Returning to Basics – the first in the series from Chris Hutchens

Returning to Basics

This is the first in a series of short articles for Grease Monkey Cycles. The first article will be on my joy of going back to basics. It can sometimes be easy to forget why you started to ride mountain bikes. Anyway a bit of background first.


I first met the guys at GMC last year in Germany. Their services and products really interested me and the value they provide is excellent. I’m now on an interesting journey myself in the cycling world and it was great to meet the team and many other interesting companies from Scotland at Eurobike last September.


After that it was back to racing for me with the final rounds of the World Enduro Series, the now defunct British Enduro Series and the thriving Scottish Enduro Series. These all went well for me. I was focused on the racing, disciplined in my training and excited to finish the season on a high. It’s easy to get lost in all the goals and expectations though.

At this point though this is where I went back to basics and it was awesome. The guys at Nukeproof sent me one of their Scout hardtails and well, since then I’ve been on it almost every week and even gave it a shot of racing on the slops of Kinlochleven. What a blast!


This brought back the reason why I started mountain biking. I’ve messed about more, learnt to back hop again and throw in the odd jib move randomly on a ride. It’s a less serious bike than the Mega and I love that! We are spoilt by bikes these days. They are so capable. So easy to ride. Go back to 130mm of front suspension and no give on the rear and the trail comes alive.


Where am I going with this? Well, don’t lose sight on why you got into biking. Racing is great and going out and pushing hard on every ride can be rewarding but keep things fresh, ride different bikes and don’t think you have to ride the long travel bike the whole time. It’s ok to be slow out of a race. It’s also pretty rewarding to be hurtling down a mountain on a hardtail, developing your skills more and keeping up with guys on big bikes.


Check out my race report from the Kinlochleven race over on Wideopenmag ( and have a look at the Nukeproof Scout hardtail ( .It’s something else!


Photos by Findley Forrest