Northern Lightweights Review of 2017

We’re only a few days from the solstice, when the world slowly creaks on it’s axis and light starts to seep back into this part of the northlands. As thoughts turn to plans for next years’ adventures, I thought I’d put together a quick recap of some of my bike-related highlights from 2017.

Best Online Resource

It’s rare that I’d visit a site to check what’s new, rather than follow them on Instagram, but it’s always a pleasure to pop into the visually stunning Bikepacking.com.

Favourite Event

I enjoyed marshalling the Practice Day at the Scottish Enduro Series Round 2 – Pitfichie so much I dragged the kids to watch Day 2. Entries are now open for the 2018 Round in September.

Best New Thing

A big tip of the hat to Colin Esslemont for kickstarting a MTB revolution in NE Scotland. So starved has the region been of XC MTB racing that a former pro took part in NE MTB Series Round 2. With more rounds to come over the winter, XC MTB racing for kids and adults is back.

Best Bike Movie

How to have fun in the woods with your mates. Features actual fireworks, dirt bikes and some incredible riding.

A Bigger Slice of British Pie

Favourite Photograph

John Watson’s 4WD trips and landscape images of the hills of the western US desert country are awe-inspiring, but I love how this shot emphasises the simple joy of riding bikes downhill in the mountains.

Best Magazine

Bunyan Velo is a collection of photographs, essays and stories celebrating the simple pleasures of traveling by bike.”

Most fun ride

We spent a week in SW Scotland at Easter, exploring new trails, beaches and crags. The highlight for me was our day out on the Kirroughtree Red with Freya, Finn, Jo and the Baxters.

Most Fun Ride – Runner Up

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Also nominated in the Type 3 Fun Category, since it involved one member of the party going to hospital. Our Deeside Trail ride in May was slightly derailed when Derek cracked a rib on Ballater, but the rest of the party managed two great days of riding and eating in the eastern Cairngorms.

Best Beer

Tempest Brewing Co – Long White Cloud

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