Monday, 1 December 2008

A lucky new shirt and a reward from all that hard winter training!

There is more change for 2009 . . . . I am delighted to announce that I am going to be riding for the Hub next year ( Everything has been a little mad recently getting everything sorted for next year but it now feels like everything has fallen into place. Winter training is going really well! G has been beasting me that is for sure!! I know nobody will believe this but there have been a few occasions during training where I have been a grumpy little mare, G has been surprising me lots with new training exercises (they are not always pleasant!) but most of the time I eventually have to start laughing and that’s what has been getting me through! Cheers for the perseverance G!!

So Sunday just past (30th Nov) was the first of the Glentress winter duathlons. It was so so cold, everything was frozen! That’s never a good sign when so many things on your bike can freeze! The guys in the Hub fixed me up a sweet little Genesis hardtail to race on and it was brilliant. I really enjoyed the bike and would highly recommend that if you haven’t had a shot on one you should get down to the Hub and hire one out for the day! So back to the race . . . . the bike route involved a lot of hills and too few descents for my liking but I really enjoyed it! My lungs had a bit of a shock as they haven’t been use to working that hard for a while! Once I got settled in it was full steam ahead, there were a few dodgy corners out there due to the frozen ground and I was drifting a little too much on some of them but some leaves came to my rescue on the worst one! Yee ha! I got off the bike in 29th position overall, 1st female so I was pretty chuffed with that! Made it through transition, found my shoes (which has been a difficultly in the past) and was off into the run. The start of the run was really tough, it felt like I was running on stumps because I could no longer feel my feet, my stomach was also making noises that resembled a washing machine(oh oh). After a few minutes I managed to get past all that and settle into the run. The run was a toughy but I managed to hold on long enough to get my first win, yee ha! One to the mountain bikers!!

The G man was on fire coming off the bike in second place and finishing 3rd overall! He managed all that with a frozen beard too ha ha!

So it looks like all the winter training and that lucky new hub shirt have really paid off!

Looking forward to the next one already


Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Its not cold in Scotland its freezing!

To break up the winter training a little and chill-ax (apparently thats the new cool word!) Kerry and I packed our bags and headed north for the weekend. I love road trips it means I can sing along to songs for the whole journey . . ha ha its beautiful, just ask Kerry :) The weather was good, dry and clear but oh my god it was freezing! Always a good excuse to stop for lots of coffees and bowls of soup . . . mmmmm! Check out Chi Chi on your right, he was having a rare sight seeing trip! In the photo he is on route to the gondola at the Cairngorms, although a little frightened by the wind he braved the trip well!

It was good to get away and do some training elsewhere at the weekend. On saturday I headed to the old race track at Aviemore, god it was good fun! It still makes me sad ever year when it doesn't appear in the racing calander. On sunday it was off to Laggan for some narly riding around the black, that route still asks a few too many questions about my riding . . . . but I am most certainly getting there!! After all rocks are pretty scary right :)

I am also delighted to announce that Tunnocks have continued to support me for the 2009 series. A big thanks to those guys as without that kind of support I would struggle to race the whole season. Next time your in the shops remember go for the tea cake option!

Yee ha


Monday, 10 November 2008

It’s not a joke, it is scary . . . . It is Tinto hill race!

Check it out thats me number 136 on my way up the hill!

This time of year is always a funny one in the world of biking! The 2008 season is a distant memory, the rest after the season has gone and believe me that is a good feeling as the cobwebs start to build a little too easily, and you find yourself entering a funny transitional state. You remember what it felt like to be able to climb up the hills so comfortably it was bliss, but unfortunately that feeling has been lost. My legs feel heavy getting back into training, things just aren’t easy but I guess that what makes you work that little harder because you know in a few weeks things will start to improve and when you hit that stage man it just becomes soooooo addictive!

