Look back at 2020

6th July 2020 was the day when British Cycling gave us all the green light to start activities after lockdown. New Forest Cycling Tours was ready and had riders booked in for tours. The conditions was good for riding off-road with the Forest and trails dry and the weather warm. One of our first tours was north of Hampshire; it was a circular ride from King’s Somborne up to Stockbridge and back.This particular ride was on bridleways and small country lanes and took in some stunning views from Farley Mount.

Another tour was requested by a group of friends for a half day adventure ride in the heart of The New Forest on gravel tracks and on bridleways. A pre-ride was completed and date set; 5 riders took part with mixed abilities. Our 42km circular ride started off from Brockenhurst, heading towards Rhinefield. The tour also took in the old aerodrome over at Beaulieu Heath, and rode through the quiet villages of Pilley and Boldre to reach a bridleway which eventually got us to a river crossing. Some riders rode over the bridge and the rest risked getting their feet wet and rode though the river. What fun !

Confidence building and just getting out for a ride have been some of the goals for our 1 on 1 rides. Getting out for a ride is a fantastic way to experience the New Forest and is very powerful for our mental health and well-being.

Another highlight was two keen riders who were staying in the Forest for the weekend in the autumn and were looking for a two hour tour. The riders gave me a brief for their ride, and the bespoke tour that was developed took in the stunning colours of the Forest seen at this time of year. We had Hoped to catch a glimpse of one of the hundreds of deer in the Forest, they were conspicuous only by their absence. The weather was not kind to us on that day with strong winds and at times heavy rain but this did not damp our spirits.

Family bookings are always fun. A family of 5 booked with us for a leisure circular tour of 20km on a Sunday in late September. The ride took in the stunning views of the Forest with plenty of stops on the way; this was a relaxing and steady ride with a pace that suited the whole family.

This year also saw the launch of our gift vouchers. They offer a ride with a guide in the heart of The New Forest for the adventurous Mountain Biker in your life. Vouchers start from £20 and are a unique gift idea for Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and even for Valentines. Looking forward to 2021 where there are more mountain bike adventures to come.