Ambassadors


All the news from the Cotic Brand Ambassadors...


10/10/2018 - Kelly goes bike rafting

Kelly-Jayne

Bikerafting

Bikerafting. Sounds interesting right? Now I’m all over bikepacking, I’d even consider myself a bit of an expert. But chuck in a raft and you’ll find out I was in deeper (water) than I thought.

When planning an adventure, it’s always important to consider every aspect of it. New to ‘rafting’, I thought it best to start on something small. Time to drag in my water+obsessed, bike-obsessed and even more so adventure-obsessed friend, Mrs Nikki Read! She chose our trip to incorporate Coniston Water in the Lake District, a nicely sized body of water and surrounded by some great Mtb trails. We planned a water crossing, and a ride, followed by a nice hike up to a camping spot all on Komoot. I mean our plan was pretty bulletproof. We met at Coniston in the afternoon and spent some time mounting all our kit on our bikes, of which there was A LOT. We had the man behind Iron raft with us, Nick, to offer his packraft knowledge, and also capture the tour ( he’s pretty handy with the camera too). I’m going to be very honest here, the ‘idea’ of packrafting was a super exciting one; but when it actually came to it, became more of interesting one, not a ‘lets go and actually do it’ one…

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

I could feel my tummy doing somersaults whilst loading my Cotic Soul up (the best bike for the job), I’m a land lady! Not a mermaid (WHAT AM I DOING?!). The thought of paddling across the water with my bike didn’t have me stoked on life, I was more stoked to just go home. But Mrs Read is very good at keeping me positive (this woman has been on the water pretty much her entire life) and somehow managed to coax me to the water edge.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

The rafts are super easy to inflate, which was a welcome distraction from what was to happen next. Nikki and I chatted and laughed whilst racing to blow up our new method of transportation. Once on the water and sturdily afloat we headed across Coniston.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

What an adventure. Now I was panicking that I was going to sink and lose the Soul down into the deep deep water, but my raft however stayed very much above the water (thank god). I’ll be honest, I’m all for new experiences and trying out something different, but this will be the last time I raft, thanks very much. I felt very unwell! I’m a delicate one when it comes to motion sickness and seemed to have forgotten this when signing up.

All packed up I was very much ready to ride my bike. A little nauseated but I pulled through it because I REALLY couldn’t wait to camp.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

We met Jenny Nuttall for part 2 of our mission for day and headed up to Goats Water. Up the Bridleway and onto the footpath where we had to hike-a-bike. It was a pretty epic, lung busting climb up over some huge embedded rock, especially with my bike fully loaded with all the adventure equipment.

All of that was soon forgotten though, once we were welcomed with the most spectacular camping spot, Goats Water, which is a small tarn. Thanks Jenny, that’ll do.

I then spent some time sussing out the best place to pitch my tent, trying avoid any large rocks or uneven ground. Once I’d found it I then eagerly pitched it! I was hungry and my shelter building was the only thing that was getting in my way! I think I’ve said it a few to times now, I know I’m not made of sugar but it did start to rain A LOT, which isn’t ideal on a bikepacking trip, especially when my tent is about a centimetre big. Camp created, we found a massive rock to take shelter under and made our dinner.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

During the night, what happened is best described as biblical rain. The noises I heard through the night felt like a jet wash being sprayed directly at my tent with someone else repeatedly smashing a broom into the walls of it. These noises surrounded me the entire night. Haha.

By morning though, I’m happy to say I was alive and well and very surprisingly dry in my £48 tent from Amazon. I knew covering it with waterproof spray and NOT wiping away the excess was the best idea ever. In the morning after about an hours sleep I planned in my head how quickly I could get out of my tent, pack all my kit and get the heck off the mountain without completely drowning in the rain. I clambered out and went straight to see Nikki and Jenny. (I thought it worth mentioning here that Nikki and Jenny although also experienced a terrible nights sleep were completely unfazed by the rain and in super high spirits, those women are mega, I however woke up with a dark cloud above my head, figuratively and literally). They had a plan of action, and I was quite happy to go along with it. Unfortunately Nick had also a challenging nights sleep with a tent malfunction and spent a good few hours sleeping in an inch or so of water! (I mean I would have had a right princess moment and gone home). Eager to get dry and some food we all packed up and set off. The journey back down was pretty wet, the path which we had hiked up was now a river, making for a soggy experience.

