For the riders out there who have the skills and simply want a top quality guided ride, we offer you the chance to ride some of the best circuits around. This option has also always been popular with busy riders keen to sample some of the best rides the Peak District and Wales has to offer, but who don’t have time to do all the research themselves. We know all the best start points, sneaky shortcuts and café stops and in a day or two with us you will cover a lot of ground and have a lot of fun.
We are obviously big fans of the Peak District National Park with world class rides rides like the Bradwell bikebuster (17km), the exposed and challenging Kinder Circuit (22km and 946m of ascent) or the all time classic Ladybower figure 8 loop (34Km). We live and ride in the home of gnarly challenging technical climbs and truly awesome descents.
But we do love to cross the border and regularly run guided trips to Wales. There is the majesty of Snowdonia, superb Mid Wales venues like Coed-Y-Brenin and South Wales is also home to some fantastic options. Simply get in touch to discuss your requirements and let us do the rest for you. Let’s go ride!
We mainly run our mountain biking activities around the Hope Valley and Derwent Valley, but for our guided rides the possible options are endless. Our local area has endless world class terrain of all difficulty levels but we mountain bike everywhere and so we can tailor these days to your preferences.
Although it is again very flexible for guided days depending on the riding start and finish points, for Peak District rides we often meet in Bamford (full details will be sent with your Joining Instructions) which is a vibrant and friendly village, but it is also ideally placed near to several other villages including Hathersage, Hope and Castleton. They all make suitable places to base yourself and all have plenty of shops, accommodation options and the all important pubs to enjoy a celebratory drink after your days on two wheels.
The scenic train line between Manchester and Sheffield runs through the valley and there is also a station at Bamford. The train will carry bikes and so it couldn’t be easier to arrive for you course by public transport. The valley really does have everything you need to enjoy a relaxed and educational stay.
Here are a list of questions clients frequently ask about our mountain biking courses. We hope you’ll find the info you need but, if there’s something you want to know that we haven’t covered, please call or email us and we’ll be more than happy to help. Infact, if you’ve thought of it then the chances are other people have too – so we’ll add it to the list!
What equipment is provided and do I have to pay to use it?
It is important that attendees of these courses have a suitable and well maintained bike. We do head off the beaten track onto trails that are only suitable for a mountain bike. Participants with their own bike are very welcome to bring that along but many bikes are marketed as ‘mountain bikes’ and this doesn’t always mean they are really up to use on technical off road terrain. If you do wish to bring your own bike and aren’t sure about its suitability please do speak to us in advance. It is essential that you also have a suitable helmet.
An alternative that is popular with many attendees is to hire a bike. We work with a reliable and very professional local bike hire company who have a range of both hardtail (bikes with front suspension only) and full suspension (bikes with front and rear suspension) available. The cost for hire is £30 per day for an excellent quality hardtail (a hardtail is perfect for our courses). If you do prefer a full suspension bike these are available for £50 per day. It is essential that we book these in advance so do let us know in plenty of time if you want us to arrange hire for you. Helmets will be provided by the hire company.
Your instructor will carry emergency equipment and basic bike repair equipment but if you do have any equipment of your own please bring it along. This should include a spare inner tube.
Do I need insurance?
We have professional indemnity insurance and for all UK courses we are all lucky enough to have free access to mountain rescue services and healthcare (although you may still consider it worthwhile purchasing your own personal accident and cancellation insurance). The following companies provide appropriate mountaineering insurance:
British Mountaineering Council www.thebmc.co.uk 0870 010 4878
Snowcard Insurance Services www.snowcard.co.uk 01327 262 805
What if I have a specific objective or want to learn things not offered on one of your courses?
That’s what we specialise in! Just get in touch and we will happily tailor an itinerary to suit your requirements.
What about under 18s?
For our mountain biking courses we welcome participants over 16. For younger children we can still offer a great range of family mountain bike activities – details of these are available on our Family Activities page. Please note that under 18s must be accompanied for the duration of the course by a parent or guardian.
Will you give my details to other people?
All information supplied to us remains completely confidential and we will never pass it on to third parties.
Why is the instructor to client ratio so important?
You will get more out of your time with us if you work in a group where the numbers suit the activity. We favour small instructor to client ratios so that you benefit from quality time and instruction, where you have time to ask all the questions you want, the routes chosen can be tailored to suit you, and we can take plenty of time to show you specific techniques and skills.
Why don’t you provide accommodation for all your courses?
We organise both residential and non-residential courses. If we think the course will benefit from us all staying somewhere together we’ll make it a residential course. For others we ask you to arrange your own accommodation since some people will want to stay in luxury accommodation, others will opt for a B&B and others will be happy to camp. If you need help with accommodation please do check out our accommodation section.
