In praise of the Enduro World Series – and their new Juliana Women’s Rides

Enduro MTB is a pretty new discipline, as far as cycling goes.  It’s kind of a cross between Downhill, cross country and Marathon mountain biking – a stage race format, with multiple events over a weekend, and competitors also riding the (mostly uphill) transfers between the (mostly downhill) stages.  If you want to know more about it, there are the wikipedia article, and introductions from Pinkbike and BikeRadar, and this video from GCN MTB.

The Enduro World Series is the biggest competition, a season-long series that takes place in some truly gorgeous locations.  It’s only been running since 2013, and it’s very definitely outside the umbrella of the UCI, organised by the Enduro Mountain Bike Association (EMBA), which itself started in 2012, and from the start, it’s been very inclusive, especially of women, but also of fans.  It has excellent media, with lots of rider involvement, in the previews of each race, highlights, and lots of things in between, and it makes these available to pretty much everyone.  Check out the video page and photo galleries on their website, and drool over that beautifully-MTB combination of fantastic people doing extraordinary things on amazing bikes, in the most incredible landscapes.

Continue reading

The 2017 Absa Cape Epic – truly epic South African MTB – watch live!

19-26 March 2017

I try to avoid the word “epic”, as it’s so over-used in cycling…  but this time, it’s warranted!

The Absa Cape Epic is an 8-stage MTB race in South Africa, contested by teams of two riders in three categories: women’s and men’s teams, mixed pairs, Masters and Grand Masters.  The race is 691km in total, with 15,400m of climbing, in some of the most incredible landscapes.  Riders sleep in tent villages, provided for them, and have to contend with extreme conditions.  It’s glorious, and it’s especially great for fans of women’s cycling, because it’s exactly the same course for the women as for the men, and really shows up anyone who think women are physically lesser.  You can check out the route video, and on the website.  And the race is so supportive of women – they say they were the first major cycling race to offer equal prize money for the women and men.

We can follow the race live, and watch on the race livestream, as well as watch on TV!  You can find where and when it will be shown on TV here, and the details of the livestream timing here. The stream will be on the race homepage, and live timings are in South African SAST, which is 1 hour ahead of European CET, 2 hours ahead of UK GMT, 6 hours ahead of North American EDT, and 9 hours behind Australian AEDT – so a 9am start would be 08:00 CET, 7am GMT, 3am EDT and 6pm AEDT.  If you missed the stream live, you can also watch replays of each day on the race livestream and catch up on all the action.

Continue reading

Three happy films (& links) for February: Bike science fiction, Lee Craigie and WorldTour

If you, like me, live in the UK, you’ll know that February can be a hard month – so often grey, dreary, dreich, and feeling like it will never end.  Cyclocross is over, and the Spring Classics are yet to begin.  But there are also so many positives too – sunny days feel so much better, for their rarity, and days are getting noticeably longer; the first Spring flowers are out; and in the women’s cycling world, we get tons of great film-ettes that remind us that the winter is nearly over.

I’ve seen three that I love this week – and they include a book giveaway too, because I’m sharing the joy and want to give two lucky readers a nice gift!

1. Lee Craigie’s ‘Escape’ film

You probably already know I’m a huge fan of the Adventure Syndicate, a group of women who share their bike-based adventures to inspire and encourage others to do more.  One of the Founders, Lee Craigie, has made a little film for UK charity Sustrans, sharing her love of cycling as she rides the Caledonia Way.

It’s a gorgeous little film, combining a love of bike riding with gorgeous scenery, and Craigie’s soft Scottish accent.  It’s uplifting, inspiring and happy, and you all should watch it!

Continue reading

Three women’s cycling crowdfunders

One of the things that’s both frustrating and inspiring is pro athletes having to crowdfund to compete in their sport.  Frustrating, for obvious reasons, but inspiring because the fan community really helps them.  There are three very different ones running fro British women cyclists right now – Para-cycling, MTB and road racing, and here’s how you can help.

Hannah Dines’ Crowdfunder for a new racing trike

Hannah Dines is a Scottish Para-cyclist, who competed in the 2016 Paralympics in the tricycle road races.  She’s having a hard time right now – she recently lost her UK Sport funding, and on top of that, has had her racing trike destroyed, when her car was stolen and set on fire, with the trike inside it. As you can imagine, these both put a large dent in her goal of medaling at the 2010 Paralympics.

Her insurance won’t cover the cost of a new trike, so she’s raising the money herself – and anything she raises over her goal of £7,454 will be donated to the Neil’s Wheels bike shop, so that other disabled people can get their own specialised sports equipment.  The

Read more about her crowdfunder, and please do donate, if you can.  Follow Hannah on twitter, find out more about her in this articles by the Herald, read her blog about why ride a trike, and in this video about Rio, which also was crowd-funded, by handcyclist Karen Darke:

***

Bex Baraona’s raffle to fund her racing the 2017 Enduro World Series

Continue reading

Podcast 2016 Episode 34 – The Dystopic Science Fiction Architectural Cycling Digest

Podcast logoThis week we catch up on everything that happened in the Junior Women’s and Elite Women’s World Championship Road Races, including all of the things that surprised and delighted us. We do a bit of a wrap up of the latest news in UCI rule changes (there have been a lot of them for track in particular) and there are a couple of points of unavoidable controversy. We do our best to tackle them from a glass half full perspective but we’ll let you decide how well me managed to pull that off. (1:10:46 MIN / 64.8 MB)

You can also sign up for free, automated downloads via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here.

Stuff We Talked About

It’s all here in Sarah’s wrap-up post with videos, highlights, the stories and whatnot from both the Junior and Elite Women’s Road Races.

 

 

Podcast 2016 Episode 33 – Sarah Is Not Allowed On Mountain Bikes

Podcast logoThis week we talk about all of the worlds time-trialling in Doha. The heat in Qatar showed up in full force and played havoc with the Team Time Trial. There was plenty of riders suffering from heatstroke and heat related stress which was deeply concerning. We also talk about how this impacted on the results. There’s the Junior and Elite women’s Individual Time Trials to discuss as well, with some interesting and surprising results there. Although fortunately with less dramatic heat. We catch up on the latest cyclocross and mountainbike news and round the episode out with a bit of gossip. (1:23:00 MIN / 75.99 MB)

You can get free automated updates via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here.

Things we talked about this week included

This week’s racing

2016 Road World Championships!

***

Cyclocross

Sarah’s guide to watching and following the 2016/7 Cyclocross

SuperPrestige #1, Gieten

Gorgeous photos by Balint Hamvas

***

IJsboerke Ladies Tophy (DVV Trophee) #1, Ronse

Continue reading

Videos and media from the 2016 Downhill MTB World Championships

The final big Downhill MTB race of 2016 was a huge one – the 2016 World Championships.  And because this is MTB, we have a ton of videos, photos and excellent media for you.  I’ll be editing in more as I see it, but wow, there’s a lot already, including the Junior women and the 2016 Four Cross Worlds.

It was a really tough course – very steep, very technical, full of deep dust, treacherous holes and Let’s start with the Full race replay on Red Bull TV. 

Winning run:

Want to see that from Atherton’s perspective, on her GoPro?  I know you do!

 

Continue reading