20th December 2022
MASON Rider Roundup 2022 | Philippa Battye
With the New Year fast approaching, we caught up with our supported riders to look back at their 2022 adventures, and to see what they have in store for 2023.
Philippa Battye is a unique melting pot of ambition, humility, optimism, creativity, and pure grittiness. When asked what attracted her to the inaugural GBDuro in 2019, Philippa’s deadpan response perfectly captures her unflappable and straight-talking approach: “I'm going to see the length of Great Britain and a lot of what's in between in a relatively short space of time!”
What were your race, ride and bikepacking adventure highs and lows of 2022?
Highs - riding in falling fresh 4 inch snow in Scotland on 2 separate occasions. The silence of snow is hard to beat, like being in a vacuum. A very special and surreal experience!
Lows - see above! The problem with snow is if you ain't kitted out for it, it's faaaacking cold. I had to cut one of those trips short.
Race highs would have to be Further Pyrenees. A very special route and race which I felt mentally in exactly the right headspace for. I loved every moment of it.
Race lows - The complete lack of swim spots on the Dorset Divide route on a heat wave weekend, despite plenty of views of the sea!
Photo credit Maciek Tomiczek
What was the most unexpected event to happen to you/came across along the way?
Finding a pile of nearly new mattresses in a shelter to sleep on during the Further Pyrenees is probably up there. Along with the wildlife hide at 2000m with warm embers still in the fire and another mattress to sleep on! Further wanted me to be well rested that race.
What was the most valuable thing that you learned?
To not hold on to things to tightly. Be it events, results etc. Things can seem important in the moment, but in the grand scheme... they really don't matter. It has to be about the process, because that's what we're living in everyday - the process and the journey, not the destination and any fairly arbitrary end goals.
The most inspirational thing to have happened?
Being a part of the 'Politics of Patents' project, testing/ exhibiting women-designed activewear from the turn of the 19th century which enabled women to enjoy the outdoors and be active like their male counterparts, often subversively. It is incredible to see how far we've come in a hundred years, but still, a stark reminder that we still have a long way to go and that many of the issues addressed then still linger today.
Do you have a big goal for 2023?
My big goal will be signing up for the Highland Trail again after being scuppered by covid 2 days before, it left me even more excited about doing it in 2023! I will also hopefully be riding TCR as a pair, I think this will by far be my biggest challenge to date. I will also be returning to the Craggy Island Triathlon!
Photo credit Maciek Tomiczek
Which MASON bikes do you have? Which one were you using on your favourite ride of 2022?
MASON BOKEH and RAW. Not sure I could choose, I took the RAW to Scotland in June post covid and rode a lot of the Highland Trail route plus some other really wild and remote bits of the route. I rode Further Pyrenees on the BOKEH, and that route really was spectacular, so either of those would be my favourite ride.
Do you have any MASON bikes on the wishlist?
Having too many bikes at my disposal stresses me out! However, the new Exposure has got me dreaming big again... When I bought my bokeh 5 years ago I planned to long term tour South America which never came to fruition... I still think about going away on an open-ended-ish trip, except now my hearts set on the Himalayas. One day....
Thanks, Philippa, we are looking forward to following all your 2023 adventures.
Photo credit: Philippa Battye | Maciek Tomiczek
You can catch up on some of Philippa's 2022 rides here: