The UK Road Trip
We left Switzerland with a van, two bikes, some good ideas for the area we wanted to ride in, and a lot of enthusiasm.
We stopped in Brittany for a few days to stock up on pancakes, then we took the ferry to cross over to England. We started our trip with the bike parks in Wales: Dirt Farm (aka Black Mountain Cycle Center), Revolution Bike Park and Dyfi Bike Park.
Those trails were insane! It already looks huge on social media, but in real life, everything is twice as big. The shapers do a fabulous job because the trails are extremely well maintained.
After a great week in Wales, we headed to Sheffield where we met a group of awesome locals who took care of us both on the trails and in the pubs. After three days of biking and one day of rest, we got back behind the wheels and drove across Scotland. We stopped in Innerleithen and again were guided by the friendly locals through the entire Tweed Valley. From there, we headed to Torridon in the northwest of Scotland, stopping wherever we could along the way.
We rode over loam, gravel, flow trail, good dirt and bad dirt (but never terrible), gained about 10 kg by stuffing ourselves with fried food morning and night, bathed in some of the coldest rivers in Scotland, and got eaten by midges because, like real tourists, we didn't take any precautions.
Once in the north, the scenery was just incredible. The bike rides up there were different, it's very rocky, very alpine, but the scenery is definitely worth it. We didn't stay there long because the midges were giving us a hard time. Plus, we had been on the road for five weeks and about six tanks of gas at over 2.50 CHF per liter, so eventually we had to start making our way back down.
On the way back, we wanted to stop again at the spots we had liked best. So, we stopped at Innerleithen, which in my opinion was the best enduro spot of the trip, followed by Sheffield, Dirt farm (probably the best bike park in Wales), and against all expectations we finished the trip with a ride across some small hills south of London. I never thought we would be able to ride there. And yet ... we found ourselves riding miles and miles of trails in miles and miles of mud. It was everywhere. A big thank you to Alan for practically forcing us to ride his trails!
In the end, seven weeks went by that felt like seven days. It was a gigantic trip with 2 punctures, 4 crashes, a broken brake lever and a few split spokes, but I think for 7 weeks we managed ok.