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Race Report – Round 2 Racers Guild, Stile Cop – Rebecca Smith

Flow MTB rider Rebecca in action at Racers Guild Stile Cop round 2

Flow MTB riders Kate and Rebecca entered the second round of the 2017, Racers Guild at Stile Cop

Racers Guild is a West Midlands based club with a focus on Downhill MTB who organise downhill races and events at Stile Cop, Cannock Chase.

The event took place on 21st February there were 112 riders competing with 8 in the women’s category. Here’s Rebecca’s race report.

It’s a month since my last race and as this one approached the nerves ramped up disproportionately to the race size. It was a small friendly regional race for round 2 of the Racers Guild Winter series at Stile Cop. I visited the track last week and loved it. It’s techy rooty at the top and balls out tree dodging at the bottom, perfect. My kind of track since I love roots, even the ones that scare me!

At the last race I came last and although I thought I was over it the increasing nerves let me know that I was not. What if I came last again? It was another strong field and I was feeling my time off the bike over the winter. My finger was mostly fixed and although I was raring to go I’m not ashamed to admit I was scared of failing again. Suddenly I was doubting my ability to hit the 2 tricky rooty sections despite nailing them every time when I went to check out the track last week.

Then it all changed when a face full of sunshine hit my doormat in the form of a purple packet emblazoned with Flow! I peeked inside the wrapper like a kid on Christmas day….. the flamingo jersey was finally here, whooohooo! I had been waiting for my new DHaRCO kit since I first spied the jersey in a Flow post on Facebook. I love flamingos, or flingamungos as they are affectionately known in my family thanks to my niece. The jersey was like a summer cocktail and when combined with my aqua shorts and their orange starry waistband I was back on a tropical island ready to hit the dust… or mud since this is February in the UK.

Race day arrived 2 days later and I was buoyant as I pulled on my new kit. I twirled for my sister and then set off on the short drive from her house to Stile Cop. The nerves made themselves known again but I’d parked next to team mate Kate so a banter filled track walk helped push them away. I soaked up the compliments about my kit and Edith’s new bling sugar skull headset cap. I was pretty much bouncing as we lined up for our first practice run.

I made it through the first set of roots and then nearly crashed off the little drop just before the next set so I lined up for tricky set 2 with one foot clipped in and no speed uh oh! It turned out not to matter as I cruised through anyway. Awesome, that gave me a bit of breathing room. Run 2 and the same little drop got me again which given I had never noticed it before was a bit surprising. A new line soon solved it and I was flying sideways through the mud grinning my head off. I wanted to hit a line over a stump through some roots and towards a tree at the bottom but kept bottling it. That tree had my name on and I could already see my face print on it! I gritted my teeth hung on and did it. I missed the tree and although it wasn’t pretty it was faster.

Watching the rippers first run I was yet again in awe of the little dudes and dudette on their mini bikes. We chit chatted about lines and trees that people were struggling with then before I knew it we were on track. I’d been getting more bouncy (think Tigger style) all day so as I came into the 2nd rooty set on my first race run I jumped the roots instead of rolling them. I surprised myself when I cleared them but then stopped dead when I didn’t clear the tree! I was track standing, facing up hill in a silly gear clipped in, a graceful scoot solved it and I raced off chortling. 7th. OK I was happy enough with the place but not my time so tree avoidance and a calmer run was needed for run 2.

My family turned up to watch my last run and they found me because they could hear me…..OK maybe a quieter calmer mindset for run 2 needed some work! I got on track, missed the tree, saved 2 seconds and finished in 7th. I could have been faster but I had a smooth and calm run, nailed all my lines and had bags of fun.

Racing can be serious so it was great to really enjoy myself; popping off little whoops, trying new things, attacking features instead of backing off and generally remembering why I ride my bike. The whole day was great fun with a good bunch of people. I made new friends, shared stories, chatted about bikes, lines and creepy spiders in the undergrowth (you know who you are!) and cheered on competitors, sharing that camaraderie that only comes from racing. I can’t wait to race next weekend but I do hope that the wildlife is less bitey and the weather is as kind. Come on storm Doris get it over with and get gone before Sunday!

Oh I almost forgot, I always crash big time when I wear an item of new kit but somehow I got away with new shorts and a new jersey with only a bar clip on that tree. Maybe things aren’t as set in stone as you think. Or maybe the flamingos lent me a grace I don’t normally demonstrate hahaha!

