Scottish Women's Downhill Development

What's happening in the world of downhill mountain biking.

October 2008

The Air Maiden event run by Lynne Aitchison was a great success. Over 50 women took part with ages from 13 to the over 40's. Click here to see all the latest photos, blogs and commentary.


March 2008

New dates are up for the Cross Country ride outs, so do your best to get along to as many of those as you can ladies. It's not all about throwing you and your DH rig down the hill, we really need to work on some of the basic technical stuff and get the heart pumping on some climbs too!

It's the last round of the NPS Winter series on 23rd March for anyone who's interested in taking part. Full details are on the descent-world website.

Innerleithen uplifts start again on Easter Monday, so phone Tally if you want to book yourself on. All the dates are on our diary now.



January 2008


Hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year. Don't forget that the Chris Ball coaching day is happening next month on Sunday 3rd February. All the places are now booked, but if anyone wants to go on the reserve list then let Lesley know. Cost to members is £45 for half day coaching and half day uplift at Innerleithen. Please send your cheques to Lesley before 18th January to guarantee your place.

We'll put up a new diary of XC and free ride meetings in the next few weeks, so better get down the gym to shift all those extra mince pies ladies!


December 2007


Since most of you will be at various christmas parties throughout December, there's nothing official planned for this month. However a lot of us will still be out and about so drop an email if you want to meet up and go riding in the wonderful Scottish weather!

November 2007


Due to lack of interest the planned day at Mabie was cancelled and replaced with a muck around at Glentress freeride area again. Gordy took a few videos, so if you want a nosey have a look here






October 2007


The first of our regular ride outs was a big success. Mags has put together a wee report from the day and there are a few pics too. More......

Also, a small warning. XC is obviously the most dangerous sport you can take part in. You only have to look at this picture of Mags to see what we mean!! We're glad to say that her mug is now fully repaired!


September 2007


Wendy, Lesley, Lynne, Charlotte and Gillian met up for the Sunday uplift service and had a great weekend's riding. The tracks were dry and dusty despite the previously wet weather and Wendy and Lesley finally conquered their fear of the Red Bull (Matador) step down! You can see some of the action on You Tube here



Unfortunately the weather took it's toll and the final SDA race at Glencoe was cancelled on the Sunday morning. Not a decision that everyone was happy with, but it appeared to be the safest option as the track wasn't holding together and the mud was causing an endless stream of crashes. The SDA series points will now be decided on the last 4 out of 4 races. Bad news for anyone who had decided not to race an early stage in the hope of including Glencoe in their points standing.



This weekend sees the final race of the SDA calendar being held at Glencoe. It's the first time the new track has been used in a race and everyone is interested to see how well it will hold up after 300 riders have ridden (or slid) down it! Unfortunately the weather looks likely to be pretty wet over the weekend, so good luck to Wendy who's taking part.


It was THE event of the year as far as mountain bike fans were concerned, and those who made the trip up to see the DH finals were certainly not disappointed. The atmosphere was electric and every time a british rider started their run the entire crowd went mental! Ruaridh Cunningham was a worthy gold medal winner, but it was a shame that the big elite names didn't do so well this time around. Gracia, Peat, Rennie and Minnaar all seemed to suffer crashes and Tracy Moseley had a severe mechanical issue at the start of her run that left her without any gears. Young Katy Curd did well in the Junior women, securing herself a silver medal. Unfortunately there were still issues this year with the bus service, that resulted in a lot of people being stranded on the hill after the 4X finals on Friday, or waiting over 2 hours for a bus back in to town after the DH finals on Sunday.

See the BBC News coverage of the event here Pay special attention to the interviews at the end and you can see one of the boys giving Hill a haircut with his yellow clippers!!


July 2007


Well what do you know, that girl Lynne really can ride after all! She not only finished 4th in the women's pro 4X, but also managed a 4th spot in the Womenzworx freeride comp! She's a bit hyper at the moment, but once she's home we'll get the full race repo from her. Congratulations Lynne from all your bike club buddies.




Congratulations to Lynne and Wendy for getting first and second spot at the weekend. The old track was used this time around and the mix of rocks, roots, mud and pedalling upset quite a few people. It's not the steepest track in the world so there was a lot of pedalling all the way through. The sun managed to stay out for race day though which is always nice! Full Results are online now.




