Here at FINDRA, we’re always looking to bring you snippets of motivation to get you inspired for your own everyday adventures. With just a couple more days left of 2019, we sat down with our longest serving brand ambassador, Dee Hollingsbee, and asked her to tell us more about how the year has shaped up for her.
Dee’s Round Up
Balancing my time between being a working mum and making time to get outside is always tricky, but I’ve had a really great year.
As a local brand ambassador for FINDRA, I’m perfectly positioned to help out with the social rides and this year has seen great development of them with new people coming along. From my point of view, I started helping with them after I had gone on a social ride that Roddy (Alex’s partner) was leading in Innerleithen. The trails at Innerleithen can be tough, so I suggested to Alex that an option to have an easier ride at Glentress might be an idea. As a trained MTB leader riding at Glentress for a couple of years, I was comfortable to be able to show people appropriate trails to do. That’s how the variety of social rides developed. We’ve now expanded it to heading out every couple of months (next one in January), giving opportunity to anyone who wants to try, but we also try and keep it diverse with different levels of rides. We’ve learnt to be clear about how technical each ride will be so that our riders can make an informed choice about whether or not to come along. But there’s also a clear focus on it being a social ride – there’s no pressure to do anything you don’t want to do. I’ve really loved seeing these women grow in confidence just through being in a supportive environment for them to try new trails.
This year, I started leading with the local high school MTB club and was really saddened to see that there are so few girls there. I see the numbers of young girls we have in attendance at our local kids clubs but the numbers just fall away as they mature into young teenagers. I knew we really needed to support them and keep them involved. So that’s when I approached Alex at FINDRA to see what we could do and now we’ve run a couple of really successful Teen Rides. As a concept, it really seems to be taking off and more people are talking about it.
While I have been a Leader with Cranked Cycle Club – (one of the local mountain bike club for kids) – for a few years now, this year I took over as Chair . We recently applied for funding and were awarded money to train two more female leaders, with the view to starting a branch of the Club that would be for teen girls with female leaders to support that. This is all just more empowerment to the ladies!
The tricky part now is working out how we manage all these different initiatives to be the best they can be. There are a number of local female bikers, who are all very passionate about getting our girls back on bikes and we are all talking and planning together to see what we can do to make this happen. There’s a real impetus behind this now so hopefully over the winter months we can start to look at connecting the dots – watch this space!
So you can probably tell that I enjoy being involved in the local mountain bike scene. When I first moved to the Scottish Borders I went for drinks with a friend who told me about an event called Tweedlove. A couple of drinks in and I volunteered my time to help out – with the idea that it would be a good way to meet people and make friends. So I rocked up one Saturday morning in 2013 and have been involved ever since. It’s great craic, I get to spend time each year just chatting to people. What’s not to like about that! Seeing Tweedlove go from strength to strength is always a highlight of my year and I’m really looking forward to their 10th anniversary celebrations in 2020.
So what will 2020 bring? I’m not very good at planning ahead too much, we’re a bit of a ‘fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants’ type family – but that’s not a bad thing. It gives us the opportunity to say ‘yes’ to ad hoc things rather than being tied to rigid plans from the start of the year. My husband does so much forward planning for work that, once home, we just don’t do it. We’re hoping to go skiing in February but we’ll wait and see what happens.
Either way, I’m really looking forward to seeing what 2020 brings around!
Dee’s Recipe of the Year
Here’s a favourite for you meat eaters out there, picked by Dee as her favourite recipe of 2019! “Easy, quick to cook and super tasty is this recipe from Diana Henry’s ‘Simple’ – I’ve just bought myself her new book ‘From the oven to the Table’ for Christmas”.
Click here to read the full recipe. Let us know if you give it a go!
Dee’s Book of the Year
“I’ve ploughed my way through some absolute howlers this year – it’s not been a great year for reading this year. so instead of desperately trying to think of something good from this year, one of my all time favs is Any Human Heart by William Boyd.
It is written as a lifelong series of journals kept by the fictional character Logan Mountstuart, a writer whose life (1906–1991) spanned the defining episodes of the 20th century, crossed several continents. As we hail in a new decade, this seems like a very appropriate book of the year to reflect back on.
Mountstuart himself is based on a number of writers whom William Boyd was fascinated, including Lawrence Durrell, Henry Green, Cyril Connolly and William Gerhardie. Channel 4 adapted the book into a TV mini series in 2010 which we’re sure can be found somewhere in the depths of the internet!
Dee’s Music of the Year
We’re building a FINDRA Community Playlist over on Spotify, bringing you music of a rather eclectic variety! From classic dance tunes to lesser-known indie songs, we hope there’s something new in there for you. If you’ve got a favourite you’d like to hear in the playlist, drop us a tweet!
“Here’s a song that never fails to get me moving – an oldie, but the one I put on when getting ready to go out or trying to make myself get up and go”. Enjoy!
Whatever you’re up to this week, friends, remember to find your everyday adventure.
Love, Team FINDRA x