I didn’t have any specific goals going into 2018 bar ride more. The older you get somehow the busier life gets and you find yourself doing less of the activities you enjoy; mine being getting out on the bike, improving my fitness and my technical riding ability.
As I look back over my Strava though, it looks like I’ve achieved it! More rides, more miles and more fun! After picking up my then New YT Jeffsy at the back end of 2017 I spent the first 3 or 4 months getting used to my new full suspension bike, now progressing onwards from my trusty XC hardtail. And though I’ve ridden plenty of full sussers in my time, my usual rides now took on a brand new character. Whether that character was better or worse is insignificant, the fact is riding felt new again and it was awesome.
To continue that trend further, I went for my first proper E-Bike spin round Cannock Chase, and again the experienced evolved again. My ride is based on the smiles per mile ratio, and this is where the E-Bike excelled massively. So at this point I was well and truly bought into not just full suspension bikes, but full suspension E-bikes!
But its not just about the bikes and gear you wear that make the rides that little bit better. Its about the places you ride, and if anything this is really what its all about. So after my selling my big Downhill Mountain Bike last year to pay for YT Jeffsy, it had been a while since I hurled myself down a hill at speed. So off I set to the rather well known and highly rated Revolution Bike Park in North Wales. With its aggressively set trails and super fast & frequent uplift service, you focus in on riding faster, harder and jumping further. Second to that I then too my now second bike, the 2018 Specialized Stumpy to Antur Stiniog in the Snowdonia National Park for a wet and windy day, with a big dollop of adrenaline. And to finish off the year, Bike Park Wales. But this time with the Mrs! We arrive yes to sample the now completely evolved Bike Park but also for Em to use the same perfectly crafted and repeatable trails to build up confidence and speed on the downhills. Something which isn’t always easy on just the one loop round the Chase. The result from all of these is you remind yourself why you ride bikes in the first place. Because its awesome, why would you not. Whether it be mucking about in car park to spending 6 hours travelling to a Welsh mountain. Getting on any bike and riding the thing should be a repeatable act you and I need to do on a regular basis!
So, what does this mean for me and the blog next year? Well, its sort of an obvious answer. Ride even more. The UK if you weren’t aware, is Booming right now for all things mountain biking and there hasn’t been a better time that I’ve known of to get riding. Whether that be Bike Parks, Trail centres, or some off piste riding in the Peaks, next year is going to more riding, in more NEW places for me, and I'll be bringing you along to tell you all about it!
However it's not 2019 yet, so if you missed any of these, here are some of my highlights from 2018;