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Litter collected from today’s ride (with Andy Garside)

I’ve been wary of hurtling down mountains on the bike (an Orange5 Diva Pro) since getting a bit too feisty and badly wrenching my shoulder on the uplift at Cwmdown a couple of years ago. Since then I’ve found the sprint triathlon’s swim, bike, run more appealing – until this month.

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 how thoughtful – to wedge the litter so it won’t blow away

Perhaps it’s the weather, or that the running and swimming have helped unwind knotted shoulders, or that I’ve just taken so much time away from the mountainbike I’m beginning to pine, terribly, but this year the obsessive compulsion to career down mountains is inexplicably intensifying again.


Since this short(ish) absence from the trails I’ve noticed a huge increase in women riders, especially at One Planet, LLandegla. Not just one woman with a group of guys, but groups of women out riding the trails together. This is awesome, and I’m loving feeling part of that sisterhood-on-wheels as we all smile and nod to each other.

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two backpacks filled with litter

The other, more depressing, noticeable thing on the trails is the amount of litter people throw away. I can’t understand it. How can people carry a full bottle all the way to the top of a mountain and then find themselves incapable of taking the empty back down again? I can’t even explain how furious this makes me, and it’s not getting better. Why come somewhere beautiful and ruin it like this? If you don’t care what your surroundings look like then get a roadbike and stick to city riding.


Here’s a couple of mountainbike-inspired poems:
Y Niwl (Cymraeg for The Fog) was written last winter as a howl against the great tide of litter.
Downhill is pretty self-explanatory.

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