Updated: Mar 10
When it comes to being an enthusiast for biking, Caroline McKaig is your woman. She joins our badass women for her many talents as a MTB coach, leader and co-founder of MissAdventures - a new group in the Borders aimed at girls aged 12-18 who want to mountain bike and seek adventure. She's so badass she was included in Cycling UK's top 100 women in 2020. Caroline tells us why she loves mountain biking so much and who inspires her to go ride.
Tell us a bit about yourself
I'm Caroline, a teacher at Peebles High School, and level 2 MTB leader and coach. I love love the outdoors, biking, hiking, swimming, paddling, running… up for any kind of adventure really. I'm also passionate about the environment and sustainability and getting out on the bikes with my two kids, Angus 10, Annabel 8.
When and how did your love of MTB begin?
I had a paper round when I was a teenager and used a bike to get about and do that. Then I got my first hard tail when I was around 14, but a lack of friends and family who biked meant my experiences were limited and trips to the trails few and far between. I have continued cycling since then on and off, between having my two kids, but it’s only really been in the last few years that I have felt the real pleasure in it and made it an essential part of my life. Now I can’t imagine not biking, I love it so much. It is my method of escaping the pressures and stresses of work and life and just being me, there is no better feeling than flying down a trial, conquering a climb or discovering a new beauty spot on your doorstep.
What has been your favourite trip or adventure?
It’s a tricky one, I’ve had lots of great single day adventures, I think the most fun being the FNY hunt! I also really enjoyed taking part in the GT7, it was a great atmosphere and gave me a real buzz. My first multi day bikepacking trip also stands out in the memories, I plotted a route following the cross borders drove road, it was a great adventure and got amazing weather too!
Is there anyone who inspired your love of mountain biking and the great outdoors?
Role models in cycling were not visible to me when I was younger, I played hockey, because that’s the sport girls did then. But my love of the outdoors was sparked when I went on a school trip to Iceland where we wild camped for 3 weeks, it was amazing. Now I have loads of inspiration it would be impossible to name all the amazing woman I have been connected with in the last few years, there is such an incredible community that exists now and it feels so good to be part of it… like you belong. But If I had to pick just one, it would be Jenny Graham, she has really had an impact on me- also being a mum, it’s great to see the things she has achieved after becoming a mum, she is very relatable and so super positive, it’s infectious.
What one piece of advice would you give other women who are keen to get into mountain biking?
My top tip to other woman, especially mums – make time to cycle, or get outdoors. You will always feel like you don’t have enough time, but taking time out for yourself is not selfish – it is a form of self-care that will enable you to be present and more positive around those who you love and it turn will make them happier too.
Thanks Caroline, that's a great tip for mums - take time for for yourself as the reward is so worth it. You can find out what Caroline is up to on Instagram @ItsMissAdventures.