A huge thank you to Flow MTB for the amazing kit and support and thank you to The Physio clinic Bristol for keeping me on my feet.

RankBibNameRun 1Run 2Best runDiff
1307Rosy MONAGHAN1:06.656 (1)1:04.634 (1)1:04.634
2309Ellie DEWDNEY1:07.926 (2)1:06.812 (2)1:06.8122.178s
3313Caroline HEATHCOTE1:08.038 (3)1:17.747 (7)1:08.0383.404s
4312Alex HUNTER1:13.451 (4)1:13.821 (4)1:13.4518.817s
5310Beverley ADIPURA1:15.959 (5)1:13.728 (3)1:13.7289.094s
6308Gabriele GELGOTAITE1:17.158 (6)1:14.353 (5)1:14.3539.719s
7304Rebecca SMITH1:18.417 (7)1:16.196 (6)1:16.19611.562s
8306Kate GRIES1:24.786 (8)1:22.327 (8)1:22.32717.693s

@flowmtbapparel / @becca_itd / photos Prospect Visuals and Alan Palmer

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Michelle Muldoon joins Flow MTB Race Team

Michelle Muldoon or “Ginga Ninja” to her biking friends is a privateer mountain biker and Physical Education Secondary School Teacher in Ireland. While the top pros dedicate their lives to racing for privateers it’s a juggling act of hard graft to fund their racing while trying to fit in as much training as they can, so they can be as competitive as possible when they get to race day. Biking is such a huge part of Michelle’s life and she tries to balance everything she can around it.

I try to get out on my bike for at least two mid-week spins and the gym twice a week also. Weekends are devoted to all-mountain adventures on the mountain bike. This is when it really doesn’t feel like training, more like having fun on the bike with my friends. I also like to mix it up during the winter with some trail-running and indoor bouldering at my local climbing wall.

As the race season approaches, my training will veer more towards interval training and focus on maintaining power and strength in the gym. Weekends are spent sessioning different trails and doing downhill runs to keep the skills fresh and reactions sharp.

For the 2017 race season Michelle will be riding for Flow MTB with sponsorship deals from  NICOLAI Bikes (frame), WTB (tyres, rims, saddles, grips), ION (apparel and protection), Kali Protectives (helmets) and Olfi Action Camera.  Her local bike shop Madelkcycles will also be supporting her at Irish races and with bike mechanics.

Michelle races enduro MTB both in Ireland and internationally spending her summers travelling around Europe in her race van following the enduro race scene, riding epic trails and meeting new people everywhere she goes. As one of the fastest female riders in Ireland she’s made the podium in almost every round of the Gravity Enduro Series since 2013, and is currently ranked 2nd in the country.

Michelle is an Ambassador for Cycling Ireland and a fully qualified ‘Gearing Up Off Road’ and Trail Cycle Leader with experience coaching beginner women’s biking sessions. As as a secondary school PE teacher she teaches bike skills as part of the PE Programme and will be delivering this programme to other PE teachers around the country as part of their professional development.

2016 race season

In 2016 Michelle was racing among the fastest riders in the world in the Enduro World Series (EWS), as well as the European, French, British and Irish Enduro Series. Her best result in 2016 was taking 11th place at the Irish round of the EWS which left her with a goal of one day being top 10 in the world.

Michelle spent 5 weeks in her van in France and Italy racing and made her first ever international podium in Alpe D’huez at the Mega Avalanche Cup in July.

During 2016 Michelle’s love of racing took her to a global level when she competed in the USA and Canada.

Highlights of 2016

  • 11th Round 3 Enduro World Series, Ireland – I was in the ‘Hot Seat’ watching other riders come through which was a first for me. This was my best EWS result to date
  • 3rd Mega Avalanche Cup. My first international podium
  • 2nd overall in the Irish Gravity Enduro Series 2016
  • Travelling across the globe to America and Canada, living the dream and racing amongst the best riders in the world
  • Living the ‘vanlife’ in the French Alps and staying in the stunning village of Chamonix under the giant that is Mont Blanc
  • Washing in the icy cold Savoie Valley river in La Thuile after an epic race weekend!
  • Experiencing the stunning trails of Snowmass, Colorado and Whistler
  • Watching Crankworx in Whistler – EPIC
  • Making so many new friends along the way and riding in the most amazing places