Bike Rafting photos by Nick Kowalski

But gradually as we descended the clouds cleared and we eventually caught a glimpse of the sun through the clouds. Definitely lifted my spirts and helped my verging on hypothermic state! (That’s a bit dramatic, I was just cold and wet).

Once we made it to the bridleway the ride down the rest of the mountain was marvellous and the views flippin’ delightful as ever. That was enough adventuring for a soggy me though, we rode down to Coniston and finished out the trip with a nice warm breakfast.

Photos by Nick Kowalski


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25/09/2018 - Camus Does Canada

BFe in BC

Brand ambassador Dave Camus headed out to Whistler on holiday this year, here's how he got on...

Attacking Whistler on a hardtail:

I think it’s every mountain biker’s dream to have the chance to go to Whistler and ride – ever since jumping sketchy jumps and drops in our local sand quarry as a teenager; we'd get back and watch Roam and Seasons Whistler segments over and over. Every year myself and a few friends head out on a summer downhill riding trip such as Morzine, Hafjell or Andorra. This year all the cards fell into place and the whole crew had the cash and the time to consider a 3 week trip over the pond to British Columbia, so we costed it up and booked our flights. None of the group, 9 of us, had ever been before so everything would be new and fresh to us all!

Camus does Canada

The cost of taking two bikes on the plane wasn’t unreasonable, so I decided to take my Downhill bike for the bikepark, and pack my Cotic BFE to get some enduro laps. I’d scoured over trailforks for weeks before, and the list of trails inside and outside of the bikepark was endless. Like the Golfie on steroids! Sheffield being the close-knit scene it is, there were a fair few boys who have packed their bags for good and were living out there, so it wasn't long before some solid rides were planned to explore outside the bikepark.

Camus does Canada

In the end, the BFe got ridden way more than expected, and really took on everything I could throw at it. The janky shore, roots, rock rolls and steeps of the enduro trails there really tested the bike to its limits. Rarely would I see another hardtail, and locals were all rocking big enduro machines, which the BFe hung onto all week. After some successful enduro rides, I decided to take the BFE and have a couple of days shredding iconic trails in the bikepark too – it breezed through A-Line and Freight train, and managed to take in a couple of double blacks too! At this point I thought I’d make a choice selection of my favourite trails I rode on the BFe in Whistler…

Camus does Canada

Billy’s Epic – A black trail unlike a lot I rode, super steep, amazing views, rocky and fast with a huge chute in the middle. We linked it into ‘The Rockwork Trilogy’ which had three trails of neat tech rockrolls.

Green Monster - a short double black diamond trail outside of the bikepark with 3 huge rock rolls. The photo shows the first of the three – they only got bigger and more gnarly. Probably the scariest natural thing I rode. Rockrolls are just something we don’t get here in the UK – you must be super committed and stay off the brakes as much as possible. On the BFE the G outs at the bottom were something to contend with!

Camus does Canada

D1 – a short pro line trail just at the bottom of the Garbanzo lift. Think 50-01 line but with more stepdowns and gap jumps! Perfect berms, high speed and massively committing. Once you knew where you were going it was a hoot. One of the harder jump trails to master.

Camus does Canada

Lord of the Squirrels – a huge day out in the mountains on a sweet blue trail. 6600ft of climbing up to the top of Mt Sproatt. The climb up is purpose built and fairly steady, winding its way through the trees and then out to above the treeline with loads of sub alpine lakes and views. The climb itself felt like such an achievement to have completed, and we couldn’t have picked a better day for it. The trail down was just as rewarding. Super rough because of all the traffic the trail gets but loamy and the FLOW!

Camus does Canada

Crabapple Hits – The biggest jumps in the bikepark, topping out at about 55ft long, but with a monstrous lip. I’d hit these on the downhill bike on the first day, but massively underestimated the speed for the biggest and 50/50 cased it. I’d worked out the speed after than before going for it on the hardtail, but I knew on the BFE casing like that wasn’t an option. After a few deep breaths I dropped in and sailed through the whole set perfect first time. The amount of airtime is insane!

