantastic couple of days – Rich was a great tutor, our group got on well, and I thoroughly recommend Cycle Active to anyone. (www.cycleactive.com) I made the second day ‘fun’ by riding to our morning meeting point from Keswick via the Old Coach Road and Helvellyn, then after a 3ok MBL course ride, (including the awesome Ulswater path ) I returned home via Helvellyn once more but descended the uber steep Sticks Pass which was bone dry. Great training for my next big weekend.
I fancied the Tour of Ben Nevis last year but didn’t make it. So it’s a scoot up to Fort Bill on 21st September but I’ll be leaving my car at Glasgow so that the day after the Tour I can ride back via the West Highland Way. It’s going to be a tough weekend but I’ve got issues with that trail….