The new jerseys are now ready to be posted out to those who ordered them. Apologies for the standard of modelling, but here's a look at the new design.



back side side


It was the most popular race of the Scottish Calendar, with people sitting up till 3.00 am to try and get entered on-line. What is perhaps a bit disappointing then is the amount of "no shows". Dozens of riders missed the opportunity to race, only to find that some people simply didn't turn up and by then it was too late for the organisers to let anyone else in. The results are now on line and congratulations go to Lynne Aitchieson for her silver medal. The only women faster on the track was Tracy Moseley! Now that she's back from Canada I'm sure Lynne will shake up the Scottish race scene quite a bit - watch this space!!



We have managed to organise a private uplift for our members at Ae on Sunday 10th June. The Club will make a small contribution towards the cost so if we get 10 people it will be £25 each. Unfortunately the people carrier can only take 7 at a time so we'll need to take turns each sitting out a run (will probably get about 7 runs each). We must get 10 people signed up for this to be cost effective, so you need to let Lesley or Lynne know this week if you are interested.

We'll meet up at the foot of the track at 9.00 am

May 2007


The DH course officially opens on Saturday 12th May, so a few of the girls will be meeting up to try out the new sections. Come over and say hello if you see us. It will be a busy day as the Descent World members will also be meeting up. DW in conjunction with Clive Forth, are offering short DH and XC training courses on both Saturday and Sunday for only £10 per person.

Saturday & Sunday

Session 1: 9am - 12 Midday
XC skills (or DH if not enough XC riders) focusing on the basic core skills, bike set up and equipment choice and looking at developing the session to take on drop offs, line choice and to fulfill any special requirements/skills.

Session 2: 1pm - 3pm

DH skills session (or XC if no takers on DH) again looking at bike set up - a discussion on shock set up, core skill points and practical session on the hill for the last hour.

Session 3: 4pm - 7pm
Guided XC ride with skills en route.

Minimum of 4 riders maximum of 10 (8 max for downhill) per session.

Please email Clive ASAP at for more details and to book in advance.


We plan to order club jerseys again this year. They will be long sleeved and the main colour is changing to red instead of blue. Each jersey costs £37.60 but the Club will subsidise the cost so you will only pay £30 plus an extra £2 if you want your name on the back. We need a minimum order of ten jerseys, so let Lesley know if you want one. Little people jerseys are also available age 6-8 and 9-11 in case you fancy one for your kiddies! here's the rough template so you have an idea of what to expect. view the design. View the size chart


April 2007

18/04/07: SDA Round 1 at Innerleithen

First round of the Scottish series took place this weekend at Innerleithen. Unfortunately a lot of Club members were absent, due to the problems with getting online entries, but nevertheless we still had a good turnout and congratulations to Julie Cartner for not only her first race, but also her first podium!


March 2007

Tracy Moseley Coaching Day at AE Confirmed for Saturday 3rd March


Great News ladies, Mags has managed to negotiate an uplift for the coaching day with Tracy on 3rd March. Places are extremely limited due to the size of the van so you need to contact Lesley before 23rd February if you are interested in going. After that date please contact Mags to see if there are any spaces left.

If the places haven't been filled by Friday 23rd February, then Mags will put a notice on the Descent World forum inviting non members to come along. Total cost per person is £30 for members and if spaces are still available we'll offer them to non-members at a cost of £70 each.

If you do manage to get a place, but need to cancel, can you please contact Mags as soon as possible so we can give your place to someone else. A day's coaching with the current Women's World Downhill Champion isn't something we want to waste!


February 2007

Innerleithen Chairlift Now a Definite Maybe!    (13/2/07)

The independent report, commissioned by Scottish Enterprise Borders, highlights that the re-introduction of a safe vehicle uplift facility at the Innerleithen downhill course is a key first step in helping to grow the number of people using the downhill tracks. 

Forestry Commission Scotland is currently looking for a company to operate a bus-based transport system to safely transport bikers and their bikes to the top of the downhill routes at Innerleithen. It is hoped that this new business opportunity will be operational by early summer.

The new vehicle based uplift service will be fundamental in growing the number of bikers using the trails from the current 8,000 visits a year to at least 25,000 visits. The uplift service would be part of the overall strategy towards developing the chairlift as a viable option.

The report recommends installing a detachable quad chairlift system in Innerleithen, between Elibank and Traquair Forests.  The Innerleithen Downhill course  at Traquair Forest is already renowned for its extreme biking and a chairlift system would offer significant opportunities to develop the area and reinforce its world-class reputation amongst mountain bike enthusiasts.