Camus does Canada

We only really scratched the surface of the riding in Whistler, and had the best time. There looks to be amazing trails in Squamish and Pemberton down the valley, as well as some proper ‘North Shore’ riding North Vancouver… I’m already looking at plans for next year! - Dave


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23/07/2018 - Kelly's Bikepacking Adventure

Bikepacking

Kelly takes the Escapade bikepacking in Scotland

Our ambassador Kelly has been exploring Scotland, ticks, midges and all. She left her Rocket at home and took the Escapade instead. She tells us about it here.

When asked if I was free to join a bikepacking trip in Scotland with Komoot and Cyclist mag, I practically jumped at the opportunity. Having got the taste for bike packing earlier in the year I was super keen to head out again on another adventure. This time with actual camping on the agenda, so no fancy air B&B for me. Fiola had planned our ride on Komoot which was a gravel ride, so the kind folk at Cotic loaned me their adventure bike for the trip, the Escapade, which has drop bars (YIKESSSS). Tyres wise I ran WTB resolute- they are cracking tyres and WTB aren’t wrong when they call them their ‘set-it-and-forget-it tire that keeps on keepin’ on ‘. My trusted and tested WTB women’s Koda pro saddle and Burgtec flat pedals. I didn’t fancy clipping in with all the weight I’d have on the bike (visions of me falling down some mountain side bike and bags attached, no thanks).

Bike setup sorted, now for packing. I’d asked my good friends Hannah and Nicole for advice on what I should take as they’ve both been on far greater bikepacking missions than me, and it’s also good to get others tips incase you’ve forgotten something super important, like underwear (thanks Hannah).

Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

I have my brilliant Polaris bags to load up with all my kit, with an extra edition to the bag squad from Cotic, their new waterproof frame bag. So bike and bags sorted, all that’s next was the camping essentials. I have a small, very lightweight Outdoor Gear “backpacker 1’ tent, weighing in a just 1.3kg and also a super lightweight Forclaz sleeping bag that packs up super small and is 985g along with a Forclaz air matt weighing 500g. All of these I took out of their original bags and distributed them between my handlebar bag and seat post bag. Polaris’s handlebar bag is waterproof, so I put my sleeping bag, down jacket and spare clothing in there and the tent got stuffed into the seat post bag.

Then everything else including the kitchen sink… I compiled a list:

  • Stove
  • Mytimug
  • Gas
  • Lighter
  • Food-dehydrated meals (firepot outdoor food)
  • Water bottles x4
  • Cutlery
  • Torch
  • Warm jacket
  • Change of socks
  • Leggings
  • First aid kit
  • SMIDGE
  • All the bike tools
  • Spare tubes JIC
  • Riding snacks
  • Spare Polaris straps
  • Battery pack and cable
  • Toiletries (Lush soap bars for the win)
  • Money
  • Oh and UNDERWEAR
  • All of this I squeezed into the seat post bag and my frame bag. As I mentioned before, Cotic have a new frame bag, and it’s flippin’ good. Due to it being waterproof, spacious and easily accessible I put all my electrical items, some snacks and my waterproof in this bag.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    Now that took a lot of effort to figure out with plenty of unpacking and packing, juggling and umming and ahhing about what I ACTUALLY needed to take, like hair curlers- there just wasn’t the space.

    All packed up I headed out for a nice drive up to Fort Augustus to meet the other riders, Fiola, George and Joe. Once we all arrived we sat and looked at the tour that was planned on Komoot and got a good nights kip before our adventure began.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    We woke up to classic Scottish weather, rain. Had breakfast, grabbed our bikes, admired the Fort Augustus canal locks and then we were off! GRAVEL RIDING? what exactly is that then? I certainly felt like I had the right bike for the job, but after a good million miles of canal path and road I can’t remember meeting the gravel.

    Scottish highlands are unpredictable and super harsh at times, so the first days riding took us all along some amazing lakes and then up a few incredible mountains.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    Mountain paths that were unrideable and nearly unwalkable at times, lugging my bike up them with bags in tow was a struggle to say the least, but the sweet feeling of success when I reached the summit made the pain train super worth it!

    On the descents the bags all remained very much attached to my bike as I hung on for dear life on the drops riding down the rockiest ‘gravel paths’ I’d ever seen!

