Sunday, 22 June 2014

Graduation & Good times!

Well I have now officially graduated with BSc (Honours) Anatomy & Physiology at 2:1! Woohooo! It feels great to have a degree (and a messy night at grad ball) behind me and I can now really focus on trying to make a career in the bike world. 






It's amazing being able to ride so much now! I'm already beginning to feel the benefits of "full time" training. With the support of James at High Rise Coaching, we are pushing my training time to almost 20 hours a week - which is hard work but I love every session, no matter how tough it gets -http://www.highrisecoaching.co.uk.




Recently I've had some time off my downhill bike while J-Tech Suspension fix up my shock. These guys are really supportive of 2:1 Racing and always do a great job, have a look at their services and products here http://j-techsuspension.co.uk/.

While the big bike is in bits I've been able to spend a heap of time on my old hardtail, it feels so different but i'm glad to have the time to smash some xc rides before the British Champs. 




Specialized have continued their fantastic support following the world cup and are kitting me out with some big forks for the rest of the season! No excuses not to go big on all the jumps now! Theres also talk of the team getting hold of some new specialized dh shoes, so watch this space! I had a chat with the guys after the last race which they have published on their facebook page, you can check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=671858059536821&set=vb.165579743497991&type=2&theater





I'm looking forward to having my Status I built up again this week and will be on my way!  Jamie was recently awarded a huge venture grant towards the start up costs of his company Lonely Mountain Skis - https://www.facebook.com/lonelymountainskis - and with a portion of the money decided to invest in a GoPro for marketing purposes (yaaay!), so keep an eye on my facebook page for more funny videos!

Monday, 9 June 2014

UCI World Cup #3 Fort William


Getting the chance to compete in a world cup round this season was a major step up the ladder for me. After such a long time out of the sport I was expecting the climb to this level to take a lot longer than it has - although I still have a huge journey ahead! 






I have so many people to thank for such an amazing weekend with so much support, so this could be a lengthly post!

James Scott (level 3 BC coach) from High Rise Coaching has been working with me for about a year now. Although based a few hundred miles apart our set up works really well and we have achieved some great results and are slowly working our way to the top! James travelled up from London to support me over the weekend and put up with midges, moaning, nerves, excitement and my terrible jokes for four long days. I'm so grateful for his help with training/psychology/nutrition - pretty much everything that goes into becoming an elite athlete and particularly for his support at Fort William. If you haven't checked out the new website for High Rise it can be found here:
www.highrisecoaching.co.uk



Isac Paddock Photography//www.Isacpaddock.co.uk






Specialized Bikes were in the team pits over the weekend and I cannot begin to thank them enough for their incredible encouragement. Not only were they the friendliest guys around, they also hooked me up with a pair of Fox 40's, a front wheel, tyres and a brake!!! We had a bit of a stress trying to sort out a headset to fit them onto my Status I but Monster Bikes from Inverness saved the day and my bike got seriously pimped just in time for Saturday practice! 






The forks were amazing and made such a difference, with a little more practice I reckon I could have taken so much more time off the track, however we were called up to the start line early due to high winds picking up. After warming up like a pro with James I set off in my BC jersey and qualified 20th, just making it into the finals. 






The Jaymie Mart Memorial fund award a prize to who the UCI reckon is the "best world cup rookie". I was so honoured to be awarded this after qualifying. Jaymie was absolutely pinned on a bike and I am so proud to have been given this prize under her name. This has made me even more determined to follow in Jaymie's footsteps and make it to the top of downhill racing. 












After a good sleep I was feeling stoked to race in the world cup finals on Sunday! During morning practice I worked up the confidence to hit all the jumps and gaps (which I wimped out of in qualifying) and was so excited to smash my time. Big shout out to Flare Clothing Company who posted up a pair of pink Roost shorts just in time for racing and after a quick stop by the SRAM pit who fitted a new mech for me (after a minor incident involving some rocks) I headed up to the start line with coach James and mechanic Jamie. 












Cannot describe how excited and nervous I felt - just completely buzzing! After a good warm up I set off feeling great but unfortunately my ride didn't go to plan and some mechanical problems in the woods meant I didn't finish. I am absolutely gutted things didn't work out but I guess that's racing. I still had an amazing weekend, met so many awesome people and achieved much more than I thought I would. 






So over all, this was a super fun weekend and a huge learning experience. A massive thank you to everyone who helped me out, particularly Specialized for their incredible support and huge congrats to you guys for taking the win and the leader's jersey.

I now have 20 UCI points so I'm planning to head out to Meribel for the final UCI world cup this season and redeem myself! Next stop - British Champs at Innerleithen!

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

BDS# 3 - Ae Forest


Jamie and I headed down to Ae Forest on the Friday afternoon and set up camp after a wee off road excursion in the landy. The track was looking really nice and dry and featured a bit of everything mtb - off camber corners, jumps, a technical wood section and of course the famous Ae step down. 




