Haldon Forest mountain biking, and a walk on Dartmoor

It's January, so I've been for the traditional weekend of kayaking on Dartmoor.  But with one slight difference - I took my mountain bike instead of a boat.

"But you love paddling the Dart!".  Yes, I really do.  But river levels were looking like being ridiculously low, and I decided I'd get more enjoyment out of doing something else than scraping down an empty river.  Besides, I've done the Dart low plenty of times before.

Four of us took bikes, and we decided to go to Haldon Forest trail centre.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to get too... continue reading »

why can't I hibernate?

It's nearly December, which means it's time for a everyone to have a good old moan about dark evenings, and cold/rainy/grey weather.  Bleurgh.

But apparently humans aren't allowed to hibernate, so we're busy as usual.  Perhaps too busy actually - my evenings are currently pretty full (tennis, pilates, kettlebells, canoe club pub night, plus occasional trips out to the theatre and the snowdome...) as well as going out at the weekend.  And lots of dog walks, which I've been doing at lunchtime to make sure I get some daylight.

Anyway, I've been feeling somewhat frazzled for the last couple of weeks.  Not... continue reading »

Cold Aston

Last Sunday's bike ride was an early one, due to other commitments later in the day.  An overcast and slightly humid morning for another Cotswolds ride - our third from the guidebook.

We started by the pub in Cold Aston and rode down the wonderfully named Bangup Lane.  I'm not used to starting a ride by going downhill, so that was a bit weird!

The bridleways are all 'named' ones, with diamonds on the OS map.  However the names on the map (Diamond Way, Macmillan Way) didn't seem to feature on signposts - and the Sabrina Way we saw signed isn't called... continue reading »

Bredon Hill

Another Sunday bike ride from the Cotswolds MTB book - Bredon Hill.  This route is sort of a figure of eight, going up and down twice.

We started in Kemerton and headed up.  Some amount of walking occurred, because hills suck (also I've not fixed my dodgy gears yet).  Having taken a slight wrong turning at a junction we eventually detoured back to the correct route, and our first descent - a rooty rocky path down to some fields and eventually the road.  I stopped at one point because my bike seemed very rattly to find that the rear wheel had... continue reading »

off road cycling at the Cotswold Water Park

Last Sunday we once again loaded the car up with bikes for another ride in the early Autumn sunshine.  We went to the Cotswold Water Park to do the first route in this book.  I've done this ride (or something about 90% similar) before, but not for a couple of years.

Cycling around the water park is very different to riding in the Forest of Dean because it's almost entirely flat - Strava claims 10m of elevation over 18km...

The scenery is quite different too.  Less forest, more lakes (now there's a surprise!)

It's not difficult riding, although certain places were rather muddy! ... continue reading »

lots of biking

Both of my bikes have actually been getting some use over the last month or so, which makes a nice change as I'd got lazy about my cycling again.

Following an incident with some broken glass, my road bike is now running brand new tyres.  I've been breaking these in (and reminding myself why I love road cycling) with some shorter rides, including popping into Gloucester to watch the Tour of Britain come through. My new workplace is definitely in cycling distance (and, unlike the previous place, doesn't involve running the gauntlet of lorries at 50mph) so I've done that once... continue reading »

Whites Level at Afan

It's been several years since I last went mountain biking at Afan, which is a bit silly because when I do go I really enjoy it.

Yesterday morning I met up with some friends at a rather damp Glyncorrwg.  As we got ready, I watched a serious of brightly coloured dots slowly weaving their way up the hillside, and soon it was our turn.  Climbs at Afan are an absolute pig, but at least all the up is at the start so you get it out of the way!  No shame in having to get off and push, either...

Once we eventually... continue reading »


Another bank holiday, another camping trip.  This time in Snowdonia, staying at Dolgam near Capel Curig.

Saturday started with some mountain biking at Coed y Brenin.  Firstly the green Yr Afon trail (at 5 year old pace!) then after lunch a much more exciting mix of MinorTaur (blue) and Cyflym Coch (red).

To cool down after that we went wild swimming in the Llugwy, just below the siphon-tastic mess that is Pont Cyfyng.  Yuck. Others did actually swim, but I splashed around waist deep because it was rather cold.

On Sunday I turned down more mountain biking on grounds that the Penmacho trail... continue reading »