It’s funny how the slightest noise, sound or gesture can take you back to your childhood- especially when most of it was spent on fat tyres and having a blast with mates.
I’ve just spent a few days in Wales with mountain bikes and some old riding friends at a wild campsite in the middle of seemingly no where. It’s one of those rare places that still lets you have proper campfires- an essential in my books.
Arriving in hammering rain, we decided to ski a ride and get camp sorted out before it got too wet- and we even made a decent shelter to sit under one it was raining- although it wasn’t needed as eventually as the light started dropping, the sky cleared and we had a great sun set. The evening was spend around the fire and BBQ snacking on chicken and burgers, and catching up on times we’d missed over the last three years.
When we hit the trails the next day, it felt like old times. The smell of camp fire smoke clung on our clothes and the rich smells of earth and ferns took me back to riding with these guys as a kid. None of these guys have mountain bikes any more- they’re all riding road bikes and fixies, but after a few days blasting the Welsh trails and hanging round a camp fire, they all remembered why they used to ride them in the first place.
Mountain bikes offer you that excuse to get away with like minded folk and have a good time outdoors. Sometimes there’s nothing better than sleeping under the stars after a roaring fire and a few beers- knowing you’ll be having a great ride the next day and repeating the process. Even now I’m writing this with a grin and the feint smell of bonfire hanging in my flat, which just makes me want to organise another trip right now.
Get your friends together, and get out with your bikes to a good campsite and rough it for a few days. Living without the mod cons of daily life and a thrill of riding great terrain is something we should all be doing. British countryside is great- get out there and enjoy it!