Recently we were lucky enough to be invited by Adventure Tours UK for a taster experience of one of their Mountain Biking Tours up the glorious mountains of North Wales. We covered 8miles, 1598ft of elevation gain and multiple exhilarating downhill blasts. Our abilities were tested, our muscles were sore, but was it worth it? Absolutely. If you’d have asked us about our fitness levels up until very recently we would have told you they were pretty good – not Olympic standard by any means, but enough to get us around an occasional 10km run or complete a decent distance on a full-day bike ride. Our opinions were altered, however, when we encountered Jim and Claire from Adventure Tours UK, who proceeded to beast us along this amazing Mountain Bike day in what Jim described as ‘a little mooch’ and we described as 'wow'.
Adventure Tours UK offer a seven day guided mountain biking trip which encompasses all the best biking routes North Wales has to offer. Alongside the opportunity to summit Snowdon at sunrise, they’ll take you to the lesser known areas where you can feel like an intrepid explorer riding through the wilderness.
The seven day tour includes five full days of mountain biking and you’ll need to be an intermediate to experienced rider (more on this later!) with a high level of physical fitness to enjoy it. It’s up to you whether you bring your own bike or hire one of the top-spec mountain bikes available from Adventure Tours UK. Apart from the bike decision, every other want or need is catered for and requires very little thought, so although it will be a physically demanding week in every other respect you can relax and enjoy the ride! Adventure Tours UK specialise in hassle-free adventure travel, taking the stress away and providing you with a small group of like-minded people to share the adventure with.
We were able to meet up with Jim and Claire from Adventure Tours UK for a single day taster of their mountain biking trip, we’re sharing our experience here to encourage anyone considering a North Wales adventure to give it a go. This is how we began the day:
We were accompanied by both Jim and Claire on the day, which was a great way to get to know them and learn more about Adventure Tours UK. Although this short taster day was arranged specially for us it’s standard for the group size to be kept small on these trips, there are never more than six people so you can always enjoy that small group feel and get to know everybody.
As the trips are designed for more experienced mountain bikers than we are we took a shortened route, which nonetheless gave us absolutely spectacular views over the welsh countryside. Over the full distance we encountered maybe three or four other people or groups of walkers, which not only meant we could enjoy the views in peace, but also speed along the downhill sections with minimal danger to the general public from our inexperience.
We had a steep learning curve ahead of us (almost as steep as the Welsh hills) as Jim and Claire expertly guided us along the ups and downs of the route. As someone who was born and bred in the area Jim is the perfect guide, pointing out sights along the way and giving helpful tips to improve biking technique. He’s also quite good pretending he can’t hear the out of breath obscenities coming from behind him as we struggled up hills he could manoeuvre with his eyes closed, so we appreciated that too.
At the top of one of the climbs we stopped for a lunch break, over which Claire and Jim casually revealed they have completed multiple Iron Mans and triathlons between them. It’s this casual calmness that makes the trip such a success – you can enjoy all the exhilaration of the climbs, the views, the downhills, safe in the knowledge that everything is taken care of and you’re in the hands of experts.
There’s plenty of opportunity to try out new routes and test your ability in a way you might not be able to on your home turf, making this a brilliant trip for those who want to increase their skills as well as enjoy a holiday focussed on enjoying a hobby. Even as beginners we flew down the last descent with massive smiles on our faces wondering when we’d be able to return for another go.
If you’re up for an adventure but don’t have a group to go with, or want expert knowledge on hand to show you the best routes and get the most out of your ride, we’d highly recommend getting in touch with Adventure Tours UK – we know we’ll be finding a reason to return.