Dr Julian Pace, Director of Strategy at Scottish Enterprise Borders, says: "The success of mountain biking at Traquair Forest and Glentress, means the Tweed Valley region is fast becoming a favourite location for beginners and enthusiasts.  This report demonstrates there is now a real opportunity to capitalise on that success and position the Borders as one of the world's leading mountain bike destinations.

"We are now looking forward to working with our partners to identify how we progress with the chairlift system and ensure that future development at Tweed Valley will deliver significant economic benefits while minimising the impact on the local infrastructure, environment and community."
Fame at Last (10/2/07)

Thanks to our hard working Mags Turner, we've managed to get a mention in this month's copy of MBR magazine.


December 2006

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Well our frst year is almost over and there's been plenty going on to keep you all happy. Don't forget to renew your membership for 2007, otherwise you could miss out on our planned skills days. Send your cheques for £20 to Lesley as usual.


October 2006

Irish NPS - Bree - Results

Huge congratulations to Wendy who came first in the ladies race. Michelle from NI took 2nd and Lesley took 3rd. Mags was overjoyed with her 5th spot and nobody had any nasty crashes, which is always a good thing. It was a cracking track and the race atmosphere was amazing. A big hello to our new friends, Aoife, Michele and Joanne, who we might have convinced to come over and do a Scottish race next year. Mags will have the pictures and race commentary on line very soon.


Uplifts are Back!
It's been a long time coming, but uplifts are on their way back. Dunkeld are starting theirs on 5th November and Ae will be up and running again shortly. Innerleithen still seems to be at a standstill. Unfortunately due to the new H&S directives, the costs have had to go up, so average cost is looking at about £25 per day, but no more sitting in the back of a cattle truck.
Irish NPS - Bree (14/15 October 2006)
Mags, Wendy and Lesley are finishing off the race calendar with a trip to Ireland to take part in the last Irish NPS . The track looks like a lot of fun and we're sure the girls will enjoy it if they can stay out of the pub long enough to race! Race results and Pics will be posted here shortly
September 2006

SDA Downhill Race Series Results
Well that's the season over for another year, so congratulations to Naomi for getting second place in the series overall. Jaymie Mart took the first place spot, Kelly Reid took third and Lesley got 4th. Full results can be seen at the SDA website. We're hoping to see a lot more of you racing next year!

Lynne Gets Silver at World Masters (15/9/06)

Big Congratulations to Lynne who claimed silver at the World Masters in Sun Peaks, Canada this month. All that time biking in Canada has certainly paid off and we couldn't be prouder of her. God help us at next year's SDA, because if she's back in time to race she'll rip the lot of us to shreds!!





August 2006

Change of Venue for last round of SDA (30/8/06)

The track did finally open at Glencoe and there was a bedding-in weekend in August. Unfortunately due to the weather and the lack of time available to fix the problem areas, it's been decided to move the race to Innerleithen instead. By all accounts Glencoe is going to be a belter of a track and by next summer we should hopefully have an excellent new race venue. The final race will be at Innerleithen on Sunday 17th September, so if you're not racing then get yourselves along to cheer on Wendy, Lesley, Naomi, Anna and not forgetting Mags who's on the reserve list. We'll be up against Tracy Moseley again - can you believe it!
Still No Uplifts Running in Scotland (20/8/06)

Well the summer is almost at an end and there's still no news on when the uplifts will be able to start running again. It looks as if serious consideration is being given to a chairlift at Innerleithen, but this doesn't really help the likes of Ae and Dunkeld. We've written to the Forrestry Commission on behalf of the Club, stating our concerns and if we hear any more updates we'll let you know.

June 2006

Mags Hands in World Cup Report (30/6/06)

Mags was sent along to Fort William, complete with press pass, to give us a report on all the weekend's action. If you weren't lucky enough to have been there, then read Mag's entertaining ramblings here. Well done Mags on an ace report and some great pics.

Lynne's First Email from Canada (28/4/06)

Lynne and Phill are now safely in Canada and will be sending us regular updates on how they're getting on. The first email arrived this weekend, so to view the full message click here

Subsidised Uplift Days

Again, depending on funding, we hope to be able to subsidise selected uplift days for our members. The relevant days are highlighted in yellow on the 2006 Diary. You will need to complete a form at the end of September with details of any days you attended. You also need to let us know in advance if you will be attending any of these uplift days.

