Morven Brown and Dales Cycles… 2010 to now
I first started riding for Dales Cycles in 2010. I’d moved to Glasgow to start at university in 2007 and rode with Rockhard MTB Club who were a great group of guys to discover the area with. As I started picking up more elite results, I was delighted to get asked to join a race team, and my student bank balance definitely appreciated being supported so well by Dales!
In 2010 I competed in the Dalby Forest World Cup race, as I’d earnt enough UCI points in 2009. It was a totally surreal experience and one of the best things I’ve ever done. I got lapped by the reigning world champion in her rainbow stripes, and even was live on Eurosport in the Pro Eliminator on the Friday evening. I picked up some decent results that year too with a 4th in the British Champs, but had major injury too, rupturing my Achilles tendon in the middle of the season.
That winter I lived in France and rode my bike lots (while eating cheese and wine!).
Come 2011 season, I took charge of my Specialized Fate 29er. I’ll be honest, it wasn’t love at first sight, or first ride!
The bike looked so ridiculous back then, no other women were on 29ers and I couldn’t manouver it around the tight Sherwood Pines race course – in fact I came dead last in that race – 30th place elite woman!
As the season went on I grew to love the bike and the results started picking up with podiums and finally a win in the elites at the SXCs.
I also got my Giant TCX cross bike, which has become my go-to bike for any time of riding these days.
Through 2012, 2013 and 2014 it was a lot of the same, SXC, British Series races (including an 11th place at the British Champs at Cathkin in 2013) and cyclocross racing in the winter months with a Gold medal in the 2012 British University Championships a highlight. I still had some podium results at SXC and was chapping on the door of the top 10 at British races. As I got busier with finishing Uni, trying to do a teaching post-grad, starting a job, my race results weren’t really where I wanted them to be – which can be really demoralising.
By the time I got to 2015, I’d taken over a lot of the work organising the SXC races, so wasn’t able to compete in them, and had also set up a kids cycling club (supported by Dales Cycles) so training was having to take a back seat. Instead of focusing on one discipline, I got out and about and raced as much as I could fit in – but always for fun.
Over the course of 2015 I competed in seven different cycling disciplines – XC, enduro, cyclocross, track, time trial, road and hill climb – as well as learning how to BMX. The highlight of last year was getting a surprise bronze medal at the Scottish XC Champs at Badaguish. I’d been up since 6am doing event set up, commentating and hadn’t done a single bit of a warm up so somehow racing to 3rd was great!
Looking into 2016, work and volunteer commitments are no less so it’s going to be another year of getting out and having fun racing! The big target is going to be the British XC Championships at Cathkin Braes in July, where I would like to get a top 10 result, but that’s very ambitious. I’m also planning on doing my first BMX race, some more of the Dales Women’s RR events, continue to grow experience in track racing and of course, my favourite, cyclocross in the Winter!
It’s been a great 5 years so far with Dales Cycles, I’m so lucky to have such strong support and be so well looked after by them!