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Inspiration: Ross O’Reilly from Straight Cut Bikepacking

This week we’re back on the bike with with inspiration from mountain biker Ross O’reilly, founder of Straight Cut specialising in handmade and custom bikepacking bags.

 

Hi Ross and can we start by asking you where you live and what you do?

Hey, I’m Ross I live in Edinburgh and am the founder of Straight Cut. I run a small company focused on offering high-quality on-bike storage for bikepacking and cycle touring. Everything is designed and handmade in our studio which is based in The Biscuit Factory in Leith, Edinburgh.

 

Ross Oreilly Stitching a Straight Cut Frame Bag

 

How long has the outdoors been a part of your life?

I have always been outdoors from a young age, this has been a variety of different activities. From walking to outdoor swimming and now mostly cycling.

 

Ross O’Reilly fording a deep stream bikepacking

 

Ross O’Reilly riding his bike in the city

 

What’s been your favourite trip or adventure?

My favourite to date was an incredibly bikepacking trip a couple years back that following some of the Cairngorm Loop trail around the Cairngorms (unsurprisingly). It was warm and sunny which makes for amazing multi-day off-road riding in Scotland.

 

Ross O’Reilly bikepacking on icy Cairngorm trails

 

Ross Oreilly bikepacking In the snow

 

Ross O’Reilly pushing a bike in the snow

 

How do you make find a balance between being active and life’s other responsibilities i.e. work and family?

Balance is the goal, but not the reality at this point in time for me. Luckily being self-employed and running the company myself means there can be a great deal of flexibility. I take full advantage of this flexibility when I can with spontaneous local bike rides and when possible find time to get time away on trips with my partner.

 

Straight Cut bar bag

 

Ross O’Reilly bikepacking in the Scottish mist

 

Winter bikepacking in the Scottish Borders

 

When did you discover FINDRA?

I first discovered FINDRA a few years back when I came across the shop in Innerleithen, which is a local riding spot for me.

 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Never put anything off and never quit. Life is for living.

This was one mantra that has been instilled in me from my dad. It seems to have more meaning the older I get.

 

Ross O’Reilly in the Straight Cut workshop

 

On writing this blog, what do you feel is the key motivational or inspirational message you would like to highlight to our followers?

Life is full of peaks and troughs much like every bikepacking trip. So just remember when it’s tough it will get better but the important thing is to keep moving forward!

 

Thanks Ross, and good to catch up!

If you’re interested in bikepacking gear made for your bike, head over to the Straight Cut website (www.straightcutdesign.com) or follow Ross and Straight Cut on Instagram for great images of Scottish trails and Ross doing what he does best in his workshop: instagram.com/straightcutdesign.

 

Win a Straight Cut Tool Wrap and 2 pairs of FINDRA socks!

Ross kindly provided a tool roll to give away to one of our followers so we decided to do a prize draw for the chance to will the Tool Roll and a pair of FINDRA Skye Merino Socks (draw now closed).

 

Straight Cut Tool Roll

 


MUSIC OF THE WEEK

A tune that’s been on my playlist this year is I’m in Love by Pip Blom from Amsterdam. Fuzzy vocals and sweet harmonies combined with a bit of Blondie and Elastica. Lovely.

Pip Blom – I’m in Love

 

 


PODCAST OF THE WEEK

I listen to a lot of Podcasts in the studio and recently finished off Grounded with Louis Theroux. I’ve always been a fan of his TV interview style and this has some interesting chats conducted during the recent lockdown.

Grounded Podcast with Louis Theroux


BOOK OF THE WEEK

I don’t read many books because I’m dyslexic (so it’s bit of a nightmare), but a recent read I really enjoyed was Zero to One by Peter Thiel. Peter was one of the co-founders of PayPal and Palantir and explains how companies like this are formed and a great book for anyone with some entrepreneurship thoughts brewing.

 

Zero To One By Peter Theil