w i n t e r r i d i n g

I was about to start writing about winter riding when I thought that I’d already covered this before.  So I searched and low and behold I found a blog I had written last winter!  I’ve revamp it to share with you xx

Ahhhh its that time of year again.. the time when the trees are bare.  The time when driving gets a bit dodgy because the sun sits in that awkward low position for most of the day.  The time when you never have enough windscreen wash in your jet things.  The time when the only thing you do in the evening is veg out in your pjs with a glass (bottle) of wine.  Basically that time of year when England turns into the shittest place to live.

Theres an up side as well though…   You know those rare bluebird days when theres been a frost and the air is crisp?  Those are my favourite days in the English winter.  Unless it snows… I’m always a fan of snow.

Those crisp days are the best ones to ride on, theres just something slightly magical about them, even if they are bloody freezing.  However, they don’t come about to often, so you just have to suck it up and ride in the miserable grey windy, drizzly weather this beautiful little island attracts.

So, how do we survive riding throughout the winter….?

  1. Go abroad.  Get on a plane and go ride somewhere hotter than here, preferably for the season and you’ll come back all tanned and smug because you’ve got a whole new bag of tricks.
  2. If you’re going to ride in the UK, get a decent wettie.  Don’t prat around with some useless piece of rubbish neoprene.  Invest.  I’m in the new Mystic Diva 5.3mm and its toastie warm. 
  3. If you’re rocking the open toe, get some socks.  Otherwise get your hands on some Systems because you’re basically walking around in a snug snowboard style boot – toastie tootsies!
  4. Gloves.  Its a coin toss really.  Do you want frostbite or do you want that unavoidable forearm ache that you only get with gloves.  I go for the arm ache personally.  Saves my manicure. 
  5. Maintenance.  If you’re landing new tricks in the winter in the UK – give yourself a huge pat on the back.  Otherwise, just maintain what you can already do so that you come into the next season ready to go.
  6. Take your mates.  Theres no fun in riding alone in the winter.  Fact.  And if theres people with you, you’re more likely to actually ride rather than sit in the cafe with a cuppa. 
  7. Flask.  Invest in a flask and fill it to the brim with hot tea / coffee / hot choc… you’ll be grateful post ride. 
  8. Leave time for a shower afterwards – to warm up obvs.
  9. If theres no shower, take a sleeping bag and drive home wearing it. 
  10. Fun is the word.  Just be grateful you’re able to get out there and ride. 

Down on the west coast…

IMG_4921

Last week I packed up the husband, the kids, the car and headed west.  We went down to North Devon to surf, but thats another story… I’ll blog about next week. This blogs about a little day trip I took south of where we were staying.

Whenever I have a family vacay booked, I always hit up google for some local wake advice to see if its worth packing my board in the back seat with the kids.  Turns out it was worth it this time.  Down on the west coast, there is a lovely cable setup called North Devon Wake Park.  Its situated in a tourist attraction called The Milky Way, so I thought it was going to be like turning up to FestWake…(in a huge complex with a cinema, coffee shops etc)  How wrong was I.  Its more like turning up to Hannams (quietly situated in the middle of many many farmers fields).  You take the turning into The Milky Way park but follow the arrows and useful hand crafted signage (I particularly liked the ‘you can drive down here’ sign), down through a large field filled with sheep and lots of lambs which was lovely in itself (yes, you can tell I’ve got kids can’t you because I’m showing appreciation to the lambs). You then come into the cable from slightly higher ground so you can get a great view of the park.  Its a beautiful setting.

There are two cables there (System 2’s), one has smaller features and the other has larger features, so theres something to suits your needs however beginner, intermediate or advanced you are.

I played on the cable with the smaller features… just kidding, the other one. Its a great cable with all unit toys – a box / wall ride, a-frame and a couple of kickers. The locals have also fashioned a homemade pipe which is pretty cool as well.  I had a bloody freezing (I actually had to bust out the gloves, it had snowed that morning!) but really fun ride down there.

The people are super friendly and extremely welcoming and accommodating. Their pro shop is filled with goodies and already has loads of character which is quite rare for fairly a new cable.  You’d think the shop had been there for ten years with its worn in comfy leather sofas, signed posters and stickers on the walls/ceiling, and a great selection of kit and clothing.  And for when the weather is that little or a lot bit warmer, theres ample amount of decking and picnic benches to sit and enjoy the post ride stoke.  Definitely worth hitting up if you’re in the area or looking for a wake road trip. 

Details: 

Email: info@northdevonwakepark.co.uk

Phone: 07956 009047

Website: http://www.northdevonwakepark.co.uk

Facebook: North Devon Wake Park

Twitter: @DevonWakePark

Instagram: @nd_wakepark

IMG_4903

IMG_4919

SONY DSC

shred ready

I am so excited about this summer season.  I know everyone is but I’m REEEEALLY excited about it.  I was out pretty much the whole of last year due to my second pregnancy, recovery and learning about life with two kids. Don’t let anyone fool you – its hard, really hard.  Its the tiredness that kills you – you don’t sleep for the first nine months – you’re winning at life if you manage to leave the house with your eyebrows on.

I rode a bit here and there last year, grabbed moments when I could, but I couldn’t really get stuck in.  I couldn’t push my riding because it takes time to recover from child birth, and it seems to take much MUCH longer the second time, which I’ll admit, I wasn’t expecting.  This is because you don’t have as much time – a little toddler is bouncing around with tonnes of energy, you’re tired because every night at least one of the kids decides to be a dick and wake up once or twice, house jobs are never ending, nap times are for work rather than napping yourself, and working out in the evening?? Whatever, thats for wine – to celebrate keeping everyone alive for another day.

I’ve been working with a trainer all winter alongside riding when I can just to get my riding fitness back up.  We’ve upped the game on the PT side of things now that my body can take a bit more of a beating and I’m getting stronger all the time.  My current goal is to get back to my pre second baby level of fitness which is still going to take a huge amount of effort but it’ll be worth it, once its done its done as there are definitely no more babies!

Next week my allocated weekly riding time starts and I literally cannot wait!! So this summer can bring it, I’m shred ready!  Eeeeeeeeeks!!