I took up mountain biking six years ago. With some of the best riding in southern England on my doorstep, the temptation to get out there and give it a go just got too much. I joined up with an existing group of local riders – all, like me, working mums – and proceeded to fall off a lot.
Six years of regular riding later, and I am fitter, stronger and very grateful to be part of a fabulously supportive group of friends.
We have encouraged each other to ‘have a go’ as we peer over the edge of sheer drops, pulled each other out of bushes when it has all gone horribly wrong, shared in the elation of conquering a difficult climb or tricky descent, and kidded ourselves that ‘the ground’s a bit slippy today’ when we’ve messed it up. We’ve raced each other uphill, snaked through singletrack and flown downhill at alarming speeds. We have come home unusually muddy for women of our age, and eaten a lot of post-ride cake. And we have talked – we’re very good at that.
In fact, when it comes to chat we are the Desperate Housewives of mountain biking. The combination of being together in the great outdoors, awash with exercise induced feel-good endorphins means there are few holds barred when it comes to subject matter. From divorce to down-hill technique, from shopping to gear shifts – we’ve panted our way through it all.
We’ve also laughed until we’ve cried, listened, learnt and supported each other through all manner of dilemmas and difficulties, both bike-related and personal.
What’s said in the woods has to stay in the woods (I’m a loyal sort of friend so no divulging secrets), but for me, mountain biking with my friends has been the best therapy you could ask for.
Calling all real women – whatever your size, shape, height, or age essentials magazine needs you! If you would like to appear in a glossy womens lifestyle magazine this is your chance to shine! Simply visit www.goodtoknow.co.uk/essentials for further details on how to enter, and follow the campaign on our Facebook and Twitter pages…we can’t wait to hear from you.