2016 race results

  • 25th overall – Enduro World Series (EWS)
    • 11th – EWS Wicklow, Ireland
    • 33rd – EWS Aspen, Colorado
    • 25th – EWS La Thuile, Italy
  • 3rd – Mega Avalanche Cup. My first international podium
  • 2nd overall – Irish Gravity Enduro Series
  • 1st – Welsh Gravity Enduro Series, Cwmcarn

Plans for 2017

With priority entry for every round of the 2017 Enduro World Series Michelle will be racing in Ireland, France and Canada. With plans for Trans-Provence, Mega Avalanche and many of the National Enduro Series and European enduro races she’s set herself some big race and personal goals for the year ahead:

  • Race three of the eight rounds of the Enduro World Series in Ireland, France and Whistler
  • Race the 6-Day Trans-Provence Enduro in France
  • Podium every round of the Irish GE Series with at least 3 wins and win the overall series
  • Come top 3 in the Mega Avalanche Cup
  • Race in the British, Scottish and Welsh Enduro Series
  • Spend a month in my van exploring the French Alps
  • Run coaching clinics for women throughout the year
  • Continue to run 6-week Gearing up off-road courses for beginners with Cycling Ireland
  • Increase female ridership and positivity through education and advocacy

Keep up to date on Michelle’s 2017 race season on flowmtb.co.uk @flowmtbapparel @michellemuldoonmtb

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Junior rider Corinna joins the Flow MTB race team

Flow MTB adds junior rider Corinna Brisbourne to it's Flow Rider team

Corinna Brisbourne

I am 17 years old and have big aspirations to be involved in mountain biking and believe the best riders are the ones that have the most fun! With Flow MTB behind me I hope to promote female mountain bikers and get more girls involved in the sport; I love riding and in between college get out on my bike as much as I can.

The thought of having other girls to ride with and getting more girls involved in the sport really excites me because not everyone realises just how much fun mountain biking is and it can feel pretty lonely where I live because I never have other girls to go and ride with!

It’s great to feel part of a team and I’m looking forward to the 2017 race season and I hope to come out with some good results under my belt.

Goals for 2017

In 2017 I plan to race the Pearce Downhill series and the MIJ series. Also, first trip to the Alps in the summer finally to ride some “real” mountains. I can’t wait to develop my skills as a rider further on board this team!

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Race Report – Mini Downhill, Forest of Dean – Kate Gries

Kate Gries race report - Forest of Dean Minidownhill round 2 2017

Flow MTB rider Kate entered the second round of the Mini Downhill series at the Forest of Dean

The mini downhill series is now in it’s 10th year. On a wet Sunday morning in January Kate joined 21 other women entered across 4 race categories managed to pick up 3rd place in the Masters category. Here’s her race report.

Still on a high from competing last weekend, I was now heading to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire to take part in Round 2 of the Mini Downhill race. This race utilises the downhill tracks maximising the fun element, although still tricky in places putting those much needed skills to use.

I travelled down the Friday before the race to have a practice and was heading for the ‘Sheep Skull’ track (interesting name!) As I loaded my bike on the uplift and hopped in the van, I was greeted by some familiar faces encountered whilst competing in Round 1 (always a welcomed bonus!) We all decided to session the track together, happy days!

Sheep Skull is a tricky, fast course starting with a twisty single track into a small bomb hole that opens out into a mass of roots and I mean roots galore! Good grief! Anyway… after the roots have been tackled you swoop down over the fire road trying to resist grabbing at the brakes over yet more cheeky roots, until you hit the final section of jumps and berms to the finish.

Our group practice proved to be very entertaining and chucklesome, with all of us hitting the deck at some point, at the most daftest of places. Good job it wasn’t race day, hey!

After a few runs down the track, it soon became apparent that there was a quicker line through the maze of roots – we practiced different approaches to this section and had plans on safer lines, weather dependent and boy! the weather was hard on us!

Race day arrived on the Sunday……what a slop fest! The track had become wild and wet, not to mention extremely slippy! These conditions proved a challenge during the practice runs, which saw me skidding off the bike at speed, with a battered shin and a tetanus jab (a day later) I picked myself up and headed back to the top ready for my first of two race runs.

