Jonathan Halstead

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Jonathan's Story > Chapters > Mountain Biking - the family hobby

"Mountain Biking" 


Date Range: 01/01/1998 To 12/31/2012   Comments: 0   Views: 1,418
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I took up mountain biking as a hobby after deciding to hang up my paragliding equipment. Paragliding is an extreme sport and I became increasingly less willing to take on that amount of risk after the birth of our first son. It was also my intention that it could be something that I could enjoy with my sons as they grew up.


Luckily,  (and with a little encouragement from me!)  Both Max and Luke have become keen downhill mountain bikers and we spend many of our weekends as a family getting very muddy in North Wales or the Lakes.


I'm in blue, Luke in green and Max in black/grey

Betws-y-Coed, Llandegla, Coed-y-Brenin and Grizedale are our favourite/most visited spots in the UK. The downside of mountain biking in the UK being the weather, we have also taken our hobby abroad occasionally and holidayed in Verbier, Villars and Talloire. This year we hope try out what’s on offer in Morzine.



Max started when he was about 4y on a little Rayleigh bike but with full suspension and took to it like a duck to water. His next bike was a Marin Bobcat with especially low gears (to help get up those steep hills in Cumbria!). Max became so proficient, so quickly, that soon he was desperate to have an even better bike and actually saved up his money to buy a Kona Dawg. A great bike, which has taken his mountain biking skills to a new level.

Luke hasn’t been quite as keen as Max but is a very competent downhiller and is still with Max’s old Marin Bobcat (which didn’t get an awful lot of use as Max traded up so quickly).

Myself, I currently have a Marin Mount Vision but I am thinking that it has taken a bit of a battering over the last three years and it may be time to trade up.

In the same way as skiing, we are all at different levels but can come down the differing runs to the same end point, or, the same run, at different rates.

Our biking together has given us an exciting, thrilling way to keep fit as a family. We get muddy, have adventures and fun too.

Max on a blue run in Verbier


Max taking a jump in Verbier


For the boys, I like to think that our encouragement to take part in this sport has given them many benefits; enhanced physical development, a fun way of keeping fit for life, a social skill for relaxing with friends, and an appreciation and assessment of potential dangers.

Sadly, because we are usually so busy actually doing the mountain biking we don’t have that many pictures or videos of us in action.


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