Name: Morven Brown
What type of cyclist are you?
Mountain Biker at heart, roadie, CX’er or even trackie if I feel like it!
Are you a coach, leader, official, event organiser, athlete?
I’m a Scottish Cycling staff member, volunteer coach at a kids cycling club, volunteer event organiser for the SXC and also a competing cycling myself.
How did you get involved with/ start cycling?
I started cycling when I was 12 and my dad took me and my sister around the trails at Learnie on a bike that weighed as much as all of us combined! She hated it, I loved it, and have been hooked ever since.
How did you get involved with the SXC Association?
I got involved with the SXC four years ago when I started helping out with tidying up all the kit after events and pitching in that way. I then managed to get control of the facebook account and set up a twitter feed, which have grown by more than 1000 followers/likes in a couple of years. I now also maintain the website, write previews and reports, set up and take down on race day and finally commentate on the races!
What’s the best thing about organising events?
The best thing about organising events is when you get positive feedback from racers and see the smiles on their faces. Sometimes you can have a really tough weekend with a lot of challenges but even one ‘thanks’ at the end of the day makes it all worthwhile.
What’s the best thing about working for Scottish Cycling?
Everything! I’m in my dream job, which when I was at school I never thought that you could work in sports without being a professional athlete. It’s a challenging job with long hours, but getting to make a difference to the sport that I love is really special for me.
Working in cycling and organising the SXC – do you have time for anything else?? Surprisingly I have a lot more time that you would think. I manage to train most days (I’m still planning a racing come back at some point!), and have plenty of time to enjoy myself away from the bike or sit on the sofa and relax.
What’s the best thing about cycling?
The best thing about cycling is the social aspects of the sport. You can go out and have fun with your friends on the bikes, and then get really competitive racing up climbs, but be back to chatting on other sections. Earning your regular cake stops by keeping fit is also a big bonus, there’s not many other sports where you get to stop for cake mid-training!
Who inspires you?
I’m currently mostly inspired by the girls in my cycling club. I didn’t plan on setting up a girls cycling club but have ended up with twenty 10 year old girls as my whole club membership! Seeing them achieve things that at the start of the session they thought were “no way, totally never ever going to ever do!!” is so inspiring – both to continue coaching, and also to teach me not to give up and always give something that one more shot! They’re such a great example that nothing is impossible.
What’s you’re cycling highlight?
In terms of my own racing, it would be racing at the MTB World Cup at Dalby Forest in 2010, after finishing third in the British Champs the year previous. It was an incredible experience to line up alongside the reigning world Champion. I got lapped after just three laps, but for the surreal fun of the whole weekend, it was definitely a highlight of my cycling life!
What would be your advice for someone wanting to get involved with cycling?
I would recommend finding a local club, one that suits your style of riding and that you can feel confident with. They’ll show you the ropes and help gain confidence. There’s loads of ways to get involved with cycling that don’t just involve riding – you could be a coach, official or organiser so there’s so much that you can do!
What one thing would help encourage women, like you, to get involved in cycling?
I think that the more women who get involved in cycling and are vocal about being a part of cycling will give confidence to others to get involved too. More safe coaching sessions for adult women in parks or on closed roads too would help with skill development.
And every cyclist loves cake… so what’s your favourite?
My friend’s granny’s carrot cake with loads of icing!