The weather was great all weekend, although the midges had an absolute feast during the cooler parts of the day. After an amazing sleep on the friday night I was feeling fresh on Saturday morning for practice. I really noticed my progression on this track during the course of the day, I was happy with my riding and felt pretty good about everything on course. I almost lapsed into my "nerves of doom" race mood on a few occasions but managed to keep it reasonably cool, I guess time and experience will help with that! My Specialized was running great all weekend although it came to my attention that my shock is currently set up for a 16 stone male...so there will definitely be some spring changes and major adjustments before the next race! 




Saturday evening was so much fun, a group of us had a BBQ that included marshmallows, "doggy poo surprise" AKA barbecued banana with chocolate and some other interesting food experiments! Sleeping didn't go so well that night as there was some seriously loud party music going on until 4am across the field but practice on Sunday morning still felt good. 






My seeding run was smooth but steady and I popped into 8th place with 2.47. My race run was pretty scrappy in places but I managed to improve on my time and hopped up into 7th place with 2.44. I'm pleased with this result, although I'm still 11 seconds off that podium I've made progress and coach James from HighRise reckons we can make up that time! 





This weekend told me that it's going to be a long journey and will require some patience but I'm determined to get onto that podium next season. Although I'm not racing as much as the others, this year will be used to gauge where I am within the elite category and give me plenty of time to train and come into next season stronger, fitter and faster. 

Next weekend I'll be representing Great Britain at the third round of the UCI World Cup in Fort William!! Very excited for the experience...but a little nervous!


Thursday, 15 May 2014

BDS#2 Fort William - first race of the season!

So I finished up university on Tuesday and after a wee night out, I headed up to Fort William for the second round of the British Downhill Series and my first race of 2014.




It was looking a bit cloudy when we arrived and by the time I had headed up to the woods section to walk the course, the rain was torrential! Unfortunately the guys from 2:1 Racing were unable to make this race, so I was repping alone for the weekend, luckily I had Jamie there to keep me company (and do the bike fixing bit...). 

Practice kicked off on Saturday morning while the rain continued with occasional cloudy breaks. The main lines at the top of the track were feeling good, a lot of work had been put in by Nevis Range over the winter making the track smoother in places. The last time I rode at Fort William was the SDA finalising the 2013 season and the track had been been battered all summer, so it was feeling great compared to that weekend! The wood section was tough as always  in the wet. Very muddy, slippery and rooty with the deepest rut I have ever seen in my life that spat you out onto the fire road - if you could hold it! Saturday went well apart from a couple of mental break downs and a wee crash that left me with a pretty colourful leg...I was so nervous! Hannah from Flare Clothing Company had the stand set up in the pits and they did a great job of pep talking me through the weekend as well as kitting me out with a lot of clean race jerseys!





On Sunday there was a good few hours of practice in the morning then the racing began. There was a stacked elite field...lots of big names rocked up for some pre world cup practice and I was so proud to be able to race with them! My qualifying run didn't go to plan and unfortunately I had to push down half the course due to a flat tyre. Jamie helped me get the bike fixed up (as always!) and after another encouraging talk from Flare I set off for my race run. The race run felt much better, the top section felt quick and although a bit slow, I got through the woods clear. I finished up in 6.21 which is my fastest time on that track which put me into 8th position over all in the elite female category. I'm happy with a top ten and I'm now looking forward to climbing the ladder to those podium places. This was my first race on the Specialized Status and I was really happy with it, despite a lot of people saying I was "hard core" to be running shorter forks...I loved it, so thanks again guys for your support!








I'm also excited to announce that I have been selected to race for Team GB at the UCI World Cup in Fort William, which will be a great experience this year! Although my season is a little short due to the student loan running out, coach James from High Rise Bike Skills is working hard on some serious training and I'm looking forward to seeing my progression now that I can concentrate on cycling. 




Saturday, 3 May 2014

University of Dundee Sports Woman of the Year!

This blog is extremely late!! Apologies for that, university has been crazy recently...but I have my last exam on Tuesday and then I'm a free woman! 



I'd like to quickly say thank you to my mum and dad for supporting me (financially and mentally) for the past 21 years, I'm so grateful for it, particularly for the past four years here at university which have been such a great experience. I hope I can make you proud with my degree and I look forward to scrounging off you for a few more years until I grow up xxx

Dundee University has been so much more than I thought it would be! The Sports Union and Institute of Sport and Exercise have been more than supportive of my cycling adventures. I can't begin to thank Paul, Derek, Scott, Helen, Audrey and everyone else that works so hard to give us the best chance we have in our sport. The Sports Union team enable all students the opportunity to excel in their game, try out new sports and have some wild nights out along the way! 

I feel so honoured to have been awarded a Full Blue and to have received the Sports Woman of the Year trophy. It has been more than a pleasure to ride with, train with and represent the University of Dundee and I hope I can make you proud in the future! 



Although I'll miss student life,  I'm pretty keen to spend the next couple of years focusing on cycling and seeing where it gets me. I'll also be working towards becoming an outdoor instructor which will be super fun! 




After a weekend of filming with Flare clothing Company at Innerleithen, Ben has produced a sick edit which showcases the new spring/summer Roost collection. The Roost collection is comfortable, practical, vibrant and gets you noticed on the trail. Don't live life in black and white...ride full colour! You can get hold of all this colour here: http://www.flareclothingco.com/ and don't forget to watch or re-watch the video which has over 15000 views and some really positive feedback!

It was really cool to appear in the Locals feature in Moredirt magazine a while ago. Get in contact with them if you fancy sharing your story too. http://www.moredirt.com/article/LOCALS-Emma-Atkinson/5507/



My 2014 season begins in Fort William next weekend for the second round of the British DH series. There are some big names going to be there...and I'm racing them! Can't wait to get started on my season supported by 2:1 MTB Racing and brilliant fleet of companies! Check out the team's facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/21Racing-MTB-Uk/688684111170292?fref=ts
























Monday, 17 March 2014

"adjust the hamster volume of your cheeks"

Very pleased to announce that I will be representing Specialized on their Status I bike for this season! 

Specialized have teamed up with 2:1 Racing MTB UK, a new team which I'm really lucky to have a place on this year. The team will also be supported by Hope Technology and J-Tech suspension. Flare Clothing Company will be designing and providing my race kit and Royal Racing will be hooking the boys up with their race kit.


















The London Bike Show was a great success for Flare. Hannah, Ben and I manned the company stall for the weekend and the brand gained loads of positive response from the public. Hannah launched the Roost Kit that went on sale last week so check out www.flareclothingco.com and get ordering in time for summer!


Shredding the new Flare Roost kit and POC Cortex Flow helmet and of course pink LS grips!

Fibrax is the leading UK supplier and manufacturer of brake pads, cables and other cycling components. I got chatting to the guys on the stall over the weekend and they were really generous in stocking me up with brake pads and sweet cables for my new bike that will last me the season! I even had to book an extra bag on the flight home! Very grateful for their support, check out their website here: www.fibrax.com

An exciting delivery arrived from the guys at 2Pure last week - my new POC helmet and lizard Skins grips! I'm really grateful for the support of these two massive companies and I'm looking forward to showing off their kit this season.

The POC Cortex Flow helmet is super comfortable with removable cheek pads. It comes with two different pad sizes so you can adjust the hamster volume of your face. It's well ventilated and made from long lasting materials. It also looks great and comes in a variety of awesome colours! Check them out here: www.pocsports.com


POC Cortex Flow helmet in testing!


The lizard Skins Lock On Charger Grips also come in a wide variety of colours and you can even customise them with your name! These grips are comfortable and will last you a full season. Check them out here: http://shop.lizardskins.com


LS pink lock On Charger grips.




After a long weekend of filming in Innerleithen, the new Flare Clothing Company Spring/ Summer edit will be out soon, check out the teaser clip here: http://vimeo.com/88815509





Some cross training on the rocks in Glencoe!





Warming up on "POP 6A"

Monday, 3 February 2014

January Update

It's a little late but...Happy New Year! I Hope everyone enjoyed their festive holidays and ate plenty.

***Bike for sale!*** Orange 224 size small (15In) for sale, £650 for full bike! Check it out if your interested : Orange 224 FOR SALE

The off-season continues with training from James Scott (twitter: @jamescycle) and having returned to university the UoD Sports Performance Programme has kicked off again. The programme provides athletes with regular strength and conditioning sessions monitored by professional coaches. Considering going to University? Check out what Dundee has to offer, especially the gym at ISE Dundee!   www.dundee.ac.uk


Hannah Myers from Flare Clothing Company sent up a lovely wee gift in time for Christmas - the Flare Lunar Jersey in smoke grey. The jersey is super light weight and comfortable. Made from soft, wicking material, with a feminine cut and stylish design. I absolutely love this jersey, not only is it perfect for rides, it's great for the gym too...It has even made appearances at several lectures...after a wash of course ;)

                                                         http://www.flareclothingco.com/

Flare Lunar Jersey - smoke grey


Having teamed up with Muc-Off my bikes have never been more well looked after...I'm really pleased with their Disc Brake cleaner, which I probably use far too often. The bike cleaner concentrate does a fantastic job and will last you a long time. You can get your hands on a Winter Bike Care Bundle from the Muc-off website now - it contains everything you need to keep your bike happy and smooth while saving you money. 

                                  www.muc-off.com/clean/237-bike-care-christmas-bundle

Muc-off Winter Bike Care Bundle

The weather has been super mild this winter, leaving loads of time for mountain biking (little bit gutted it's not been a great ski season so far, but having fun on the bikes makes up for it!). Since returning to uni the Dundee Cycling Club (DUMRCC) have been getting out and about for some fun in the mud.

Enduro style with 100% goggles all the way

MTB GIRLS!

Some 4x fun

Mud, mud...and mud.





Some exciting announcements coming soon, so keep an eye on my facebook and twitter pages, links are up there ^^^ Thanks for reading!