10UnderTheBen on the Fatbike #SonderVirFortis from #Alpkit

“We rode, we laughed, I fell off, it hurt but most of all we kept smiling” #10UnderTheBen #10UTB #mtb


Having just completed rumble in the jungle with yakattack, it was always going to be a tough call travelling up to Fort Bill for #10UnderTheBen and seriously competing.

I was worn out from the travelling and needed some rest but that wasn’t going to be the case, as I love the event at Fort William and catching up with old friends.

Frazer and Spooks had adjusted the course from last year. The single-track climbs were much better than the fire-road climbs and the twisty single-track through the woods was awesome. The course was 10miles per lap with 1,200 ft. of climbing and had some fast flowing sections. I was able to ride everything so it wasn’t too technical, even the stream crossing was do-able without falling in. I rode the first lap after listening to the bagpipes and it was nice and steady. There was more tiredness in the body than in the legs so it was a case of just enjoying the day with my pal Big Bad Badura and meeting like-minded people.

The Sonder Vir Fortis handled everything that came into its path. The rigid frame with 4inch tyres really does act as suspension therefore alleviating the need for any front/rear suspension.

After lap one myself and Rob had a break and a chat with Johnny and George Maitland who live and work in Fort Bill. We only get to see them twice a year but it’s great to catch up as they were riding as a trio and going for at least 10 laps. George was riding a Specialised 650b with chubby tyres and he loved it.

We rode out for Lap 2 and chatted our way round taking pictures and enjoying what we love – we made way for the faster riders who were going for a Podium place.


It was nice to bump into and catch up with Simon and Angus both riding single-speed (Kudos boys).

Also the Manx lads were taking part so I had a chat with Nigel, Guy, David and Scott and local lad from Halifax Andy Westwell

I managed to pit with Crispin Holt who I met at The Crossing and we rode most of the manx last year together so thanks Chris.


We returned from Lap 2 and decided that was enough so it was a case of more tea/coffee and a chat with fellow riders – I saw Keith Forsythe hobbling and unfortunately it was ride over for him as he had come off on his 3rd lap and injured his shoulder and had cuts on his arm.

I was itching to do another lap, as riding the bike in the Scottish highlands is something I enjoy and it doesn’t get much better.

So lap 3 and I asked Rob if he would join me but he was too busy scoffing and had had enough.

Steady away for lap 3 until you return back to the start after about half way for the tricky rock climb. Just as I reached the top I wheel spun and was forced to go backwards unfortunately falling back on myself, my shoulder landed on a rock and the fatbike landed on top of me. Comical moment as the fatbike wasn’t moving off my body, the 14kg bike was stuck with me underneath reeling from the pain in my shoulder. I suddenly felt the bike being lifted off me so whoever that was thank you very much and had it not been for this “Knight in shining armour” I might still have been there now. 🙂

I continued my ride with a bruised shoulder and hand and still enjoyed it.

I had completed #10UnderTheBen so I handed my dibber into Spooks and thought better of it to not bother with another lap.

My shoulder was badly bruised so we packed our bike and bags and headed for the B&B for showers then to Cafe Mango for a fab King Prawn Biryani and a bottle of Cobra that seemed to eradicate the pain of my bruised shoulder.

Many thanks to Frazier, Spooks and the No Fuss team for another friendly, relaxed, great atmosphere and superb course.


No doubt I will be back again next year for more of the same.


‘A must do event for every mountain biker’

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