I first met the amazing Ian Browning in or around 2006 when he rode with the Morpeth Reivers and I used to join in most of their rides back then, although my priorities lay elsewhere following my creation of Midaircrisis in 2002 and its subsequent morph into NMBC in 2007. While most of my rides in his company were all day-long cross-country affairs, as was the Reiver’s way, it wasn’t until Sunday 6th July 2008 when I discovered he was biking Royalty!
That was the day we ran into him and his mate Mick at Glentress (below with Chris Devenney, Jason Keith and Chris King) where they graciously led us around the Black, Red and new Blue Routes and showed us a few lesser-known bits of trail. Ian was mounted on his Commençal Meta 66 and proceeded to give us a demonstration of very rapid downhill swervery which of course he is still very capable of into his seventies. I’ve never had so much fun as the times I’ve followed Ian down to the bottom car park through Falla Brae and the Red Squirrel finale where I don’t think we’ve ever been caught!
Co-incidentally we later discovered we’d attended the same junior school in Benton, although he was a bit ahead of me, and has been ever since 🙂
We’ve done a fair bit of riding together since that day all over the UK and now that he’s “emigrating” to the beautiful Moray Firth it’s fitting that I pay tribute, on behalf of all in NMBC, to the undisputed King of the Tweed Valley and a smashing bloke. We all wish Ian and Joan a great life up there and you never know, some of us may still get the odd ride out with the Grand Master of Glentress.
Here he is hauling me up to the Helly Hansen hut on a later trip
And here humping my Trek up Black Crags for me at Thrunton