Why do you need a MTB guide?

Yes I have been on a British Cycling mountain leader course. Yes I am planning on leading and am “bound to say this” but just listen for a moment…

Coniston Water
Not the Peak District – I haven’t been yet to take a photo.

Have you ever wanted to ride somewhere new and I don’t mean a trail centre?  Of course you have. Did you find somewhere and go ride it? What did you do?

You have a bunch of ways you can go about this and its not that hard really, is it?

So you saw some cool pictures on Instagram of something called Jacob’s Ladder. Where’s that? And the Google search begins. Peak District! That 3 hours away! Looks worth it though…

Next you search for cycling routes, the results that the world wide web presents you with are a little vague and everyone has different opinions on where you should ride – how am I going to decide?  I can’t drive 3 hours and miss out “the best trail in the Peaks”!

You remember those old MBR routes you cut out and kept for such an eventuality. This is more like it! But still they don’t seem to cover some of the bits you’ve heard about.

By now you’ve also looked up some videos too, have shown your mates the photos and are getting pretty excited for your trip and even more frustrated as you haven’t really worked out how to find these awesome riding spots.

get some professional and experienced help to lead the way

Hang on! I can’t do this is in a day… But maybe if we go for two days we can ride all the bits I’ve read about..  How many of us are going? Where can we stay? Is there bike storage? Who’s going to organise it? Food.. Everyone argues about food and none of us can cook! The rest of the gang are happy to go with the flow, but if you get this trip wrong it will be on your shoulders.

And this is definitely the right way, Tim?

Its getting stressful and closer to the date the gang are asking more questions about the routes, you have some mixed requests, loads of questions and the weather looks a little changeable. Who’s buying the food? Some have already decided to sort themselves out – and basically bought a slab of beer!  Guide books, maps, we are gonna need maps. Who knows how to load a GPX route on their Garmin?  Who can read a map?

Its not impossible, but…

Even if you can read a map and plot a route, its always possible that bridleway you have planned to zip along hasn’t seen a wheel, foot or even a hoof for decades! Been there and done that!

It didn’t say it was going to be like this on the map!

Sound familiar? Maybe not – its not too hard really, if you know how, but some local knowledge and experience of the location goes a really long way and a gang of city dwellers who mostly ride local trails and bike parks could suddenly find themselves out of sorts.

So what do you do?  Look up a guide company.

Pay for some professional and experienced help to lead the way. Many of them will book your accommodation, arrange food and importantly take the stress out of your riding.

some local knowledge and experience of the location goes a really long way

A guide will know the way to all the “best bits” and do the navigating for you; taking you around potential dangers, warning of dodgy trails and trail features. All you have to do is literally enjoy the ride and not take any flak from your mates if you get lost!

Next Month I am going on a trip with such a company – MTB Guiding – to the Peak District.

Having already done a trip to the Lakes with MTB Guiding, I know what to expect and am not stressed or worried as I know we are in capable hands.



Want to know more about booking guided trips in the UK?

5 thoughts on “Why do you need a MTB guide?

  1. You can’t beat being led round, although I do like the challenge of getting lost sometimes, likewise looking forward to MTB guiding trip in the Peak District, last years trip to the lakes with them was a cracker.
    Thanks for the flattering photo too 🙂

    1. 100% agree Gary.

      A good old adventure is great fun my personal fave way to get about, but no one likes being lynched by half a dozen wet, muddy, hungry and grumpy mountain bikers cos you are lost in the middle of nowhere…. Who knows what could happen…

      Trade your bike in for a taxi fare, cut off a limb or two to eat, burn your clothes to stay warm – its a gamble I’m not willing to take!

      And re the picture – I needed a pic of someone looking lost and clearly somewhere they shouldn’t be with their bike… That top bit of Cadair Idris certainly sorted that out for us last year!


    1. Hi Simon… I mentioned guide book, and I have a few. I honestly like nothing more than exploring and planning a route and maybe even getting lost a little. But many folks out there just want to ride and not have to think to much about that sort of thing. Just follow the guy in front of you and enjoy the ride…

      Going on a guided trip somewhere takes all the stress and potential faff out of your day and importantly adds flow to your experience.

      Stop/start at every junction or gate or fork to decide where to go next is frustrating and a guide will help your day / ride / trip flow.

  2. Couldn’t agree more Tim. We’ve finally hired a guide for our ‘big ride’ on this year’s Alps trip after having talked about it for years – with the end result we “take all the stress out of the riding” and just enjoy the ride for what it is! Best of luck with your guiding – potential career change??

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