Ashley HunterElizabeth BirtleyClaire Ferry
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What to Love About Riding In the Wet Seasons

Posted on September 8, 2022 @ 12:44 PM in Mountainbiking

As the long summer nights start to ebb away, it's easy to become disheartened as autumn (and even winter) make their presence known. MountainBikeNI.com looks at the positives of riding out of the warm seasons.

 

1) Nature is nature all year round

Yew and Holm Oak Trees are distinctive around Blessingbourne Estate

 

In survey after survey, mountain bikers repeatedly highlight getting into nature as one of the biggest reasons for why they mountain bike. It's easy to see why - problems seem to be smaller, if not forgotten altogether when you're pushing down your favourite trails.

The good news is that the absence of long days or hotter weather doesn't change that. It's a different costume on the same old friend. If you're at at Blessingbourne Estate MTB Trails, you'll still be surrounded with it's ruggedly epic forest - it just may not be as sunny (although we're told the sun is always shining in Fivemiletown...)  All the benefits humans derive from being outdoors are still there - we might just be a little wetter than before. Speaking of which...

 

2) Splashing in puddles is fun

'Yeo'ing is not compulsary but is advised

This probably sounds a little simplistic but almost every rider has that inner child who loves the thrill of flying through a mucky puddle and feeling it skite up around the bike as we take the next corner. The autumn and winter months provide this in abundance and it makes the hot shower at the end of your ride all the more rewarding. Davagh Forest is a personal favourite of ours for going in dry and coming out like a swamp monster. We love it.

 

3) Step up the challenge


The burning legs can keep you warm when the weather is against you

Mountain biking in poor conditions is a real game changer. Strong winds and rain coming in sideways all create a different challenge for riders who are inclined to give it a try. Berm dismounts can feel that bit slicker, rock drops become a bit more gnarly and even just the mental push to get through some of Northern Ireland's longer trails (that 27km in Rostrevor can burn the legs out quicker when the weather is against you) mean you feel better than ever when you've finished.

For those who enjoy playing around with their set up, the darker months also allow you to tryout more aggressive tire thread patterns, finding the perfect level of grip etc. It also gives you an excuse to visit Chain Reaction and treat yourself to some new bike tools.

 

4) Night riding is back on the menu


Davagh Forest and Barnett Demesne trail centres have both become popular night riding spots

As we've mentioned in previous blogs, night riding is a great opportunity to see a trail centre from a totally different perpective. Corners that were before unnoticable can now jump out at you at the last minute. Barnett Demesne MTB Trails has a huge subculture of night riders during these months, many of whom have their most enjoyable shredding sessions at night time (feel free to check out any of the MTB clubs around Northern Ireland) and with the passing of summer, you no longer need to wait until 11pm to get started. 

 

5) You'll be healthier

Proof that mountain biking keeps you healthy!

Humans tend to get sick more in winter - that's an unfortunate fact and part of the reason our parents hated it when we were kids. Keeping yourself active during this time is incredibly important and there's no better way to do it than mountain biking. If you have kids, somewhere like Castlewellan is ideal as you can all stick to the blue trail, or if they're a bit older, hit the red.

The cold means you'll actually burn more calories than you would if riding during spring or summer; you'll be increasing your Vitamin D if you head out during the daylight and it gives you a reason to get out when a walk in the rain may not seem as appealing.

 

We hope you enjoyed reading our latest blog. We'd love to hear what you enjoy about riding in autumn and winter - let us know on our Facebook post here.

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

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