What if I need to cancel a course booking?
If you cancel over 26 weeks in advance of a course start date we refund all the money you have paid us so far. If you cancel within 26 weeks of a course start date, you forfeit the deposit, but we refund any other money you may have paid. If you cancel within 8 weeks of the course start date you forfeit the full amount unless we are able to resell your place. See the Terms and Conditions page for more detailed information. To cover this eventuality we recommend you take out an insurance policy that includes cancellation of your trip or holiday.
Can you guarantee good conditions?
Unfortunately we can’t control the weather. However, we do always try to plan areas and routes that should be appropriate and in good condition. One of the advantages of being in small groups with flexible itineraries is that we can make the best of the conditions on the day. This does mean that we reserve the right to change the itinerary for safety reasons if required. Please follow the kit lists and be prepared for all the ‘interesting’ weather the U.K. and overseas has to offer.
What is the timetable for courses?
For non-residential courses we will meet somewhere convenient on the first morning of the course and a typical day lasts from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Full Joining Instructions will be provided with your booking confirmation.
What about transport arrangements?
We ask you to provide your own transport to and from venues although we can quite often organise car sharing to minimise environmental impact and reduce fuel costs. Once we are there we will try to use car sharing to get us around during the course. We can usually collect you from a local station if you are travelling to your course via public transport. Conveniently, our mountain biking courses start in Bamford village which has convenient train access.
How do you try to reduce your environmental impact?
We are passionate about protecting the natural environment. Please take the time to read our Environment Page.
How fit do I need to be?
It goes without saying that arriving fit and well is important if you want to get the most out of your course and it is essential for succeeding on many of our objectives. Please take note of the guidance on the Course Syllabus before booking and contact us in advance if you need more guidance.
Do you need to know about medical conditions?
It is essential that you let us know about any medical condition or injury when booking and that you also let your instructor know on the starting day of your course.This information will remain completely confidential but is essential to allow us to tailor our activities to suit you and to ensure the safety of other group members.
Mountain Biking can seem very equipment intensive and it is certainly the case that you can spend a lot of money on a bike and the related gear. It is also the case that, by and large, you get what you pay for. There will always be shops offering ‘mountain bikes’ at extremely low prices, but that certainly doesn’t mean they are up to the job of travelling over challenging technical ground. At the other end of the scale you will see shops selling bikes for £10,000 plus! Of course, once you’ve got the bike there is also the accessories to also consider…..and that’s another minefield of decision making!
So, the reality is that you can’t avoid spending a reasonably high amount to get yourself all set up with a good quality all terrain capable bike and the safety and repair accessories you will need, but the good news is that you don’t need to do that straight away. For our mountain biking courses you can actually use your normal sports clothing and hire the rest of the kit – it’s a great way to see what works for you and to check the sport is everything you hoped it would be (it will be!) before splashing out yourself. Details on recommended local bike hire options are available on our mountain biking FAQ’s page.
So, we’ve listed the equipment you need to bring below, but made it clear when there is an item you can hire or borrow and also clarified if there is something you have probably already got that will do the same job.
- Bike – goes without saying really! If you do bring your own it needs to be a ‘proper’ mountain bike that is in serviceable condition. Your bike instructor will carry general tools and equipment to fix punctures, but it is also vital
- Helmet – please ensure it is in good condition, hasn’t had a damaging impact and is within its recommended lifespan)
- Suitable shoes -lightweight walking boots or approach shoes with good ankle support and a grippy sole
- Rucksack – please make sure your rucksack is big enough as you will need to carry your lunch, a drink, waterproof and spare clothing. You may also be asked to help carry some group equipment
- Waterproof jacket – one that is breathable and folds up small is best
- Thermal base layer – synthetic fibres rather than cotton
- Fleece mid-layer
- Suitable shorts or trousers – trousers offer better protection but shorts work well in warmer weather
- Lightweight windproof jacket – it is well worth having a wind resistant top in addition to your waterproof jacket if possible
- Cycling gloves – and a spare pair on wet or muddy days
- Plenty of food – a mixture of quick energy boost foods and slow release foods are ideal – flapjack, honey sandwiches and malt loaf make a great alternative to expensive energy bars
- Drink – at least 2 litres (and worth bringing extra for pre and post ride rehydration)
- Sunglasses and sun cream – even on dull days please consider some form of eye protection
- Personal first aid and medication
- Spare clothes, towel and wash kit for after the ride
Your instructor will carry tools to tackle most trail emergencies but bring your tool kit if you have one. Please also bring a spare innertube and pump as well as any other spares that are specific to your bike.