Escape to the hills

Meet the team

We are friendly, enthusiastic and enjoy active lifestyles, with many years mountain biking, cycling and other endurance sports experience. All our instructors are qualified mountain bike leaders through the Mountain Bike Instructors Award Scheme (MIAS) and qualified for outdoor activity emergency aid through St Johns. Between us we have a range of skills and endurance levels to understand and cater for the needs of almost all abilities. And we have built up an extensive knowledge of the South Downs from years of mountain biking, distance running and hiking.

Our emphasis is on:

  • giving a safe, enjoyable and rewarding experience
  • offering varied routes at just the right level to suit your interests and aims
  • offering quality support to take out the hassle so you can focus on enjoying the ride

Nick Finch

Co-founder of ZigZag Cycling with experience of organising training camps for endurances athletes, competing in long distance triathlons, swimming, adventure racing and multi-day events.

"I'm originally from South Africa and I have been cycling for most of his life, I became a qualified mountain bike instructor to help others experience the joys of mountain biking and specifically showing off the fanstastic riding we have available to us in the South. I indulge in a physical challenge now and then which for the past 2 years has included returning to South Africa to compete the ABSA Cape Epic mountain bike stage race which is regarded as one of the toughest stage races in the world. I just love cycling and being in the outdoors as much as possible."

Some of my favourites things

Nick likes his Giant Anthem mountain bike Nick likes Steak and Ale pie Nick likes the Springbok Rugby Nick likes jumping on his daughters JumpKing trampoline

Mike Porteous

Recently escaped from the Civil Service to co-found ZigZag Cycling with Nick. Originally a Sussex cross country runner, he has competed for Great Britain age group in the world long distance triathlon championships.

“I started mountain biking for fun around ten years ago to get out on the Downs with my son Tom, taking it in turns to share our first bike. Since then I have completed the South Downs Randonee challenge (the South Downs Way in a day) and taken part in off-road triathlons such as Xterra and Extreme Terrain. I also run, swim, road cycle – including in the French Alps – and compete in triathlons and adventure races.”

Some of my favourites things

Mike likes Italy Mike likes jazz music Mike likes making pizza Mike likes reading

Tom Porteous

Specialises in teaching beginners basic mountain bike skills.

“With my dad I have mountain biked in the Atlas Mountains and competed as a team (Madness Runs in the Family) in off-road duathlons and adventure races. I also enjoy trail running, and just being out in the open countryside, cycling, running and hiking. Its great being able to share some basic mountain biking skills with others so they can enjoy the experience too.”

Some of my favourites things

Tom likes The Supranos Tom likes Italian dishes Tom likes reading Tom like The Wire

Nigel Burnett

Our route-master, sports masseur and all round support with enormous experience in event management having founded Raw Energy Pursuits and being a part of the team organising the triathlon at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

“I left the corporate world around ten years ago and qualified as a sports massage therapist, now running my own practice: In between I take every opportunity to mountain bike on the South Downs and have also recently taken the plunge, competing in off-road triathlon – Xterra France – and hope to do more.”

Some of my favourites things

Nigel likes his Sports therapy services Nigel likes Self Builds Nigel likes Triathlon