So I am now in my 4th week of winter training and things are going really well on and off the bike! This is an exciting time as I am currently trying to secure sponsorship for the forthcoming season and of winter training is starting to kick in. So this year when G and I sat down and started to plan things out, he suggested we try something a little different at the start of winter training to help keep me fresh. So that’s what led to Tinto hill race being set down as the first goal of the season. Now don’t get me wrong I am no hill runner, I had to go out and buy some shoes and actually get into the hills and do some running. Generally I found the ascents are tough and on the descents you just kind of have to let yourself go and hope for the best! Their was something really nice about Tinto, registration was in a village hall, there were lots of bustling runners around and the atmosphere was really friendly and it only cost 3 pounds to enter. Their aint much you can get for 3 pounds nowadays! After registration G, Graeme (number one supporter) and I headed to the hill and all was looking good! So after a little warm up we were sent on our ways, the climbing was a toughy and went on a bit too long for my liking, but when I got to the top and started to descend I found the true beauty of the hill race and I love it. There were a few dodgy points on the way down, for example when I got a double stitch that lead to an intense feeling I was seriously going to barf. Then you cross the finish line and as if by magic all those horrible feelings start to disappear, maybe that was helped by my spot prize of a hat! So I survived, check out the heart rate and altitude graph of the race below, Polar have really enabled me to analyse my training to the best quality this winter. I finished 170 out of 260 and was 11th female overall, not bad for a rookie ha ha! After not feeling that great G pulled off a great race finishing 13th, well done G man you rock!!!

So it is now a few days after the race and I'm a little stiff but hey it could have been a lot worse, G says I didn't run fast enough down the hill, I say if you want to go fast down a hill get on a bike!

Yee ha


Friday, 31 October 2008

Polar come on board for 2009!

It is with great delight that I can announce Polar are joining the team for 2009. I am now fully equipped with an S725x so that I can meet all my training demands. This watch not only monitors heart rate but also provides altitude readings so I can get a full break down of both my ascending and descending during training!!! No more hiding G will be able to tell how many hills I have really been climbing! Furthermore I can also attach a wireless speed sensor so can gage speed and distance during training, lets see how pinned I really am on those descents.

So for this winter I’m going to be in the right training zone, I guess the question you have to ask yourself is will you be in the same position?

Check out the range of heart rate monitors at , there will be a heart rate monitor there to suit your needs thats for sure!

Get out there, get monitoring!


Bloc joins the team for the upcoming 2009 season.

I almost feel like I blinked a little too fast this year and missed summer all together! And now we are in autumn, the trees are changing and Jack Frost has made his first appearance . . . . . . . brrrrr! I had a nice break at the end of the season jetting of to Cyprus to chill and catch some rays. But those memories are now in the distant past and winter training has commenced. Week 1 was fairly brutal, my body went straight into shock forgetting so quickly how it feels to train, my poor old muscles were in pain and it was difficult to get out of bed in the mornings! (not the best way to start your day). It sure feels good to be tired from training again! Unfortunately the weather has not been kind torrential down pours all weekend led to some of the scariest riding I have done in a long time! I guess it’s good to be on the edge sometimes! With all the rain there is a hell of a lot of mud around that isn’t good for the old eyes . . . . and we all know how important our sight is! Bloc eyewear have come to the rescue and joined the team for the upcoming 2009 season. Each Bloc product offers 100% UV protection and is specifically designed to perform in extreme environments (check out the products at My most used product at the moment in the Stealth W93 electric blue from the interchangeable range, being able to change the lens means that I can used the glasses for riding in any type of weather. A big thanks to the team at Bloc!

So I am now in week 2 of training and it’s going well.

Yee ha


Friday, 26 September 2008

The season finale - Glentress forest

It is always quite difficult to get to grips with the last race of the season and my body was starting to show cracks due to the harsh season it had endured, in fear of complete shut down I tried just to enjoy this one. I was excited since it was a round at home which meant I could sleep in my own bed the night before, yippee as sad as that sounds you don’t know how happy it makes me. The girls at the hub were kind enough to show me the course the week before the race so I was able to get a little more practice than usual, always a bonus. The course was fantastic real proper hard climbing with some horrible little stingers waiting there to catch you out. The descending was pinned and technical, mostly natural with lots of roots and mud, it was a mountain bike race an a half! I think a special mention has to go out to Andy Wardman who spent relentless hours designing and cutting sections of the new course, it was a cracker!

So to the race, the Elite female were changed to go off a 2pm and compete in a 5 lap epic! I’m not sure that epic quite does that justice because it was so hard. Melanie Spath (MAD/Torq/Kona) made the trip North of the Border and took an impressive win, followed by Tracey Brunger (Glentress Riders) in 2nd and Lee Craigie (square wheels) finshing 3rd, I finished 5th on the day and was pleased with the performance.