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    After a good 80k we arrived in a beautiful hamlet called Arnisdale, all pretty tired and hungry we set up camp for the night.

    This was my favourite bit of the trip. I’d packed THE best food and was cosy and content in my dry clothes. Tent up and fire lit we sat and enjoyed the sunset over the Isle of Skye before rolling into our tents for some much needed rest.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    The best nights sleep followed by a lovely coffee and bowl of porridge on the beach to set me up for the day, which luckily was a dry one!

    We made our way out of Arnisdale and stopped in a village called Glenelg to grab some more snacks, fill up our water bottles and look at the days route.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much you plan for a trip, some things just don’t work out! After the mega first day riding, we came to the realisation that we were going to be struggling for time to get back to Fort Augustus on these ‘gravel paths’. Fortuntely Komoot makes it super easy to re-route a trip, so that’s what we did. This meant however A LOT of road to cover.

    Kelly Scotland Bikepacking

    I don’t have much to say about this part of the trip…but what I will say is, forget the views and ‘training’ I am not a road rider and I never will be. Singing ‘Walking In Memphis’ and ‘Fall At Your Feet’ at the back of the pack was keeping me going and then some ‘Tubthumping (I get knocked down)’ ft Fiola was also a distraction from the dismay. (I only cried once). During our Scottish A-roads tour we stopped off at a nice pub, the Cluanie Inn where we enjoyed a coffee and some cake and then removing over 20+ ticks from mine and Fiola’s bodies. Already struggling on the roads the last thing I needed was some new pals trying to hitch a ride.

    AHEM, after an interesting I don’t know…80k? We finally made it to some GRAVEL ROADS, so the last 12k of our ride was pretty nice, up and through some forests with lovely views down the valley.

    We arrived back in Fort Augustus and treated ourselves to a bag of chips and a cold beverage on the edge of the locks. Although not the one we had planned, what a trip, I’m going to be busy plotting my highlights on Komoot for a while! And may I add, zero flats and zero mechanicals aboard the Escapade, what a bike. Due to the ticks I spent the last night in my car, luckily it’s an estate.

    Kelly Bikepacking in Scotland

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    24/04/2018 - Tricky Moore on the top spot

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    Tricky Moore

    Hardtail hooligan Tricky Moore has got his brand new BFe frame built up and raced it at the MIJ Downhill Round 1 race at the weekend and got the top spot on the podium in the hardtail category. Well done Tricky!

    Tricky Moore
    Tricky Moore's BFe

    MIJ Racing …

    Roots & Rain Results & Photos…


    06/04/2018 - Ambassadors

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    Kelly Jayne aboard her Rocket

    Ambassador Kelly Jayne has barely been off her Rocket over winter, no weather fazes her or her little trail dog Bell. She regularly shares her adventures on her blog (link below) and on her Instagram page.

    When the drainage on the trails is holding out really well!#coticbikes #unsustainablyhighstoke #gritandsteel #rideeverything #morvelotestteam #mudhugger #canecreek #HELMyeah #wildernesstrailbikes #ridewtb #burgtec #flatpedalthunder #biketrack #wildtrail #kingud #keepitclean #peatysproducts #julboathlete #fuelledbywildtrail @coticbikes @julbo_eyewear @morvelo @wildernesstrailbikes @mudhugger2 @themudhugger @burgtec @canecreekusa

    A post shared by Kell, Bell and bikes. (@kelljmae_) on

    Dave Camus has been busy with Ride Sheffield recently, digging and keeping the local trails running sweet. He's also been busy winning Sheffield dual racing! #dualrules and raced the ND(H)uro Round 2 at Kielder Forest, finishing in 2nd place. You can follow what he's up to over on his Instagram page.

    Tough day on the hill but stage 1 was a banger, @coticbikes loving it, cheers @lewisgregoryphoto for the snap 🤘

    A post shared by Dave Camus (@davecamus) on

    Ben Gerrish's Flare Max

    I think it's fair to say Ben Gerrish is LOVING his new FlareMAX. It's been settling in nicely to its new home in the Lakes. Ben has films and races planned in the coming months. You can follow him over on his Instagram.