I lined up with the rest of the girls ready to start run one. I was covered in mud with a throbbing shin, but chomping on the bit to get cracking – I was the last to be set off in my category and as the buzzer sounded I peddled hard into the twisty single track, my tyres trying their hardest to grip I entered the bomb hole and completely missed my planned line into the roots, never mind! I was slower than I had hoped but I tackled them without a slip so i carried on with confidence. Keeping off the brakes I gathered speed over the fire road and down through the steep muddy single track, staying light over the roots and keeping to my lines. To my surprise I caught up with the girl ahead and followed behind not being able to pass through the jumps and winding berms, to the finish line. I was sat in 4th place but my time was still competitive. I had come on leaps and bounds since my first visit to the Forest of Dean so I was happy! All the girls were in high spirits gathered at the bottom of the track and it was smiles all round as we had a warm next to the fire in the Cafe.

Off for run two and this time we were seeded to start. I managed to hold my line into the roots section this time, albeit still a slower negotiation than I’d hoped. Onwards and forwards I gave it my all after the fire road, determined to keep the bike from sliding away from under me it was a quick dab with my foot on a few occasions, but I was enjoying it! By the time I got to the jumps and berms my legs were screaming at me, but the cheers from my team mate’s and the marshalls on the sideline drove me on to the finish line – I’ve never been so out of breath in my life! The timings were tight and I was super chuffed to have bagged the 3rd place !

Overall I was pleased with my run, identifying that I need to work on negotiating large root sections and that perhaps confidence is the key! The girls I rode with in practice on Friday were great fun and a valuable help. Credit to the event organisers, marshals and medics who kept the day running smoothly even after an unfortunate accident forced practice to be cut short, seeing the course shut temporarily. A brilliant event yet again and I’m looking forward to round 3 next Month and meeting up with all the girls again.

RankNameRun 1Run 2Best runDiff
1Rosy MONAGHAN1:58.509 (1)2:00.230 (1)1:58.509
2Ellen FLEWITT1:58.970 (2)2:01.070 (2)1:58.9700.461s
3Corinna BRISBOURNE2:25.250 (3)2:25.25026.741s
RankNameRun 1Run 2Best runDiff
1Natasha BRADLEY1:54.220 (1)1:53.520 (1)1:53.520
2Aston TUTT1:56.930 (2)1:58.750 (2)1:56.9303.410s
3Abbie SLOAN2:01.700 (3) 2:01.070 (3)2:01.7007.550s
4Emily BECKETT2:08.880 (4) 2:16.010 (4)2:08.88015.360s
5Katie PERKIN2:15.010 (5) 2:19.180 (5)2:15.01021.490s
6Chloe BUYS2:24.660 (6)2:29.210 (6)2:24.66031.140s
7Alex HUNTER2:24.850 (7)2:24.85031.330s
8Anna PARKER2:28.880 (8)2:29.780 (7)2:28.880 (8)35.360s
9Emma CARSON2:53.220 (9)3:01.860 (8)2:53.220 (9)59.700s
Jess SCOTTDNFDNF
RankNameRun 1Run 2Best runDiff
1Erika MCDERMOTT1:58.430 (1)2:02.280 (1)1:58.430
2Hazel WAKEFIELD2:17.870 (2)2:17.240 (2)2:17.24018.810s
3Kate GRIES2:21.950 (4)2:18.860 (3)2:18.86020.430s
4Brittany LITTLEWOOD2:19.880 (3) 2:19.820 (4)2:19.82021.390s
5Jo BLOOMER2:41.360 (5) 2:32.490 (5)2:32.49034.060s
RankNameRun 1Run 2Best runDiff
1Lindsay HANLEY2:06.850 (1)2:10.070 (1)2:06.850
2Rene STENT2:08.460 (2)2:13.790 (2)2:08.4601.610s
3Kasey BROCK3:00.240 (3)3:00.24053.390s
4Anita HARTLEY3:36.970 (4)3:16.380 (3)3:16.3801.09.530s

@flowmtbapparel / @griesey82 / @minidownhill / photo @muddyshots

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Race Report – Racers Guild, Stile Cop – Rebecca Smith

Flow MTB rider Rebecca Smith, Riders Guild January 2017 at Stile Cop

Flow MTB riders Kate and Rebecca entered their first race of 2017, Racers Guild at Stile Cop

Racers Guild is a West Midlands based club with a focus on Downhill MTB who organise downhill races and events at Stile Cop, Cannock Chase.