So its now all over for another year, this year has been a pretty special one for me. I have reached the best physical condition I have ever been in and managed to get a lot of races under my belt. So I now have a few weeks off where I can rest and recover and eat a little more cake than normal J. Then its back to the hard graft and winter training, this year is going to be great. Watch out for me in 2009.
Enjoy the winter
Lesley Ingram

A black and blue round 6 at drummy

The last day of August and man did it pour!!! I turned up to the event in flip flops but they quickly had to be changed for wellies and full waterproofs on arrival, nice! So everything was going smoothly and I decided to pop down to the van just before the start of the race. So I was coasting down the road but I was met with a steady line of riders making their way to the start line, being the courteous kinda girl that I am I jumped onto the verge only to find the only pop hole there. It wasn’t pleasant, all of a sudden travelling at speed and no longer holding on to handle bars . . . oops! So it wasn’t long til I hit the dirt, the only problem was that it wasn’t dirt at all in fact it was a concrete road. So I kindly donated a substantial amount of my skin to that and gave my head a good whack on the way down! I jumped quickly back on to the bike poured some water over the cuts and headed to the start line. Good race preparation!!! My mum’s face was a classic as I pulled up with blood running down my arm and looking a fine state. There was not time to worry though as we were being grided on the start line so off I went. I felt a little sick when I finally stopped at the start line, so I popped a jelly bean and before I knew it we were off . . .

So race prep scored a zero but somehow I managed to pull out a pretty good race result. In fact it was probably my best race . . . Bryan thinks someone should be present at races more often to hit me on the head before I start, but I would like to give that one a miss. The course was the same as the British I raced early in the year however it was much harder due to the rain, cutting up the course and making the roots slippy as! But in some sort of sadistic way I really enjoyed it out there! Lee Cragie took and impressive win looking strong throughout the race, with Ruth Fraser-Moodie taking second and myself third.

A bit thanks has to go out to everyone who came to support me on the day, it wasn’t the nicest of weather for those guys!! Cheers I really appreciate all the support. Also to the guys at the St Johns Ambulance who helped clean me up after the race.

It’s now the day after and I am still suffering from a cloudy head and a rather sore body. I will survive, 3 weeks to recover for the last race of the season at Glentress.

Yee ha

10 more in the Moray

The forecast looked really gloom predicting heavy rain all day Saturday, it sure was sad to think that we were still in August and it seemed that summer had well and truly passed! However to our great delight Saturday morning was sunny and it lasted the whole day, what were the chances? So it was back on the bikes for another 10 hour event . . . . . I would like to say that I was looking forward to it but I do hate to lie. After a long discussion with Geraint as to why we actually compete in these gruelling events we decided it was mainly due to the enormous sense of achievement that you feel once they are complete, because it aint much fun out there (ha ha !!!!). The most surprising thing is that no matter how much you say I will never partake in any form of ultra-endurance event ever again, some how as the weeks pass and the painful memories fade you start convincing yourself that actually it wasn’t really all that bad and before you know you are standing in a line of people waiting to collect your race number. . . . . . . .

This was my first time mountain biking in the Moray. As far as a course goes for a 10 hour event the lap wasn’t too bad. It was deceiving at first as the hills didn’t seem that bad but my legs were screaming otherwise. The man made sections of the track were different, lots of humps and obstacles that weren’t tricky by themselves but sometimes their positioning on the track caused a few close ones. There was a lot of pedalling involved in the lap but I really enjoyed that aspect. The last section turned into a bit of a mud bath due to our delightful summer, it was really hard grafting through there and the hidden roots kept surprising you throughout all good fun really.

So for this event Geraint and myself decided to join forces, coach and athlete together would that ever work? Well there is a simple answer to that question yes it did, there were niggles about time taking to pass over the timing chip but I guess that says a lot about the kind of people we both are. We functioned great as a team and managed to churn out 11 laps in 10hours 23minutes finishing first senior mixed pair and 4th overall in the pair category. You see there is still life in that old dog (G) yet (ha ha!)

