DEREK FORSYTH

IN THE BEGINNING

GRIP TOURS was 'hatched' in March 2017. After 35 years of working in the corporate world, I decided it was time to take more control of my own destiny and get involved in things I am passionate about – Scotland, the outdoors and all things bike.

Cycling has changed my life, I’m fitter, healthier and 25kgs lighter. The opportunity to share my passion for cycling combined with meeting new people, showcasing Scotland, with treks on our local routes on Donside and Deeside is very exciting. I’ve travelled extensively with work, but I’ve never been anywhere that I’d want to move my family to – why move when we have it all here in Aberdeenshire?

WHY GUIDING?

On our family holidays, we found the best way to see somewhere new, that we ALL enjoyed was on a guided bike tour – knowledgeable local guides can show you the best places of interest (not just those in the guide books), great food stops and suggest places that you can then explore yourselves.

So I thought, why not provide the same service here that we enjoy as a family and become a Cycling Guide?

PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENTS

I take my cycling seriously but always make sure it’s fun. I enjoy many disciplines –  MTB, Road/Sportive riding, Cyclocross and bike-packing adventures. 

Since discovering cycling again, I’ve pushed and challenged myself in different ways, always improving with marginal gains and making new friends along the way. Every time I step onto my bike I smile wider. I have a passion for new cycling challenges, and have built up a wealth of experience over the last few years from multi-discipline cycle challenges, sportives and events including:

The Grand Fondo Stelvio, Ride The North,  Etape Caledonia, Etape Loch Ness, Kinross Sportive, King of the Mountains Sportive, Scottish Cyclocross Series, Scottish CX Championships & Strathpuffer 24hr.

Working within a small team, comprising Gordon Watt, Iain Pryde and Kelvin White, I’ve been involved in organising the Scottish Cyclocross Series and Scottish CX Championships races at Knockburn Loch since 2013 and assisted the CX Community at Scotland’s premier cyclocross event, Dig In At The Dock.


QUALIFICATIONS AND CERTIFICATES

BRITISH CYCLING  
Mountain Bike Leadership Award (MBLA) – Level 2

WORKSHOP/CYCLE MAINTENANCE QUALIFICATIONS
Velotech Silver

HEALTH, SAFETY and PROTECTION
Protection of Vulnerable Groups (PVG - Disclosure Scotland))
Child Protection in Sport & Active Leisure (
Educare)
Outdoor Emergency First Aid (BASP)
Emergency First Aid at Work (Grampian Training Services Ltd)


INSURANCE COVER FOR GUIDING SERVICES

Professional Indemnity Insurance (to an indemnity limit of £5m)
Public Liability Insurance (to an indemnity limit of £10m)
GRIP TOURS follow British Cycling’s own code of conduct, policies and procedures. Read more here.