Mountain biking (MTB) is rising in popularity throughout society and the regiment is no different with growing numbers taking up the sport.
Several disciplines within MTB allow for a wide variety of activities, ranging from tough physical races over technical terrain known as cross country (XC) to the more adrenaline filled Downhill (DH), which sees participants throwing themselves down mountains in the fastest time possible over some seriously challenging terrain.
The pinnacle of the DH season culminates in the inter-service DH event that is held each year. This year the championships were held at the auspicious Revolution bike park, Llangynog. The event is open to all and so two members of 1 R WELSH and one member of 3 R WELSH attended.
The fledgling mountain bike team took to the hills of North Wales with trepidation after an initial track walk showed how difficult the race was going to be. In typical fashion the rain closed in and made a difficult course even worse with several attempts at completing the course without a crash failing to materialise.
However, a staggering display of skill was on show by members of the Navy, Army and Air Force teams who made it look easy, setting blistering times to rival and surpass even the guest professional rider Ben Deakin.
Race day saw a slight improvement in the weather but not the track and several participants from the previous days riding failed to attend due to either injury or simply not being comfortable with the course. Nevertheless, it is not the way of Royal Welshmen to give up and all three members not only raced but completed the course without crashing out, subsequently setting excellent times and gaining invaluable experience along the way on what was a national level track.
With a member of the Regiment already in the Army team in the form of LCpl Mears and several MTB instructors both regular and reserve, the R WELSH MTB team is looking to grow and compete in the future Forest of Dean mini downhill series along with many other days at local bike parks and training days.