Novice Weekends
Posted: 31st March, 2005 20:48
We put on 2 Novice Weekends each year and it is noticeable just how high the level of enjoymentis on these weekends. We don't actually get that many bona fide novices coming along, but very often they are just people who can't get on their bike often enough to stay fit. Or else they are people who simply want to go at a relaxed pace, enjoying the scenery and have a bit if a chat along the way. Not only that, but very often they bring their definitely not novice partners with them, and these people say that it really puts the enjoyment back into mountain biking. Sometimes it's just nice to take your time and savour life in the mountains.
Posted: 31st March, 2005 20:47
The Kona 100 Series became the MERIDA 100 Series this year. Once again 1 planned the route for the Rhayader event. We had almost 1000 entries, which caused great bottlenecks along the earlier sections of single track. Next year, I will totally re-route the course to try to avoid the log jams. The good thing about being the route planner as opposed to doing "on the day" organisation is that I get to ride the event. It's very satisfying to see the fruition of months of planning and clearing.
Weekend Away
Posted: 31st March, 2005 20:43
In July I organised a special weekend for Steve Langston and his group from Hertfordshire. We spent a day and a half riding locally near the Elan Valley, and then the next 2 days riding the classic Gap Road and Grwyne Fawr down in the Brecon Beacons. Let me tell you, the hills in the Beacons are big, really big! The most spectacular descent is Y Das which starts at 700m above sea level with big views over the county of Breconshire. The descent takes about 20 minutes, very technical and physically demanding, over rocks and boulders on a narrow path with a big drop to the side. Stimulating!
Posted: 31st March, 2005 20:42
Training is a must for racers and those wishing to compete, right? Well not necessarily. Even if you consider yourself a leisure rider or a freerider or if you just ride for fun, a bit of training will he[p you enjoy your riding more. But riding my bike is in itself training! Well yes it is, and it will give you a very good base of fitness, but you can make improvements by doing some specific training. if you develop your power, strength & speed you will be able to climb hills easier, cover the ground and the miles quicker plus a spin-off is that you will get better endurance. Also, you can fit a valuable training session into an hour or so of free time, and you don't even have to find an off road area to do it.

Here's a couple of ideas:
1. Ride for about 20 minutes to warm up properly. Find a hill, any hill, anything from 30 seconds worth to 3 minutes. Ride up it hard 4 times. Rest for 5 minutes and do it again another 4 times. Ride home for about 20 minutes.

2. A similar session but using a flat stretch of road with not too much traffic. Look for something about 1/2 mile or 1 minute long. Ride it hard in a gear that allows you to pedal at about 70 rpm. As before do a warm up, a total of 8 repetitions followed by a warm down. Do that once a week for two months and you should see a definite improvement.
Media Attention
Posted: 31st March, 2005 20:40
We have been featured a few times in the magazines notably for the Killer Loop in MBR. The loop comprised of many of our favourite routes, including Puke Hill, The Submerged Track, The Black Run, Bank Hill and the Golf Links. We also had a small piece on a Brecon Beacons route that I did with Steve Thomas. Recently Francine appeared on a food and drink programme on TV. Her fabulous Flapjacks and organic cooking is becoming known Far and wide.
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