Rock Shox, berms, “give it some air” (I didn’t), front suspension, drop-offs (not for me!), padded baggy shorts, special shoes, mud, knobbly tyres, back wheel skids (no fear!). All terms I’ve been introduced to on my first real mountain bike excursion in Wales, other than family trails.
In glorious sunshine we climbed for forty minutes in Cwmcarn forest, South Wales – the route up was a nice forest trail, so easily rideable – and then I did a mix of single track tricky, bumpy stuff and more forest trail, which at times was hairy, and some very fast speeds were achieved (so it felt like, though my boys would strongly disagree). 400m ascent meant some spectacular views.
My legs were tested on the descent as you have to stand up on the pedals but with bent legs, so the bike absorbs the shock, and after a while the lactic acid is flooding in, but it seems impossible to stop and take a break. The effect on the legs is probably a bit like skiing I’m guessing. Blinkin’ hard effort, but worth every breath.
My mountain biking skills are so far very limited but I hope to improve them so I can spend more time chasing my boys whipping along the trails.
I’ll do anything for wonderful scenery.
P.S a friend who runs a bike shop told me about mountain biking skills coaching in Ashton Court, Bristol, the website is of which is pedalprogression.com. I will be booking myself on to one of their 3 hour sessions soon.