    Standard mountain behaviour. #Excitable 📸 @dan_lead • • #CoticBikes #GotFlare #RADMin #MadisonClothing #HopeTech #WTB #FabricCycles #AdidasTerrex #WildTrail #HDDN #LakesMTB #CaneCreek #SAXX #FreeToMove #HKTMovement #RideJoystick #TrailDog #WildfireDistro

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    01/12/2017 - Adele's 1 Year

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    Adele

    One year as Cotic Brand Ambassador

    Adele Mitchell's Flare

    Adele reflects on 1 year as Cotic brand ambassador...

    This time last year I was invited to Cotic HQ in the Peak District to discuss becoming a brand ambassador and having my own Cotic Flare – a 650b trail bike with 130mm travel – to ride for a year.

    It was an easy sell, tbh. Cotic are a small, British mountain bike brand who specialise in steel frames. They fight their corner in the world of big mtb brands with a range of bikes that could sit at the top end of any line up, and describe the Flare as ‘a brilliant all round trail bike, with a fleet footed feel, synapse quick handling, crisp climbing, fun descending.’ What’s more, I grew up near The Peaks, I love mtb – and they gave me a very fine lunch that included deep fried onion rings. Not that I was a complete walk over, though. After all, I already owned a not- too-shabby trail bike and I wasn’t going to give it up for a year if what was on offer wasn’t going to be a) as good if not better and b)add a new dimension to my riding. Happily the Flare has risen to the challenge with ease.

    IMG_5900

    The Flare arrived at Adele Towers, Surrey, in early February, neatly squeezed into the back of Cotic’s new van for is journey down the M1. The steel frame is crafted in Reynolds 853, which is exceptionally stiff, robust and durable and can thus be used in thinner dimensions for lightness (hence the bike’s ‘skinny’ appearance). Steel is also used for the seatstays, allowing generous ankle, heel and calf clearance. The droplink suspension layout has titanium pivot fittings, while the swingarm is aluminium to allow the machined parts to fit while enabling stiffness at the back of the bike. And finally, my bike is customised with Joystick carbon bars, WTB 27.5″ carbon wheels and tubeless tyres, a 130mm X-Fusion fork, some gorgeous Hopetech bling and Burgtec pedals that have kept my feet firmly in place whatever the terrain. For the record (and those who think steel bikes are always going to be heavy) I can pick the Flare up with one hand. Also, on hills, I can overtake my friends who ride carbon 29ers (#smug).

    IMG_5940

    Unfortunately and despite being New Bike Day, the trails of The Surrey Hills had never looked more dismal and uninspiring: a fest of sucky mud, wet roots, low cloud and non-existent views. We rode to take a few photos, snacked on sandwiches and coffee, and talked of better weather and future ride plans before waving the team off back up to The Peaks where, if my childhood memories serve me right, the sun never stops shining.

    Adele Mitchell

    Thankfully on the day of my first event with the Flare – Battle on the Beach in Pembrey, South Wales – the sun was out in full force. BotB is a unique three-lap, 45km race that includes a 15km beach sprint, 15km singletrack through the dunes and 15km of fire road slog into a headwind. It’s a wonderful ride in a beautiful setting, and a great way to test the Flare – and my fitness out. Thankfully we both passed the test!

    Our annual girls’ trip to Afan rolled around next: this year four of us rocked up at the Afan Lodge where we enjoyed hearty breakfasts, long rides and big dinners, and inadvertently intimidated the groups of male riders who weren’t expecting to be sharing the bar with a bunch of #radmums on a weekend away. We had a long day in the saddle after Afan Lodge’s local trail legend sent us up the mountain on the ‘scenic route’ – which I interpreted to mean ‘easier’ than the normal slog up hill, but which turned out to be just as steep but twice as long. Nice views though, he wasn’t wrong there.

    Cotic Flare

    On the way down The Flare galloped around the trails like a nippy Jack Russell – kept in check by super grippy WTB tyres which resolutely held on while everyone else was commenting on how sketchy the trails were feeling.

    Back home in Surrey and Fox held a launch event for its Proframe helmet at the Swinley Forest trail centre. It’s a great piece of kit and testing it out proved to be a brilliant opportunity to ride flat out on familiar trails.

