Picture yourself at the top of hill, with a mile or so of rough track ahead of you and gravity egging you on towards a challenge of both skill and nerve.
Downhill mountain biking is surely the most exciting of the new disciplines that have sprung up during the phenomenal growth in the sport in the 30 or so years since its “invention” in California.
And the great news in the Shropshire Hills is just that, thanks to organised downhill practice days and competitions, once you reach the bottom, there can be support in place to get you right back up to the top.
The Hills boast not just excellent downhill courses, but also – for riders more keen on exploring new places – some fine waymarked cross-country trails on bridleways across Forestry Commission and National Trust land. There are even events where you can go extreme, such as the Batch Burner, which criss-crosses the Long Mynd.
The days when mountain biking was a bit of niche activity are long gone, with state-of-the-art hybrid machines available for hire, you can opt for as little as half a day’s experience to see if you get the bug. And pause for a moment to gaze in awe in the cycle shop at some of the magnificent custom machines now available for those with both the budget and the dedication!