News and Blog

Young blood – The next generation of mountain bikers is here: Video and guide to get your kids riding

Posted: 22 March 2013

We all know what it’s like when you’re riding down a trail with a huge grin on your face and you think you’re ‘killing it’ riding the best you ever have. Then out of nowhere someone sails past you making it look like you’re standing still!

Now imagine the feeling when you find out they’re 8 years old!!!

Meet Joshua, we think he’s totally awesome!

We came across this awesome young rider whilst filming at the Afan Bike Park a few weeks ago and decided he was too good not to make a video about him. One of the core aims of the Cognation project is to get more people riding like Joshua whether they’re 8 or 80 years old. To do this we’re building more trails like The Rookie , a blue run at Afan and for the less fearless (like Josh!) our new Afan Valley Bike Park featured in the video.

A parent’s guide to getting your kids mountain biking

Is your son or daughter the next Sam Hill or Manon Carpenter? They might be, so we caught up with Ben from the Afan Valley Bike Shed to get the essential details on getting you and your kids mountain biking in South Wales.

Ben has 2 children and owns Afan Valley Bike Shed, he’s a mountain biking nut who has been riding since the 80s! His shop does sales, hire and training.

Q: Where would you say is the best place to take kids mountain biking in South Wales for the first time?

A: The Rookie is a great Green and Blue trail and the perfect introduction to the feeling of mountain biking without taking you out of your comfort zone. If you haven’t been there before it’s in the heart of the Afan Valley and easy to get to just a few miles north of Port Talbot (just follow the tourism signs off of junction 40, M4).

Q: What about if Mum or Dad aren’t that confident riding themselves?

A: Firstly always wear a helmet! You’re responsible for yourself and your kids. Anyone can ride the Rookie trail though (Even my 3 year old daughter!) so just give it a go.

Q: What can you do if the weather goes ‘Welsh’ on a family biking trip?!

A: The beauty of the Afan Valley trails is they can be ridden in all weather which makes them a perfect wet weather activity. There’s no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing, so come prepared and you’ll have a great day. If the weather does go horrible there’s always cake and coffee available at the Afan Forest Visitor Centre.

Q: What equipment do you and your children need?

A: The only equipment you need to ride the Rookie Trail is something with wheels (any bike will do!), a rain jacket just in case and a helmet. Even if you don’t have the bike and helmet you can hire them from us.

Q: Where’s the best ice cream to be found?!

A: They do a damn good selection of ice creams at the visitors centre that would keep any child (or grown up) happy!

Cognation is determined to make mountain biking a sport for everyone and South Wales has some of the best trails in the UK to get the whole family riding.