    It also turned out to be an opportunity to meet Fox ambassador and Redbull Rampage rider Pierre Edouard Ferry. He was intrigued to hear all about the Cotic, and was more than happy to chat. Also, he is very handsome. So all in all, a great day out!

    Adele Mitchell Clothing

    The Flare is fleet footed, fast and fun and it has given me a lot of confidence on technical terrain – but there is always room for improvement, and with a trip to the Alps on the horizon I headed off for some mountain biking tuition. It’s actually really tricky to over-ride the deep-seated procedural memory that comes from years of riding experience – and so I struggled at first to adapt new technique. However I’m a determined sort so I retired to the woods for many solo rides, sessioning my back-to-basics new skills: looking ahead, using my heel position effectively and sticking my elbows and knees out more (not a technical term). Small things, big difference on the trails though.

    Anyway, how about throwing yourself in at the deep end with a bit of Alpine mountain biking fun? A mix of family holiday with flooded valley rides, accidentally riding black runs (punched the air at the end of that one!) and delicious – and very strong – beer at the end of a stunning cross-country ride: we had an amazing week in and around Les Gets.

    Cotic Flare

    We visit Dartmoor to ride each year. We have friends who live in the heart of the National Park and we can ride from their door, and return later in the day to eat unfeasibly large amounts of local cheese. Not surprisingly, it’s one of the highlights of the year. The Dartmoor National Park is beyond beautiful and appears untouched and wild – in fact, and in order to keep it unspoilt, it is tightly managed. That means trails are limited but well maintained, and a lot of fun if you like riding over rock-strewn moorlands and hopping over aristan-crafted stone drainage ditches. Its old-school cross-country riding with big hills so leave your long travel bike at home and be prepared to get a little bit lost.

    Cotic Flare, Adele Mitchell

    Another favourite day out is the circular ride from Poole via Corfe Castle. It’s true Famous Five adventure stuff (though there were sixteen of us in total), with a trip on a ferry, cream teas, huge climbs and legs-out descents along the cliff tops and down to the sea. In a slight detour from the normal route, some mentioned that the swanky hotel The Pig On The Beach was en-route and so we popped in to ‘just to have a look’: several rounds of drinks and outdoor-cooked, flatbread pizzas later, we made our way back to the ferry, (over) tired and happy.

    As you will have realised by now, I’m happiest on long rides with big hills and fun descents, so when I decided to enter Swinley Enduro – the first one I’ve ridden – I did so for the fun and the experience, rather than to get placed. It was one of the friendliest events I’ve ever ridden: the 30 women taking part agreed we’d prefer to start together rather than in age categories, and we moved round the route laughing, chatting, sharing tips and supporting each other. It was a really special atmosphere and (almost!) helped settle my nerves! I also spotted a couple of Cotic riders in the mix too – always good to say hello.

    Swinley Enduro

    Mostly though, I am enjoying the Flare on the local hills and in the woods. Apologies for the lack of images of me riding there: often there is simply no one on hand to take a picture – perhaps Cotic could add a selfie-button to the 2018 model?

    Adele Mitchell

    If you'd like a Flare like Adele's follow the link below!


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    06/11/2017 - Kelly's trip with BMW Mountains

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    Kelly Jayne

    BMW, Mountains and a rocket

    New brand ambassador Kelly-Jayne was lucky enough to win an incredible prize with BMW Mountains... She tells us all about it in her blog post.

    So, for the first time ever, I entered a competition. After scanning Instagram on the way home from our roadtrip in the Alps and seeing that Hannah Barnes had ridden Nauders (mine and Aiken’s favourite place we visited) for a BMW Mountains Mission, I stumbled upon a competition where you had to complete your own ‘mission’. The prizes on offer included a Garmin, an Evoc bag and just this all expenses paid road trip for you and a +1 with Hannah Barnes and Martin Söderström… I thought, well, I highly doubt I’d ever win the road trip but I could do with a Garmin, and Evoc bags are pretty sweet. My mission was to ride 20k with 1000m of climbing. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I took on my mission, took a selfie as proof with a screenshot of my ride on strava and sent it across to BMW Mounatins. And that was that! I’ll be honest, after that I completely forgot about it and got on with my life. I received an email Monday 11th September from BMW Mountains informing me that the competition entry was closed and the winner of the prizes and road trip would be announced ‘TODAY’. I didn’t hear anything after this and assumed I hadn’t won (better ask Aiken for a Garmin for Christmas). The following day, I was sitting having a brew with my grandparents and I got some pretty ridiculous news.

