Last weekend was a big one for me; it was my first weekend back in the saddle since the Cwmcarn incident. That’s right, I hadn’t been able to go riding for a full 11 weeks! It turned out that when I was initially told 6 weeks, they were talking nonsense and the physiotherapist I saw once my splint had been removed warned me against riding for much longer. The moral of the story? Don’t tear a ligament!!
But this weekend I made up for all that time without going near a bike, with a great couple of rides. I made it a long weekend, taking the Friday off work to take a trip up to mid-Wales. I started tentatively at the Forest of Dean and rode the Verderers Trail. I was very nervous to begin with and took my time on the first half of the route. By half way round, though, I was back in my groove and had a great time practicing on bermed sections and enjoying the final descent.
I took a rest on Saturday, taking some time out to visit friends in Aberystwyth. But we were back to it in style on Sunday, when the Mr and I ventured out into the wild for some proper mountain biking, without a man-made trail in sight. This is something we’ve only done a couple of time before, in the Quantocks. So it was quite exciting to sit the night before, looking at the map and planning a route on the bridleways around the Elan Valley.
We were up bright and early to try to miss the rain that was forecast for the afternoon and took to the hills. And my goodness me, there are a lot of hills around there! At times it felt like we’d be climbing (sometimes quite literally, on foot) forever, but the views and the feeling of adventure made it worth it. And as for the descents, they were very definitely rewards for all the hard work – especially the final two mile one, which made me grin from ear to ear and helped me to remember just why I love my bike.
Riding in Wales this weekend made me feel so lucky to live in the UK. There are some fantastic places and truly stunning scenery that just gets forgotten when people plan their holidays abroad. The Mr and I try to get at least one UK holiday in every year and this weekend served as a reminder of why that is – there is so much to see, so much to do and so much fun to be had right here.
Here are a few pictures from our Elan Valley adventure – I think you’ll agree, it’s blooming beautiful!