'It's the Journey that matters, not the destination'
One of the great things about cycling is that you meet lots of people from all over the place. In July this year, we didn't expect to meet our next Ambassador the way we did but it goes a bit like the below...
First thing Saturday morning, I answer my phone to the words; 'there's a rider doing the PCR (Pan Celtic Race) and needs help with rear wheel, can you help?'. I'll be right there...
For those that haven't heard of the PCR, it's this Epic Race through some of the most breath-taking scenery in Scotland, Ireland and Wales (England replaces Scotland for 2020 edition). In 2019, the race covered 1,500 miles (2,414 km) with 25,908m (85,000 ft) of elevation gain. Riders mass start and follow a pre-planned route with GPS trackers. Fully self-supported, they battle the elements, the rugged Celtic terrain, each other, and themselves in an attempt to say they completed the PCR.
Pan Celtic Race Route - July 2020
... 15 minutes later, I arrive in Belfast and on meeting Neil Lauder for the first time, it was clear he needed a bit more than a wheel true. Although getting off to a great start, Neil went on to tell me how he'd been hit by a car in Scotland the previous night just 5-miles from the ferry, had been taken to hospital, missed the crossing and now the following morning at Costa Coffee; had his arm in a sling, was looking pretty beaten up, but was incredibly keen to know if we could get him operational again.
Yep, should have brought more than a spoke key
After a bit of spannering, we got Neil setup with a replacement rear wheel and while chatting with him and some of the PCR crew, we laughed when they told us how at the start line; everyone was chatting about the importance of going steady and building pace through the race; only for it to turn into a full blown mass road race through the Scottish Highlands at 20mph on 20kg bikes (we all know we'd do the same).
Truckin again... Duty Disc doing what it was made for
Over the next few days, Neil and I stayed in touch and I got a humbling reminder of the emotional roller-coaster Endurance riding plays; the doubts, the aches, the fatigue, constantly on the brink of bonking, the bizarre bursts of exhilaration followed by the inevitable lows, wanting to give up but somehow you just - keep - pressing - the - pedals. Although it's tough, you absolutely love it, but would struggle to explain why when asked.
In Aberdeen Hospital making sure nothing's broken
As the race went on, I was truly inspired by Neil's relentlessness to refuse to give even an inch to the road in his attempt to complete his first PCR, all the while staying exceptionally positive. It didn't matter what had happened - I got a real sense the journey was the adventure, and despite everything, Neil never once hinted he wanted to bin-it and remarkably pressed on to come 5th overall.
At Scribe, our goal is to power every riders journey in cycling - to help them do more, to go faster, further, higher, and it's amazing to have already played a part in Neil's incredible adventure. If you follow us already, we love nothing more than supporting those that inspire others in cycling. Having got to know Neil quite well since July, he's heavily involved in many aspects of cycling at grass-roots level and we are truly honoured to have Neil as an ambassador for Scribe going into 2020.
Neil Lauder - 2019 Season
- 3rd BBAR (Best British All Rounder) overall
- 1st BBAR and 12 hour Team Champions
- 1st Kent 12-hour and BAR Champion
- 5th Pan Celtic Race
Photo Credit: Pan Celtic
Photo credit: Pan Celtic
Photo Credit: Rupert Hartley
Photo Credit: Rupert Hartley
Check out our other Ambassadors Here