    "CONGRATULATIONS - YOU ARE THE GRAND PRIZE WINNER"

    HOLY MOLY. I’ll be honest, to my grandparents dislike, I swore quite a lot and was very(x10000) shocked that I’d won! The road trip would start on the 18th September, in 7 days… (serious?).

    Aiken and I were in complete disbelief and were sure that it was a scam, and didn’t believe it until we got our flight times on the Sunday night!

    MONDAYS R 4 ROCKETS

    Kelly Jayne BMW Mountains blog post

    As if it couldn’t get more exciting, the day before our road trip, Bell (FYI my beautiful dog) and I met Richard Baybutt, ‘photographer, mechanic, daft ideas person’ from Cotic and his dog Otto at the Hemlock Trail Association for a ride and chat about all things bikes. After drooling over Cotic Bikes for a while I took myself on a Cotic demo day back in June at Lady Cannings and tried out all the bikes and settled on the Rocket as my favourite. So as an already massive fan of the Rocket I was super stoked to be out riding on one again. Amazingly, I was offered the role as a Cotic Ambassador and was given a Rocket for my trip (could things get any better?!).

    So absolutely buzzing, we flew into Munich. Collected at the airport by Moritz, a super friendly intern from BMW Mountains who dropped us off at Arthotel Ana. That evening we took it easy after the days travelling, had some pizza and a rest before our 6 day road trip began. Day 1 We met a very friendly Hannah and Martin in the hotel lobby, and headed over to BMW Welt where we met Tuuli- our go-to-gal (for all things road trip related), photographer Jan Kasl and the film crew (FullFace Productions), who would be following (stalking) us on our road trip. After a Tour of all the fancy cars and some history of BMW, a very fancy lunch, I was then, (to my surprise) handed over the keys to a VERY fancy new pre-production BMW X3 for our road trip.

    Kelly Jayne BMW Mountains blog pos

    After an awkward bit of filming where I had to talk to the camera for the first time, (if anyone else has experienced this before, my god it’s hard work!!) we all packed up, and headed off to our first stop- Hotel Staudacherhof in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. A trip to the spa followed by a tasty 6 course Oktoberfest meal, and we were ready for some sleep!

    Day 2 E-Bikes (what’s this all about then?)

    Having never ridden an E-bike before, I was quite looking forward to giving the BMW Specialized E-bike a go (even though I had a very exciting Rocket waiting for me). We met our very friendly guide Alex, picked up our bikes and headed off up to the Eibsee!

    Kelly Jayne BMW Mountains trip

    he ride wasn’t quite how I remembered it… Although the beautiful scenery was familiar the climb was quite different- delightful, sociable and required zero effort. Also, I must not forget to mention, it went A LOT faster. Before we knew it we were greeted with an awesome rocky descent after a fantastic feed at the Hochthörlehütte.

    Now not only were these E-bikes, they were ‘fatty’ E-bikes. Made for an interesting descent!

    After the ride we headed to the hotel Spa for a quick dip and back on the road to our next destination in the swanky X3; Hotel Die Berge, Solden.

    Day 3- What a place!

    We met with our new guide for the day- Lienke (a very nice and impressively fast guide from Bike School RIDE-ON). Finally time to get the Rocket out! Some mega faffing and bike building before we all headed up the chairlift to Sölden Bikepark (a.k.a Bike Republic Sölden).

    Such an incredible place. The views were spectacular and trails even more so. Super flowy fast fun desents, immaculately groomed and maintained, and so well crafted all made even more fun on the Rocket! Sölden is on our list of places to go back to next year for sure!

    Kelly Jayne BMW Mountains blog post

    Day 4- No bikes today, instead we went on a ‘driving experience’ over the Timmelsjoch and Julier passes. As far as driving experiences go… it was pretty cool!

