Wednesday, 19 December 2012

I love cycling and have done since the Tour de France caught my imagination as a child.  I was very lucky to grow up in Dumfries and Galloway and had some of the finest cycling available literally on my doorstep.  My love affair with mountain biking started in the early 90's and has grown over the years.  As I got older I started road cycling too and now the two go hand in hand.  I quite often have difficulty deciding which bike to go out on!

As many do I left the region where I grew up and eventually ended up in London with my wife-to-be.  We spent 10 years in the big smoke where surprisingly I still managed to get out mountain biking!  We made some good friends and enjoyed the big city, but with the arrival of our first child we began to make plans for leaving.  It wasn't until we were expecting our second that the opportunity to leave arose - and it was to Dumfries and Galloway we found ourselves heading.

D&G has a deservedly excellent reputation for mountain biking.  The 7 stanes trail centres offer some exceptionally fine riding year round.  Mabie forest is particularly close to my heart as I it's where I first started mountain biking.  The current red route trail there still encompasses many of the trails we used to ride on our fully rigid MTB's with canti brakes!  Things have moved on somewhat.  I now have Dalbeattie forest as my local trails and absolutely love it.  Expect a few posts about XC mincing around there!

What I think is most overlooked about D&G though is the road riding.  There is a huge network of quiet back roads that are virtually traffic free.  The scenery is varied, from open coastal roads to rolling farmland and up to exposed, windswept moors.  After the riding around London it really is a breath  of fresh air (in more was than one) to not have to dodge and weave through traffic for half an hour just to get out onto a quiet road.
Of course having two small children means that finding the time to ride can be difficult.  It's only with the support of my wife and some serious organisation that I can find the time to ride.  This blog will be a chronicle of the trials and tribulations of managing the two - and a celebration of what this region has to offer for cyclists.


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