Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Mountain Biking in the Forest of Dean

I was absolutely delighted when I found out I was getting to take part in Mountain Biking as one of my activity during the Forest of #DeanWyeBloggers weekend. I used to be inseparable from my mountain bike as a kid, staying out all day until sun down with my pals. I never managed to have a proper mountain biking experience, so I was incredibly hopeful on this trip that we wouldn't get a watered-down experience and instead we would be thrown in the deep end - I was not disappointed.

We actually began the day with a cup of tea in the sun and chatted to the founder, Ian, and mountain bike instructor/fellow blogger Midge, to get a little info on what they do at Pedal A Bike Away. They are an incredibly inclusive company, tucked away in the forest, who run all sorts of groups, including women's bike runs and kids groups too. They even have a specially designed 4-wheeler for wheel chair users, so everyone can be involved!

Once we set off, I remembered one slight problem that may hinder my biking ever so slightly: we need to go up to down. And for that you need good fitness. And my fitness at the time? Terrible. I hadn't had proper exercise in a while, and quite frankly was probably at my lowest fitness level I have ever been at in my life. I also rarely see my bike anymore, now living in a tiny apartment with no storage, so my muscles were not ready for this. But this is where I can also excel, and I'm sure many will feel similar: in determination. I refuse to stay behind or miss out on any experience due to my own problems: it's my own fault I am not in a fit state, and it would be my own fault I'd I missed out on the fun for it, so I pushed on forward! Cat, aka 'Midge', was brilliant and stayed at the back with me the entire time. I struggled a little with the double gear system on the bike, and she was incredibly patient with helping me out!

Cheeky photo-op with pro-biker Katy Curd!
The slog upwards however was completely worth it when we reached the top and were faced with the Launch Pad. A full minutes-worth (which is a lot in mountain biking!) of pure exhilaration and high-speed adrenaline! We all raced downhill, one after the other. The trail was that long, everyone's thighs burned and the majority of us stopped at one point or another thinking we'd got off track! I might have been the slowest going up, but I was the fastest going down according to this video!

The morning's experience with Pedal A Bike Away was absolutely fantastic. It was far more thrilling than I expected, and I got exactly what I wanted and more, down to their amazing team! Click here to find out more!

*The Forest of Dean are holding an awesome festival on Sunday 23rd April! It's a great opportunity for the whole family to try out some new outdoor activities, explore the forest and find out more about the amazing food, drink and accommodation options available around the area!*

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