Blog from Decathlon

Sportive Stories: The 3 Pistes Cycle

James Mackintosh from Decathlon Edinburgh talks about his motivation for the 3 Pistes Cycle.

Having worked in the Bikes Department at Decathlon Edinburgh for six months, I have chatted to many cyclists. From the newbie to the experienced road cyclist, the downhiller to the business man who wants a bike that will fit into his briefcase, they each have their own needs and own experiences.

I have had the pleasure of meeting some really inspirational people. Like a middle-aged man who has had major hip and knee surgeries and needed something to do to keep fit, he left with a Satori Pro Home Trainer and a Triban 3. I also met a man who was a cycling guide for blind track cyclists, as well as a lot of first time triathletes and dedicated club cyclists. I thought that it was time to put the inspiration into action, so I signed up for the 3 Pistes Cycle. With the finish line in my back garden in Aviemore, it seemed like the perfect sportive for me.

3 Piste Cycle

The 3 Pistes Cycle is the highest sportive in the UK and takes in the 3 base stations of the ski resorts in the Cairngorm Mountain Range. Starting in Pitlochry, at over 102 miles the route takes in Glenshee, the Lecht and the Cairngorms. With a total climb of 2650 metres, it’s going to be a massive challenge. If you think the figures look pretty daunting they fail to mention that these are the roads that are frequently closed due to high winds with gusts up to and over 100mph!

Since signing up for the cycle I have been using it as to tool to engage with customers. I have received training tips and information from other sportives which could help my training in the run up to my event. Cyclists are generally very enthusiastic and once they get chatting to you, you could gain a friend for life. Once you make these connections you start to see these people returning to your store again and again.

For anyone getting into road cycling I always recommend a comfortable well-vented helmet and the thickest padded shortsyou can get hold of. You can really top up on your clothing and gear within bikes before heading to Health and Discovery for those essential hydration and nutrition products.

I’ve put together a wee team of shaky cyclists for the event. This will be the first century cycle for the five of us and is going to take a fair amount of effort training wise. We want to make the most of what we are doing so we are going to raise as much money as we can for a small charity called Mindroom.

Mindroom is a Scottish charity whose goal is to ensure that by the year 2020, every child and adult in the country with learning difficulty receive the help they need. In each classroom at school, there will be at least five children in the group with learning difficulties of various forms. Mindroom work to provide support through collaborating with others to provide multi-disciplinary diagnostic centres to help prevent learning difficulties becoming one of the big public health problems of our time.

The 3 Pistes Cycle takes place on Sunday 1st June – wish us luck!

Originally posted at

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