The event took place on 23rd January there were 132 riders competing with 9 in the women’s category. Here’s Rebecca’s race report.

Last weekend was my first race of 2017 at Stile Cop in my childhood home county Staffordshire. This was exciting for a number of reasons; I love Stile Cop, my family could come and cheer me on and I could stay at my Mum’s the night before rather than an early o’clock start.

I was so chuffed to be racing for Flow MTB this year and I felt super excited as I stickered my helmet and bike and lovingly added my new mudguard. I literally couldn’t wait to get on track and get this year’s racing under way.

Saturday came and I had a netball match to play before driving north, it was a tough game and the score was really close with the lead flicking back and forth. The ball was approaching their goal circle and I knew I could get to it before the attacker did. I dove across the circle and sure enough got to the ball ahead of my attacker. Unfortunately I got there at the same time as my team mate and her attacker, no worries I still got to the ball first…..on the end of my finger! #### I was pretty sure it was broken, it didn’t move. After a bit of wiggling it popped again and worked, hurrah! With no sub I shook it off and carried on, winning was way more important…..we lost.

Ok so I’d dislocated the end of my finger but it now worked again, didn’t look or feel that bad and I was pretty sure I could still race the next day so I loaded the car and off I went.

Race day dawned cold and frosty with a bacon sarnie and tea in bed! Yeah go Mum! It snowed as I loaded the car but that couldn’t dent my excitement.

The track looked great. I met my new Flow team mate Kate, checked lines, signed on and I begrudgingly took off my toasty down jacket and pulled on cold cycling kit. Practise was fun, I met up with a various mates, got cheered on by my Dad and my finger still didn’t feel that bad.

The only problem I had was that even when I was pedalling down sections I was being caught by people free-wheeling, that made no sense. My back brake was sticking so I sorted it, better but still way off the pace. My finger was sore but ok, my bike was now working properly but I was quite clearly not riding well. Hmmmm I hate to lose but I just couldn’t work it out. Free-wheeling into a section following my mates I was dropping further and further behind. The track is super-fast so I didn’t feel the need to brake much and was trying to go faster pumping every whoop and pedalling every straight but it made no difference.

I lined up for my go dreading the results but still telling myself I could do this and once I was on track I’d be fine. After all I am always faster in race runs than practise. Nope. I was sitting in 2nd to last and only because someone else had a huge crash. I am a bad loser and I’d never done so badly before. Oh well time for a sandwich and catching up with the other girls before run 2.

My sister and her boyfriend arrived and promised to get some pics and footage of run 2. The camaraderie between the ladies field was ace with people chatting, laughing and practising manuals together in the car park. I set off and again pedalled my bum off, hit all my lines and other than the energy sapping bog at the end I had a great run. The others came in and it was official, I was last. My sister didn’t manage to get any pics as they were discussing the best setting to use when I went past. I put a smile on my face, said I’d learnt an important life lesson about how to lose and after saying good bye to friends set off for home feeling thoroughly demoralised.

I went to my friends house and they’d cooked me roast dinner, mmmm amazing! I was happily chatting away and had decided that someone one had to lose, I’d still had fun so maybe I really did learn a good life lesson?

Then I tried to cut up my roast potatoes and failed miserably! I couldn’t grip my fork. Well that explained everything!!! I laughed and got laughed at, failed to cut up my Yorkshire pudding too and then laughed some more. I looked at my race pics and sure enough I am holding on with my good finger, yep that’s right the one I brake with! I was pedalling my bum off and braking at the same time! We then all laughed even more and I really did learn a good life lesson.

I’ve decided to listen to medical advice and dropped out of this weekends Mini DH at the Forest of Dean. My finger still doesn’t work and I still can’t use a fork! I can’t help but feel like I’m wussing out but on the other hand it isn’t worth risking a big crash because I can’t hold the bars.

Someone has to come last and it doesn’t matter if you crash, can’t hit your lines or simply can’t hold the bars. The winner rode an amazing race, deserved to win and put down a blisteringly fast time. That is racing. It’s apparently also eating roast potatoes!

