Another week, but not just any any other race!

August 01, 2016

by Hannah at Flare HQ

Saturday morning rolls around and it's the usual story - we're running late! Gobbling down some breakfast before packing up the van, heading out from our campsite in Peebles and travelling the few miles down the road to Innerleithen and the Golfie trails for the first MaidEnduro by Air Maiden.

We wanted to sponsor this event because it is open to any type of rider. There aren't many women-only events either and as we started out as women's brand I think it's really important to support anyone trying to get women into mountain biking. Racing for the first time can be really scary as well - I find racing scary full stop - but doing it with a group of likeminded people makes a huge difference.

So rolling into the Golfie car park, we start setting up, hanging clothes out and no sooner had we done so then there were people having a look around, asking about the new products and trying stuff on! I waved goodbye to the girls setting off for practice and instead chatted in the pits. Eventually my partner Ben handed me my bike (somehow a number board was affixed to it?!) and sent me on my way up the hill along with #teamflare long time member Zara Kane. We had a great catch up pedalling our way up the fire road, and eventually found ourselves next to a marshall at the top of stage 1!

Down we went - literally! The first part of stage 1 was steep, loamy, rutted and full of roots zigzagging their way across the marked trail. We made it out onto a fire road and breathed, we made it! The next section again was tough, but a welcome surprise was Janey Kennedy offering coaching tips and tricks. She began by showing us a sneaky high line, before giving pointers on how to navigate a tricky double root drop. On down the trail we went, finally reaching a rocky chute reminiscent of the trails I'm much more familiar with the the Peaks, I stopped to catch my breath and as I did Kat Simpson, a member of the team from 2015 whizzed by! We stopped at the bottom of stage 1 to share stories and of course to take a quick selfie.

The rest of the trails were similar - from the rock strewn surface of Flat White to even more perilous roots on Final Fling eventually Zara and I made it to the bottom through a combination of sheer luck, inflated confidence ("I can do this, I can do this") and cyclocross-style leaping off the bike.

Although I didn't race (as I said, it's not for me) I was thrilled to have experienced the atmosphere of the racing first-hand, since usually I'm stuck in a tent all day, as well as challenging myself with some tough trails I wouldn't usually try! This is the whole idea, of getting women out of their comfort zones and into new trails that with some moral support, coaching and other people in the same position, you'll come away with new skills in your riding repertoire as well as a bunch of new pals. 

Massive well done to Lynne and the Air Maiden team for putting on a great event, we'll be back next year! Thanks to Darren Ellis for the photos.

Size Guide

Women's Tops

UK USA Bust Hip Length (front)
8 4 87-90cm 96-99cm 53cm
10 6 91-94cm 100-103cm 54.5cm
12 8 95-98cm 104-107cm 56cm
14 10 99-102cm 108-111cm 57.5cm
16 12 103-106cm 112-115cm 59cm
18 14 107-112cm 116-121cm 61.5cm
20 16 113-119cm 122-128cm 65cm

Women's Shorts

UK USA Waist Hip Length (inside)
6 2 70-73cm 84-88cm 34cm
8 4 74-77cm 89-93cm 35cm
10 6 78-81cm 94-98cm 36cm
12 8 82-85cm 99-103cm 37cm
14 10 86-89cm 104-108cm 38cm
16 12 90-93cm 109-115cm 39cm
18 14 94-97cm 116-122cm 40cm
20 16 98-101cm 123-129cm 41cm

Men's Tops

Chest Length (front)
X-Small 87-91cm 55cm
Small 92-95cm 56.5cm
Medium 96-99cm 58cm
Large 100-109cm 59.5cm
X-Large 110-119cm 61cm
XX-Large 120-127cm 64.5cm
XXX-Large 128-135cm 66cm

Men's Shorts

 Waist Hip Length (outside)
28" 69-73cm 84-88cm 60.5cm
30" 74-78cm 89-93cm 61.5cm
32" 79-83cm 94-98cm 63.5cm
34" 84-88cm 99-103cm 64.5cm
36" 89-93cm 104-108cm 65.5cm
38" 94-98cm 109-113cm 66.5cm
40" 99-103cm 114-118cm 67.5cm

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