It’s biking time

Settled back in Scotland for the next 6 weeks had me organising the next Mission WOW event. I got asked by the Highland Perthshire Cycling committee for run the women’s part of the Cycling festival. Cat at SCOTT UK had agreed to support whatever event that I decided to run so they were on board for the festival too.

Once landing in the homeland, there was plenty to keep me busy and out of trouble with the event but I needed exercising. Otherwise I and everyone else around me, was going to go mad. And last weekend my chariot arrived in all it’s glory to meet me in Keswick.

I was presented with a practically new SCOTT Contessa Genius bike to borrow from the demo fleet.

From the moment I lifted it out the van, I was sold. It has a carbon frame so can be carried on your shoulder with no bother (lucky, as the adventures it was going to get to go on that first day were slightly challenging) And it wasn’t pink. Contessa is SCOTT’s women’s specific range of bikes, they have 12 different models just in the mountain bikes department, and then there’s road bikes, E-bikes, and hybrids. Check out the range here.

After a brief explanation of the various levers and a shock adjustment from Gareth we were off on the Boradale Bash, with a twist. Never having been to the Lake District when I can remember at least, I had no real concept of what we were about to take on. Basically we were going to circumnavigate Derwent Water, the lake that Keswick sits on, clockwise. But instead of travelling at lake level we were going to go along the hill tops.

This plan is one of Jaymie Mart’s favourite rides. The skills that this girl possesses on a bike are unmatched by many man or beast, so I knew we were in for a good challenge and a lot of laughs.

The day involved some definite hike-a-bike parts, technical decents and smooth flowing sections.

With my trusty Contessa hooked over my shoulder I happily ambled up the side of Catbells, stoked on the 27lbs weight tag that it shouts about.

The moments of gold came with the reactions we got from everyone descending from the mighty summit of Catbells as we climbing up the side. There were two major issues they were having with us:

1. The effort involved lugging a bike up to the top and what on earth were we going to ride down on the other side

2. There was a constant gale blowing at the top and surely we’d be blown off once on a bike on the top.

We thought about both these factors, the first one covered as Jaymie had ridden down plenty times before and had explained that we would need to carry bikes in sections. No problem.

The wind. A slight potential issue but since we were already a good chunk of the way up, we’d just keep going to see the views. 

So it became easier to tell people we were in training, for what they asked? ‘Kite biking to the South Pole’ we replied. That shut them up pretty quickly. Others just stared and stated ‘You’re bonkers’.

And so we continued on up to the top, were rewarded with stunning views and a gnarly ride down with a strong side breeze.  This is when my new noble steed stepped it up a notch or two. After the first descent I has forgotten to click the lever which changes the rear shock from 95mm (3.7”) to 150mm (5.9”).  So this time I was prepared with 150mm beneath me, off I went on the cushiest bike I’ve ever ridden. Stoked.

All in all, well worth the effort for an epic adventure, hours of entertainment and the look on people’s faces. Highly recommended. And as for the bike, an ideal day to challenge it’s make-up and it shone through. Sorry Cat, not sure how you’re going to pry this bike off of me. Thanks again.

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