After a long summer, we are super stoked that there are still some autumn adventures ahead of us. Indian Summer is taking over in Europe and we are ready to explore some areas in the north. Early this year, we had secured one of the tickets for the Hopetech Women Enduro. Mountain biking in England was on our list for quite some time already so this was our chance to combine our trip with a super cool event. We were a little sceptical about the weather situation in October. The warmer days were getting fewer and fewer. So we prepared for rain and colder temperatures. Spending lots of time in the cold is usually not my cup of tea but for the love of biking I try to improve my ways of dealing with it. I mean, I don’t have a choice anyways – winter is coming…
Traveling light and choosing the right equipment
Due to the booking class of our ticket, our equipment needed to be downsized to an absolute minimum. We made sure to carry the lightest and smallest gear possible. We had registered our bikes as normal luggage with the booking. That meant the bike bags could not weigh more than 23kg. So all the rest of the equipment and clothing had to fit into our hand luggage (an update on ‘light travel’ will be issued soon). So this was an adventure for itself but worked out quite well.
After some packing and unpacking, the (bike) bags were strategically filled and we were ready to fly to Manchester. As it was the first time visiting England with our bikes, we were super exited to finally get to know some of the mountain bike areas. We had booked a rental car to be flexible and able to explore a couple of trail centres in the region. As accommodation we were lucky to spent the time in a cute little cottage in Long Preston surrounded by green fields, lots of sheep and the neatly build stone walls.
As expected, the locals were quite unimpressed by the recent drop in temperature. They told us, that they were experiencing a late summer in the previous two weeks, which seemed pretty unusual. But by the time we arrived, the typical British weather had been restored and greeted us with glee. Rain was drizzling down and it was cold, but once in a while the sun peeked out between the clouds and gave the landscape quite a mystic touch. So it wasn’t too bad.
The ladies made all the difference
We were wondering how the muddy condition and the cold would impact the fun and motivation level at the race. The locals took it quite well. No complaining, lots of laughter and clothing that we would wear on a summer evening. We were quite impressed. During the race we saw some familiar faces. Katy Curd and Veronique Sandler passed us with their crew on the transfer to the second stage. And on the fourth stage we saw Martha Gill showing her skills on the track.
It was nice to see women and girls of all ages having fun on the trails. While waiting in line we also got some decent tips for other mountain bike areas to check out. So by the end of the race we had the rest of the days already planned out. We had such a blast! Thanks to all the rad ladies that made the adventure super cool and inspiring!