RankBibNameRun 1Run 2Best runDiff
1307Ellie DEWDNEY1:28.977 (1)1:29.773 (1)1:28.977
2309Gabriele GELGOTAITE1:31.589 (2)1:31.125 (2)1:31.1252.148s
3313Caroline HEATHCOTE1:36.453 (3)1:32.944 (3)1:32.9443.967s
4312Kelly WITTS1:49.241 (9)1:35.140 (4)1:35.1406.163s
5310Kate GRIES1:37.012 (5)1:36.381 (5)1:36.3817.404s
6308Jenna FELLOWS1:36.856 (4)1:38.234 (6)1:36.8567.879s
7304Beverley ADIPURA1:39.132 (6)1:39.203 (7)1:39.13210.155s
8306Ellie COPE1:41.353 (7)1:40.560 (8)1:40.56011.583s
9311Rebecca SMITH1:43.347 (8)1:44.512 (9)1:43.34714.370s
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Race Report – Racers Guild, Stile Cop – Kate Gries

Flow MTB rider Kate Gries, Riders Guild January 2017 at Stile Cop

Flow MTB riders Kate and Rebecca entered their first race of 2017, Racers Guild at Stile Cop

Racers Guild is a West Midlands based club with a focus on Downhill MTB who organise downhill races and events at Stile Cop, Cannock Chase.

The event took place on 23rd January there were 132 riders competing with 9 in the women’s category. Here’s Kate’s race report.

While I sat in my van waiting for the windscreen to defrost, pre-race belly nerves started to flutter. I was heading to Stile Cop at Cannock Chase in the Midlands, to take part in the Racers Guild Winter Classics.

Apart from the Redbull Foxhunt this is only my second race, so I’m still getting into the swing of race days and I just so happened to park opposite my new team mate Rebecca so that was a nice surprise!

We set off on foot to take a look at the track. A nice fast short track, which starts with a number of drop offs, followed by a decent jump heading into a nice tight berm and twisting corners. The bottom section was loose and rooty and was proving to be quite tricky, especially with a bog forming just before the finish line. I’ve never seen so many riders stopped dead in their tracks, frantically dismounting and running with their bike in tow over that finish line! All good fun!

After a few practice runs down, we gathered at the top ready for the start of the race. At this point all the girls had struck up a rapport and were in full conversation and high spirits. As the race was due to start, I was feeling quite confident about the track and my practice runs. As we lined up, all the girls showed a united front as they cheered each other ready for the off! With a mixture of nerves and excitement I was ready to go! I got a good flow from the start and gathered speed down the drop offs to the tight berm, trying to keep off the brakes through the next twisty section and adding pedal strokes. I was soon onto the slippery ground, attempting to ride light over the roots into the last bend. I’m unable to avoid the dreaded bog but managed to stay on the bike and cross the finish line.

As we huddled together to await the first timings, I was chuffed to have secured 5th place overall, with a time not too far off 3rd spot. For my second run down I decided to attack the top section with more speed, it was rather less controlled with a few hairy moments, however, I did knock a second off my first run and was still sat firmly in 5th place!

It was a fantastic event and I’m hoping to see all the ladies again at future events! Big thanks to Mark Whyte, Harry Clark and the rest of the team and a huge thanks to Dave Price, for the awesome picture captured during the event!

RankBibNameRun 1Run 2Best runDiff
1307Ellie DEWDNEY1:28.977 (1)1:29.773 (1)1:28.977
2309Gabriele GELGOTAITE1:31.589 (2)1:31.125 (2)1:31.1252.148s
3313Caroline HEATHCOTE1:36.453 (3)1:32.944 (3)1:32.9443.967s
4312Kelly WITTS1:49.241 (9)1:35.140 (4)1:35.1406.163s
5310Kate GRIES1:37.012 (5)1:36.381 (5)1:36.3817.404s
6308Jenna FELLOWS1:36.856 (4)1:38.234 (6)1:36.8567.879s
7304Beverley ADIPURA1:39.132 (6)1:39.203 (7)1:39.13210.155s
8306Ellie COPE1:41.353 (7)1:40.560 (8)1:40.56011.583s
9311Rebecca SMITH1:43.347 (8)1:44.512 (9)1:43.34714.370s
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Wanted! Guest Bloggers

We’re looking for guest bloggers to write interesting stories for our website. Whether you’re new to mountain biking or a seasoned rider, if you’ve got something you’d like to share that may help promote and encourage more women into mountain biking we want to hear from you.

