The elite racer who cut his bike in half

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Scott Forbes
Scott’s modified On-One Inbred
Scott Forbes
The bike packs down into a regular size suitcase
Scott Forbes
Ready to go…
Scott Forbes
…and in action near Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas

Even most weekend riders will admit, it’s tough to get enough time on the trails. Juggling a 9-5 job and family commitments with any training you hope to cram in before an enduro.

And Scott Forbes is no different – only he rides at elite level. So the British Masters National Series champion took matters into his own hands in order to combine his full-time job, as a long-haul British Airways pilot, with his full-time training schedule.

He cut his On-One Inbred frame in half.

Fed up leaving the bike at home or swallowing excess baggage charges, Scott outlined his plans to his local workshop, who duly put the hardtail Inbred under the knife.

The bike, which uses stainless steel couplings to fasten the two halves, now packs down into a regular size suitcase which, all in all, weighs just 21kg – perfect for the Boeing 777′s hold.

“It doesn’t change the ride of the bike at all,” said Scott. “And it takes just 20 minutes to build.

“I spent a long time thinking about the little details to ensure it was spot on, like cutting half-an-inch off the ‘bars.”

Scott’s now had the bike since May 2010 and it’s quickly racking up the air miles. So where does the man who forever has a passport in his fingers like to ride most?

“Denver’s great because of the high altitude training and I’ve been spending a lot of time in Las Vegas,” said Scott.

“People might think it’s a bit hectic there but it doesn’t take long to get out of the city and then you’ve got the place to yourself.

“You soon get to learn the best loops, like Red Rock Canyon, which has closed roads and fire track for hundreds of miles through the national park.

“And in Denver I hook up with a group who over Lookout Pass, at more than 8,000 feet, in the Rockies. They know the best loops and it’s great to be able to sit on a wheel with someone who knows the place like the back of their hand.

“But there are some places where I just can’t ride. The traffic in India and Africa means it’s just not safe and I don’t take my bike to Singapore where there’s not much chance to escape the city.

“I missed a lot of the UK’s cold snap because I spent a lot of time in the Caribbean and the riding is great there. Different, but great.

“I spent a lot of time on the road there because if you go off-road then it’s just jungle. But there’s some great climbs over 1,000 feet where I do hill reps – where could you do that in the UK?”

But this weekend Scott will swap the Caribbean, Las Vegas and Denver for Sherwood Pines where, racing for On-One on a carbon Whippet, he will make his elite debut in the British Mountain Bike Series’ opening round.

And the 35-year-old is under no illusions about how hard the step up to the top level will be.

“I’m lucky because I am able to get in some quality winter training while working,” he added. “The great thing about going away is that it breaks up the monotony.

“When you’re at home in the cold and you’re forever pulling on overshoes and a hat, and you’re still cold, then it can start to get you down mentally rather than physically.

“I was hit by a car at the start of the winter but managed to walk away without too much damage and have been training well since then.

“Looking at this weekend’s start list, it looks like one of the strongest fields for a long time, with Liam [Killeen], Oli [Beckingsale], a lot of Europeans coming over and the Rabobank team. A lot of these guys weren’t even born when I first started riding!

“It’s a privilege to be racing and Sherwood Pines is a quick track so it’s going to be pretty full-on. The Olympic boys will be off on their own and I’m going to have to go hard for the first lap to stay with a good group of the top domestic riders and race it from there.”

Follow Scott online at www.scottforbesracing.tumblr.com

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