Another fine mess was back on form completing an impressive 8 laps in a time of 8 hours 37 minutes. Fergus Lamb decided to hang up his downhill bike for the weekend and try his hand at 10 hour events. In true downhiller fashion he had to make things a little more difficult for himself, only riding with a rear brake. That didn’t slow him down any on the descents what a surprise!

Lesley Ingram

SXC Round 5 - Fort bill

Another trip to Fort Bill, another magnificent day and a different course once more! Fort Bill was the first course that I ever raced on so it always feels special returning there! I enjoyed most of the course that amalgamated sections of the new world cup course with sections of the old, it had a little bit of everything to keep everyone interested. I was slightly disappointed that the toughest climb had been taken out as that one is a real tester, but fear not there were plenty of other testers out there!! The biggest has to be the inclusion of Nessie, to make things worse it was wet at the top so you were already drifting before you were properly in the corner, from there it was a case of getting off the brakes and holding on for dear life! I had a few close calls but you always get that with racing, its part of the thrill. Unfortunately the sting in Nessie’s tale caught out a few riders, I hope all those guys recover well! The last section of fire track at Fort Bill always gets to me, when you are on your 4th lap it really feels like it is never going to end!! All in all it was another good day racing!

Ruth Fraser-Moodie was on top once more in the Elite Women’s field, followed by Annabel Simpson and I claimed 3rd spot. Lee Cragie put in an impressive performance after returning from a knee injury and also having to deal with a puncture during the race finishing 4th over all. Fort Bill is notorious for punctures, must be jaggy rocks . . . . or evil trail trolls, not sure which! It really is great to see so many women getting involved in the sport these days, must have been one of the biggest line ups yet!

A big thanks to everyone up at Fort Bill supporting me and making sure I had enough fluid out on the course! Also to Matt for giving my bike a makeover just in time for the race!

Next race Drumlanrig . . . I love it there!

Yee ha


SXC Round 4

SXC Round 4 Gleniffer Braes – The Scottish Champs

It is now June and it looks certain that we have had our summer as the rain clouds gathered over Paisley. So this years Scottish Champs returned to Gleniffer Braes for a second year running. I was most impressed as we rolled up to the race venue on Sunday to find that road closures had been put in place for the race and Rock Steady security were there to make sure everyone behaved! There was a buzz around the race venue maybe this was amplified by the fact that it was the champs, sponsorship flags took heavy presence around the start/finish zone and the organisation of the race seemed to be perfect. A bit thank you has to go out to the Rock Hard racing group who had evidently put a lot of time in to the race organisation. Furthermore to the marshals who stood out in the pouring rain supporting every rider that passed, they are stronger people than I am!

So to the race…..well there was a bit of a dilemma at the start as riders assembled at two different points on the hill, a few marshals were late in getting to position so the riders were left penned in and rather cold on the start line, in true Scottish tradition the rain started to get a little heavier at that point. Before long we were set on our ways and the games started. It was not possible for the course to be marked out on the Saturday prior to the race so I was left to ride my first lap of the race blind. The course in general was not my cup of tea, too flat and no real descent in there. Hence I struggled from start to finish. I actually preferred the course that was used the previous year as it incorporated the hill of gleniffer Braes. Ruth Fraser-Moodie continued her domination of the women’s field and won the race, followed by Vicki Barclay in 2nd and Katrina Brown in 3rd. I finished in 4th spot, slightly disappointed but that type of course just does not suit my type of riding. Sadly Lee Cragie had to sit this one out due to a bad knee injury.

So I now have a few weekends off before the next round at Fort Bill. I will be spending that time enjoying my biking again and heading out on some of the trails I just haven’t had a chance to over the past few months. Happy days.

