My aims for this year’s season of riding bikes and racing was to complete the full Scottish Enduro Series and to bridge the gap to Scotland's fastest ladies at the top. Nothing beats a weekend away riding and racing bikes with a bike loving community. A couple of skill courses on the steeps of Innerleithen from Air Maiden, lots of fun winter time on the bike and my first sets of press-ups ever meant I was pumped up, ready to race and full of confidence.
Fort William in March was round 1 where I started off strong. I remember being totally buzzing being able to move my bike around while flying down the bottom half of the DH track there. I was over the moon with 6th place – the closest I’d been the fast ladies at the top of the SES. Pitfichie in April was even better. A brand new bike venue for me, with the perfect mixture of trails – my favourite of the year. I managed 5th place with a little 3rd on the DH track stage 6! I was now in sniffing distance of the top ladies.
Everything turned upside down at the end of April when we went across the border for the PMBA National Champs in Grizedale. I took my shoulder out on a tree stump after an over the bars during practice and Janey did her wrist on practise day two – carnage. The two one armed bandits limped home not getting to race.
After a lot of rest and some physio I was determined to make it to the next SES in June – Dunoon. It was a physically and mentally hard race, too soon for me to be back racing but it was good to be back on my bike.
The Air Maiden Enduro in July was next. Armed with a new bike, an injection in my shoulder and the fun of racing with 70 other bike loving ladies made for a confidence growing fun filled race. It was inspiring to see the energy and enthusiasm of all the women of a range of riding abilities taking on Innerleithen’s DH tracks in the rain!!
Continuing the fun theme we headed to the Ard Rock Enduro in Yorkshire. A bike festival and enduro everyone must try. I don’t think we could have packed in any more fun into that weekend - it was full of flat out trails, rocks, smiles for miles, friends, beer and music.
Back to SES racing in August at Innerleithen followed by Laggan Wolftrax in September and finally Dunkeld in October. These last three all had a similar frustrating vibe for me – knowing that I am capable of riding better and faster. Having spent the second half of my season resting and recovering with shoulder physio I was not bike fit and my confidence had taken a big hit. However, the final stage of the last round at Dunkeld showed I’ve still got it in me. I wasn’t fast but I made it cleanly down the steep slatey chutes of the new flowy Mast trail – smashed it! So much fuuuuun!
Overall I finished 5th in the Scottish Enduro Series – a huge step up from last year, even with my shoulder injury. I am already super excited to see where next year takes me! But first I am in much need of just having fun on my bike, a few skill coaching sessions and hopefully my confidence will return. Bring on the skids, wheelies and doubles!!
A huge thank you to Air Maiden for your support and all you’ve done and the mountains of enthusiasm and fun for bike riding – you’re my inspiration! And a big thank you to Flare Clothing Co – you have brought so much colour as well as excellent functioning bike kit to my riding!