A Year On A Bike

MTB at Dirt Factory
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#1 A Journey into MTB
Mountain bike rider in mid air over a sandy jump in the woods

Our manager Matt is attempting A Year On A Bike, we’ve asked him to explain a bit more about it and to let you know how it’s going so far:

I think I should start by explaining what A Year on a Bike is all about. Simply, I’m attempting to ride a bike every day for the entire year, all 366 days as its just my luck we’re in a leap year. As I write this, I’m currently on day 84 so not far from my first 100 days.

The idea for this has been floating around ever since Pinkbike ran a 30-day riding challenge to celebrate the release of Return to Earth (great film by the way, go check it out if you haven’t seen it), so when the New Year came around it seemed like the perfect time to kick off the challenge.

One of the questions I get most often is, why? And I think the answer to that has changed somewhat over the last 3 months.

Initially it was just to make myself ride more. I struggled last year to find the motivation to get outside and ride, especially in the poor weather we’re famous for in this country. Setting myself this challenge was a way of forcing myself to go out even when it was wet enough outside to make a stream look dry.

It would be safe to say it worked, the initial few weeks proved the hardest, but after a while grabbing my bike and heading out for a ride became part of the daily routine. But since then I think my reasons for doing this have changed.

I am enjoying riding my bike more than I ever have, I feel stronger and more confident on the bike, and I can notice my fitness increasing as well. It’s not just the physical aspects either. We all know the benefits of biking for mental health, and I can certainly vouch for the benefits of riding every day. My mood is always boosted no matter how short or long the ride is!

And I want to share this with others. With busy lifestyles it is easy to make excuses and say you don’t have time to ride during the week, but I want to prove that wrong. If I can find the time to ride every day, then you can make time to ride once or twice a week if not more. Trust me, you’ll feel better for it.

I have received messages and spoken to so many people so far about this challenge, all have been so positive and some saying it’s inspired them to ride their bike more. Ultimately that is why I am doing this, to share my passion for bikes and if just one person rides their bike more because of me, well I’ll count that as a success.

I’ll leave you with a few lessons/bits of advice I have learnt or been given so far:

  • Keep it varied! You may only have one bike but that doesn’t matter. Go for a chill ride around some quiet lanes, find a quiet spot and spend 30 minutes practicing a skill. Any ride is a ride.
  • Things wear out! This seems pretty obvious but bear with me. My Cotic Rocket has stood up to over 12 months solid abuse from me but even I was surprised how much wear riding every day puts on your components. Those 100-hour suspension services come around fast!
  •  Its only a bit of rain! Trust me, once you’re out riding you won’t even notice how wet you are, don’t let it be an excuse

If you want to see more you can follow my Year on a Bike on my Instagram @mtb.malfoy

You can see where I’m riding every day and check I’m not skipping any.