Britain’s Favourite Walks

NW7
Snowdonia

You watched it. I watched it. We all watched it.

You didn’t?  What? This has to have been one of the best things on TV so far this year – maybe in a long time (for me).

“From one end of the country to the other, from the mountains to the sea – we’ve pretty much covered every bit of Britain that there is for hikers to explore.”
– Ore Oduba
It was a two-and-a-half-hour special on ITV and was a countdown of Britain’s favourite 100 walks – featuring all your favourite mountains and coastal paths.
Based on the results of the largest survey ever conducted into the UK’s hiking habits, the top 100 have been voted for by more than 8,000 walking enthusiasts. You can watch it on the ITV Hub here if you missed it –  https://www.itv.com/hub/britains-favourite-walks-top-100/2a5330a0001
“This could be your next big adventure – you’re going to be blown away.” – Julia Bradbury
All the walks (slash hikes) are available on the Ordnance Survey website and downloadable to subscribers.

https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/itvs-britains-100-favourite-walks/

Why am I talking about this? Well I’ve taken my bike to a few of these places as well as walked a few too. But this morning I’ve seen so many bike forums and Facebook pages flooded with requests like “Can you ride on Helvellyn?” and its great. Bikers, hikers and sofa sitters up and down the country probably broke the OS website last night looking up routes to explore.

But before you all head off to Glencoe, Stanage Edge, Snowdon, the Lake District etc just remember that not all walkers paths can be ridden both practically and legally. Snowdon has set times for mountain bikers – check before you go.

Check the OS map for bridleways and byways and not footpaths! Or hire a guide!

Walna Scar Road Shuttle Drop Off
Walna Scar Road

Ask me even!  Or check out some of the published guide books on mountain biking on the Lakes, Peaks or Snowdonia for instance or online lists on MBR for example.

http://www.mbr.co.uk/news/20-best-mountain-bike-trails-uk-322684

There’s a reason why us mountain bikers havent been to Malham Cove and Gordale Scar – its simple not possible by bike due to the sheer cliffs and the footpath only access.

Suiting up after our dip in Windermere
Lake Windermere

Make these locations absolutley part of your plans but PLEASE check before you go taking a bike.

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TV Show – MTB Adventures

Well i wasn't going to lead with a pic of Doddy was I!
Well I wasn’t going to lead with a pic of Doddy was I?

It reminds me a little of Ride Guide that used to be on Extreme TV a few years back; I’m talking about the new show on the Bike Channel that started last night called –

MTB Adventures

Hosted by Andrew Dodd of Factory Jackson and Anna Glowinski of well of Anna Glowinski I suppose. That’s a little unfair, Anna has hosted ITV The Cycle Show and pops up every so often as a spokeswoman for womens cycling and for various brands and media organisations.

Bikes were supplied by GT
Bikes were supplied by GT

Anyway, MTB Adventures is at last a TV show about riding in UK. Most mountain bike media is a bit too “Top Gear” for me – you know expensive bikes and beautiful riding in far away exotic places.  Finally we have a show based here in the UK that looks set to explore the UK trail centres (maybe some natural /wild stuff too Doddy/Anna?) – places I can ride and visit with out too much investment in money or use of my annual holiday allowance!

How was Episode 1?

Well no-one really liked Jar Jar Binks, Yoda looked bizarrely older than in Return of the Jedi and the less said about Ewan Mcgregor’s weird Obi Wan voice the better. Hang on…

In episode 1 of MTB Adventures Doddy and Anna visited Dalby Forest and showed us some of the riding available there from the 1 mile Green trails, to Dixon’s Hollow Bike Park and the 21 mile Red loop.  All good stuff.

Just like in a Singletrack route guide they covered some accommodation, talked about the visitor centre, surrounding area and gave a local bike shop a mention.

The show is trying to cater for a broad audience, talking about some basic stuff like tightening skewers and carrying spare tubes and also giving some info on the more detailed elements of the trail – how it flows and what to expect.

Some discussion on bike tech (this week how Doddy would rather a dropper post than suspension forks) added to the mix and altogether it was an enjoyable 30 mins of TV.

The show was filmed by the talented Liam Murphy and has been book marked in my series planner.

If you missed it, I’m not sure Bike has a catch up option but you can be sure this show will be repeated a few times throughout the week ahead.

Breaking Bad Season 1

In my fragile hungover state today I have managed to watch again the second half of yesterday’s rugby match.. That the half where Wales scored 2 tries and shattered English hopes and dreams of a Grand Slam.

And I finished off Season 1 of Breaking Bad. If you haven’t seen it you should believe the hype!

Brilliantly acted, this show is about 50 year old Walter and his efforts to help provide for his family after his death.

Walter has cancer and he works with one of his old chemistry students to cook and sell crystal meth in New Mexico.

There’s subtle humour, drama, action and some great characters. Drug dealing is such a dark subject, and much like Dexter, this show encourages you to empathise with people doing unspeakable things.

Anyway I’m not much good at writing reviews – so just find a way to watch Breaking Bad.

Sorry for my bad behaviour

I may write here later but if I don’t I will apologise now for my slack behaviour today.

Woke early and watched some old rugby DVDs before breakfast – feeling extremely Welsh right now!

Just spent about 2 hours tidying the desk and the study. Where does all the crap come from…?

Now its time for lunch (a big one) and get ready for the pub and the BIG match..

Wales v England at 5 pm but a few warm up Guinness are required methinks.

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What do points make?

mil2On the 4th of February I commented that it was all about the points difference… Well how true has that become?!

Tomorrow in Cardiff will be the 2013 RBS 6 Nations decider and for Wales to retain the title they will need to beat England by 8 points – though there are a few permutations that can result in a victory for either side:

  • An England victory by any margin would secure a first GRAND SLAM triumph in a decade.
  • An England defeat by six points or fewer would be enough for ENGLAND TO WIN THE TITLE.
  • If England lose by seven points but outscore Wales by three tries or more, ENGLAND WIN THE TITLE.
  • A Wales victory by seven points or more, providing they stay ahead of England on tournament tries (7 to 5 so far), would see WALES RETAIN THE TITLE.
  • If Wales win by seven points but England score two more tries, then the TITLE WOULD BE SHARED.

My predictions are as follows:

Wales will beat England, and by the required 8 points – just. The pressure is all on England and Wales can count on a huge home-coming welcome after 3 victories away on the road. if England get a “comfortable” lead they will sit on it and the game could get a little slow. But as Wales try to punch through the defence there could be penalties and Leigh Halfpenny can kick them from most places in Cardiff! The atmosphere is going to be amazing in Cardiff, I only wish I was going.

I think Italy will finished on a high note and after their convincing performance against England last week I believe they will beat Ireland in Rome. Only just, but they will win. Ireland haven’t convinced since the first half against Wales in the opening weekend and think the Azurri will kill off their tournament tomorrow.

Which leaves Scotland and France in Paris! Both teams have stuttered but the age old question of “which French side will turn up?” will be answered tomorrow and the side will be the one that can play with flair and passion and Scotland who will think they have a shot at a faltering and not yet winning France will be knocked sideways. I fancy a 10 point margin tomorrow evening to France as they go out to prove they can play rugby with our without support from their nation..