GISDA is a charitable company based in Caernarfon “offering vulnerable people in our society the opportunity to improve their quality of life so they aren’t disadvantaged because of poverty.”

This week they brought a group of young people to Coed y Brenin to have a go at mountain biking, and I was their coach and guide for the day.

MTBing offers many challenges, not least of which is the price of participation – bikes aren’t cheap, bike maintenance is an ongoing outgoing, and the extra kit needed (helmets, gloves, shorts and so on) all add to the cost. I dread to think how much I’ve spent over the years to facilitate my passion for the sport.

If you can afford to participate then MTBing offers countless rewards – there’s the health benefits, breathing the fresh air, getting out into the most beautiful places in our world, as well as the buzz from one of the most exciting sports on the planet.

Into the woods.
Into the woods.

So, I think it’s a great thing that an organisation such as GISDA offers opportunities for participation in mountain biking that are most likely beyond the financial reach of the young people they support.

None of the folks from GISDA had mountain biked before – some hadn’t been on a bike for years. Yet they all seemed to have a fabulous day. I was impressed by their determination and their willingness to throw themselves whole-heartedly into the sport; when they were too knackered to pedal they just kept pushing. Extra sections were added to the itinerary to feed their appetites. They were inspiring!

It’s always been a passion of mine to get more people riding bikes – it’s the reason I got into coaching in the first place. Biking is a healthy activity with fun thrown in for free. It can also be a cost-effective way to travel. So, as well as being enjoyable, working with GISDA today made a lot of sense. That’s why in the future I’ll be looking to support GISDA in other ways too.

more pics on GISDA’s photostream.

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