Well I wasn’t expecting Narnia when we started riding at Llandegla this morning!


Phil Bulkeley Photography

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!


Phil Bulkeley Photography

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.


Phil Bulkeley Photography

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.


Llandegla Forest, Phil Bulkeley Photography

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.


Llandegla Forest, Phil Bulkeley Photgraphy

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.


One Planet Adventure Llandegla, Phil Bulkeley Photography

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?


Manon & Ffion, Phil Bulkeley Photography

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.


Phil Bulkeley Photography

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.


Before we entered Narnia! One Planet Adventure, Llandegla

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…


Thank you to these lovely girls for joining the talk!

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!

Trail Running and Labradors

I was suppose to be meeting Ffion at Llandegla, but after waking up with a sore upper body after going a little too hard in the gym, for some reason I thought I’d go running at Llandegla instead. I don’t get to see/walk Jenson much these days, so I brought him along too.

We parked up in Llandegla and went to see where the running trails started. It felt weird seeing the #GirlsAtLlandegla posters up! I can’t wait to see everyone riding the trails!

I eventually found the start of the running trails and could let Jenson off the lead. His tail was up and wagging. He loves it in the forest and I’m pretty sure it’s because of all the muddy puddles.

I’ve not been running for a while and it felt good to do it again really. It’s just simple. Chuck your running trainers in the car (possibly a dog too if there’s one available) and find a forest to go and run around.

I desperately wanted to go and ride my mountain bike, but the downpours forecast on the weather didn’t fill me with confidence.

There’s two 10km running trails at Llandegla, the red or the blue. As much as I’d like to think I could get round the red, the vertical inclines up a boggy bank that the red entailed meant I’d leave it for another day. The blue was enough really. There were plenty of hills for me and Jenson to get up to get my glutes burning…and that they did!

I’m not going to be the ‘hero’ and say I ran all the way round. I had to have a few breaks and I couldn’t not take a few photos right?

When the running trails went away from the mountain bike ones, the forest was so quiet. Seeing all of the mountain bikers ride past with mud splattered faces, part of me did feel a little jealous. But I couldn’t have brought Jenson if I was mountain biking.

On one part where the running trail runs near the start of the long climb on the red MTB trail, I just assumed Jenson had followed a scent into the bushes.

“Oh hello”

He decided to go and say hello to the mountain bikers…

Thankfully they were happy mountain bikers and didn’t bother too much! Ha!

Once Jenson and I had got back to the car park and had past the 10km finish post I just wandered back to the car.

Only the have a young shredder racing through the car park with his Dad and the BIGGEST grin on his muddy face. You could tell he had love every second of being out on his bike.

Next thing his Dad is saying close to their van…


And they skid round the corner to their van in sync. The young lad must have been about 5 years old. 5 years old and he was skidding in sync with his Dad.

That is what cycling is about…having the BIGGEST grin on your face.

I mentioned about the posters for Girls At Llandegla and I thought I’d post the links again here in case you’ve lost them! So…

Click here for the blog post!

Click here to book on!

Girls, Gossip and Bikes

When you’re a child you always want to be older, but as an adult you’ll often want to be a child again. Keeping in contact with friends was so much simpler back then, but as an adult there’s always something on the to-do list.

With some time off over Christmas I’ve thankfully been able to catch up with friends I’ve not seen for so long! Including Ffion who I’ve been up to Llandegla with today. With both of us having assignments to be handed in, catching up with each other hasn’t been that easy. Yet today both of us has some time to go and ride round Llandegla. We could have maybe gone somewhere a bit different as I ride there so much, but my confidence on the bike lately isn’t great!

Parking up at Llandegla I’d made sure to wrap up warm, although with the 10 degrees temperatures it turned out I didn’t need to. We pedalled our way to the top with conversation in full flow.

Going round the two berms right at the top of the forest we knew we’d both want to stop to take some photos of the view. With even more logging taking place at the top of the forest, it made way for being able to see fog sitting at the bottom of the valley. With all the times I’ve been to Llandegla, I’ve never seen anything similar happen.

With the start of the black closed off we followed the red round, whilst I was forever in the wrong gear. I’ve somehow still not got use to having two chain rings as opposed to 3, or I’m just more familiar with road bike gearing these days…

The forest was rather quiet, so we didn’t see too many people out on the trails, which helped make it a really relaxed ride. We stopped a few times, then quickly started pedalling again after realising we’d been chatting for 20 minutes.

Rolling back down to the trail centre I washed my bike down whilst Ffion tried out the Freeride. I don’t think me or my bike would have coped with that…ha! However, thanks to a revamped section at the top of the red I did actually manage to get my bike off the ground…I think!

With a piece of doorstop toast & cheese on top and an americano (although I was torn between the toast or a cake!), we both refuelled before heading home. I also had a quick chat with the guys at Llandegla about next year’s event ‘Girls at Llandegla‘, which I’m super excited about now! It’s registered with Help For Heroes now, I just need to make a few adjustments to the poster and I can fully get to work on organising it after everyone’s had a great Christmas & New Year.

Maybe you know someone with a New Year’s Resolution of trying a new sport or exercising more…why not bring them to ‘Girls At Llandegla’?

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.

Sugar Overload

So I actually got round to riding a bike in a forest again today rather than on the road! 

The reason I got involved in mountain biking was because of the social side of the sport, and this year I seem to be getting back to that. It’s just about going out to put a smile on my face and catch up with friends.

I wasn’t chasing times with my Garmin.

I wasn’t bothered about missing a few features along the way.

And making room for this epic milkshake in the cafe at Llandegla afterwards … Ha!

A glass jar filled with ice cream, meringue, chocolate chips, marshmallows, cream … and a doughnut on top!

It just had to be done. End of…ha!

Spending so much time on the road can’t be doing me that bad either, because my climbing ability hasn’t completely disappeared! (Yet!)