When Gaz and I first got together, with Lewis just six years old, it was important for me that not only did Lewis and I retain our bond, but that Lewis and Gaz forged a bond for themselves. And even with the arrival of Eva, Megan and Harry, Gaz and Lewis have made time for each other, enjoying boys trips to the cinema, days out at a theme park, or their favourite think to do together – mountain biking!
Over the years they have mountain biked all over the country – through the Scottish Highlands, Welsh mountains, Jurassic coastline and the Yorkshire Dales, just to name a few. It’s great to see them enjoy themselves, and even more so getting outdoors and exercising, and yet a part of me feels a little jealous not to be a part of their cycling trips!
For that reason I have been looking at buying a mountain bike, not to gatecrash all their plans, but in the hope that every once in a while they let me tag along. Eva, Megan and Harry are so into their cycling and I think as a family, even with a ten year age gap between Lewis and Harry, cycling is something we could all enjoy together.
It can be a little overwhelming looking at mountain bikes with so many styles to choose from and so many things to consider. I had no idea that there were so many styles to choose from with a huge choice of wheel sizes, tyre types and suspensions! Thankfully Halfords have recently brought out a Beginners Guide to Mountain Biking, which is super helpful for people like me who have no idea where to even start with choosing a bike!
After choosing the right bike, Sam Fowler, a MTB coach, shares his advice on how to improve your mountain biking experience. Halfords have rounded up some great trail centres throughout the UK where routes are categorised from green (beginner) through to black (expert). They’ve also provided information on mountain biking gear must haves, from gloves to action cams, after all, you’re going to want to capture some of those special moments on camera!
A really interesting part of the guide is the MTB slang definitions, something I really need to swot up on so I can be “down with the kids” when I gatecrash Gaz and Lewis’s days out! Perhaps if I talk the talk I’ll have a better chance of making it past one of those green trails…
With the warmer weather finally here, I’m hoping I can get some practice in before I attempt my first trail. And I guess the main thing to remember is that maybe I won’t be bombing along with Lewis and Gaz, but I’ll still be there enjoying the moment, albeit pedalling like crazy in the distance.
Even if I’m nothing more than the camera man….
** This is a collaborative post with Halfords. All words and opinions are my own **