I am, needless to say, a bad mountain biker.
I did a little bit of mountain biking in my teens. I was never terribly good then. I somehow never quite had the lack of regard for consequences that most teenagers seem to have. Then I quietly drifted away from it, and then my bike was stolen from my back garden in Swansea. Some years later I took advantage of the Cycle to Work scheme to get a bike without tax and got myself a hybrid, reasoning that I didn’t mountain bike anymore but that bikes were a good way to get around.
Almost immediately after that, some friends suggested going mountain biking, and I hired a rather nice hardtail and headed out onto the trail. It was one of the Afan valley ones, as I recall.
I remembered how much I loved mountain biking.
After a time hiring bikes and riding whenever I could, I bought myself a mountain bike – a Calibre Two.Two, as raved about by the magazines – and took to riding again.
I was (and continue to be) somewhat helped out by my brother, who was into mountain biking before I was and whose interest never waned.
I currently live in South Wales, and ride whenever I can. I don’t have much confidence in my riding. I have distinct rough edges. I, for some reason, can’t turn right while climbing.
I am, in short, a bad mountain biker.