Home Is Where It’s Happening

It isn’t uncommon to be patriotic to your home town. But it makes it a little easier when you live somewhere as awesome as I do. Fort William is known to most as the home of British Downhill, but this small highland town has so much more to offer than just a Downhill track. Sure the track is heaps of fun and brings in thousands of visitors every year but the riding is so much more diverse than just that one track. This was showcased at the 2nd round of the Scottish Enduro Series a few weeks back, the race had a perfect balance of bike park to natural riding.

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The 2nd round of the SES was my very first Enduro race so I thought I’d ease myself in and enter the lite category. I came away from the weekend with two thing.. 2nd place and an enduro convert. I now see the appeal of this discipline. You don’t have the same waiting around that you do in Downhill, your constantly on your bike having fun and after all that’s why we all ride to have fun and enjoy ourselves. Despite this I still have a love for big bikes and chairlifts which I can’t see changing anytime soon.

My favourite time of the year in Fort William is normally around late April till the end of June. The weather is usually nice, the midges are still in hibernation and most of the visitors still think we are snowed in so the place isn’t overly busy.

As I sit writing this outside in 22 degree heat I think it is a fair statement to say that winter is behind us (despite last weeks snow). I must admit I surprisingly enjoyed winter this year, there wasn’t too much snow at ground/trail level so I got out on my bike heaps and there was still enough up top to get some good snowboarding nailed. I am however glad to see the back of winter now. It was fun while it lasted but now it’s Bike, BBQ & Beach time. Summer plans are nearly finalised, we’re heading to France, Italy & Switzerland in June and then over to Slovenia in August. We also have our first Girls group ride in just under 2 weeks in Fort William. It’s a great chance to ride with like minded girls (at a discounted rate). Check it out here.

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Girls Group Ride in Fort William on the 21st of May

This past weekend was the first weekend of Gondola uplift in Fort William, which to me signifies the start of Summer, the sun even made an appearance on the Sunday too.

 

The weather over the last few days has been phenomenal in Fort William the sun has been shining so brightly that it woke me up at 5am this morning and I decided to head out on a pre work bike ride (I might be a sleep at my desk by lunch time). Long may Summer continue.

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Until Next Time 🙂 x

What’s Been Happening – 2016 Update

2016 What’s Been Happening

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It is hard to believe that we are into the month of May already. The 2016 season is already well underway but there is still heaps to look forward too. Here is a round up of what’s happened so far.

  • Rachel Atherton continues to dominate the female world cup circuit.
  • Round 3 of the EWS in Ireland is only 1 week away & Rd 3 Fort William is ONLY 5 weeks away! Get tickets for Fort William here!!
  • Fort William’s UCI Mountain Bike World Cup has been named No.1 on a list of the top 5 bike events for spectators in 2016 by major mountain bike sponsor, Red Bull

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  • Cecile Ravanel dominates in the first 2 rounds of the EWS.

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  • World Champ Loic Bruni take his first world cup win in Cairns
  • MTB Girls Ride is to host its first Girls Group ride on May 21st @ Nevis Range, Fort William

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  • Fort William, World Cup Track & the Red Downhill uplifts open for Summer this weekend!

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Winter you A’ight but you just ain’t Summer

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I like winter! It might not seem like it because I am always harping on about Summer, but I swear I do! Winter definitely has its perks. I can go snowboarding, the trails are a lot quieter, the scenery in Scotland is spectacular. But nothing can beat those Summer night rides, Travels & BBQ’s on the beach! So if I had to choose Summer for me would win every time and the good news is it isn’t that far away! The nights are stretching, the sun’s shining more & this week I got out on my very first after work ride without lights since October!

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This was massive news! Recently when I’ve been finishing work at 5  I end up embarking on a full scale argument with myself trying to force myself to go to the gym! But last Monday was a different story! I drove home like a mad women dumped all my work stuff, threw my bike in the back of the car and headed for the trails, and within 20 minutes, me and my bike had made it to the North Face Carpark and we were on our way! Now it might have only latest just over an hour  and it may have resulted me try to navigate myself back to my car in darkness, but to me this 100% signifies the start of Summer 2016 & it got me pretty pumped.

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In 2016 Fort William will host the first MTB Girls Ride group ride out!  If you are interested in coming along check out our Facebook Event. If you can’t make it don’t worry there will be a lot more rides throughout 2016!

2016 is bring some exciting times for me & MTB Girls Ride! Keep an eye out for some news we will be releasing soon! It has got me WELL excited!

Ride On!

