How are we posing for this photo again?

Two blog posts in one day? Should I be doing that? Who cares! Today’s ride was too much fun to not write about it!

How are we posing for this photo again?

Originally a ride to catch up with Anna, our group suddenly grew to include Kate, James and Ffion too. 

I’ve often found group rides to become quite difficult. People will often ride at different speeds that can make keeping the group together hard work. But this one turned out to be quite the opposite.

At our own pace we made our way up the first long climb at Llandegla chatting about anything and everything. We weren’t bothered about going fast up the climbs…just maybe a little on the descents! The general feel for the ride was good.

Anna was the person to get me involved in downhill, so I’ve known her for quite a while now! But I met Kate & Ffion through organising Girls At Moelfre in 2015. It was almost like a Girls At Moelfre meet-up!

I couldn’t organise a similar event this year, but will hopefully be able to soon as I met so many amazing girls at the last one. Plenty returned but to try the tracks at the Girls At Llangollen uplift earlier in the year.

Back to today’s ride…we (eventually!) decided to head down the Black, but rather than do Parallel Universe we turned left and I had forgotten how fun that little section was! Plenty of flowy corners and berms with a few little jumps too. For my hardtail it was perfect. I may have finally figured out how to get my 27.5 wheels off the ground too…ha!

We conquered a few climbs, took plenty of photos, stopped for random chats, which all made for an enjoyable and relaxed day on the bikes.

A Windy Antur Stiniog

This year I’ve been somewhat cautious when it comes to getting onto my downhill bike. With learning to drive and trying to sort a career out, at the start of the year I had quite a lot going on at once. Everything was very uncertain and I’ll be honest I didn’t deal with it very well. It felt like I was stuck in a rut that was impossible to get out of.

But hopping back onto my Scott Voltage today made it all worthwhile. In the grand scheme of things this year is such a small part of my life. I now feel confident that using it to organise things was the right thing to do.

When I’ve been so use to lycra shorts and road cycling jerseys, packing all of my body armour into my bag felt a little odd. Surprisingly I knew where it all was too, which is a first! With everything packed in my little car (thanks to my brother & his help to figure out the tetris puzzle…) off I went to meet Jake to go to Antur Stiniog.

I’m not overly confident driving all that way just yet…and I’m glad I didn’t because 5 minutes from Antur a truck had jackknifed in the road. So we had to take a bit of a de-tour to get there. I would have had no clue where to go!

Fast forward to getting onto the uplift and I was surprisingly quite relaxed. Kicking things off by following Jake down ‘Jympar’ my bike didn’t feel as alien as I thought! I knew I wouldn’t be as fast as I use to be (the gale-force winds did not exactly help that situation though!) but I wasn’t too hesitant.

Somehow surviving the Black Powder was a surprise too!

Thanks to Jake for inviting me along and to the guys at Antur for a great day! Despite the crazy weather conditions I couldn’t have asked for a more chilled out day on my bike.

Exploring Dolgellau:Hike & Swim

My bucket list is endless. My curiosity always gets the better of me when it comes to wanting to try & experience new things. One thing I’ve managed to tick off this list is open water swimming … that happened to be in a lake at the top of a mountain! Meaning there was a hike up to the top first! That path just kept going up…and up…and up! Step after step. Getting up there was a workout in itself!

There was Ryan’s family of experienced swimmers…and me…who nearly put on the wetsuit backwards. What could go wrong? Ha!


What am I doing?

So there was the battle of getting into the wetsuit and then 2 swimming hats. And then the challenge of getting into the water…which not very surprisingly was rather cold!


I can swim. I’m just not a very strong one! Some sports I naturally just do better at and swimming isn’t exactly one of them. But you’ve got to try these things right?

Front crawl is about as good as it gets. Breaststroke with my head out of the water? Not a chance. This is water you’re suppose to do so your body gets use to the temperature of the water before putting your head in. Whilst Ryan’s Mum had already swam the length of the lake, I could barely swim a metre. Despite the look on my face…I did actually enjoy it. It was more frustration I couldn’t swim properly in there. But it has given me something to work on this Winter and maybe try again next Summer!

So that’s last the part of ‘Exploring Dolgellau’. Thanks to Ryan’s family for letting me tag along and for showing me round Dolgellau. I loved every minute of it.

Exploring Dolgellau:Closer to Camp

The Sunday of our mini-holiday actually involved me getting on my mountain bike, which hasn’t actually happened all that much this year. It definitely became clear how much time I have spent on the road bike this year. Pedalling hard but it would still felt like I was making no progress at all. The gearing just felt all types of wrong. Being on a mountain bike felt slightly odd too, so needless to say I never actually did anything worth sharing from my ride around Coed Y Brenin. I appreciate Clare showing me the trails there…I just wasn’t getting on with my bike at all. I spent more time pushing my bike than riding it. Compared to what I was riding last year…that was hard to swallow.

So as not to carry on all that negative talk, the rest of the day was spent at the campsite. Although it was past lunchtime by the time we got back.

With another spectacular sunset my camera came out of the bag when me and Ryan went for a wander. Well it was more me wanting to go and take photos…and not go by myself ha!


Cader Idris


Cader Idris


Exploring Dolgellau: Unsuitable for Motor Vehicles

Pulling the tent out of its bag trying to figure out which side was the door, the jagged ridgeline of Cader Idris dominated the skyline behind us. Us being me & Ryan and with some blue skies the idea of camping for a whole Bank Holiday weekend seemed somewhat more bearable. I’ve never had a great amount of luck whilst camping but this was a weekend I’d been looking forward to.


