An endurance racer, Gore Wear rider and advocate for outdoor adventures, Catriona Sutherland offers up some inspiration to keep your pedals turning in 2018. Whether you’ve got a taste for competition, or you’re in it for the social side, here are five reasons to keep riding.
We’re well into 2018; past the novelty of New Year’s resolutions and most certainly, in the thick of winter riding weather. Whilst it can be hard to keep cycling when the best of British winter is upon us, there are lots of reasons to keep your kit on and miles mounting. Spring is around the corner after-all!
Make new friends – enter a team event
One of the main reasons I love to ride is the social aspects. I’m a chat-a-minute most days, but having the company of others during a ride adds all the more to a day in the saddle. When a message arrived in my inbox asking if I’d join a team of four to compete in Raid ICAM, a non-stop adventure race held in Northern France, my instant answer was ‘yes!’ (I had however failed to read the part that mentioned roller blading…). Covering 150 kilometres of mixed terrain by not just bike, but also foot, kayak and, oh yes, those roller blades, what better way to get to know new friends? If you’re looking for cycling motivation during the winter months, why not pull together a group of willing riders and sign up for a team event?
Test yourself – bikepacking for over 24 hours
Bike packing has become a familiar call for those adventurous of mind; just you, your bike and the essential kit you need for the road or trail. After a failed attempt to get to the start line last year, i’m back in 2018 to test myself and my endurance at the Capital Trail. What better way to see Scotland’s capital surroundings than a 150 mile, non-stop bike packing event over 24 hours? If you’re looking for a personal cycling challenge this summer and a great introduction to bike packing, the Capital Trail is a worthy choice.
See the world – safari and cycling in Namibia
I’ve travelled the globe with my bike; from Iceland and Romania to Canada and Australia. There’s no better way to experience a country than by exploring it on two wheels. This year I’ll be heading off to Namibia to combine both safari and cycling, riding over 12 days in the remote desert. If you’ve a case of wanderlust, why not consider combining cycling with a chance to see the world?
For adventures sake – mountain bike and packrafting
Racing can be a great route for testing your competitive edge, but an adventure by bike is food for the mind and soul. This May, fellow GoreWear rider Naomi and I will be exploring the remote Scottish Highlands by bike and packraft! Heading to the hills, we’ll be travelling over both land and water on a self supported journey; camping and paddling in search of lesser travelled trails and a bothy or two.
Give back to the trails – take care of your trails weekend
Ever heard of a Dig Day? Whilst it’s not so easy to tidy up the tarmac and fix pesky potholes, for mountain bikers, it’s often up to us to keep the trails in perfect flow. In fact, there’s a dedicated weekend across Europe called Take Care of Your Trails weekend, held on the 7th and 8th of April. This pan-European competition is the perfect way to exercise not just your body (it’s hard graft after-all!), but also your competitive sprint! I’ll be joining a team in Torridon this year, keeping the Scottish mountain trails in order. If you like the sound of switching to a spade for the day and giving back to the trails, find out how to get involved here.