The Longest Day – An Elan Epic Ride

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Matthew Finch takes advantage of the longest day of the year, by leaving the trail centre behind and going for his longest ride.

I awoke to the manic buzzing and beeping of my phone alarm. It was 3.00am.

There’s something enticing and beautiful about the summer solstice. The 21st June – the longest day. A summit mid-way through the earth’s flight around the sun, where daylight hours reach their ultimate peak before a slow descent back towards a December low point. Today, I’d be utilising maximum available daylight on a solo mountain bike mission in the Cambrian Mountains.

Longest Day
Grey gives way to blue.

It was cold outside for June, 6 degrees Celsius at 3.20am. I let out a shiver as I secured my bike to the roof bars under an almost full moon and noticed the pale blue slither of sky on the eastern horizon – the first sign of sunrise. The neighbouring houses all looked to be firmly in night mode, their occupiers fast asleep for another few hours before the madness of the Friday commute begins. I planned to be halfway up a mountain by the time everyone else goes into battle with rush hour.

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Hannah Dobson

Hannah came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. Having worked in policy and project management roles at the Scottish Parliament and in local government, Hannah had organisational skills that SIngletrack needed. She also likes bikes, and likes to write.

Hannah likes all bikes, but especially unusual ones. If it’s a bit odd, or a bit niche, or made of metal, she’s probably going to get excited. If it gets her down some steep stuff, all the better. She’ll give most things a go once, she tries not to say no to anything on a bike, unless she really thinks it’s going to hurt. She’s pretty good with steri-strips.

More than bikes, Hannah likes what bikes do. She thinks that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments.

Hannah tries to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

Comments (3)

    Awesome part of the world to ride. Truly spectacular. Not been for a few years but rode there plenty in the early 2000’s . Do a search on Clive Powell he is a real elan valley legend

    I’m another who suffered at the hands or maybe legs of Clive Powell, we went as men and returned as broken boys. Our Clive a true hard man and sadist!

    Good write up and nice photos.

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