Race Fees Reimbursement

Depending on funding available, we hope to be able to subsidise race entries for our members. Wendy has sent everyone an email with the proposed subsidy levels and details on how to claim back. The forms you need can be accessed from the home page of the website. The same applies for claiming back uplift fees.


We have arranged for Tally to give us 2 training sessions at Fort William on the above weekend. There will be 2 hours of training each morning, then you can ride and practice your new skills in the afternoon, so pick your day and sign up for ONE training session either Saturday or Sunday. Once we know who wants to do what etc we can decide which training will happen on which day.

It will be similar to the Ae coaching day as we are running 2 different training sessions again with 6 in each group:-

  • One day will be for those who want to improve general riding skills
  • The other day will be for those who want specific race line/technique advice for riding the Fort Bill course

The Club will cover the cost of the coaching, so all you need to do is buy your own uplift ticket for the gondola. If you want to ride both days then the Club will subsidise your 2nd day's ticket (half price/£10 off)

As usual spaces are limited, so please be quick in emailing Wendy with your details. (MEMBERS ONLY PLEASE)

The Gondola is open to bike users from 10.30 am until 3.00 pm, but we may take the gondola to the top and walk down the course first.

SDA Round 1 - Innerleithen - Easter Sunday
This weekend sees the Scottish Downhill Racing season kick off at Innerleithen. After much speculation about whether we were going to get any uplifts due to safety concerns, it all seems to have been sorted out and the races will go ahead. We've got Wendy, Lesley and Naomi representing the Club, and rumour has it that Tracy Moseley is going to put in an appearance too. If you've nothing better to do with your weekend then why not come along and give the girls your support. It's all appreciated. This is also the last weekend that Lynne will be in Scotland, so one last chance to wave her off. We might even have some of the Club jerseys ready for the weekend, so if you see Lesley go and check if she has them.
Race Licences (13/3/06)
Wendy has application forms for anyone wanting a racing licence. You can also join online at the British Cycling Website. Licences will be sent to Wendy as she's Club Chairman and she can pass them on to you before the first race at Innerleithen.
Team Jerseys (13/3/06)
The jerseys have now been printed and are just about to be put together. If you haven't sent your cheque to Lesley yet can you do it now please, as you won't get your top until ye payz yer cash!
Tally Coaching Day at Ae - Saturday 25 Feb 2006

The coaching day went ahead as planned last weekend and even with a few people missing it was still a great day. Tally split us into 2 groups which helped him focus on specific levels of riding. The Morning group brushed up on their technical skills while the afternoon bunch were trained in the dark art of picking the best race line. Easy once someone shows you! There were crashes a plenty with the afternoon group and we don't think anyone went home unbruised, but we all learned a lot and Tally was an excellent coach. Naomi had the worst crash of the day at the top section (an excellent slow motion extravaganza), but still managed to hobble on for the rest of the day. Wendy and Lesley conquered the stream jump and the road drop for the first time and if you'd heard the amount of whooping and screaming you'd be forgiven for thinking they'd done the big step down! Not to be outdone, Lynne impressed us all with her one hander over the last set of doubles at the step down.

Although minus his most excellent tash, Tally was in good form and managed to put up with the abuse the girls threw at him throughout the day. When the girls get together the swearing in the back of the truck seems to get worse. Or was that just Lynne and Mags!

Team Jerseys (14/2/06)
If you want to order a top let Lesley know. The Club will subsidise some of the cost so each jersey will cost members £23 (£25 if you want your name printed on the back). The top should be ready within the next 4 weeks. View the design here. View the size chart here.
France Trip (14/2/06)
The dates are now set for Sat 15 to Sat 22 July. We're staying at Jolly Good's apartment in Morzine and so far 5 of us are going (Lesley, Wendy, Mags, Babs, Lara). There's one space left , so if you're interested let Lesley know as soon as possible. Prices for flights are going up every week, so we'll need to get our flights booked pronto.
Lynne's Travels (1/2/06)
Lynne is taking herself, Phil and the bikes, off to Canada in April for a year or so . She says she'll be back but we won't hold our breath! Anyway, while she's travelling around she's hoping to take part in a few Canadian races and events, so she'll be keeping us updated with her diary.