"‘I rode back down the hill to the athlete’s village. Some of Team Scotland had been watching on the big screen and I arrived to hugs of congratulations. I went inside for a shower and ceremoniously dropped my heart rate monitor into the bin. It was the first day of the rest of my life.’
A little before 1.30 p.m. on Sunday 21 July 2013, Lee Craigie crossed the finish line at Cathkin Braes in the southern outskirts of Glasgow several minutes ahead of her nearest competitor to become the British cross-country mountain bike champion. Lee’s win was the culmination of seven years of training and sacrifice, but it marked the beginning of the end of her competitive career; less than a year later, at the same venue, this time representing her native Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, she crossed the line and quit professional bike racing for good.
Lee Craigie is one of Scotland’s great bike racers, yet she has accomplished much more since retiring. In Other Ways to Win she tells her story of growing up near Glasgow and discovering the freedom of cycling – skipping French lessons and heading off into the Campsie Fells to see just how far she could ride. These teenage adventures established cycling as the thread which would run through her life – not only through her racing life and into a new life of two-wheeled adventure, but also through the positive impact she would have on the lives of others, particularly encouraging other women through her work with the Adventure Syndicate. Written with breathtaking honesty, she recounts epic adventures along the Tour Divide, Silk Road and the Highland Trail 550, and examines themes of friendship, loss, identity and the power of the outdoors – and, of course, cycling.
Lee Craigie’s story is a welcome reminder that there is more than one way to win at cycling – and life."