Matt

Writer of words, rider of bikes.
Also fond of a good walk.

A child on a bike, an adult walking and a dog are silhouetted on the wet sand of Porthcawl at low tide.

Corum said he had wondered whether to bother opening his shop that morning; it was still term time in Wales and distinctly off-season for surfing and cycling in Porthcawl. Luckily for us, he had decided to show up.

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Two Brompton bikes and a child's Islabike lean against a wall on the Bristol-Bath cycle path.

“Ha, your bikes are smaller than mine,” chuckled G as J and I retrieved our Bromptons from the lockers outside Bristol Temple Meads Station.

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A child rides along a path in a deep rock cutting on the Monsal Trail.

We dived into Pizza Express, hungry after a day that had been a bit more adventurous than planned – combining a family ride on the Monsal Trail with a hike back into Buxton.

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A child rides their bike up a trail through a tree-lined section of the Elan Valley Trail on a sunny day.

The Elan Valley Trail, set amidst the Cambrian Mountains, had been on our cycling wish list for a while. There can be few family-friendly cycle paths as spectacular.

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The silhouette of an adult, a child and a dog on a lead walking on the canal towpath underneath a road bridge.

Keen to escape rural mud after a wet winter, we caught the train into Birmingham for an urban wander and, for one of us, an unscheduled swim.

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The mountain bike I’d hired was in quite a state when I handed it back. And so was I. Storm Brian had taken its toll on the Tennyson Trail and we were both caked in mud.

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Benji the bear peaks out of a rucksack near Freshwater Bay on the Isle of Wight.

Storm Brian was in full force as our ferry crossed the Solent. This was an inauspicious start to our holiday on the Isle of Wight.

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Specialized Roubaix bike pictured at Gospel Pass in the mountains above Hay-on-Wye.

I’d been looking forward to riding this route, which bisects the Black Mountains on the highest road pass in Wales. And – despite three punctures and some ill-advised fish and chips – it didn’t disappoint.

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Bikes and trailer lean on a bench during a pub stop on the return from Gloucester Docks.

The bridge lifted to allow a narrowboat to pass underneath. If you're three years old this sort of thing is indescribably exciting.

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A chocolate Labrador sits, tongue hanging out, by a wooden signpost marking the source of the River Severn.

Every winter, I climb the hill behind our house to see the extent of the flooding in the vale below. It’s hard to believe this immense volume of water starts its journey in a muddy puddle on a Welsh hillside.

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