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…
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?
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.
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?
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!
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?
- Visit the MTB Guiding website – http://www.mtbguiding.co.uk/
- and read my post about last years visit to the Lake District – https://timfromwales.blog/2016/06/10/lake-district-with-mtb-guiding/