Well I wasn’t expecting Narnia when we started riding at Llandegla this morning!
After setting up in the café at Llandegla we finally got on the trails. We had a late start as not everyone turned up that I was expecting. I can’t thank the girls enough for being so patient! I just didn’t want anyone left behind!
We set off up the climb and as soon as we got out of the trees the ground was covered in thick snow. I’d never ridden in the snow before, so it was definitely a learning curve for me. Going across slightly off camber bits and thinking in my head ‘it’s just slippery mud’.
The group went ahead and did the red and I was with Gwen and Heledd on the blue. We got to the top of the blue and much preferred the idea of the blue than the red as its more covered. As much as I wanted to go on the red with Heledd, we actually had a really fun time on the blue! There were some slushy sections we could have fun on, then clear sections we could go fast on. It was a good combo.
Manon and the rest of the crew went on the red. Some wanted to try the black, but thought it was best to stay together.
Following riding the trail it was a mad dash to get changed, get warm and get fed. Just to get feeling in our toes again! It was great to chat to more to the girls and how they found riding in the snow.
All full up, half 1 came and we started the talk about mountain biking and women participating particularly. We brought up a few interesting topics. We started on how mountain biking could become a more desirable sport to take part in. We all get directed to sports like netball, so what can we do to highlight it the potential next generation of mountain bikers.
Organising group rides was a solution, as girls riding on their own isn’t likely to happen if their venturing out for the first time. With social media being a big part of the younger generation these days, this was also brought up. More Breeze rides were also a good way of encouraging newbies to the sport, so they can find people to go out with. It’s always easier to stick at something when you’ve got someone to do it with right?
Another good topic was independence on the trails with the likes of first aid and bike mechanics. We talked about what would help female cyclists give bike maintenance a go. The ability to be able to do bike maintenance would maybe open up the opportunities for mountain bikers in general really to ride that little bit further, and maybe away from trail centres.
We also brought up the ‘all out’ approach to mountain biking and the pressures to do the most difficult trails, or only riding difficult trails. I know I’ve certainly realised I don’t need to be doing difficult riding all of the time, as long as I’m out on my bike does it really matter? I definitely need to venture a bit further afield on my bike, but I shouldn’t feel pressured to. I ride now because I want to, not because I have to. I do other outdoor sports now too and enjoy them just as much.
After all that was said I was happy everyone went away with a smile on their face, even if the weather was atrocious. It was certainly a different day on the bike, but I enjoyed it immensely at the same time.
I’m hoping to keep the social rides going really. Maybe Becky can show us round some more natural trails whilst we learn to map read…
Manon also mentioned the second Monday of every month being ladies night at Rampworx in South Wales, so hopefully a group can make a trip down there and try that too.
Thank you so much to everyone who helped today and the run up to the event. Especially One Planet Adventure for being so accommodating. I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it and we managed to raise £276.55 for Help for Heroes.
Head to ‘Lucy’s Life and Bikes‘ on Facebook for more of the photos!