Family Fun | Mountain Biking in Woodhill Forest

One of my very dear friends from school is one of those maddeningly talented sports people who is good at everything!  Whether it’s traditional team sports like touch rugby or individual extreme pursuits such as surfing, mountain biking or snowboarding, Vix has got it on lock.  Her partner is a helicopter pilot and kiteboarder and equally profesh at every damn sport he tries so together they’re like this extreme power couple lol.

Vickie has been trying to get me to go mountain biking with her for years and I’d managed to avoid it for a long time, however she arranged a meet-up with our other school besties and their families so we all headed up to Woodhill on Sunday to give it a go.

When I say all, I mean ALL – Nixie included – plus Ethan’s best friend.  My lovely, free bike that I scored off our local FB page – complete with baby seat, doesn’t have a horizontal cross bar so won’t fit on our bike rack.  Instead we loaded up the trailer hillbilly-style with the four bikes and the truck with the five peeps and make the quick 15 minute drive to Woodhill Bike Park.

We arrived to find the place jam packed and were so lucky that there was one spot big enough for a truck with a hillbilly trailer load of bikes!  I definitely recommend leaving your trailer at home if you can, there were some large Audi SUVs that were really inconvenienced because we took up so much space!

We got unloaded, helmeted up, paid admission and set off up the initial rather gruelling hill with Vix acting as our guide.  I’m used to riding around our neighborhood with Nix on the back of my bike but during that uphill I felt every one of his 16 kilograms.  I also saw no-one else with a baby on board and had more than a few WTF-am-I-doing moments.  Vix had it all under control though and guided us through an awesome downhill called No Vacancy.  

The big kids were buzzing, Dave was finding out that his brakes didn’t work so well, Nix preferred going up hill and pretending we were a train whilst I much preferred the downhill sections – surprise surprise.  Bubby and I did one more gruesome uphill climb and the much more fun downhill, but by that point he was totally over bouncing around on the back of the bike.  We bid a hasty adieu to our cycling party of 11 (!!) and headed back to the truck for some lunch.

Hello Jester’s Pie van!!!

Ok, my first-timer impression of mountain biking?  Fun.  Fast.  Bit dodgy.  Few too many middle-aged men in lycra going way too fast. But, all the kids really enjoyed themselves.  It felt amazing to be out in the forest, the air was still and crisp and fresh, it was such a perfect weekend activity.  I won’t be taking Nixon on the back of the bike again though, we’ll head out with the team but probably just go for a walk and explore the forest on foot while the others ride.  The trails were surprisingly smooth but still pretty unforgiving for a little guy in a seat.  I’m still not convinced in the merits of a sport where you have to ride up a hill JUST to go down it, but hi-ho, different strokes……..

Give it a go, it’s cheap fun and you can hire bikes there if you need to.  

The Jacks approve of Mountain Biking in Woodhill forest!