Mountain Biking in Exmoor February 2-4/2/2001

Quite a long journey to get to Exford in Exmoor. But I think everyone on the weekend would agree it was well worth it. Our hosts for the weekend, Sunset Mountain biking, had arranged exclusive use of the Local Youth Hostel for our large group, and provided a very good service for us throughout the whole weekend. It was nice to find my bike had been washed and lubricated, and the brakes and gears serviced for me.

Chor and Steve expecially appreciated the opportunity to try out some bikes that initially cost 2,000, so much so that Chor got his credit card out on the spot to purchase his.

As you might have expected with all the rain the conditions were rather muddy. I had arrived on the Sunday and gone for a little run with a map and thought it might be difficult to find passable routes on a bike, but that is the advantage of having guides with local knowledge, as they always found us challenging but passable routes. Often with a bit of fun, such as a river crossing thrown in.

I certainly enjoyed the first day as I didn't fall off, though I can't say the same for Steve and John Luik, who had a few encounters with the mud, and John Yung who chose to headbutt a bush at one point. But nothing more serious than a scratch, or bruise or two, resulted.

The free midday meal at the pub on the first day was a welcome sight to me, so much so that I almost ate as much as John Luik. The Saturday evening saw an extra bonus, as after the evening meal in the White Horse Inn, we got a lift to Minehead for a night out with Paul and the other Sunset Mountain bikers.

Their Sartorial elegance put us a bit to shame, with their Fresian and Leopard skin oufits, but they must have proved a bit warm in the second pub we visited, were Chor and John Luik gave us all a lesson in how to play pool. We moved on next to Minehead's finest nightclub, Cheeky's. We dug deep in our pockets to find the exorbitant 3 entrance fee. However we got our money's worth, staying till they closed at 2am. Quite a long transfer home, and a long chat in the YHA saw us hitting the sack close to 4am.

Remarkably our appetite for mountain biking was undimmed the second day, and my performance actually seemed to improve, I climbed much better and handled tricky sections better, and was strong on the tough going sections. (must have been the Carbohydrate loading) I'll certainly be putting my name down for the next trip, if I'm free when it is organised.