Earlier in the week, I was asked to provide an afternoons mountain biking for a group of lads from a local school. A quick chat discussion and we soon had an outline plan, which was to ride from town using the River Severn towpath and the disused canal basin towpath to Haughmond Hill and then return by the same route a distance of some 16 kilometres.
After introductions, safety checks and establishing a few ground rules (always a good idea when you give relatively fit lads a bike) it was soon time to saddle up for the ride. As we pedalled along the towpath, it was good to see the lads being courteous to other towpath users and looking out for each other as group (some of what I said must have sunk in). Soon we were at the disused canal and for those that now the location their is in informal BMX track with small jumps that the lads used to great advantage and with a little encouragement were soon flying around with ease.
As we arrived at the base of Haughmond Mill some of the lads were looking a little worse for wear but after a quick break to refuel they were soon back to normal and ready for the final stages of the ride to the viewpoint. I chose a particularly relentless path to reach the viewpoint which everyone struggled to get to the top of but they learnt a great deal about body positioning / weight distribution in the process. The downhill run from the viewpoint was awsome but was over far too quickly. However, it seemed that the addrenaline rush gave the lads an extra energy boost and we sped back to town.
All in all a pleasant afternoons ride which everyone enjoyed. With with lads pestering for a longer ride it might be time to spend a bit more time in the saddle just so that I can keep up.