Cycle to Work Day 2018: what I did

Cycle to Work Day 2018: what I did

August 15th was national Cycle to Work Day in the UK. It seemed only sensible for BackPedalling to play a part. So, here’s the story of how I rode to work yesterday…

Cycle to Work

Not as easy as it sounds.

You’d think that, as a mountain bike guide, I cycle to work all the time. You’d be wrong. For a start, I spend more days in the office doing admin and planning than actually riding. On top of that, even if I am riding, the chances are that the ride I’m delivering is far more than riding distance from home.

In fact, thinking about it, I would cycle to work far more often when I worked in an office every day.

When the stars align

Yesterday was different. On Wednesday morning I deliver my Wellbeing Rides on the other side of Winchester. Wellbeing rides are relaxed paced rides on benign paths, trails and back roads. They’re ideal for people who want to inject a little light exercise into their week in a laid-back environment. They also start about 15 minutes ride from the door.

So, here’s the first instalment of Cycle to Work Day BackPedalling style:

But wait, there’s more Cycle to Work

As luck would have it, Wednesday is a double-barrelled day (assuming I have no one:one clients in between), because the evening is when I deliver my Back to Biking rides. Back to Biking is what it says on the tin: rides that help people get back on their bikes and overcome all the obstacles that might stop them doing so. I find the good paths, I make sure the pace and length are right, I look after you if something goes wrong with your bike. Better yet, they start at the bottom of the hill by my house: about 4 minutes ride from the door.

Rather laughably, here’s what the second cycle to work of the day looked like:

Please do cycle to work

Cycle to Work is a brilliant thing, because it encourages people to get out and ride. I used to do it every day, rain or shine, winter and summer, taking my bike on the train and, sometimes, it was the highlight of the day. Many people worry that they aren’t fit enough, or that they lack the skills, or that the roads are too dangerous. Whilst these fears are entirely reasonable, trying it might show you that it’s a lot more pleasurable than you think.

There’s a lot to be said for the way that riding releases endorphins which help you feel better and set you up for the day. Try it, you might like it.


I’d like to say a big thank you to Al Boothroyd for the loan of his helmet camera. Cheers buddy.

Posted by BackPedalling Andy in Rides, 0 comments
Wellbeing Rides are back

Wellbeing Rides are back

The weather is warming up and you want to make the best of the weather to get outdoors and keep yourself feeling fit and healthy.

Backpedalling’s wellbeing rides can help you make that happen (as part of a calorie-controlled diet). Starting at the lovely Thrive café in Oliver’s Battery, these rides wend through the lanes and trails south of Winchester.

The wellbeing rides are designed to help you embed some exercise into your life by making it as pleasurable as possible. There are stunning views across the city but there’s plenty of time for chatting as we go. There will even be the odd descent that’s just enough to get your adrenalin flowing.

We honestly can’t think of anything we’d rather be doing on a Wednesday morning.

Throughout you’ll be looked after by our guide, Andy, who will make sure that everything is just right for you. As part of the ride Andy will give you some tips to help you, and your bike, become more confident riding off road.

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Posted by BackPedalling Andy in Rides, 0 comments
Wellbeing and Back to Biking rides cancelled

Wellbeing and Back to Biking rides cancelled

This week’s Wellbeing and Back to Biking rides are cancelled due to the rotten weather and grim trail conditions

The last few weeks’ rain and snow has taken its toll on the trails

I went out for a trail recce over the weekend and confirmed that there is deep, sticky mud sitting in a lot of places. The trail surface is energy-sapping to ride through and will result in a filthy bike and rider.

I don’t want to put anyone through that and definitely don’t want that to be someone’s first experience of riding.

The forecast isn’t good either

Combined with this the forecast is cold and wet. These are difficult conditions to enjoy for even the most experienced rider.

Thus, this week’s rides are cancelled

I apologise for any difficulties this causes anyone, but I want you to have fun riding your bike. Taking anyone out in these conditions will not be fun.

I look forward to seeing people enjoying drier trails next week.

Posted by BackPedalling Andy in Rides, 0 comments
Yoga for Cycling: 3rd February 2018

Yoga for Cycling: 3rd February 2018

Do not be fooled by the curly handlebars: this yoga session is perfect for mountain bikers. 

I’ve worked with Lorna for over a decade and I can personally vouch for the positive impact of yoga on my posture, physique and recovery from injury. I definitely recommend this as a way of checking out whether yoga can do the same for you.

The number of occasions where I’ve turned up for a ride and heard everyone muttering and grumbling about low-level injuries and bits that don’t work is beyond counting. It really doesn’t have to be that way.

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Go on, give it a go. You might like it.

Posted by BackPedalling Andy in Uncategorised, 0 comments