    After what felt like a million hours of driving we made it to St.Moritz and to the very fancy Hotel Hauser. (If you wanted, you could have a pillow case stuffed solely with pine shavings for reasons I just don’t know). We had yet another spectacular meal at their restaurant and met our super cool guide for tomorrow’s ride, Dave Spielmann from Allaboutmtb.

    Day 5- St.Moritz (you beauty). It was FREEZING. But the views were spectacular.

    Kelly Jayne BMW Mountains blog pos

    Aiken and I had ridden here in the summer and absolutely loved the flowtrails- like Solden, super well maintained and not surprisingly, built by the same team!

    At the top of the Corviglia there are two flowtrails, Corviglia and Olympia flowtrails – both super fun. One takes you back to the funicular and the other you can take down to another trail Foppettas, this is a short but super sweet and definitely in my list of top 10 favourite trails I’ve ridden. Marmot spotting, an awesome guide (thanks Dave), what feels like endless rollercoaster flowtrail fun and the best lunch spot at Alto Bar. Oh we did have ever such a fun day!

    That evening we went up a funicular to Muottas Muragl for our dinner with the whole gang. We were met with the most stunning views to finish off such an incredible trip!

    Kelly Jayne BMW Mountains blog pos

    Day 6- Home time!

    Aiken and I said our goodbyes to Hannah and Martin and the Fullface production crew and then headed back to Munich with Tuuli. What a week ay! For a first time enter of a competition, I think I got mega lucky. Such a sweet week spent riding, hanging out with and meeting some great people. Massive thank you to BMW mountains for the trip and a bigger one to Tuuli for making it spectacular. And thanks to Jan Kasl for the incredible photos.


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    19/09/2017 - Adele Mitchell Enduro

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    Adele Mitchell

    Swinley Enduro

    Swinley Enduro

    Adele Mitchell braved her first mountain bike enduro last weekend. A 25km loop with 8 timed stages. It's a lot to take on! In her new blog post she explains the 10 things she learnt from this experience. It's well worth a read, as it's very true!

    She bumped into our Development Squad rider Will Easey while she was there. Will absolutely smashed it and came 3rd in his category. Well done Will!

    Nothing better than coming into a stage listening to this racket!!😂😂 Although people may complain about swinley, it still has its hidden gems with some pretty fun stages! #mtb #rideordie #cotic @dd_cycles @coticbikes @swinleybikehub @hktproducts @truemtb @riderschannel #swinleybikehub #steel #steelisreal #oioi #endurogame #soenduro #callmecurtiskeene #braap

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    30/08/2017 - Adele Mitchell in the Alps

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    Adele Mitchell escapes to the Alps

    Cotic Flare

    "The irony that a mountain bike riding holiday usually starts by putting your bike into a car isn’t lost on me, but with more and more far flung destinations offering tantalising riding, sometimes these things just have to be done. And so it was – several times this summer – that we shoehorned the family, our luggage, followed by even more mtb luggage, into our ‘its too small, isn’t it?’ car, strapped the bikes onto the roof and set off on holiday.

    First off, we managed to convince our teenage family that a holiday in The Alps was just what they needed despite the fact there isn’t a beach. And it might rain. And they don’t like mountain biking. And they’d need to travel for ten hours with a couple of bike wheels nudging the back of their heads. As not everyone wanted to ride, we divided our time between walking in the mountains, eating, swimming in the local lake, eating, shopping at the market, eating, sneaking out for an occasional mountain bike ride while they were otherwise occupied, and then more eating. Turns out The Alps can tick almost every single holiday box with aplomb (and no one mentioned the lack of beach, so we’ll let that one go). Everyone wants to go back next year.


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    21/07/2017 - Adele's Mountain Bike Skills

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    Adele Mitchell

    On Mountain Bike Skills

    "I’m an enthusiastic rider, rather than a great one but like to think I have managed to build some skills in that time (I’m still in one piece, for a start). Of course I also know that, like most of us, I have gaping holes in my skills set. I’ve written about some of them here – and as a result Si from Pedal & Spoke MTB Coaching – a man who has the patience of a saint, btw – kindly offered me a skills session to help iron out a few of my habitual creases. My last skills session was over three years ago so it was long overdue: its good to keep learning and also bad habits take hold easily and can be hard to shake off (as I was about to find out!)."

    Read more of her blog post using the link below...


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