Monthly Archives: April 2016

Racing bikes in Scotland!


Deputy Manager at Grizedale, Dan, and Area Manager Clair applied to the Adventure Fund for support to enter some enduro mountain bike races early this year. This is what happened.

The two races could not have been more different.

The first race at Gisburn Forest in Lancashire was bathed in warm spring sunshine and had lovely dry trails. The Vallelujah Enduro in the Tweed Valley in Scotland threw everything the weather gods could at us. We live and ride in Grizedale Forest in the South Lakes, so are no strangers to wet weather, but what we faced in Scotland was something else! 

For those that don’t know, enduro mountain bike races consist of a number of timed special stages and untimed transitions in between. The trails of each race were a mixture of man made and natural trails that provide a multitude of challenges from steep, muddy and slippy, to super fast with jumps and drops that always make for very exciting races.

Riders have to have a good combination of skills and fitness to do well.

The first race at Gisburn was a one-day affair with a chance to practice the 5 stages in the morning and then race them in the afternoon. We had tracks that were tight through the trees, open tracks with big rock slabs and steep sided berms and fast tracks with drops. Clair did exceptionally well in this one and came 4th and managed to get a spot on the podium (in mountain bike races, the first five riders get a spot). Dan didn’t do so well with a few mechanical issues and a couple of little crashes that resulted in a mid pack finish.

The second race at Peebles was a bigger and more serious event and lasted the whole weekend. Practice took place on Saturday in nice, dry and warm conditions. The tracks were running very well and everyone was excited about the race on Sunday. Then the weather got involved and after 2 weeks of benign conditions, the wind picked up.

The rain came. It never went away.

This turned the trails into the slippiest kind of sloppy mud. Much of the transitions were spent with our heads down avoiding the wind blown hail stone bullets that seemed to pelt in sideways through the trees stinging any bit of exposed skin. A bit of snow fell and then the sun came out. Then the hailstones came back. The stages in this race were harder, longer and steeper than Gisburn and to be honest, by the end of the day, thoughts of results had gone out of the window and we were starting to suffer in the cold. We were happy to finish the race safe and sound after about 4 and a half hours on the bikes.

It’s been a good start to our race season and with the Adventure Fund’s help, we are doing more enduros throughout the season.

The next one is at Grizedale, more to follow.

Find a Forest Near You


There are a lot of reasons to love our forests.

They provide a leafy sanctuary where we can escape the hustle and bustle. They offer a place where we can relax, take some time out and connect with nature. We visit them to explore, to spot wildlife and to see the effects of changing seasons. They are a space to discover, whether we choose to walk, run, bike, swing or roll our way around them!

Of course, the Go Ape tribe have a lot to thank forests for – they provide us with our workspace, after all! Because of forests, Tris and Becs were able to turn their dream into reality, creating a Tree Top Adventure for everyone to enjoy.

Did you know that last month we celebrated the International Day of Forests?

Established by the United Nations General Assembly four years ago, the aim of the day was to raise awareness of the importance of the world’s forests and trees.

But, why raise awareness? Well, our forests may be fun and they may be beautiful, but they are also one of our planet’s most important ecosystems. They are our earth’s lungs, absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen, and they’re also home to more than 80% of the world’s land-based plants and animals.

However, we’re losing forest cover at an alarming rate.

More than 500 million hectares have been burnt down in the past decade, destroying habitats and putting many species of wildlife at increased risk of extinction. It’s not too late to make a change, but we must act now.

The theme for this year’s International Day of Forests was water, looking at how forests are vital to the earth’s freshwater supply. According to the UN, forested watersheds and wetlands provide 75% of the world’s accessible freshwater, while around one-third of the world’s biggest cities obtain a substantial proportion of drinking water from forest protected areas. Forests are natural water filters, yet climate change is altering their role in water flows and is impacting the availability of water resources.

What you can do

Our forests are mega important – around one billion people depend on them for their livelihood. Let’s not forget about all the animals that live there, or the endless varieties of plants and trees that thrive there.

International Day of Forests might have passed but there are a number of things you can do to continue showing your support. Watching and sharing the official International Day of Forests video will help raise awareness.

Above all else, simply visiting and spending time in a forest near you is a great way to celebrate International Day of Forests. You could go on a bike ride with your family, or take a more leisurely stroll through the trees. Or, if you’ve a penchant for Tarzan-inspired adventure, why not swing through the trees at Go Ape? The Forestry Commission website features a map of all the UK’s forests and woodlands and features a list of events to get involved in.

An adventure shared…

Zip Trekking in Cumbria

Adventure knows no boundaries.

