Mountain Bike Guided rides Wales Archives - Wye MTB

Night riding – why I love it!

Whenever you see images of mountain biking it seems to be of people riding on one of those endless summer days. You know the ones, those long leisure hours on the saddle with the panoramic views.  I love those rare days, but guess what?  I love riding in winter just as much!  ‘Come again?’ you say.  ‘I have two words for you….night riding’.

British Cycling Mountain Bike Leadership award

With the nights drawing in by late afternoon,to keep up your evening mid-week ride, then you have to ride in the dark.  Some regular mountain bikers have never tried it, and in my opinion, they are missing out.

Some of my best riding memories is heading to my local trail centre in the Forest of Dean to meet some mates in the pitch black. There is a chill in the air, so faff is kept to a minimum. We switch on our bike and helmet lights and head off into the blackness of the forest.

The ground is rock hard, and even the Blue graded trail which I would only normally ride with my youngest child in tow, has a magic-ness to it. The riding is quick, the rest stops are brief and chatter is kept to a minimum as we are all lulled into the silence of the woods.  

Your whole world is just within that beam of light.  As I said before, Magic.

Want to give night riding a go? A few pointers;

  • Bike lights (decent ones) are NOT cheap, but some bike shops/trail centres rent them out. Failing that, we all have that one friend who upgrades everything every year, show them an article on the new, must-have light and offer to take their old one off them for a good price!
  • Don’t ride alone.  There are a lot of group rides out there that you can tag on to.  I offer monthly night guided rides (last Thursday of the month) throughout the winter starting from Pedalabikeaway, Forest of Dean.  We ride and then have a curry and pint afterwards.  It’s like the perfect night out
  • Chuck a survival blanket in your rucksack. If you or your friend have an off, then you all can get very cold, very quickly.
  • Ride trails that you know and are well within your capability. They feel so different from daytime anyway, but you have the comfort of knowing where the exit points are in case you need to bail.
  • Don’t be scared of those reflective eyes you see staring at you through the trees. They are far more startled to see you.

 Are you a British Cycling MTB Leader?:-  fancy a bit of CPD to upskill you to lead night riding?  Then click here for information on our British Cycling Leadership courses including a specific Night Riding module for qualified leaders

British cycling Night Rider Leaders award

Covid – 19 and unlocking our business

Covid 19 

As we approach week 11 of Covid – 19 restrictions we are starting to wonder, just how long will this last? Emails have starting to land asking the same question. Hopefully this blog will answer some of the queries.

One thing is definite, just as soon as we are allowed to open we will, our coaching, guiding and educational workforce are super keen to get going.

England, Wales and Scotland have taken the decision to adopt different strategies on how their countries will ease restrictions. Currently England are allowing people to travel for exercise, attend gatherings of no more than 5 people and take part in a wider range of sports. Wales and Scotland however are more courteous and have decided to keep tighter restrictions in place for a further 3 weeks. Visit Wales current policy is #VisitWalesLater, so please respect that.

This makes our lives really hard as as small business. We operate in both England and Wales, but we believe we now have a plan of how we will start to unlock the business which is considerate to all parties involved.

Firstly we wanted to thank all the clients who had bookings with us during this period and who have volunteered to transferred their bookings to dates later in the year and for the people we refunded, we hope to see you sometime in 2020. All your kind words on the phone and over emails have been amazing and truly humbling, Thanks so much.

Mountain bike coaching Finding your feet: - The Core Skills
Group Mountain bike coaching session, based from Pedalabikeaway

The Plan

The majority of our coaching courses happen from Pedalabikeaway in the Forest of Dean. The woods are owned and managed by Forestry England, and currently no outdoor operator is authorised to use their land for outdoors sports, however we are very hopefully this will reviewed in the next couple of weeks.

