In a rather fine example of my superior prior planning skills the Sunday morning after my hilly Exmoor race saw me leaving the house at 6am for a nearly 3hr drive to the hills of Wales for my first mountain bike race! This was to be round 4 of the Welsh Gravity Enduro series at Affan forest parks’ Glyncorrwg mountain bike centre. Now I’m not going to lie I was pretty damn nervous about the whole thing, with no real idea what to expect having never even been to watch a mountain bike race and being pretty new to the sport overall. However one of the things I love most about mountain biking is the down to earth, friendly, outgoing people it attracts.Bringing all these people together in a shared love of the slightly crazy sport of hurtling down a muddy, rooty, rock covered, big hill as fast as possible sounded like it could make for a pretty awesome day out. So off I went…….
The dramatic scenery of the Exmoor national park coast certainly lived up to all the hype at the Endurancelife organised Coastal Trail series race on Saturday 9th April. It was the perfect opportunity for me to put my personal resolution NOT to get so stressed about it being a race into practice. Instead I wanted to enjoy this opportunity to run in a new place on a course chosen specifically to showcase the best that area has to offer. This race certainly did that with views so stunning it raised a new problem of trying to take it all in whilst keeping at least some focus on foot placement. The narrow little path hugging the cliff face that we were following didn’t leave much room for error!
With temperatures rising, lighter nights arriving and the trails finally starting to dry out, what better time than now to set yourself some summer goals. Goal setting doesn’t always have to revolve around racing or beating your Strava time, there are many other ways to enjoy your time on a bike. For many a good goal may be just to stop for one minute, once a ride, to enjoy where you are and what you’re doing.
Stopping to enjoy the view, much to Mawlis great disgust!
Goal setting as an idea however is a good one. It can aid us with motivation, progressing our skills, pushing our own personal limits and creating opportunities to try new things.
Here are my 8 best suggestions to help you build your own personal list –
My love for Cockington Country Park started from a young age, as the place where I first sat on a horse it will always hold a special place in my heart. Situated between Torquay and Paignton, only a 5 minute walk from the seafront it is an oasis of calm from the hubub of Torquay town centre. Even in the middle of summer when tourists crowd the picturesque thatched villiage centre there is always miles of bridleways and footpath through fields and forests to escape to where the only sound is birdsong and wind whistling through the trees. Inevitably when I discovered there was to be an 8 mile off road race there in December I just had to enter. Continue reading