Monkey Business

Monkey Business

This post has a very tenuous link to cycling 🙂

At the weekend it was my daughter’s 11th birthday, and we spent the day at Go Ape in Glentress forest near Peebles. Mountain bikers will know that area as some of the most glorious single track in Scotland. That’s the tenous cycling bit of the post done! We spent nearly 3 hours up in the trees with my daughter and friend having an absolute ball while I confronted an old fear of heights that crept up on me in my twenties. Starting from relatively comfortable and low down, the challenges get progressively higher and more exposed and I think they’ve got the balance really good here – if you have any fear of heights you will definitely feel it, but not to the point that you will completely freak out. Well, maybe not until near the end……

The ridiculously long and high zip line through the trees and across the valley is phenomenal fun. It’s like that scene in the Divergent movie when Tris flies through the city ruins. Not to be missed, it will bring out the excited child in even the most hardened grumpy old fart 🙂

I just wanted to mention this day out because it seems to me that in a world where you need to pay more and more for things that are less and less fun, this was an excellent value afternoon spent doing good old fashioned stuff in a beautiful forest. It requires a bit of care and attention and assumes you are sensible enough to be left alone 50 feet up with a harness and a few karabiners. Just like the old days before the world went health and safety mad.

If you’ve got a mountain bike, stick it on the roof rack and double up on the fun. Don’t try it on a recumbent though, unless you’re skilled on a Morciglio Kodiak. I once rode the blue route at Glentress with my then 2 year old daughter on the back of my trusty old Rockhopper in a copilot seat. That was probably a bit daft. Any emerging teeth were swiftly shaken out! There was a guy in tweeds riding an old boneshaker with the wicker basket and everything, so I wasn’t the only one. That seat survived two kids, about 10000 miles and a fair bit of off-roading. It eventually gave up the ghost out in East Lothian one day. I felt like sending it back to the company to compliment them on how well it had performed, and to let them analyse what happens to their product when it is thoroughly abused 🙂

1 comment so far

David G Posted on9:30 pm - Apr 8, 2019

” I once rode the blue route at Glentress with my then 2 year old daughter on the back of my trusty old Rockhopper in a copilot seat. ”

Co-pilot seats were such a common accessory. My daughter’s favourite means of transport till she was 5. Then it was back of a Thorn Voyager tandem. That got me interested in non standard bikes…!
In that front we’ve sold a few Helios duo and a triplet went out last week. Upright but designed to let two children pedal with parent.
Zip wires can’t be beat for forest commuting! Did a big one at Karkloof in South Africa with daughter and friend. Had a network of 10 routes through tree canopy. Thrilling in a stressful way!

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