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Grinduro Scotland brought the party for the third year in a row, taking over the village of Lamlash in the Isle of Arran, aka, Scotland in Miniature, and bringing excitement to locals and visitors from all over the world July 13th to July 15th.

Those who’ve attended last year’s event already knew when they signed up, they weren’t in for their typical bike race. Alongside the 40-mile course is excellent food, industry art, hand-made bikes, live music, camping, costumes, a festival atmosphere, and perhaps best of all … some of the raddest people to bike the planet.

If you were one of the lucky riders who got to attend this year, come down memory lane with us as we recap “The Most Interesting Bike Race in the World”. If you weren’t, prepare for some serious FOMO and don’t snooze on purchasing your tickets early next year.

Before the Race – Friday night

For 2018, Grinduro played host to mountain bikers, road racers, downhill experts, young newbies, industry movers and shakers, and everybody in-between. For most, it was no small feat to get there. Riders took trains, planes, automobiles and the necessary ferry to get in in the island. For most attendees, it was all four modes of transportation.

As riders got off the ferry to the open Grinduro gates, they were greeted by the very friendly Grinduro staff and were surprised with a delicious variety of treats in their welcome kits – limited edition socks from Giro, nutrition bars from Chimp Bar, mini whisky samplings from Arran Whisky, a FABRIC Grinduro water bottle – to name a few.

You couldn’t help but smile when watching all the riders with their different kind of bikes unload the ferry to the energetic bagpipe sounds. Road bikes. Cyclocross bikes. Mountain bikes. New bikes. Old bikes. Homemade bikes. As riders found their way to their camping site, you could see some mouths drop at all the spunky Grinduro-inspired décor.

Most days before a big bike race means lots of rest. At Grinduro, it means lots of partying.

Typically, a pre-race evening means a big meal and rest. Maybe even some nervous last-minute tinkering on your bike. At Grinduro, the night before the race is a party, and the start of your #partytoraceratio.

Smells of craft beer floated around the Grinduro Art & Bike Exhibit at the Sports Hall as onlookers resonated with the offering of artistic pieces and handmade bicycles, pointing out their favorite aspects of each one in-between trips to the Canteen for brews and the Grinduro Village for mouth-watering snacks from the vendors.

Once six ‘o clock rolled around, most people gathered in the Grinduro Village to take part in the Bicycle Academy Steel Brazing Demo and got to craft their own work of art in the form of a Grinduro keychain. A souvenir¬ that truly exemplifies the party to race ratio.

Then the excitement moved into the Theater for a viewing of Rapha’s new movie “Outskirts: Route 66” and live music from Danny Mooney. Afterward, though the clock read bedtime, it didn’t so much feel like it, as the sun didn’t set until 10:00 p.m.

Race Day – All Day Saturday

The Grinduro group is a rowdy one. If the riders didn’t get any sleep from the night before, you certainly wouldn’t be able to tell.

After fueling up for breakfast, riders all met at the mass start of the race. Most were talking about how stoked they were that Mother Nature was giving them perfect sunny and 60 to 70-degree weather, as the previous year, riders practically turned into chocolate cake from all the rain and mud (arguably, it ended up making the event that much more exhilarating).

You could feel the excitement of the riders exuberating energy as they anxiously played with their bikes while waiting for the sound to begin their 83.3 km journey through spectacular scenery. And when the clock stuck 9:30…BANG! They were off!

You could hear hoots and hollers as hundreds of bikes set off along the dreamlike course, weaving in and out of enchanting forest, along stunning Scotland coastline, and through dusty fire trails – all while trying to pick up speed in each of the four time-segments.
The structure of this race allowed riders to stop for a gourmet lunch, gourmet chili, cornbread and apple crisp served by Podium Catering, so they could fuel up for the next part of the race’s challenges. Think: lung-burning climbs, long hilly ascents, and one happy stomach.

Luckily the last stage consisted root-filled, downhill single tracks in a cool forest that eventually led to cheer-filled finish line.
Although everybody won in our eyes, here were the fastest laddies and lassies in each category:

  • Men's Pro Category Winners. 1st: Chris Metcalfe.
  • Men's Single Speed Winner: Karsten Zeiger.
  • Men's E 50-60 Winners. 1st: James Roberts.
  • Men's Winners E 41-50. 1st: Johannes Huseby.
  • Men's E 31-40 winners. 1st: Ruairi Revell.
  • Men's E 30 & Under Winners. 1st: Hamish Paine.
  • Men's 16-20 winner: Tydeman Newman.
  • Women's Pro Category Winner: Rachael Walker.
  • Women's E 41-50 Winners. 1st: Beate Kubitz.
  • Women's E 31-40 Winners. 1st: Fiola Ný Fhoghl.
  • Women's E 30 & Under Winners. 1st: Anna Mcleod.

After everybody completed the course, it was time for some celebrating. Local band, The Rebellions got the party started while the DJ: Tony Ferries created the jams to make people dance into the wee hours of the night.

After The Race - Sunday Morning

The weather on pack-out day was almost ironic. In true Scottish fashion, clouds filled the sky while moisture-filled rain drops hit the cheeks of all hungover faces as they cleaned up camp and slowly made their way to the ferry with their bags, heavier this time, full of bottles of whisky to take home.

As everybody moseyed and the giant group of attendees disseminated, stories from the course were shared, new friends were made, hints of romance floated in the air. And it all went by way too fast.

Luckily, Grinduro takes place again in Quincy, California September 29th. Until then, we’ll be reminiscing of everything that took place on the Isle of Arran.
Thanks to all of the sponsors who helped make it happen. Without their support, Grinduro would just be a silly name and not the awesome event that it is today.

  • Giro
  • SRAM
  • Fabric.
  • The Bicycle Academy
  • WTB
  • Lauf
  • Isle of Arran Distillery
  • Chimpanzee Nutrition
  • Ass Savers
  • Komoot
  • Isle of Arran Gin Company

Follow @grinduro on Instagram to keep the party to ratio high and stay in tune with all the latest updates.