So often I get drawn into believing that in order to get the best out of my time I end up chasing for hours to go paddling or biking. Now this does allow me to enjoy some of the finest outdoor environments but I do wonder whether the 4 hours you can spend driving could be better spent elsewhere.
With this in mind I've headed out to explore the wilds of Shrewsbury on my bike. The mighty Haughmond Hill was the location for the 1st exploration. With the fine weather still holding I headed out after work following the National Cycle trail out along the disused canal to the bottom of the woods. Soon I was winding my way up a hard packed trail through the forest, moments later I caught a glimpse of an opening in the undergrowth and dived in. The trail was barely wider than my tyre, winding through the trees parallel to the main path but invisible but for the small entrance. Eventually the trail spat me back onto the forest road dropping to the far side of woods, again the singletrack opened up and I dropped in again following the snaking trail through the end of the bluebell flowers. Badger setts lay off to the side of the trail and there were signs of the them digging up the plants surrounding the trail.
It couldn't last and I dropped onto the road, the cars waking me from my thoughts. The short climb over I passed through the dogging car park and tucked into a twisty, rooty section. When I'd done this before it was a wet soggy mess, now the dust was kicked up behind me as I twisted through. As I reached the viewing point back towards home back over Shrewsbury, I found the entrance to a trail I'd never spotted before. It gradually dropped back down the hillside in a series of quick drops and turns.
Soon enough I was back onto the cycle path heading home, an hour and a half riding. It's great to get out on the built trails but managing to get out for a full ride on some deserted singletrack in the time it'd have taken me to to drive just one way to Coed-y-Brenin really opens your eyes.