This year is set to be a big one for Great Rock. As well as the popular trail centre and natural trail UK courses, I’m heading off with my bike in the EVOC bag to lead several European skills holidays. If you meet my wife you might just explain to her that this is a job and not just one big holiday.

Although all the trips have mountain bike skills as the core element, there is a lot more going on as well. I’m keen that all the trips are good holidays in their own right and the locations are actually places that I want to go to. It’s not all school and we have a lot of fun riding our bikes all day in the big hills with the assistance of experienced guides. ¬†When the riding’s done we can relax in good places and our accommodation and food is always of a high standard. Sometimes we drink a beer or two.

The riding in all the areas has lots of quiet singletrack trails. It’s all proper mountain biking with the right balance of technical challenges as well as magnificent views. Because the areas I go to are a bit quieter the riding is not all uplifted. There is some pedalling although all the trips also include uplift to get the most fun out of our riding time. You will not have to queue to ride and neither will you have to suffer braking bumps. Details of all the trips are here on the site under the Courses tab above.

Trans Provence

First up are the February and March, 3 day Trans Provence skills breaks in the south of France based at Sospel. I’m running these with Ash, mastermind of the notoriously technical Trans Provence race. In September I’m off again to work as part of the mountain team for the TP race itself.

Basque country

Building on the success of last year’s Basque skills and guided riding holiday, I’m pleased to be collaborating with Doug from Basque MTB again in July this year. NW Spain is a lovely area with great, quiet trails. There is mountain, coast and forest there and the riding often has lovely views out to the Atlantic coast. The Basque country has a unique culture and my favourite part of that is the excellent food.

August sees a return to the south of France for my first collaboration with trailAddiction for a backcountry skills week in the Areches-Beaufort or ‘Destination X’ area of the French Alps.

Hopefully I’ll get a trip to Greece in the autumn as well after several journeys over there in the last couple of years. These trips have been for Greek mountain bikers so far, but there are plans in the pipeline for Greek riding holidays.

Maybe see you out there somewhere!