They are the Flattyres-MTB Rides again!
Grizedale 'Social' Ride - 17 Jan 16
After months and months of rain it was great to finally have a proper winter forcast of snow and freezing temperatures. I had chosen my Grizedale - Parkamoor route as it was a good all weather route but even better it turned out to be directly in the path of the snow! With our thermals on we headed out through the forest and onto the fells. It was hard work riding through the white stuff but lots of fun. We didn't manage the whole route as we were spent by the time we reached Satterthwaite, so we cut the ride short and returned to the car park with big tired smiles on our faces.
Guiding for Hit the Hills in Snowdonia - 12/13 Mar 16
After being contacted by Hit the Hills I agreed to guide a weekend of riding in Snowdonia for a group of their customers. Unfortunately due to snow it was not possible to take them up Snowdon on the first day. Instead they enjoyed a challenging ride around Llyn Cowlyd, accompanied by stunning views. Day two was a half day ride on the Sarn Helen trail. Guiding three guys from London on their first trip to Snowdonia made me appreciate even more what we have on our doorstep!
Ruthin 'Social' Ride - 20 Mar 16
The first proper spring ride of the year with lots of lambs and mountain bikers frolicking through the fields (and along the trails) around Moel Famau in North Wales. It was great to have so many out on the ride to enjoy dry trails on the Clwydian Range for the first time this year, and on a day with blue skies and no wind. How we've all been waiting for that! I'm looking forward to more rides like this in the coming year. For this ride we followed my Ruthin And Moel Famau Round route.
Snowdon Ranger Guided Ride - 09 Apr 16
Mark and Lisa had booked a guided ride on Snowdon to start off their weeks riding in North Wales. While everything had been looking good the day before the snow line dropped significantly overnight. But it was only a light dusting and the wind was low, so we decided to give it a go and see how it went. We managed to reach the top of the Snowdon Ranger Path but the summit was out due to slippery flats shoes and the falling snow. After a tentative start to the descent confidence soon built and we enjoyed some great riding on a day that would be looked back on as a proper adventure!
Llangollen Guided Ride - 10 Apr 16
Jim, Mick, Mark, Martin and Charlie were at the end of a weekend riding the North Wales MTB centres and they wanted to fit a half day ride into their journey home. We made a plan to meet in Llangollen where I would then take them on a winch and plummet ride over to the Ceiriog Valley and back. The weather was kind and the trails were riding well, which made for happy riders.
Long Mynd 'Social' Ride - 17 Apr 16
I was blessed with a beautiful day to show 19 riders the trails of my Long Mynd Loop. Some of the climbs may have been difficult in places but I was forgiven due to the quality of the descending that included the long, flowing singletrack of Minton Batch. It was a day for quick reactions as the snow had only just melted and the grassy trails were still a bit slippery. Even I took a tumble!
Hayfield 'Social' Ride - 15 May 16
We enjoyed another beautiful day for the Social Ride, on my Hayfield and the Goyt Valley route in the Peak District. Even the muddiest parts of the route were bone dry, which made for some great riding. It nearly ended badly when I had one of my biggest crashes to date but my helmet saved me and we got to complete the ride. After a hospital visit I found out I'd been very lucky, sustaining only trail rash, mild whiplash and a mild concussion. So, here's looking forward to a less eventful ride next month!
Glyn Ceiriog 'Social' Ride - 19 Jun 16
With it being Father's Day and with some pre-ride mechanicals it ended up being just me and Tom for this month's ride. But no worries, we had a great time on my Ceiriog Valley and the Vale of Llangollen route. All the recent rain had washed out the trails and there were a lot more rocks to ride over. It also seemed to be the Flattyres-MTB appreciation day as all the riders we met were either riding one of my routes, had been on my rides or had contacted me looking to come on the rides. I'm famous me 😉
Cut Gate 'Social' Ride - 24 Jul 16
With the potential for bogginess I was happy that the week running up to this ride had been described as a heatwave in the media. Or proper summer as I like to describe it. Despite the perfect conditions only Sean joined me, which was a shame, but we had a fantastic ride anyway. As well as being good company he also bought the coffee and cake halfway round, which was much appreciated. He can definitely come again! On this ride we followed my Cut Gate route.
Lake Vyrnwy 'Social' Ride - 07 Aug 16
We had a stunning ride in the hills around Lake Vyrnwy, following my Lake Vyrnwy route. The wind was mainly at our backs, the sun was shining and at times we had to remind ourselves to turn the pedals after staring too long at the wonderful scenery. This was all topped off by a great cafe stop at the end!
Nercwys Forest 'Social' Ride - 18 Sep 16
It was a beautiful day for a ride around the southern end of the Clwydian Range on my Clwyds and Nercwys Forest route. We had a great time riding, chatting and flying down some fast descents as well as taking in the wonderful scenery. There was even ice cream at the end! It may have been the last Social ride of the summer but it was one to remember.
Hebden Bridge 'Social' Ride - 16 Oct 16
The day started out a bit wet for our ride around the trails of Calderdale but that didn't matter as the climbs kept us warm and the descents kept us smiling. Things dried up at halfway and the sun even came out, which was even better. This meant Rob, who was up from Oxfordshire celebrating his Birthday in the area, could see the views rather than the inside of a cloud!
On this ride we followed my Calderdale Circuit route.
Rhydcriw 'Social' Ride - 20 Nov 16
There is nothing quite like a clear day in Autumn and to spend it riding the stunning costal mountain trails to the south of Barmouth was breathtaking. I made a comment at the start that we might run out of superlatives by the end of the ride and I wasn't wrong. The whole day was superb.....as long as that first climb was forgotten about!
For this ride we followed my Rhydcriw Round route.
Gwydir Mawr 'Social' Ride - 12 Dec 16
We had a great ride around the Gwydir Mawr trail to complete the 2016 Social rides. It was great to meet so many new riders and also others who have not been on a Social Ride for a while. Its a trail I have ridden a lot over the years but I wasn't complacent, as being quite slippery it kept me on my toes. Also it was the first time I had ridden the new section, which was ace. It feels like the trail is now complete.