Juliana Bicycles

Grinduro Scotland

 

Grinduro Scotland 2019

8月 01 — 2019

 

Juliana Bicycles

Rachael Walker is a Juliana Ambassador and Brand Manager of Hope Technology. She has traveled to all the corners of the world on her mountain bike and has one of the best Instagram accounts to inspire your next ride. 
 
On her most recent outing, Rachael raced the Grinduro Scotland where she placed 2nd. 

 

Why race Grinduro? I often refer to myself as a rider or a cyclist... not an enduro rider, or a downhiller, or a roadie, or an XC’er. I genuinely love all types of riding. One of the great things about Grinduro is that it’s a bridge between the two worlds of mountain biking and road, whilst also giving a platform for those who love gravel. What’s also great is that pretty much anyone can ride it, and you can ride together with a group of friends. It’s an event focusing on the experience, the ride, the trails, the laughs, and most of all the party.

The experience starts with the ferry crossing to the Isle of Arran from the mainland of Scotland. Scotland as a country is pretty diverse. On the West, the mountains are rugged, steep and rocky. On the East, they are slightly smaller and mainly covered in heather based moorland and pine forests. The Isle of Arran is a special little place...it's almost a micro version of Scotland on one island, capturing all the best parts (except the midges). As riders start to arrive at the event village I recognise many from last year, but many are also new. All are excited for the next 24 hours. 

Grinduro is so relaxed and friendly that you don’t really feel like you’re at a race. It felt like I was just off for a cafe ride with friends rather than lining up for a race. We were more worried about whether it would rain rather than anything else! Everywhere you looked people were grinning and joking - something you don’t normally see on the start line of a race. 

The race started with some whoops and cheers from the 300 or so riders as we funnelled onto the main road by the coast then quickly onto a singletrack climb which popped us out at the start of stage 1 - a super fast fire road descent. The next stage would be more type 2 fun, a pure uphill punchy stage. The second part of the day was longer, with two stages in the middle of 50km.

To be honest, I was looking forward to the transitions more than the stages. I remembered some pretty technical sections in some of the transitions from the previous year and couldn’t wait to tackle them on the Quincy. After stage three I knew the best part of the day was coming up. We were treated to a long steep loose rocky descent down to the coast followed by a technical rooty traverse in the woods. 

The technical sections are where the Quincy is the most fun. Things get loose, you get out of control, you’re on the brakes a lot, whilst trying to be smooth and move around on the bike. These sections wouldn’t really be a consideration on a mountain bike, but on a gravel bike, they force you to think carefully about line choice. For me, this is the beauty of gravel riding, as the bikes bring on a whole new challenge to your riding.

With all four stages done we handed in our timing chips and headed to the beach for the all important gin and ice cream. We had 85km and 2000m of climbing in our legs and huge smiles on our faces. The stages had been fun and hard, the transitions were even better. But more importantly, we had a brilliant 6 hours of riding on our bikes with good friends. I’d had an awesome day “maxin”... now it was time for some “relaxin”.

 

See you next year Grinduro Scotland!

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