“Getting dropped” is one of those things that cyclists have nightmares about. The phrase is not, as it might suggest, a barely disguised euphemism for falling off or crashing your bike. Instead it is suffering the ignominy of not being able to keep up with your fellow riders, thus suggesting a complete lack of fitness and/ or riding ability.
Those who don’t ride bikes tend to lump cyclists together as one entity.
It has been 14 years since the first UCI Mountain Bike World Cup was held on Aonach Mor near Fort William. The event now attracts tens of thousands of spectators from around the world over a weekend of racing. For riders it has a formidable reputation, but is also consistently voted by competitors as one of the best venues on the World Cup circuit.
If you were asked: “Do you want to lose weight, save money and reduce your stress levels?” the majority of us would answer “Yes”.
Many of you will be familiar with the route of the Etape Caledonia: Pitlochry to Loch Rannoch and back, via Schiehallion and Strathtay. It’s an iconic and now very popular route, even outwith the official event which takes place in Highland Perthshire on Sunday.
When I started out as a cycling coach, grass-roots competitive cycling for young people was on the rise. Clubs were springing up everywhere; the racing calendar was chock-full of events and, in what seemed unthinkable only a few years before, professional British cyclists had become household names.