Promoting team news is not something Descent-World is well known for but this team is a bit special. Everybody knows the Tweed Valley is a great place to come and ride bikes with some of the best trails in the country. It’s also known for the biking community and the way everybody comes together to help out running the many kids clubs in the area. The growing number of kids that are getting involved and starting to ride in the valley is amazing, which brings us to the formation of this team “Inner Soul Racing” #teamrumours didn’t see this one coming.
Riders: Ethan – 11, William – 12, Sandy – 9, Rory – 12, Stan – 8, Billy -10, Ally – 10, Phoebe – 12
The kids club scene in the Tweed Valley is thriving. With four great clubs looking after hundreds of members between them, there probably isn’t anywhere in the country that can rival it.
The race scene for kids is also developing, with the big events organisers doing more to encourage the future of the sport to take those first steps into the world of racing.
Jamie Birks and Gavin Mowat wanted to help a niche group of talented young riders that were keen to develop their riding in the downhill and enduro scene. Ranging between eight and twelve years old, each one of them had already proven their love of technically challenging riding.
“Sometimes it can be a tricky situation for a parent. They find they have a young son or daughter that has a talent for a particular discipline, but they don’t have enough knowledge or personal experience of how the sport works. We decided that by taking a team approach, we could give the riders the environment they need to progress and develop whilst also supporting the parents. The riders still get the social interaction, development and variety that their clubs offer them. We can now add to that by supporting them as they develop in racing.”
Stan – 8yrs old
Ethan – 11yrs old
Gav was able to bring the technical and financial support of Soul Cycles in Edinburgh to the team. Jamie knew that they would also need the experience of an established player on the race circuit, so approached Steve Deas at i-Cycles in Innerleithen. Two very unique bike shops with a wealth of experience between them, that were fully committed to supporting and developing the team.
So Inner Soul Racing was born. Founded not just on riding ability, but on having a positive attitude to racing and the sport in general. Eight dedicated kids were identified who regularly race on the mini-downhill circuit – along with the hopefully growing kids enduro scene – that could benefit from the active support of a sponsored team structure.
Sandy – 9yrs old
Billy – 10yrs old
Before a word of the plan was muttered to anyone, conversations took place with the parents of all the riders to be sure they all had the same objective. Sarah Birks was able to bring her training and experience as a club Welfare Officer to the team, ensuring that the kids well-being was considered first and foremost. Gav and Jamie were very aware that it’s great to get the support of sponsors and give the riders an appropriate level of exposure, but that they mustn’t lose sight of the age of the team, or detract from their enjoyment of riding.
Ally – 10yrs old
William – 12yrs old
Gav and Jamie have worked with most of the kids and parents for a few years now, but they’re the first to admit they can’t offer them everything they need. So word went out to some big names and Inner Soul Racing has already had some top athletes offering to help develop the riders. Three local heroes from the worlds of downhill and enduro have already rallied to the cause and Jamie is sure there will be more. Ewan Mackay of the NS Bikes DH Team, Gary Forrest of Ibis Cycles Enduro Team and Red Bull Hardline winner Ruaridh Cunningham are all stepping up to the mark.
Phoebe – 12yrs old
You’ll recognise the team in the iconic blue stripes of the i-Cycles race jerseys. In 2017 they all hope to take part in the mini downhill events across Scotland and the two older riders will be riding at the SDA races for the first time this year. Enduro is a format that they are all interested in and Jamie is hoping there will be further developments on that in the coming year
Rory – 12yrs old
You can keep up to date with the team through their usual social media pages here: