Sunday 30 December 2012

Time for another change

My new stead
Given all the running and probably also due to Olympic fever, I thought it was time to add a new activity to my fitness regime...time to buy a mountain bike.  Being a gadget freak, getting a mountain bike was not dissimilar to one of my trips to the Apple Store, expensive but very worthwhile!

My purchase was made at a somewhat local store, just the other side of Reading.  The sales assistant knew I was a newbie but treated my ignorance without laughing too hard or as frequently as I would have done if the roles had been reversed.  I loved the fact he just pulled a bike from the rack and told me to take it round the block, no ID, no name, nothing at all....just a level of trust you don't find very often these days.

A litte muddy & wet after a trip around the local hills
I decided upon the Giant Revel 0, pictured above, it seemed to be middle of the road and something that I could grow into without needing to change my bike within 6 months.  So now all I need to do is buy a load of other gear to go with it.....nobody told me how much stuff you needed.....I love it!

With helmet, gloves, shorts, mud guards, saddle pack, spare inner tubes, repair kit, roof bars and Thule bike rack all sorted I was ready to hit the trails.  Luckily I live near Swinley Forest in Berkshire, which is a haven for Mountain Biking and the perfect place for me to find my bike legs again.  Surprisingly getting back on a bike was easier than I thought and apart from being saddle sore, I was soon pushing myself round all of the easy trails and attempting some of the more difficult downhill descents.

What better way to spend a weeks holiday than at our house in Wales with an offroad trip across the Brecon Beacons to Mum & Dads the crow flies it's about 16 miles.....simples!  Oh and while I'm at it, why don't I rope in Nikki to join me, perfect!  Or that's what it should have been but we hadn't even got 1/2 a mile up the road and I was being cursed turns out Nikki hadn't remembered our house is the in the bottom of a valley, so all roads out lead upwards!  She won't be forgetting that any time soon I don't think.

Nikki showing off
The ride over the hills wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, we took our time and enjoyed the sunshine, the [almost] wild horses and the breathtaking views over Pen y Fan, Mynydd Epynt and the surrounding countryside.  

By the time we made it over to Libanus Common, Nikki was a little tired and perhaps a little saddle sore, having not been on a bike for quite a few years.  I'm not allowed to mention being sent to get the car to pick her up at mile 15, so I better wrap up this post before I get in to trouble.