Guide Training - Matt Cain

March 29, 2018

I put my hand up and admit it…. Every year I swear that I’ll do a better job of riding through the winter and arriving in the Spring feeling fit and strong. Every year however work, 2 young kids and the British winter conspire to have me arriving at the end of February feeling a bit slow and a bit uneasy about the work ahead to get back up to speed. Luckily I have an advantage to getting myself back in the right headspace for the season to come.

Every year in late winter, Saddle Skedaddle gathers around 80 of our cycling guides from around the world in the Lake District of Northern England to share knowledge, refresh skills and undertake continued training in all the aspects of delivering great cycling holidays. For me this is also the opportunity to share tales of escapades undertaken over the last year, and gather ideas for adventures to come.

Getting a large group of passionate mountain bikers together in one place creates an amazing atmosphere. While coming from incredibly diverse backgrounds the common language of biking means that there are no cultural divides evident, and once out riding together it is all about getting muddy and having a laugh.

It’s easy to get caught up in the latest trends and thinking that a brand new dream bike is necessary to have a good day out, but I love spending the day riding with guides in their 60s on 'retro’ Orange hardtails, whippets on superlight XC race bikes and those rocking fresh from the box full-carbon enduro bikes. All riding together and enjoying the same trails! Showing a load of non-UK riders around a little slice of the Lake District is a great way to remind oneself how brilliant our little corner of the world is. The bridleway network is much maligned, but actually an incredible asset to the riders of England and Wales.

On top of this I’ve taken on an annual download of driver training, first aid knowledge, trailside mechanics, group management and all the multitude of skills that we put to use every time that we take customers out on to the trails. Guiding for me is all about learning new things and stealing ideas from all the great people I get to work with.

After a week in a giant country house with riders from as far afield as Japan, the Azores, Spain, Italy and just-down-the-road-in-exotic-Penrith we were all raring to go for the 2018 season. I’m excited about some upcoming expeditions and have that little bit of extra motivation to get on the turbo on a few of these dark evenings we have left!

Matt Cain

Size Guide

Women's Tops

UK USA World Bust Hip Length (front)
8 4 X-Small 87-90cm 96-99cm 53cm
10 6 Small 91-94cm 100-103cm 54.5cm
12 8 Medium 95-98cm 104-107cm 56cm
14 10 Large 99-102cm 108-111cm 57.5cm
16 12 X-Large 103-106cm 112-115cm 59cm
18 14 XX-Large 107-112cm 116-121cm 61.5cm
20 16 XXX-Large 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

Size 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

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