The other weekend I went mountain biking for the first time in about 12 years and I bloody loved it! I hadn’t been mountain biking since a school camping trip to the Lake District in year 8 but my friends from work had been mentioning it for a while and a free weekend came up so I thought oh why not let’s give it a try and I’m so happy I did….
My friend from work is a keen mountain biker and had a few spare bikes so luckily I was able to borrow one for the day. The major differences I felt on the bike at first were :
What immediately struck me when I first tried the mountain bike was just the size of the bike – the handle bars are much longer /wider so I felt a bit uneasy with my balance at the very beginning as my arms obviously had to be in a different position and I felt like they were really far out but after a while I got used to it.
I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about the gears as I knew they’d be different to my road bike and I’m just starting to really get the hang of them but once I’d figured out the best gear to go up hill in, I soon managed to work out the rest. (Always make sure you know the best gear to go up hill in!)
There were a few country gates we had to climb over and the odd ridiculously muddy slippy hill so we sometimes had no option but to carry and lift the bike over. Now good job we had Bob as it proved much heavier than my beautiful Livi!
In total we did about 16 miles which is half of what I usually do with Matt on a weekend ride but 16 miles was enough! Mountain biking definitely felt more tiring than cycling on the roads but I guess I was concentrating a lot more and the terrain was much harsher so it took more effort to pedal. We did a lap which took us through the woodlands of Temple Newsam -a grand country estate in the east of Leeds. In the woodlands we tried some jumps which I failed spectacularly at as I got a bit too excited then panicked when I was too fast haha but it was fun! Just need to take it a little slower next time…
I always have to be mindful when cycling on the roads making sure I don’t go over any pot holes and avoid the drains so it made SUCH a change being able to ride through all the mud and puddles and on rocks and twigs – something you just really cannot do on a road bike! It was great to explore areas which you can’t really get too on a road bike, see different things and really feel like you’re in the great outdoors. There was a real sense of freedom and childhood nostalgia – I can’t wait to get back out again 🙂
(post ride = muddy)