During the past year, mountain biking at Slipstreamers has grown from infancy to a fully fledged discipline in it’s own right, with the Club’s “Mudslingers” growing in numbers. Opportunities such as monthly Swinley Forest social rides, Dews Farm quarry sessions, and of course our now annual trip to Afan in Wales, have inspired a new generation of mountain bikers that we look forward to seeing grow and develop in skill and ability over the years.

Throughout 2015, one particular Mudslinger has stood out to the MTB Coaches. It was decided that in recognition of being the very first Slipstreamer to be invited to a British Cycling MTB RSR (Regional School of Racing), and for representing the club at both XC and DH races and collecting the most BC points, a special one-off award would be presented to…

Seth Kanaris, U14

How did it feel winning your award?

Good. Mountain biking is my favourite sport and I am proud of all my achievements this year so getting this special award in recognition of all my efforts felt pretty awesome.

What has been your highlight this year as a Mudslinger?

I really enjoyed the trip to Afan in Wales because not only does Wales provide awesome riding and I managed to get a lovely gash in my side;  I was happy that stuff like this was no longer exclusive to the roadies.

What do you love the most about mountain biking?

It’s fun, it’s banterous, the community is chilled, you are ‘one with nature’, the bikes are awesome, you don’t need to worry about what you wear and look like (or being aero and light), you can still be fast and have fun without a fancy expensive bike, you don’t get road rash when you fall off, exciting features such as massive jumps and drops and rock gardens and road gaps and berms give you such a rush, it’s awesome to watch, crashing is so much more exciting, shredding down a trail is one of the most exhilarating things ever, you can forget about the rest of the world, it’s a way of life, trails are always unique, etc – I could probably go on all day but I was told to keep it short! :-)

How would you encourage fellow Slipstreamers to try mountain biking out?

First, get hold of a mountain bike and some baggy shorts and join the mountain bikers at Hillingdon if you’ve never tried it before. Then, make a point of coming to Swinley every month with us – everyone is welcome and it’s an awesome ride. If you like it, go out of your way to make some new MTB friends and go riding in as many bike parks and trails as you can to practice your skills – or just use your garden! Pretty soon, you’ll grow to love the sport. You may even want to convert to being a full-time mountain biker. But I’d suggest you keep your road bike for training – it helps. Also try an XC or DH race or few as this also helps with skills and they are generally very good fun. Congratulations, you are now a converted mountain biker!

Well done for leading the way for others to follow Seth and thank you for writing a few words for us!

Do visit the Slipstreamers in Action section of our News Hub for more fantastic reports from our wonderful young writers and cycling adventurers!