  • Have you got a favourite trail and want to tell others how great it is?
  • Attended a skills course and want to let others about the new skills you learnt?
  • Entered a race and want to shout how well you and all the other ladies did?
  • Taken part in an MTB event, holiday, social ride and think others would enjoy reading about your experience too?
  • Maybe you’re organising an event and want to publicise it to more female riders
  • Or maybe you just want to share all the benefits mountain biking brings to you

Any blog chosen to be published on our website will be credited to you and we’ll send you a voucher for future use at Flow MTB. All you need to do is write up your content, include some photos and send it to features@flowmtb.co.uk.


As a guide your blog include:

Title (a catchy and creative title)
Brief summary (a compelling opening that draws the reader into what your post is about)
Main body
Conclusion

Author name
Author social details 

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Flow Riders

Flow MTB women's MTB race team 2017

We’re very excited to be supporting a team of female riders from around the UK who’ll be racing at downhill and enduro events throughout the 2017 race season.

The women’s MTB race scene has always been friendly and welcoming and our vision for these riders is to encourage more women into mountain biking and promote female participation at MTB races; we see them as ambassadors for the sport and an inspiration to other female riders.

As well as Flow MTB providing team kit and entry to sponsored races we are thrilled to have additional sponsor support for our Flow Riders from MTB Instruction who will provide MTB skills coaching to the team and Corley Cycles who are providing parts and workshop support for race bikes.

We are really pleased to welcome Rebecca, Kate and Korinne to the Flow Rider team, and we and the team sponsors look forward to watching them go from strength to strength in the 2017 race season.

Rebecca Smith

I work full time in a busy professional office but in my spare time I travel around the UK and World having adventures! I race downhill mountain bikes, climb mountains, enjoy the outdoors and can’t wait to get involved in pretty much any kind of muddy adventure.

I have just completed my first full downhill mountain bike race season having done a few races over the last 5 years. I started riding bikes 7 years ago and during this time have made some amazing friends, been to some incredible places and had loads of fun.

I am passionate about increasing womens participation in riding and have helped out at a number of local womens events this year. Many women start riding at a more mature age and it is great to help them get started in local races. I’m keen to show people that you are never too old to start and you can race at the weekend around a full time job.

2016 Race Season

Pearce 2016 Series – 2nd Master female overall

  • Round 2 – 2nd
  • Round 3 – 1st
  • Round 4 – 2nd
  • Round 5 – 4th
  • Round 6 – 3rd

Mini Downhill winter series

  • Round 1 – 4th Over 30s female
  • Round 2 – 9th Over 30s female
  • Round 3 – 4th Over 30s female

Pedalabikeaway Twilight enduro 2016 – 5th Female
MIJ Summer series – 7th Female

Goals for 2017

In 2017 I plan to race the Pearce Downhill series, Mini Downhill series and some of the Racers Guild and Borderline series. I hope to ride a round or 2 of BDS if my season is going well and will also do some local XC type events.

Kate Gries

I’ve been cycling for about 7 years but only recently started to get the competitive bug, I used to just go on group rides and hit the road travelling around to find new trails and bike parks – Just me the bike and the van! And I love it, biking puts a smile on my face!

Biking is what makes me tick every day, my little community of bikers is growing and growing and I now have mountain bike buddies located all around the country. I’ve met some great people through biking and learnt a lot too!

I was lucky enough to take part in a small mountain bike film to inspire people to get out and ride which was a lot of fun! The film is now being edited and will be featured in Apps and Colleges to promote cycling so I’m looking forward to seeing the result.p North and mingle with as many fellow bikers as I can.

Highlights to date

I took part in the Redbull Foxhunt in 2016 and it was the best weekend of my year! So many great people in one place and my competitiveness came alive as soon as the race started, was chuffed to bits with my 54th place – I will defiantly be going again this year that’s for sure!

Goals for 2017

I’m taking part in the Hope PMBA Enduro, Ard Rock, NDH trail race at AE Forest and the 661 Mini Downhill series at the Forest of Dean. I’m looking to find more events to take part in in 2017 and I would love to shred some trails further up North and mingle with as many fellow bikers as I can.

Korinne Shaw

I’ve been riding for just under 1 year and have really been focusing on building my skills in preparation for the 2017 race season. I usually ride with my other half and his friends and try to push myself to keep up with them, or I’m out and about on my own trying to find some exciting new trails.

I’m very lucky to live in the Lakes and have all the mountains and awesome trails on my doorstep and through the summer I did a few hike-a-bike rides and spent a lot of time at Whinlatter and Hamsterley. I’m also fortunate to have some local woods that we’ve been carving trails through to practice certain skills and progress.

