Last month we dipped our toes in the water with a bit of mountain biking, and oh boy was it fun! It’s always something I thought would be an amazing thrill but I wasn’t sure if I’d be too much of a baby and not enjoy it. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Honestly, it was a little bit scary… but so it was also so much fun.
We first thought about giving it a whirl earlier in the year when we visited Lanhydrock in Cornwall but we didn’t have the time when we were last there. Then, whilst we were in Switzerland earlier this year we noticed lots of people getting trains or cable cars to the top of mountains and biking there way down, which looked absolutely bonkers but also really exciting (especially when you’re slowly meandering along with a big bag!).
We bite the bullet, headed back to Lanhydrock and hired a couple of bikes. We were instantly throw into the deep end practicing jumps and tricky terrain in the ‘skills area’, then we went and worked up a sweat on the green, blue and red trails. By the end of it we were covered in mud and our cheeks hurt from laughing so much! It’s 100% something we’ll be doing again, and here’s just some of the reasons why:
Knockdown jacket in dark teal c/o West Beach*
Mental health benefits
Numerous studies show that cycling is good for your mental health. Getting out in the countryside takes you away from the stresses and strains of everyday life. If you choose a green route such as the Lodge trail, you’ll have 15 – 20 minutes to just think and sort through some of the things that are playing on your mind. Riding through nice scenery has a relaxing effect, which lasts for days after. I can totally vouch for this!
Adventure holidays galore!
Once you get your cycling legs sorted, you will be able to cycle long distances without aching. I remember this from when I used to ride regularly and when I used to run for 13 miles without stopping. People asked “how do you keep going?” well, you just do. Your legs go numb and your body drives you forward, it’s incredible.
You can go on crazy fun adventure holidays, which (believe me!) you won’t enjoy unless you’re fit enough for it. If you want to get to know a country, cycling is a great way to do it. I once met somebody that traveled across the world with his bike, inspirational! He told me all about these great cycling holidays that take you off the beaten track and let you see a side of a country that you would not normally see on a traditional holiday.
See more of your local area
It’s not just about going abroad! Going out on your bike on a regular basis gives you the option to get to know your local area better. There’s so many beautiful places in Cornwall that I haven’t explored, and jumping on a bike seems like a great way to do it! Don’t get me wrong, I love trotting through small villages and towns, but in all honesty, I’m more of a nature lover 🍃🐶 You’re far more likely to find me out on the cliffs or in the forest, than you are in a coffee shop or wandering busy shops.
**Psst** You don’t even need to go abroad to make a little trip out of it! We stayed in a cute little Airbnb just a short drive from our home and cooked up a well-deserved Waitrose steak, yum!
Winning a life (no, seriously!)
When you start cycling, the chances are that you will begin to set yourself goals. It starts small – you see how long it takes you to cycle your favourite route, then next thing you know you are shaving minutes then seconds off your time. Setting small goals and achieving them is a good habit to get into. In time, this habit spills over into other parts of your life helping you to be more productive. I read about this ALL the time in business books!
Your joints will thank you
I’ve become a little more health conscious these days. I still order Dominos and I don’t lift weights, but I’m certainly better than I used to be. I’m tee-total and I try and use the outdoors as my gym as much as I can by going surfing, hiking or anything else that tickles my fancy. There’s a million reasons why this is important to me, but one of them being *bare I say it* I’m beginning to feel old.
My body doesn’t feel as strong or as nimble as it used to be. Things hurt when I push my body in a way they never used to. Cycling improves your circulation as well as your respiratory health. This is great for your joints because it helps your body to carry the toxins out of your body instead of settling in your joints and causing stiffness and other problems. When I heard this, I was all over the prospect of cycling like a bad rash. Yes, please! 🙏
Catch more Zzz’s
The kind of exercise you get when you cycle helps you to unwind. This makes it easier for you to fall asleep and get a good night of sleep. Often cyclists sleep better than other people do. What more can I say!?
If you want to get started and begin, it is easy to do. There’s heaps of places you can hire a bike from, and if you decide you love it there’s lots of places to order cycles online that won’t break the bank. Just make sure that you go equipped with spares should you run into any problems – see BikeParts.