Fifteen brave consultants from Eunomia’s Bristol office set off to Bike Park Wales in Gethin Woods, South Wales, to try downhill mountain biking on a sunny afternoon in July.
With many consultants completing their daily commute on two wheels, the group was full of competent cyclists, unaware they would need more than strong legs to make it to the end of this summer social.
The UK’s first full scale mountain bike park is in the heart of the South Wales valleys and has a network of colour coded trails with ‘gnarly rock sections’, jumps and drop offs – so slightly different from the obstacles a Bristol cycle path presents.
After being kitted out with full-suspension mountain bikes, full-face helmets and elbow and knee pads, the excited group of Eunomians were led by the organiser, thrill-seeker and seasoned mountain biker Simon Hann to a mini bus that takes you up the mountain – the ‘uplift’.
What followed was a display of reckless abandon.
After a quick briefing from Simon, the entire group set off down ‘Melted Welly’ a blue intermediate trail which gave everyone a taste for the extreme thrills you get from hurtling down a mountain on two wheels, with plenty of time to gather momentum, many obstacles in your way, and the realisation that braking actually makes it harder.
Senior Consultant Ian Cessford was so lost in the moment he veered ‘off-piste’ for a while, travelling down the mountain in the wrong direction before realising and re-joining the prescribed route.
Thankfully all the safety gear worked and everyone returned injury-free, if slightly wild-eyed.