Trail Unknown's 2019 in Pictures
We held our first trip in the Surrey Hills and had our biggest riding group yet with 18 people - possibly too many.
Tom went out to Uganda to race the Elgon Enduro on the slopes of a 4321m extinct volcano and finished 3rd woo!
We got a call from a small company called Specialized who asked us to plan a 3 day ebike trip. We chose Exmoor as the location and included staying in a lighthouse on the cliff side. The recce was the coldest thing ever.. Sleet on the Moor.
We gave a talk at the London Bike Show about how the UK could learn from places like Tasmania and Rotorua - Talk here.
We showed Specialized's event team the planned route for the lighthouse trip and fortunately the sun was out. After the trip we were asked to be Specialized ambassadors which seemed like a good indication they enjoyed themselves.
We held our first guided ride in the Quantocks and had a super fun group!
We cycled the South West Coast to Coast for 5 days through Exmoor and Dartmoor with Aussie man Magnus - Video here
We had our first magazine feature in Outdoor Fitness about our ride from Bristol to Cheddar Gorge, thanks to Pat Kinsella.
We held our third yoga mountain bike retreat with Carly from Moon Forest Flow - we got a write up in the Financial Times!
We started a free after school mountain bike club where we live in Oxford, including running a trash free tails themed ride.
The Times featured our first stand up paddleboard and mountain bike combo weekend in the Wye Valley, with Kev Brady.
We raced a tandem mountain bike at the Top of the Gorge festival, a top weekend as always.
We ran our lighthouse trip for Specialized and had 3 days of perfect weather on Exmoor. A highlight was bringing in Drake's Island to play their surfy sounds for us at sunset from the lighthouse while Tanzie's epic veg food van sorted dinner.
We were asked by Ordnance Survey and Sustrans to make three videos about the National Cycle Network - see our videos for the Tarka Trail in Devon, the Lochs and Glens trail in Scotland and the Monsal Trail in the Peaks. These videos are now playing in shopping centres around the UK to inspire people to visit them. Obviously we didn't just stick to the tarmac!
We headed out to Bike Nomad in Slovenia for a 4 day assessment from the European Organisation of Mountain Bike Instructor-Guides. The trails were loamy and super fun, and we also rode through a cave system - video here.
After the success of our first trip with Specialized, they asked us to plan more for 2020 and for that we got to spend a week in the Scottish Highlands in a motorhome in -8 degrees!
We planned a Coast to Coast through Snowdonia National Park with an attempted summit of Snowdon as part of content creation mission for Sigma Sports, however the Welsh December weather had other plans for us and with 70mph gusts on day 2, it became unrideable. A highlight of the trip was riding down through a slate mine in the dark after a long day in the mountains to an epic feast at Petes Eats.
till next year folks!
If you have any crazy ideas for us or would like to discuss planning UK mountain bike trips then you can get in contact with Hugo or Tom on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Hugo and Tom are trail hunting fanatics, travelling around the UK to find the best and most beautiful wild riding locations for their mountain bikes. We write about our findings and provide professionally guided mountain bike trips to our favourite spots. We're also big believers in outdoor education for children.