This will mean we will start the process of bring the business back on line. Sadly we do not have any fixed dates, but as soon as we do we will be shouting about it. We have a 5 step approach:

Step 1:

  • 1 to 1 coaching sessions and coaching sessions with 2 people from the same house hold e.g. Father and Son
  • 1:1 Guided rides based from Pedalabikeaway and around Forest of Dean and same house hold family guided rides

Step 2:

  • Open group sessions. We will follow current government guidance and restrict these sessions to 1: 5 ratio
  • Open group guided rides. These WILL NOT be vehicle assisted guided rides but a more traditional style, so you will have to pedal up some hills. More information will follow with regards to these trips

Step 3:

  • Mountain bike educational courses will be introduced, these courses will run from Pedalabikeaway at first, but once Visit Wales have given more guidance in 3 weeks we will advertise more courses in Wales if we feel we can meet all the demands of the Covid-19 guidelines

Step 4:

  • Vehicle assisted guided rides. This will be the return to our classic 1 day adventures across Wales:  Wye Valley off Piste, The Black Bomb and the Brecon Epic

Step 5:

  • Multi day mini adventures. Some exciting news about these products will be released in due course
Guide ride Wales, MTB adventures across wales, MTB guides, South wales trips, MTb adventures,
Mountain bike guided ride, Wales

YouTube Channel

Our new How To Videos are now live on our You Tube channel.

We have decided over this period to produce a series of videos to help with all things mountain biking.

The 1st episode is all about: How to Check, Fit and Store a mountain bike helmet.

Tyre inserts, what are they all about? Check out Joe giving a full down load of what they are

Planning a new MTB Adventure for our clients

What does it take for WyeMTB to come up with a new guided ride?  Simply put….we get out on the bikes and explore some great riding locations!

South Wales and the Wye Valley host a number of amazing trail centres – like Pedalabikeaway in the Forest of Dean (ok, technically it’s just over the border in England but hey!), Cwmcarn in the Risca valley and the Afan/Glyncorrwg centres near Swansea. These sites have been at the forefront of Mountain biking in South Wales for over 15 years!

Times and riding preferences have evolved though, and not everyone enjoys long, pedally climbs to access trails, while others are just keen to maximise their gravity fed riding time!

Uplift days at trail centres and bike parks provide a popular way of delivering a gravity rush and have appeared at many of our favourite spots – Pedalabikeaway, Cwmcarn, Black Mountain Cycle Centre and not forgetting BikePark Wales.  All these sites show how mountain biking can really help support a community – creating new jobs and filling up the local accommodation, pubs and restaurants.

At WyeMTB, we really wanted to create uplift assisted rides with a distinct difference. Trips which allow you to really get off the beaten track away from the masses, giving you breathtaking scenery, amazing singletrack, and taking you to areas you might not be able to explore on your own!  We have spent years exploring the Wye Valley, Brecon Beacons and Black Mountains and decided to join up our favourite rides with access in our trusty Landrover – taking the strain out of the climbs, skipping the boring road bits and leaving plenty of energy to descend some amazing natural single track.

We launched two vehicle assisted guided rides in 2019:

Wye Valley Off Piste has rapidly become a South Wales classic. A dedicated uplifted guided ride around the Wye Valley taking in places like Tintern, Llandogo, Redbrook – starting and finishing from Pedalabikeaway in the Forest of Dean.  This trip has minimal climbing on the bike and takes in some properly challenging descents, with rock fests, flowy singletrack and technical, steep off piste trails. Plus lunch is in a brewery …what is not to like?

Our second day trip is the Brecon Epic, based in the Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales.

This ride is aimed at really getting you right “out there” to explore all the treats the Brecon Beacons has to offer. The trip is a return to the true core of mountain biking; big climbs (maybe even some hike-a-bike), amazing scenery all day, remote riding and some sustained mountain descents.

These two days out are really polar opposites of each other, so this winter we’ve tried to come up with a new trip – something sort of in the middle.   We have spent days and days in properly biblical weather researching some new descents and revisiting old favourites and we think we’ve cracked it.  Our new trip is called the Black Bomb, and is based around the Black Mountains near Abergavenny – delivering big scenery, remoteness, connection with nature and some mind blowing descending. Our 1st trip runs in South Wales on the 1st March – St David’s Day! Yes there will be some Welsh Cakes guaranteed!  If you want more detail please check the website and our next blog dedicated to the Black Bomb landing next week.