Lesley Ingram

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

10 Under the Ben

Even the midges decided to leave the Nevis Range on Saturday due to the soaring heat! Honestly people would not believe you if you told them it was that warm in Fort Bill! So you kind of have to ask yourself at what point does participating in a 10 hour mountain biking event at temperatures soaring over 25 degrees even begin to be a good idea? (Remembering we are Scottish and 10 degrees can pass as a good summer’s day!). The truth of the matter was that all in all it was a great event, organisation was spot on and there was a really good vibe floating around the course as riders of all abilities embarked on a very tough physical challenge. I think there was somewhere in the region of 840 riders competing in the event whether individually or in a team, that’s a pretty phenomenal statistic right there! And boy did it make the start interesting as a sea of riders attempted to file onto a fire track road, luckily I followed Geraint at the start and he got us positioned nicely up at the front of the field. The lap was 10miles long and very physically challenging, it incorporated long gradual climbs on fire track with tricky descents laden with rocks waiting to catch you out, it was dusty dry and front wheel wash outs were inevitable. At roughly the half way point the course crossed over the downhill track and lead onto the XC world cup course, there all riders were faced with a tough little climb before a brilliantly long descent, water crossings, natural sections and north shore also featured throughout the course. It was a real mixed bag and had something there for everyone to enjoy – well done to the NO FUSS team it was a cracker. The heat only added to the physical challenge as parts of the course were relentless due to the fact that there was no shade.

The Alpine Bikes team were out in full fledge and a massive bow of respect has to go to all the guys that completed the event solo. Geraint Florida-James put in an awesome effort completing 9 laps in 9h 58mins finishing in 9th position overall in the senior male category. It took over 7 and a half hours before he stopped for some food, his ride was eventful with objects entering places they shouldn’t but the less said about that the better! Andy Dodds also put in an impressive performance completing 8 laps, he was looking very cool out there with the shades on! Cheers for the shout out, it was good to eventually meet! And last but by no means least to Bryan Shedden (the boss) who completed 6 laps during the event! However questions have to be asked as Bryan appeared to be a bit illusive during the whole event and was not seen by anyone . . . . . . is he earning so much money these days he can pay people to ride for him??

I took part in the event as a pair with Ruth McKean. Ruth encountered a nasty fall in the first lap when her forks exploded as she descended a rock drop, if riding the rest of the lap on a broken bike wasn’t enough we since discovered she completed the lap with a fractured wrist and a torn rotator cuff muscle in her shoulder. So any normal person would stop here but on no not Ruth, she well and truly earned full downhill status by going out for a second and third lap. It was a bumpy course and those vibrations must have been a killer not to mention the fact that she couldn’t brake or change gear! So we were pleased to finish overall 2nd in the female pairs! Sadly you will find that we are missing off the podium but after 10 hours of riding we had to head to the hospital to get things checked out, not quite the celebration we were hoping for! Matt from the Innerlethien store put in a very respectable performance, his team Another Fine Mess finished 37th overall in the male senior pairs (a very competitive field!). Every time I saw Matt out there he had a big smile and was telling me how much he was enjoying it!! I wish I felt like that while I was out there! Laura’s team from head office, Defibrillators At The Ready also did well completing 5 laps. I take it you managed to find your bike Laura???

All in all it was a lot of fun out there! Good luck to all of those daft enough to embark on the next 10 hour event!


SXC Round 3 - Fyrish

When the sun is shining you really can’t beat Scotland it is awesome. Once again the sun gods were looking down on the SXC as the races headed to the Highlands. The 3rd round was situated in the Black Isle at Fryish. The course was excellent a real joy to be on another mountain biking course. The climbs were relentless, the descents were narly and there were so many little pot holes there waiting to catch you out. I got caught out twice on my first two laps as I tried my best to do my diving swan impression, yip I think that one needs some more work! And the obstacles weren’t just in the forest, I had a bit of a close call with the ambulance luckily I didn’t become a proper casualty for them!

Ruth Fraser-Moodie was on form again leading the women’s elite race, with Lee Cragie finishing second and I was third all be it a bit off the pace. I feel like I am starting to get stronger now so hopefully my form will continue to improve during the rest of the season, just not used to this hot weather I suppose.

Geraint Florida-James finished 10th in the Masters category after a few gearing problems, never a good sign on a course when you really need the full spectrum of all your gears.

10 under the Ben next week

Yee ha
Lesley Ingram

NPS round 2 - Drumlanrig Castle

If it’s the wow factor you are looking for and you haven’t made the trip to Drumlanrig Castle yet I seriously recommend you head down that way sometime soon it is amazing!! The best thing is that I’m not just talking about the scenery and setting but the trails are amazing!

