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Deborah Delano rides headlong into older age: wiser, faster and a teeny bit more rad.

When we think of older woman, if indeed we do, our thoughts might turn to baking, auxiliary childcare for grandchildren or the creaking encroachment of debilitating medical conditions. Before we progress, I must tell you I am a woman of advancing years who does not think sixty is the new forty, nor yet forty the new twenty-five. Sixty is sixty. It is not a harbinger of imminent death, it is not the end of anything. Let’s not deny the inherent spiritual wealth and beauty in this most serene state of maturity by implying that forty is somehow preferable. For me this age brings opportunity unfettered by self-consciousness, love founded on knowledge and understanding. It brings accomplishment, a sense of purpose and, to my very great surprise, it brings mountain biking.

I began writing a decade ago. I was fifty. Shortly after this I took up running and soon after that mountain biking. I love running, but mountain biking, I confess, was foisted upon me by my partner – a small and ferocious French woman who cannot look at a mountain without wanting to hurl herself down it on some moving contraption. She was put on skis in the Alps at the age of two and has progressed through snowboarding, white water canoeing, and now, her new great love is her mountain bike. To me, bicycles conjured memories of slogging home with my mates from school during the scorching summers of the 1970s, without so much as the price of a Strawberry Mivvi in my elasticated purse-belt, nor even a paltry Cyd-A-Lol – a cider-flavoured lolly from which we tried regularly, and unsuccessfully, to achieve intoxication. Such are the unquenched desires of the 13-year-old girl.

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About Singletrack

Editorial: Echo Chambers International Adventure: Folgefonna Sunrise UK Riding: Guiding Light Column: Jason Miles International Adventure: You Should Never Go Back… Or Should You? Interview: Chris Akrigg Column: Finding The Lines Classic Ride: Cornish Classic Column: Ode To Climbs Bike Test: Staff Rides Interview: Cedric Gracia International Adventure: What’s Zermatt’er With You? Column: One Last Run International Adventure: The Frigid Secrets Of Ukraine Last Word: Game Plan

Single Digital Issue 129
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Other Articles in this Issue

Pete Scullion makes the sunrise count on this Norwegian tour.
Tom Hill looks at why hiring a local guide, despite GPS and the internet – even in our over-explored island – is still money well spent.
Sanny reflects upon whether trail nirvana lightning can strike twice.
Chipps quizzes Chris Akrigg just before he announces his new bike sponsor, GT, after 12 years on Mongoose.
Barney journeys back to his Cornish roots to bring you this West Country classic ride.
Self-confessed climb-lover Rich Rothwell reckons that you’re missing out on half the fun if you don’t learn to love the ups as much as the downs.
Chipps and the Singletrack test crew get the enviable, but surprisingly difficult, job of reviewing the bikes that they’ve chosen as long termers for the next (or last) few months.
Price: €3.699.00 From: Commencal,
Price: £3,099.00 frame only. Approx £8,000 as built
Price: £7,799.00 From: Santa Cruz UK,
Price: £550.00, frame and fork. Approx £1,300.00 as
Dare we draw a parallel with the room full of monkeys
Andi gets Cedric Gracia to slow down for long enough to spend five minutes answering the questions we ask everyone.
Emma and Carly head off to a different part of the mountains in their homemade camper. This time, it’s Zermatt and the Matterhorn that are getting all the attention. Only now, Carly does the storytelling…
Tim Oates looks at why you should never give in to that one extra run after you’ve stopped for the day.
Three Polish friends prove that bikepacking and packrafting trips are not just for summertime. OK, maybe they are.
Do you have the wrong plans? Or is planning itself the thing that’s wrong?