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Mark McPhilips @ Trans Scotland 2007
7 Day Race

It's all going Pete Tong!

I’ve now snapped twenty frames in 19years of mountain biking. I have always taken great pride in the fact that I have broken them before they have broken me. This time it was different, I had been left in the lurch and I felt sick.

The TransScotland, the sequel to the TransWales was imminent. Less than 48 hours before I had to sign on. My Marin Mount Vision had gradually morphed from a mean trail machine to a sleek racing machine. In the end, the frame could not handle the abuse and two hairline cracks, one on the swingarm and the other on the seat tube proved my point.the MTBers 10th Oct 2007

‘What am I going to ride in the TransScotland?’ is all that I could think about. Who in their right mind would loan me a bike knowing my bike smashing reputation. Despite this bad reputation several offers were made, begrudgingly I suspect as no one wanted their bike to be number 21. This focused my mind back onto my own potential solutions to the problem.

  1. My cyclo cross bike
  2. My singlespeed bike
  1. I’m pretty sure that this option was not legal for a mountain bike race and was quickly discounted.
  2. I really did not want to spend a week riding approx 600km with over 14,000m of climbing on a one-geared rigid bike. Although there were a few nutters who did just that and one of the pairs even finished in the Top Ten!


I needed a bike and after many frantic phone calls, Royles in Wilmslow agreed to hire me another Marin Mount Vision for the week. I did not even have to lie. I told them I would be riding the Trans Scotland on it and they still agreed to hire it out!!! There was one provis...I would have to pay for any damage. This was a major worry as the bike was too small for me. I spent all week riding what to most people looked like a BMX as I had a 400mm post on it with about 360mm of it showing. This lead to a few arse-twitching moments, on a number of occasions.

Once I had packed my bike and kit into my car and started the long journey north to Selkirk in Scotland, I felt most of the immense stress I had been under instantly disappear. Let the good times roll, a week of full on mountain biking was waiting, life felt great.

Life remained great throughout the remainder of that day. I signed on, met up with old friends, made some new ones, re-established rivalries and generally started to be immersed in the whole Trans Scotland experience. This was to be my life for the next seven days.