Mike Tucker lives and rides in the Pyrénées. He's a local to Ariege and is working with Camille on the FURTHER project. Together with his wife Joss, they have spent the last 5 years restoring the beautiful Zero Neuf farmhouse literally from the ground up and building their remarkable cycling adventure business and beautiful destination in Gaudies.

He's been exploring and path-finding for FURTHER Race aboard the InSearchOf Rival 1X, our exciting new adventure bicycle. Here's his thoughts so far...

Cycling has long given me the freedom to explore. It has given me independence and an opportunity to expand my horizons, literally and metaphorically. It also serves as a wonderful antidote to our increasingly cluttered and sideways world.

It’s a truly brilliant thing, allowing me to escape and disconnect from the madness and immediacy of the digital world whilst ensuring I can remain firmly connected to the wonders of the natural world.

Most of my riding experience to date has been on tarmac. I have tackled a few mountain bike trails over the years but I’ve never felt comfortable on a mountain bike.  The position just doesn’t feel ‘right. The connection to a drop handle bar is strong and it is aboard a road bike I am most at home.

However, I often find myself spinning along an asphalt road marvelling at my natural surroundings, wishing, wondering what it would be like if I could turn the bars and literally head off into the wilds.  Living in the Pyrenees, the wilderness is vast and I figure that the further I can get, the more connected to nature I will be.

Then, along came a Mason Cycles ‘InSearchOf’ and things changed.

When I saw the bike, I’ll admit I had reservations; the tyres were enormous.... the handle bars were flared and it was running a 1 x drivetrain. It’s basically a mountain bike, I thought and it’s going to ride like one. Or, is it?

Ah, non. Not in the slightest; the moment I clipped in and turned the pedals it became apparent very quickly that this bike turned convention on its head; a rutted goat track – yep, a rock strewn pass – yep.  a fast tarmac descent – yep, a classic Pyrenean ascent – yep. a ‘I need to get home fast chain-gang’ – yep.

I don’t know how it does it but everything I asked this bike to do, it did. It actually blew my mind and the position also means it’s ridiculously comfortable; everywhere and anywhere.

It made me smile…a lot…that’s infectious. It even allowed me to share liver sausage and a bottle of wine atop a mountain. This bike is class.

Thanks to the ISO, my desire to explore beyond boundaries is now stronger than ever and the Pyrénées wilderness gets closer and closer. Merci Mason Cycles; you’ve designed and built a bike that allows me to go further and get increasingly connected to nature.  It really is a truly unique machine. Chapeau.