Many people will have been inspired by Steve Jones and Doddy’s e-bike adventure in the Black Mountains, including me and I was only there a few weeks ago. Go and watch it now if you haven’t – I guarantee it will make you want to go out and ride!
But before you head off to the hills its worth checking the rights of way along your “planned” route.
Unfortunately much of our beloved countryside is not open to mountain biking. We have a bad reputation of supposedly ruining the footpaths, scaring walkers and a multitude of other sins that simply just aren’t true.
British Cycling, Open MTB and numerous other organisations are on a constant campaign to convince the organisations like the Welsh Government to grant sensible access to the countryside in England and Wales much like they have in Scotland where the Access Code says:
Access rights extend to cycling. Cycling on hard surfaces, such as wide paths and tracks, causes few problems. On narrow routes, cycling may cause problems for other people, such as walkers and horse riders. If this occurs, dismount and walk until the path becomes suitable again. Do not endanger walkers and horse riders: give other users advance warning of your presence and give way to them on a narrow path. Take care not to alarm farm animals, horses and wildlife.
I’m a qualified British Cycling Level 2 MTB Leader and like many other guides I cannot legally take rides in some of these amazing landscapes or we will not be covered by the terms of the Leadership Agreement, which includes liability insurance.
So, my advice:
If you want to enjoy adventures like the one that Jonesy and Doddy had in the video above, check very carefully if you are allowed to ride there. Many national trails look very appealing but are restricted walkers.
And if you do decide to ride them, you do so at your own risk and please ride sensibly and considerably – maybe adopt that Scottish way of thinking above.
If you have any questions or would like some route planning advice I am happy to help and even guide you there if you fancy having someone else take on the navigation duties
https://www.facebook.com/GuideWiltshire – I’m based in Wiltshire but travel all over.