Once our tent was set-up it wasn’t long before the road bikes brought out where Ryan and I found ourselves descending the hill into Dolgellau. Turning here, there and everywhere we began climbing out of the village and up into the hills. The gradients of the climbs changed yet my reaction to the ever-changing views did not. Round each corner or through each tunnel of trees opened up a view of lavish hillside the hedge-lined country lane before us meandered through. Token Welsh sheep dotting the fields around us and the history-ridden walls of farmhouses appearing few and far between.


Whilst part of me wanted to push hard on the pedals during this road ride, the adventurous side wanted to take it easy so I didn’t miss a thing.

Over cattle grids and through gates the hillside soon opened up to uncover a view of the great blue expanse of the sea. With complete silence and a view so picturesque, it was one of those moments you won’t ever forget.


But it was at this point the road ride became a little bit eventful…a country-lane descent of 25%. And things were going well until trees began to overhang the lane and moss covered the surface beneath my tyres.

O good god! What on earth am I doing?

With a final sharp turn to the right after some sketchy where I wished I had MTB tyres to rely on, Ryan ended up having to stop me in my track so I didn’t go straight out into a main round at the bottom! My rims were hot to touch, but I suppose he could have took me up it! So that was a bonus!


The fairly steady ride home was mostly spent contemplating what we had just done. That was possibly the most bonkers things I’ve done on skinny tyres! Soon back & climbing up to the campsite my legs felt like they had done a lot more than 16 miles…


Sunny South Wales

I’m a little bit more adventurous from when I first started riding bikes, but last weekend I found this might just be in the North Wales hills just for now…

Put me by myself in a forest I don’t even know the name of in South Wales and I’m not so confident. The result being me going on a rather random walk that involved me turning back to where I had just come from a fair few times.The reason being so I didn’t venture too far in one direction and get lost…ha!

Next time I’ll make sure I have a map….and a bike….!


Lucy’s Life and Bikes


Lucy’s Life and Bikes

Exploring World’s End

You know that feeling you get after a good ride on the bike. Your muscles hurt, yet your not all that bothered about it. You know it was worth it.

When an email off Chris from Hotlines UK, a UK bike product distributor, popped up in my Inbox I was more than happy showing him what North Wales had to offer in terms of natural trails and single-track.

Throughout the day I was feeling dubious as to whether our planned ride over World’s End would be a good idea. The rain was on and off, but was quite heavy at times. I very nearly bailed and said to ride in Llandegla forest instead. After his long drive from Edinburgh, I doubt Chris would have wanted a long ride in the pouring rain!

And there was the slight concern in the back of my mind that…the route I had planned I had never actually done all in one loop. And I hadn’t ridden there for a while either. Probably not the best idea when you’re the only one who’s suppose to know where they’re going….

But the weather cleared up, so I took the risk of showing Chris round World’s End after all. With it being the Summer Solstice too, I knew the views wouldn’t disappoint.


Despite not being 100% on some sections, I didn’t actually need to bring my map out at all. It was all off memory and knowing which general direction we needed to go. So I’ve obviously progressed from my days of getting lost on back roads and having to ring my Brother to figure out where I am…. yes I did that ha!

Going to World’s End always seems to put the little pieces of the jigsaw in my head back into the right places. It brings back a feeling of content. I was switched on in relation to the trail in-front of me, but I completely switched off from everything else I’ve got going on right now.


I might be riding my Mondraker hardtail less often, but every ride seems to count. It’s not just because I feel like I have to go out. It’s because I want to.

Thankfully Chris enjoyed the ride, but we both figured it would be better to start on the Llangollen side so all the climbing is at the start and not the end of the ride!

Lunch With A View

With a failed attempt at making Banana & Oat pancakes and a driving lesson that was a bit more successful out of the way, I decided to head out on my bike and have my lunch en route.

Regardless of the long climb that kicked off my XC type ride, it was going well. I’d reached my first ‘checkpoint’, meaning the first place I’d stop … Ha! I blame the heat…not that I am complaining about that round yellow thing in the sky at the moment!

Now I would be getting onto the trails, although my bars were to wide for the first part so I had to manoeuvre my bike through this narrow section. When finally on the bike I come round the corner to find a smiling golden retriever popping his head out of the bracken. 

Naturally, I stopped! 

Who doesn’t for a cute dog?

It turns out the dog’s owner had only recently adopted him and that he’d previously been locked in a shed for 9 years. 9 years! Yet you couldn’t tell what an awful time this gorgeous dog had been though. Digging. Rolling round getting covered in dirt! Making the most of the freedom he’d never had.

Leaving the retriever to his mischievous ways I carried on along the trails. This little section was actually running really well and I don’t think I’ve ever ridden it when it’s dusty!

Now at the bottom of the valley, it was time for more climbing. Just me, my bike and some hills. I was more than happy. 

The forest I was riding in is pretty quiet. It’s rare that you will bump into anyone. With the trees towering above me and the sun peeking through, all I could hear was the wind and birds. No faint rumble of cars in the distance. No aeroplanes. Nothing. It was ideal.

Climbing up through the forest followed by some singletrack through overgrown bracken, the forest thinned out and a style stopped me in my tracks. With open fields on the other side combined with how high up in the hills I was, the blue skies meant the view was picturesque.

Having always lived where I do now, you start to build up a list of your favourite places to go. And this style was one of them. 

Still with no rumble of traffic, I actually wasn’t all that far from home. Yet it felt like I was miles away.

I thought I was starting to lose my sense of adventure, but I’m definitely not. When life feels like it’s going at 100mph, rides like these help me take a step back and realise how lucky I actually am.

Off through the fields with the sheep staring at me looking quite confused, I would soon be back on some back roads and begin my ride home. But, have you ever been somewhere so peaceful and perfect you genuinely don’t want to leave?