X

 

 

Bikes. Dirt. Downhill. Bike Night at The Fort William Mountain Festival 2016

Bikes. Dirt. Downhill.  Bike Night at The Fort William Mountain Festival 2016

Press Release

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Fort William Mountain Festival

The “Mountain Festival”, also known as the Fort William Mountain Festival, has over the years hosted some of the bike industry’s biggest names at their bike nights; and BOOM! … they have done it again in  2016.  ‘ I Want To Ride My Bicycle’ on Saturday 20 February at the Nevis Centre, Fort William includes talks from Aneela ‘the bothy queen’ McKenna, Crawford Carrick Anderson, Chris Ball and Julia Hobson.

Keen to explore the idea that mountain biking is much more than racing World Cups or riding dirt jumps, with this year’s event organisers wanted to celebrate the great outdoors, highlight the wonderful environment in which we live and the fantastic opportunities for travel across the globe on your mountain bike.

Nikki Stafford from the Fort William Mountain Festival organising committee said: “The brief for the 2016 bike night is much more about celebrating the lifestyle and the sheer pleasure of Mountain Biking. Living and working in the Outdoor Capital of the UK and a super keen mountain biker myself, I am very much looking forward to the bike night and hope to be inspired for my next adventure.”

Aneela “the bothy queen” McKenna will be host for the evening. Aneela is an avid mountain biker, partner of Go Where Scotland, and Juliana Brand Ambassador. Aneela is always keen for a new adventure and she makes things happen. Husband Andy McKenna from Go Where Scotland recently said “I was about to head to my bed the other night and next thing I knew we were heading up Minch Moor with our bivvy bags and a bottle of single malt for a night under the stars. How the hell did that happen?” Aneela knows how to have a good time and will extract the best from the speakers. We are sure that her long acquaintance with them all will unearth some great laugh

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Photo From Jiliana Bikes

Crawford Carrick Anderson is no stranger to the Outdoor Capital of the UK. Crawford an ex British Team Skier has skied at Nevis Range.  He helped in the early design off the world renowned mountain bike downhill course and then went on to compete as a downhill racer, making it into the World top 10 in the rankings. Crawford’s talents extend to the world of motor sport where he also successfully participated in motorbike Enduro and Trials , regularly taking part in the Scottish Six Days. These days Crawford is riding MTB Enduro and Cyclocross and spending time with his family, who are getting pretty quick as well. We look forward to hearing what keeps Crawford’s drive and enthusiasm going and what his goals are for the future.

For those who follow Chris Ball on Social Media they will already recognise him as a global adventurer. Chris is part of the team behind the Enduro World Series (EWS) and the man who started Dirt School.  Chris has also worked for the UCI, was a downhill racer and is passionate about mountain biking. Chris loves getting out on his bike and having fun with friends. hH also enjoys a variety of other outdoor activities including climbing and skiing and, most recently, a bit of sailing.

Julia Hobson lives the dream. Julia is a mountain bike guide in Scotland and abroad. Like Aneela  she is also a Julianna Brand Ambassador as well as being the queen of Instagram.  She never sits still and has some amazing stories to share. As a racer Julia has competed some of the big races; she has cycled John o Groats to Lands End off road, and is a well ‘kent’ face in the Outdoor Capital and her friends cannot wait to hear about her most adventures.

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The Thistly Cross After Party will be held in the Alexandra Hotel immediately after the conclusion of the Bike Night.

Saturday 20 February also sees the return of the very popular  No Fuss Runduro Event which will see runners enjoy the mountain bike Enduro format on the trails around Fort William and Glen Nevis.

Chris Ball recently issued a challenge to the other bike night speakers: “We should all do this.  I will speak first and give them all a chance to get their breath back!  Could Crawford get the loan of a head torch just in case.”

 

To find out more about the Fort William Mountain Festival 2016 and to book tickets go to: http://www.mountainfestival.co.uk/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fort.william.mountain.festival

Twitter – https://twitter.com/FWMF2016  /  #FWMF2016

The Fort William Mountain Festival is presented by Jöttnar, technical clothing for mountaineering, winter climbing and all-mountain skiing  – http://www.jottnar.com/

 

The Fort William Mountain Festival wish to thank the following sponsors and supporters – Jöttnar, Three Wise Monkey’s Climbing, Rare Breed Productions, The Alexandra Hotel, Thistly Cross Cider, The Outdoor Capital of the UK, Ellis Brigham, Rio Tinto Alcan, Foundation Scotland, Corpach Boat Building Co. Ltd, The Nevis Landscape Partnership, The Heritage Lottery Fund, Hotscot, Cotswold Outdoor, Nevis Range Mountain Resort, John Muir Trust, Printsmith, Lamont Design, Allround Signs, Abacus Mountain Guides, The Granite House, No Fuss Events, Bill Scott Architects.