I've just done a slightly self indulgent thing, sit down and read my own blog posts. I'm glad I did because it's reminded me how much I've actually achieved this year. I was feeling a little negative about how things have gone for me throughout the race season but really it's been a fab year and I have little to complain about. The decision to 'race' with some serious intent again this season came about thanks to Fall Line Cycles and their offer of help and my Parents being due to move much closer giving me some childcare support whilst Paul was away at work, the latter unfortunately fell through so my season hasn't quite been what I 'd hoped, but actually, its probably been my best ever season.
I don't want to just recap my races, you can flick through the blog if your wanting to know about them, I'd just like to talk about the journey its taken me on and the good things that have come from it. The first and most important thing that has happened is that I'm back loving my bike again, I don't think I have quite the gung ho confidence that I once had, but I've come to realise thats no bad thing. It's certainly meant I've spent less time eating the dust in a seasons racing than I have before, commitment to lines and speed is now based on skill and what I know I can safely achieve. That attitude does sometimes lead to me walking away from a technical challenge or two, but in the long term I'm not so sure thats a bad thing. It certainly doesn't mean that I give up entirely, there still parts of trails I'm yet to nail and one day soon once my skill has reached the right level I will get those lines. So long as I keep that right attitude in my head, know what I can do, what I need to push myself to do and where I'm better to live to fight another day I can only see my confidence and skills improving in the future. I don't feel like I need to prove myself anymore.
It’s not been an easy decesion but I have decided not to race with any seriousness next year. I was lucky enough to get a reserved entry to Ard Rock so I’m entered for that and I might do some other bits on a last minute basis but next year holds new challenges for me. I’m about to embark on a degree and my own small business is badly in need of my attention.
Bike wise I’m really keen to do more adventure style riding. I picked up a copy of the Scottish bothy bible and its fuelled my fire to get out and see Scotland some more from the comfort of my lady specific saddle. I’m hoping to keep the blog up and running and share those adventures instead.
One of the things I’m most proud of this year is the success and impact of the survey I did about women in enduro. I know its already brought about a few changes for the better regards how our sport views women. I hope to carry on doing my bit for the trails in general as part of the board of the newly formed Tweed Valley Trails Association. Keep an eye out for what we have planned for the future, it’s exciting stuff.
It just remains to say a huge thank you to Nic and Nick at Fall Line Cycles. I can heartedly recommend them for all your bike related needs and the Orange Stage 5 I now zip about on is genuinely the best bike I have ever owned and ridden, thats not a plug its true. Another huge thank you goes to Ally at Ride it Clothing for helping me out with Jerseys, he’s the man to see for custom MTB jerseys and to the chaps at Mudhugger for keeping the mud out of my eyes this year. Finally to family and friends who have helped in whatever way, especially with childcare, your all awesome.