Top tips on where to go
The continued success of British cycling in media and professional competitions has been a common, and seemingly endless, source of enthusiasm and great results. Yet it is not only the country’s Olympic victors who are in good health.
Cycling as a national past-time has enjoyed significant leverage in recent decades, bolstered by government and local, NGO-run low-carbon campaigns and get-fit incentives.
If you’re looking to insure your bike before taking it out, Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk) offers a Bicycle Cover add on which you can add to your current Your Cover insurance policy at any time. The cover will deliver cover up to £5,000 on individual or group cycles worth over £1,000. For a newly-purchased top-of-the range hybrid or off-road bike, this can mean peace of mind should a tumble – or a bad spate of luck – befall you.
From road-biking in the Lake District to BMX-ing the dirt trails of Braintree, Essex, cycling in all shapes and forms is enjoying a renaissance. Mountain biking is also undergoing its own mini-revival, with new trails being built and developed across the UK – a sure sign that things are looking good.
Allianz Your Cover provides you with five trails to visit – including four big hitters, and one newbie we’re interested to see progress.
1. Coed-Y-Brenin, Wales
This list is dominated by Wales and Scotland for good reason – their landscape and climates provide perfect conditions for great mountain biking. Coed-Y-Brenin is an excellent example of that – according to the Daily Telegraph it’s the “birthplace of modern mountain bike centres” – and with a range of trails, including the tricky Temtiwr 9km, it has enough to suit even the experienced rider.
2. Glentress, Scotland
Glentress is without doubt one of the most well-known mountain bike destinations in the UK – known for its wide appeal, with easy green runs all the way of to a freeride park graded orange run for the extremely confident. Set in the Tweed Valley Forest Park, it is also a beautiful spot.
3. Fort William, Scotland
Best enjoyed by those with a little experience under their belts – not least so you can catch a glimpse of the view whilst tackling some craggy, technical trails that place you under the breathtaking shadow of the mountains including Ben Nevis. The Witch’s Trail comes highly recommended!
4. Coed Llandegla, North Wales
A privately-owned and run wood trail in the north of Wales. Owned by UPM Tilhill – a major timber and forest services provider – it is the first privately-owned forest to be recognised by the forestry commission as a provider of sustainable timber. What it also provides is great cycling, well-cared for tracks, and great wildlife.
5. One to watch out: Rostrevor, Northern Ireland
It might be a bit soon to be on the list of top destinations, but we couldn’t help but include the latest addition to the mountain bike roster in the UK – Northern Ireland’s Rostrevor. To be opening gradually over the spring/summer 2013, this new destination promises world-class trails, according to this BBC report. If mountain biking isn’t your thing then how about just a gentle rise4 with a bike trailer for the kids.