Mountain Biking the UK Way|
Gareth Robinson - MTB Britain
Monday, October 16, 2000
DirtWorld.com is proud to showcase stories from around the mountain biking globe. We recently met up with Gareth Robinson the Editor of MTB Britain. We liked each other's work and decided to swap some articles. For more on the UK scene be sure to check out MTB BRITIAN.
The UK, small but perfectly formed is a great place to be a mountain biker. Within a couple of hours drive lie some of the sweetest trails through scenery of incredible variety and more mountains than you can shake a stick at. With our maritime (damp!) weather we have poor snow in Winter and almost no ski lifts. This means the British biker is a self propelled beast and rides often have a cross country flavour.
Trail building is taking off here in a big way now thanks to the work of a heroic few (a.k.a. Dafydd Davis and Friends). This gives us awesome rocky single track through dense pine forests. Even in the wettest Welsh weather, these trails are fast and furious.
We ride on ancient rights of way, once cobbled now broken and cut by time and water. We cross barren moor tops on soggy peat that saps your strength and occasionally threatens to suck you under altogether. We ride on trails so wet you'd think them streams as we bash and crash over boulders heading downwards with the flow. Wales is my personal favourite shredding ground at the moment. Here you can go on a ride where you start from the sea, ride up to hill top lakes, and fly down rocky trails to lush green valleys. All served up with purple heather covered views of Cader Idris one of the most beautiful mountains on earth, and still be back in time for tea.
To top this up, just down the road from here is Coed y Brenin which has miles of purpose built and fully sanctioned technical single track through pine forests. Coed y Brenin also has waterfalls and plunge pools where crystal clear water falls in to deep cold pools, skinny dip if you dare!
The Pennines are a range of mountains running up the middle of the northern half of England. The moors here present a particular challenge, the bridleways are waterlogged, rutted, rocky and really quite fantastic. The views on a clear day are majestic, the weather on a bad day is fearsome, we've been blown off our bikes, faced horizontal hail, crashed through frozen puddles and as for the rain, lets just say waterproof clothing is a major industry over here.
Like I said, the UK is a great place to be a mountain biker!