2016 Highlights

I competed in a ladies day enduro and came first against 18 amazing women and it was my first real experience of riding with a larger group of like minded females. I also took part in the Redbull Foxhunt and really enjoyed the weekend, although didn’t get to race due to a crash in practice. I also did the Hamsterley Beast which is a 20 or 40 mile charity ride for the North Air Ambulance.

Goals for 2017

I’m taking part in Ard Rock, the Fort William Enduro Downhill in July and the NDH events throughout the year, along with the 661 Mini Downhill series at the Forest of Dean.

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Flow MTB – One Year On

Flow MTB Women's MTB Clothing and Protection

A huge THANK YOU to everyone who supported us in our first year of business

Wow! What a fantastic year 2016 has been. When you start on a new venture, you never know how well it will be received, so to get so much positive feedback from female mountain bikers and from within the MTB industry, in such a short space of time, has been amazing. Not only have we been bringing you loads of awesome kit all in one place, we’ve been up to lots of other things too.

Flow MTB and MTB Instruction

To help encourage women in the sport we love, and improve their skills and confidence on the trails, we partnered with MTB Instruction throughout 2016 offering reduced cost courses for ladies along with Flow goodie bags. These courses have proved really popular for both new and seasoned riders, and we’ll be continuing this partnership into 2017, with more locations across the UK.

Event Sponsorship

During 2016 we supported downhill riders through the MIJ summer series with prizes for ladies on the podium. With the winter season now in full swing, you’ll find us at the 661 mini downhill, cheering on the ladies down the track and providing podium prizes.

The Female MTB Community

For me, the best part of 2016 has been meeting so many lovely ladies out on the trails and at races and events. The female MTB community is really supportive and welcoming, and that goes across all events; whether it’s a small event organised by a group of local riders, or a large scale event like the Fox Hunt; I’ve made so many amazing friends this year.

What We Learned

Of course there’s been a few things we’ve learnt along the way.  Why do MTB apparel brands think ladies over a size 14 don’t ride bikes? We’ve had more than one debate about this with our suppliers and hope to get larger sizes on board in the future. The inconsistency in sizing between brands is frustrating and next year we plan to list all the products on our website in real sizes rather than an ambiguous S, M, L.

2017 – An Exciting Year Ahead

So what does 2017 bring to Flow MTB?

Flow Riders

We’re really excited to be supporting a team of female riders through the 2017 race season with race kit, entry to sponsored races, coaching sessions, online discounts at Flow MTB and, in partnership with our local bike shop Phil Corley Cycles, parts and servicing for their bikes to keep them on the race circuit throughout the year.  We’ll be announcing our 2017 Flow Riders on our website and social media over the next few weeks.

If you’d like to find out more about our Flow Rider programme, please email hello@flowmtb.co.uk

More MTB Brands

We’ve got even more MTB brands coming to Flow MTB in 2017, so keep your eye on our website for new brands, products and promotions throughout the year.

So thanks again for supporting Flow MTB and if you see us on the trails or at an event, be sure to say hello!

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Ladies MTB Advanced Skills Course 3rd December 2016

MTB Instruction and Flow MTB advanced mountain bike skills course

Flow MTB are pleased to support an advanced ladies MTB skills course with MTB Instruction taking place on Saturday 3rd December 2016 in Woburn, Bedfordshire.

MTB Instruction’s advanced skills course covers:

  • confidence at speed; learn how to alter your perception of speed and ride faster
  • dealing with trail obstacles; how to get over, through and up things
  • cornering techniques; from switchbacks to flat corners and berms
  • drop offs
  • tables
  • gaps

Adding trail techniques into your ride like pumping, pre-jumping, drifting, manuals, gaps, table tops, drop offs, being loose on your bike, slow in – fast out will all enhance your ride portfolio.

The course runs from 9am to 3pm and costs £70 per person. Please email info@mtbinstruction.co.uk to book your place or find out more.

This course is being sponsored by Flow MTB so in addition to a great day’s coaching you’ll also get a free Flow goodie bag.

There’s lots of sensations and feel in mountain biking and when they’re all in sync with your skill set your flow is enhanced and your enjoyment on the trails is too.

Feeling fluid with flow = speed and “speed is your friend” after all!