We met Lee for the first time properly when she was in Livingston to meet with Emily Chappell during the planning phase of The Adventure Syndicate. At the time we were finishing a Stooshie for Emily when we learned of her plans for the Tour Divide Race this year, discussing the challenge, training logistics and kit. When we got round to bike choice, it took a few minutes (and a bit of a face-palm) to register that we were standing right next to a bike specifically designed for the job.
Fast forward 4 months and Lee’s changed her focus from a traverse of the Continental Divide to the Highland Trail 550 and has a new 650b+ hardtail to do it on. You can read more about the build on her blog here and we look forward to following her progress next week along with Ian Barrington on his Bahookie. Could it be another victory this year for a rider on a Shand?
Inspired by the Dunwich Dynamo midsummer night ride from London to Dunwich (on the Suffolk coast), Ride to the Sun provides the same unsupported fun with a night raid across border from Carlisle aiming to finish at Crammond beach just outside Edinburgh.
Having taken part last year, the event is a great night ride through the Scottish Borders with a bunch of like-minded people – not to mention a pit stop in Moffat for tea and chips. There’s no mass start and riders generally leave Carlisle between 20:00 and 22:00 to make Sunrise at Crammond around 04:30.
Now in its second year, there are around 750 riders registered and we decided to support the event by offering riders taking part a chance to win a frameset (up to a value of £1,500) based the rider to finish closest to a randomly selected time.
To take part, head over to the Ride to the Sun website to register and for more information about the event and route.
TweedLove is a bike festival in the Tweed Valley (running from 14 May to 30 May) and we’re getting involved again by sponsoring the social rides.
These are informal and friendly rides on the trails around the Tweed valley and are being held on the following dates:
THE SHAND RIDE-OUTS
Saturday 14 May 10.00 – Innerleithen Trailhead Car Park
Monday 16 May 18.30 – Peebles Kingsmeadows Road Car Park
Tuesday 17 May 19.00 – Selkirk Town Square
Monday 23 may 18.30 – Peebles Kingsmeadows Road Car Park
Thursday 26 may 10.00 – Innerleithen Trailhead Car Park
Please note that times may be subject to chance so check the Tweedlove Facebook page for updates.
These rides are what TweedLove is all about with local riders sharing some of their favourite trails on these free, informal and friendly MTB rides. Just turn up and join the group for a choice of rides around the valley. Routes vary according to weather and who turns up and usually last a couple of hours or so.
All ride-outs are mixed groups except where noted. These are informal bike rides, and not officially guide-supported. Hosted by volunteer local riders. Treat it like a normal bike ride where you’re responsible for yourself and your bike. You and your bike take part at your own risk and anyone under 16 must be accompanied with a responsible adult.
More information can be fount on the Shand ride-out page on the Tweedlove website.
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THE SHAND CHASE
Wednesday 25 May – Peebles/Glentress
Fancy a spot of MTB orienteering? Of course you do – and even if you’re map-reading skills are a bit rusty, this is a great chance to brush up on them whilst having a bit of fun.
Organised by the same team that run the Scottish MTB Challenge Series, this is a fun off road event where you choose the course with the aim of visiting as many checkpoints as possible in the time limit of 30 or 60 minutes.
Each checkpoint is worth a number of points with further away checkpoints worth more than the nearer ones. All checkpoints have a value and your challenge is deciding how many you can find without being late and incurring a penalty.
For more information, entry prices and how to register, head over the Chase page on the Tweedlove website.
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THE SHAND BIVI NIGHT
Saturday 11 June 13:00 – Peebles Kingsmeadows Road Car Park
If you’ve never had a overnight bivi on the bike (or even if you’re a bivi veteran) the bivi night is a great way to explore the remoter trails around Peebles and spend a night under the stars (or whatever might be provided by the weather).
Although you’ll be self-supported and responsible for yourself and you bike, you’ll need to register your place with the Tweedlove team and after confirmation you’ll be contacted with details and kit list.
For more details and how to register, head over the Bivi Night page on the Tweedlove website.
If you’ve been following our social media you may have seen some posts with the #hackbikederby hashtag and wondered what it’s all about. Well wonder no more as all was revealed at the Bespoked handbuilt bike show in Bristol and is probably best explained by watching the short film by Alex Rankin above.
Our very own Matt Stitt was representing with his own klunker creation built to Hack Bike Derby rules. The crazy idea for the project came from Andrew Denholm of the Bicycle Academy and 17 UK frame builders took part over the very cold and wet weekend in February. It was also sponsored by Bell Helmets, Bontrager and Break Fluid Coffee.
Once again we headed south to Bristol for the 6th incarnation of Bespoked, the UK’s hand-built bike show. We love the show as it’s more than just bikes, but more a get-together of like-minded people with little distinction between visitors and exhibitors – just people into bikes in all their different guises.
The show this year was as excellent as ever with a different mix of exhibitors and we were delighted to pick up awards for Best Gravel Bike (supported by Grix CX) and Best Touring Bike (supported by the CTC). We were also awarded at the end of the show (jointly with Sven and Dear Susan), the Public Vote (supported by Columbus) that was particularly special as all the bikes on show were basically what we make each and every day here in Livingston.
A big thanks to everyone who voted for us and if you haven’t been before, do make a note in the diary for April 2017 as it’s great weekend for any lover of two wheels.