The other day an interesting story arrived in my inbox. It was from Charlotte Griffin, one half of mountain bike micro-adventure company, Muddy Cwtch which she founded with her partner, Craig Jones. Charlotte was emailing me to tell me that the new website was up and that the first weekend was planned and ready for takers this Easter.
Muddy Cwtch provides Mountain Bike Weekenders for small groups and individuals complete with nutritional support in the south Shropshire hills for both inexperienced and experienced riders. ‘Cwtch‘ is pronounced ‘Cutch’ and takes its name from the Welsh word meaning hug, cosy, nook or a safe haven which is exactly what the Shropshire landscape means to Charlotte and Craig.
I’m always fascinated when people who have busy careers pursue something that offers an escape or a break from the daily grind. Charlotte and Craig have lived and worked in London for the past ten years with Craig working in digital, designing websites and Charlotte as a marketeer, currently Marketing Manager at St Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney. In addition to their careers, they both share a love of Shropshire, mountain biking and breaking free from the shackles of London life and into the welcoming arms of the hills and trails.
Escaping back to Shropshire at weekends to mountain bike, Craig and Charlotte both saw an opportunity to make mountain biking more accessible as well as introducing more people to the natural single tracks of the area. Riders visit Church Stretton, surrounding areas such as Eastridge and Hopton Woods and The Long Mynd which was recently selected by MBR Magazine* as December’s ‘Best of British’ who said “…Although it’s completely ‘natural’ and not designed for bikes at all, it’s hard to believe that a trail builder could have done a better job”
Both Craig and Charlotte have their own individual roles at Muddy Cwtch with Craig leading the MTB tours and Charlotte, who is soon to qualify as a Nutritional Therapist, driving the food element of the weekends. Charlotte provides a menu for the weekend that focuses on delicious sustaining and repairing foods cooked from scratch and with limited wastage.
About the mountain biking, Craig says “it can be seen as offlimits to some, especially down south. Decent bikes aren’t cheap either. But that’s why we take the hassle out of it, we’ll help plan their travel, transport or hire bikes and start from the basic principles or jump straight into the more difficult trails”.
Leaving London Friday evening and returning Sunday, it’s a micro-adventure Londoners can fit around their 9 to 5. It’s made even easier with the recent launch of Virgin’s direct London Shrewsbury train line (2.5 hours), free station pick up and bike transport service which Muddy Cwtch will provide. The weekenders are flexed depending on skill level, perfect for newbies itching to try out mountain biking for the 1st time, or for pros looking for new hills. But one thing that remains consistent is the fuel for the weekend the food; nutritionally shaped, sustaining and hearty.
As I write this, it’s Saturday, 10th January, significant because it’s what they call ‘Sunshine Saturday’, the day when the most number of people book their holidays for the year. The adventurers among us will also be hatching their intrepid weekends, mini-breaks and training plans for the Spring and Summer. It’s timely then that I have this idea to share with them.
Their first weekender takes place on Easter weekend 3rd 4th April 2015.
For further information visit www.muddycwtch.com