19 January 2021
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Katy Winton’s top off-road riding spots

March 22, 2013
The Lakes

A born and bred Cross Country (XC) racer. Katy Winton found mountain biking through her dad who started the wheels turning at an early age. Since winning her first mountain bike race aged 12 there’s been no looking back.

Having been supported by the British Cycling Talent team and Olympic Development program over the years, Katy has already got two British XC Championship titles and results at European and World Championships as well as plenty other wins under her belt.

At 19 Katy now finds herself racing for the Kinesis Morvelo Project and supported by the Scottish Elite Support program heading for the 2014 Commonwealth Games as well as aspirations in Gravity Enduro racing (a brand new cycling discipline destined for big things in the future – watch this space!)

Here Katy shares her top five spots to ride…

1. Kinlochleven – In the depths of the beautiful Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands

One of the things that makes racing mountain bikes, in my opinion, the hardest of all cycling disciplines is that not only do you need the fitness, tactical mind, endurance, explosive power and skills, you also need to be able to deal with the man,y many technical variables that can change in an instant – it keeps things exciting which is why I really like Kinlochleven!

Kinlochleven took me away from my usual muddy, rooty, tight trails and out on to open, rocky, loose and rutted hillside river bed trails and I loved it. I love a new challenge as it keeps your skills in check to ride somewhere new and completely different not to mention the epic backdrop to enjoy.

2. Tweedlove – The Tweed Valley, my local riding playground

With the vast variety of riding from man-made trails to hillside adventures there has always been something to test my skills and keep riding exciting since we moved here in 2007. Not many people are lucky enough to say they have so much varied riding on their doorstep and everyone here wants to shout about it!

That’s why we come together and put on an annual festival called ‘Tweedlove’ to bring people from all over the country (and the world) to show them in a week what the Tweed Valley has to offer. From mountain bike racing to road racing and  from ladies-only skills days and ride outs to the more hardcore camp out rides and even kids races and coaching sessions there really is something for everyone! So come along and see what it’s all about: tweedlove.com. Ed – We love Tweedlove! Take a look at the ‘Sportsister loves’ blog here for a Tweedlove video starring Katy about how girls can ride bikes too!

3. The Lakes

The LakesAfter riding with friends on a famous ‘Lakes Epic’ ride I was hooked. Riding here made me fall in love with bike riding all over again. It’s amazing how satisfying the simplicity of venturing on to the top of some massive hills with some mates, taking the time to enjoy the view and then smash it back down to the bottom is.

The ride summed up everything that makes mountain biking awesome – the escapism in adventuring into the unknown in good company: it’s just you, your bike, your mates and a big hill. Simply awesome!

4. Pakistan

PakistanPossibly not the first place that springs to mind when you think of ‘mountain biking’, but in fact Pakistan is home to some of the best trails I have ever ridden. Among the breathtaking Himalayan mountains, hidden in the trees are some epic steep trails carved into the mountainside with rocks, roots and drops all at random which makes for some exhilarating riding. Unfortunately the race we had travelled to Pakistan for was cancelled, you can read more about why here. But it really was an unforgettable experience.

5. Yet to be found!

There are so many places I’ve not yet been! I’ve raced a lot of awesome courses over Europe in the likes of Germany, France, Switzerland, Slovakia and Holland but I know there are more adventures to come that are going to blow my mind! I’m so lucky to do a sport that is so much fun, that even when it comes to the end of a hard season I still want to ride because I love it, the buzz the people the places, so get out there and explore…

Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine

You can follow Katy’s adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Vimeo (search Katy Winton)

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