About CollectiveTom

Director of Collective Trax and Collective Training, as well as the Scottish Mountain Bike Consortium, and the First Aid Training Cooperative.

Shoretrax Portable Bike Track Maintenance

The summer has settled into it’s rhythm now, with smaller bike festivals dominating the weekends, and trail building for up coming races dominating my time.  I had a quiet period whilst packing up after a recent event, so took the opportunity to film this wee video highlighting the maintenance you need to do on your Shoretrax Portable Bike Track System.  Suffice to say, there isn’t much!  Enjoy…

By |July 14th, 2015|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Covering Scotland in Mountain Bikes

The period over the last two weeks of May and the first two weeks of June are an amazing time to be in Scotland if you like mountain biking. Two huge, world class events bang in the middle, and loads of peripheral events happening at other locations around the country make it a fantastic time to visit.

My stand at the Tweedlove EWS weekend

My stand at the Tweedlove EWS weekend

I look forward to it every year, but what does it mean to those of us who aren’t just visiting, but are working here and trying to make the most of the opportunities that these events offer?

Well for us its a lot of preparation , which ideally starts a few months prior, followed by a whirlwind of van loading, driving, unpacking and setting up, chatting all things bike to loads of enthusiastic folk and catching up with various industry types, hopefully watching a bit of racing, or even snatching an hour for a ride myself, then re-packing, driving, cleaning and sorting. Before repeating the process again at the other end of the country! And that’s only two events, some folk I know do that for the whole summer….

The final drop down to the arena for riders in the Ft William DH World Cup

The final drop down to the arena for riders in the Ft William DH World Cup

In between all of this, business must go on, so there are some late nights required to stay on top of the emails, and often some late nights having a beer with friends old and new. There is little time to stop and see the family, and getting home last night felt like I’d been away for months, such is the non-stop nature of the period. But it’s all great fun, despite the sometimes challenging weather, and the mountain bike community of Scotland always put on an amazing show at what ever level they are involved. Hats off to the organisers of both events though, Tweedlove, and Rare Management, rather you guys than me!

I also managed to squeeze in a few days working on some other projects which are very exciting. One is a completely new project in collaboration with the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland and Napier University, in which we are trying to analyse trail erosion and determine the ideal soil type for use in construction. I’ll post more about this another time as it is just the start of a potentially large and very interesting project.

I also flagged out a short section of new technical red grade mountain bike trail at Callendar Estate in Falkirk, ready for the team of volunteers to get their teeth into building.  Managed to get some riding in in the form of trail testing for the forthcoming Muckmedden Eliminator event which is the most fun you’ll have on a mountain bike!  And had a very productive day working with my colleagues on the First Aid Training Cooperative we’re developing. Again, more on all of these later.

By |June 9th, 2015|Uncategorised|0 Comments

Tweedlove Family Day Report

mini mash-up riders tackle the extra wide portable bike track roller
The Tweedlove Family day on Sunday 24/05/15 was a great day out. I offered to take the portable track down for use as a feature in the ‘mini mash-up’ kids race, so after an early start I arrived in Peebles to find a proper army of volunteers all getting stuck in under Fiona’s watchful eye. Tents going up, courses taped out for all age groups, and expo stands being erected.

The team had a new request on me, for 3 rollers to be made with portable track sections, but placed side by side to give one wide roller. At this point it became clear that a mini mash-up was a 4X race for under 8’s, so they’d potentially be hitting the roller side by side, brilliant!

Keith at Shoretrax had made up some linking plates especially for the event, to make doubly sure there was no chance of the rollers separating, especially on an uneven grass surface, and these worked really well – I’m sure they’ll get used again.

So while all that was going on and some fierce racing was taking place, I set up the remaining track into some fun features to keep kids amused between their races, or while they were waiting for siblings to race. This worked really well too and with a couple of helpful volunteers to manage the crowd, we had a great we loop set up with a variety of features in no time. We even managed to include a bit of technical progression too and it was great to see initially nervous riders tackle the drop or narrow rumble strip sections after a couple of laps.

All in all a great demonstration of the flexibility of the track system, and why it makes such a good addition to the portfolio of services that I offer with Collective Trax; putting smiles on faces is an immensely satisfying thing to do!

By |May 12th, 2015|Uncategorised|0 Comments

As Good A Time To Start As Any…

“Write a blog” they say, “its great for business”, “it’ll help your website on google”. I’m not sure about any of that, but its something I’ve had on my to-do list since I started out in business 5 years ago today, so it seems as good a time as any to get started….

5 years seems a long time to some, a mere infant to others. 5 years ago I’d assumed at this point I’d be past the learning stage and settled into a rhythm. Naive now, thinking about it as the reality appears to be that the learning stages just keep coming, and relaxing is a far off dream. Not that any of this is a bad thing, just a reality.

I’m not sure that I’d be classed as a ‘start up’ business person anymore, although the truth is that I’ve developed Collective Trax as a new business, am very involved in the Scottish Mountain Bike Consortium, and now the First Aid Training Cooperative start up all in the last two years.

So the start of year 6 sees new developments, a hopefully clearer structure for clients, and lots more to learn! Some really exciting projects in the making for the year ahead, and plenty to blog about anyway, my aim is to post one a week more or less, so keep a look out, and let me know what you think in the comments.

By |February 6th, 2015|Uncategorised|0 Comments