The NPS organisers packed their bags and headed north to Bonnie Scotland for round 2! The course was brilliant, a few killer hills followed by great rooty / technical sections. One thing is for sure there is no time for a quick snooze at Drummy because the roots are waiting for you and they will catch you out! The temperatures were soaring . . . . . yes soaring and yes in Scotland! So it looked all set for a day of fantastic racing. Jenny Copnall stamped her authority on the elite women’s race with yet another fantastic performance. I finished 13th overall and was much more pleased with this performance. Things are starting to come together! My trek loved the technical sections and felt so responsive through out the race. I even caught myself smiling during the race (I know many wont believe that and don’t worry it was short lived), courses like Drummy remind me of why I started racing in the first place!

Thanks has to go out to Rik at the bike shed for a great course, I’m looking forward to the SXC round there already!

Time to rest and recover now before the next race, it’s a busy old month.

Yee ha

Lesley Ingram

Full results:

SXC Round 2 Dalbeattie

So it was off to Dalbeattie on the West Coast for round two of the Scottish Cross Country Series. The forecast predicted showers all day (weather men!!), however it was surprisingly warm in the morning with the rain only starting after lunch. The start was a bit manic a 500m sprint down fire track leading onto a tight left hander over a rock into some single track in the woods. I managed it unscaved however it did become a bit of a spectacle later on in the day with the 2pm starts mainly due to the large numbers of racers, it got nasty with bikes and people flying around the place! The course was tough it had fast sections of fire track with lots of natural rooty and rocky sections – (nice work trail builders!). As the race progressed a combination of the rain and riders did their best to churn up the course which made certain sections tough. In places it was manic with riders falling off their bikes wherever you looked! Defiantly one for the spectators that was for sure! Ruth Fraser-Moodie was back on form and won the elite women’s category, however Lee Cragie was snapping at her heels for a large part of the race finishing 2nd. I finished 3rd which I was pleased with even if I did cough up a lung or two along the way.

Geraint Florida-James my coach and another Alpine Bikes rider put in a strong performance finishing 6th in the Masters category after only his first race (looks like there is life in the old dog yet!)

A big shout out has to go to the guys at Stewarty Wheelers for all their hard work in setting up the course and being so helpful on both Saturday and Sunday, you guys were awesome. Also to everyone at SXC for working so hard and achieving another great day of racing.

And last but by no means least to everyone at Alpine Bikes (especially Matt) for making sure my bike was in tip top form for the weekend, I would be lost without you guys.

Full results can be seen at


Lesley Ingram

NPS round 1 - thetford forest

I set off first thing on Friday morning and headed south for the first round of the NPS in Thetford. Man it was a long journey and like ever road trip there were issues. After driving for several hours I was more than relieved when my sister took over the wheel for a while. This gave me an opportunity to get some much required shut eye, however when I awoke I was slightly concerned that all the signs were reading M1 not A1! Slight hiccup, a bit of mad panicking and a whole lot of heckling we managed to get back on track (sorry Kerry but you know you won’t live that one down for a while!). The journey took just over 7 tiresome hours, not ideal the day before the first race of the season that’s for sure.

So Thetford- mmm- well it was certainly different to what I’m used to! On the Saturday morning there was a real buzz around the race venue as everyone gathered and waited slightly nervously to find out just how well their winter had actually gone. At around quarter to one all the elite ladies were ushered into their racing pens. This is when the nerves really kick in. This was one of the biggest attendances I have ever seen at a race with four rows being occupied at the start of the grid. I think my heart rate was sitting around 110 on the start line, obvious signs that my body was getting ready for battle. 3, 2, 1 and we were off, the pace was brutal from the onset, it didn’t take long for my heart and lungs to start screaming at me due to the distinct lack of racing during the winter. The course at Thetford was very flat with small interlinking sections of twisty single track through the trees. The sheer nature of the race, 50.8km long, a severe lack of mountain (big ringed it all the way) and a hot day left me struggling. By lap 4 I had blown so badly I wasn’t sure if I would complete the 5th lap- (added just half an hour before the start) but some how I managed. Jenny Copnall won the race in convincing style showing everyone her intent for the rest of the season. I may have been a bit disappointed with this first race of 2008 but then it’s just made me more determined to get the preparation right for the next race at Dalbeattie in 2 weeks.

Overall I have many positives to take from the weekend and my coach has been busy fine tuning my training so that I am fighting fit for the next round. Yee ha!

Lesley Ingram

Full results at:-