Just got this from Ade and Co. down in London. The calm before the storm.
They are opening the doors right now and the sample sale will run until Sunday - so if you are in the area at all over the next few days, make sure you pop down there to see if anything tickles your fancy.
In what other sport can you experience the same challenge as the World’s leading athletes?
Whether you’re spectating at the bottom of Medusa’s Drop, or actually riding the very same descent, the Dalby Dare is an object lesson in just how deceptively easy the top riders make it look when they tackle the same obstacles the following day.
If you’re one of the lucky entrants who secured a place in this year’s Dalby Dare, you probably don’t need reminding of the tough task that lies ahead of you! For everyone else, here’s a little more about the Dalby Dare and why it has become a “must-do” for so many mountain bikers
The Dalby World Cup course is open to the public all year round. But it’s one thing to ride it on a quiet weekend with your mates. It’s an entirely different experience to tackle it with hundreds of other riders, spectators looking on and with all the World Cup branding in place. The tension ramps up as you wait to start beneath the World Cup arch and the adrenaline just keeps on coming as you roll out onto the course. Every rider is equipped with a timing chip, which means you can compare your time with that of the pros.
But there’s more to the Dalby Dare than just a lap of the World Cup course: after riders cross the finish line at the end of the World Cup loop, they head off into the forest once again, this time for a tour of some 20km of Dalby’s outstanding trails. The forest is home to some of the best Black and Red graded riding in the country and the Dalby Dare loop is a fine extension to the rip-snorting World Cup course.
The Dalby Dare goody bag is worth the price of entry alone, containing a howies organic cotton T-Shirt topping the list of free goodies assembled by the people at Purple Mountain in Dalby Forest.
To find out more about the event and get your last minute entry, head to mtbworldcup.co.uk
We were really happy to see so many of you getting involved and posting photos of what you got up to on the weekend.
It's been pretty hard to pick out just 30 winners - but as promised below are the lucky 30 shots which have won a free t-shirt each. They feature fun, bikes, surf, hills, family, food, sun, adventure, relaxation & freedom.
Huge thanks to everyone who took part - We're hoping to do more stuff like this before too long.
Oh, and you can always check out loads of other great entries on our facebook wall here if you're looking for a little inspiration for your next weekend of adventure.
My aim for the year is to showcase small, cheap, simple, close-to-home microadventures.
Microadventures serve to scratch the itch for adventurous souls trapped by the bludgeoning of fate in sensible office jobs. They act as stepping stones for people who dream of a major expedition but feel that at the moment they are not quite ready. And they are a kick up the backside to anyone whinging and whining with excuses about how they don’t have the time or the money or the skills to get out there and challenge themselves. I have started deliberately small, with ideas that absolutely anyone can manage. In January I entered a race. And in February I went for a weekend away. These are micro microadventures. But they are brilliant.
If you add up all the weekends, statutory leave and Bank Holidays you’ll discover that you have at least 132 free days every year. 132 days is a long time. You could row across the Indian Ocean in 132 days. The difficulty of course is the fragmented nature of these 132 days. You have to be determined to use your weekends rather than frittering them with IKEA and the X-Factor.
So my microadventure for this month is a challenge to Use Your Weekend. Annoyingly I live about as far from wilderness as is possible. And yet by late morning on Saturday I was still high on a Welsh hillside, breathing in fresh air, looking down over the sunlit Bristol Channel, and about to scare myself silly on a downhill mountain bike trail.
Go somewhere you have never been before. Ride hard. Get wet, cold and muddy. Laugh with your mates. Then relax, aching and exhausted, having earned your beer. Use Your Weekend.
Do you have any examples of inspiring, invigorating weekend microadventures?
And do you have any recommendations of microadventures I can try this year?
Have your say in the comments or let me know on Twitter @al_humphreys