An adventure can be as small as constructing a den with your kids in the back garden, or as huge as scaling one of the world’s highest mountains. An adventure could be as simple as waking up early to catch the sunrise, or as scary as jumping out of a plane for your first-ever tandem skydive.

Whatever adventure awaits you, there’s one thing we know to be true: the best adventures are shared adventures!

Living life adventurously

‘Live life adventurously’ – that’s the Go Ape motto, as you probably already know. We inspire others to live their lives more adventurously, starting with swinging through the trees Tarzan-style on one of our Tree Top Adventures.

But now, we think it’s your turn to do the inspiring. We don’t want you to keep your adventures to yourself; we want you to share them with the world! If you’ve done something awesome recently, you should feel excited to tell people about it. If you got a promotion at work or scored an A* on an exam, you wouldn’t keep the news to yourself, would you? You’d shout from the rooftops about it – and that’s what we want you to do about your recent adventures!

Sharing is caring

To make it easy for you to share your stories with the world, we’ve created the #ShareAdventure microsite. It’s basically a database of people’s exciting expeditions, with photos for proof.

The aim of the site is to start a domino effect of adventure. By hitting the ‘Be Inspired’ button, people can read all about other people’s adventure-filled anecdotes. We hope that will either encourage them to try a similar adventure, or to get out there and embark on an utterly unique adventure of their own!

Perhaps you’ve been lax on the adventure front recently. You’ve got that fire in your belly but you’re stuck for ideas on what to try next. You’ve climbed mountains, you’ve camped in the wild, you’ve cruised Britain’s coastline in a campervan – but what now? Well, head over to the #ShareAdventure site to find out what your next adventure should be!

Whether they’re big or small, all adventures are worth sharing.

Wouldn’t it feel good if you knew that you were responsible for giving someone the boost they needed to get out there and embrace adventure? To know that you’ve helped them lead a more fun and fulfilled life?

Oh, there’s also another benefit of sharing your story – there are some awesome goodies up for grabs, including Go Ape tees and hoodies, as well as free tickets to come hang out with us on a Tree Top Adventure.

So, what are you waiting for? Be part of the adventure movement by sharing your story and inspiring others – starting today!

Visit now!

Two-wheeled Adventures

Two-Wheeled Adventures

We spend a lot of time on our feet – walking, running, and simply standing still. So, it’s only right to give our tootsies a well-earned rest every once in a while!

When we say ‘rest,’ we don’t necessarily mean putting your feet up on the sofa and not shifting an inch all day. There is a way to rest your feet whilst remaining active: by swapping two legs for two wheels and embracing the great outdoors!

Wheely good fun

Many adventures can be had on two wheels. And rolling (instead of walking) around with your friends and family in tow will make your adventures far more exciting!

First, you need to pick your mode of transport – the obvious choice for many will be the humble bicycle. There are thousands of cycle routes in the UK to choose from, all ranging in distance and difficulty. The Sustrans website contains a comprehensive list of routes along with maps, summaries, free leaflets (where available) and related route links.

For some off-road fun, head to one of the UK’s woods or forests.

Depending on your skill level and who’s riding with you, you can take your pick from leisurely trails to dedicated, graded mountain bike routes. And if you don’t own your own set of wheels, many of the forests have bike hire facilities. The Forestry Commission website contains all the information you need.

Here’s another two-wheeled suggestion: scooters! Scooters can be just as fun as bikes, whether your little ones ride them to school, to the shops, or use them to pull some impressive stunts at the local skate park.

There’s also a strong argument for adults hopping aboard a scooter, too! Not only is scooting a fun way to travel, but it cuts down journey times, helps you save on petrol, and is good for toning those leg muscles! Choosing to scoot instead of drive a car or catch the bus into work also reduces your carbon footprint – plus, your kids will (probably) think you’re mega cool! Still not convinced? You might be after reading this micro-scooter article.

If you’re keen on exploring the forest on two wheels, you don’t always have to opt for a bike!

If you visit Go Ape, for instance, you could choose to ride one of our all-terrain, self-balancing Forest Segways! The very latest in green technology, our electric Segways will take you off the beaten track, enabling you to explore the wonders of the forest as you weave your way in and out of the trees. It’s an adventure not to be missed.

Our Forest Segway Experience is available at 11 of our adventures across the UK and costs just £35. Included in your experience are a safety demo, practice session, and a totally unforgettable forest experience. You’ll be covering some serious ground on your adventure and will be rolling on everything from simple pathways to truly testing trails. That’s why one of the Go Ape tribe will make sure you’ve mastered the art of balance before letting you roam free!

Page 1 of 3123