How to Improve Nutrition & Recovery – Insights from Elite Cycling Coach, Scott Bugden

How to Improve Nutrition & Recovery – Insights from Elite Cycling Coach, Scott Bugden

In this video, Coach, Scott Bugden from Swiss Cycling Track Team explains to Michael how you can use nutrition and recovery to optimise your cycling performance.

Michael is a Level 3 British Cycling coach who works with cyclists across a range of disciplines, developing fitness, skills and competitive performance. He is a keen bike racer, currently focusing on Downhill and Enduro MTB. He has a strong endurance background, having raced at a National Level in XC, Road, and Cyclocross.


To get in touch with Michael about performance coaching please head to his website RideAbout.

How To Keep Safe When Mountain Biking In Winter

How To Keep Safe When Mountain Biking In Winter

The idea of mountain biking amongst snowy landscapes may seem very attractive in your mind. Why wouldn’t it? It looks like something out of a film!

But the realities of mountain biking in the winter are less than cinematic. In reality, it can be very dangerous. Whether it’s snow, sleet, ice, or simply the freezing temperatures, there are plenty of ways you can get into trouble when biking in the winter.

However, you don’t want to stop biking over the winter just because of some cold weather. When you look out at the below-freezing temperatures, it can feel tempting to stay in and catch up on the latest rugby union scores, but you know you’ll love it when you’re out on the roads.

For that reason, ensuring you know the dangers and take preventative measures to avoid trouble is essential to keep biking no matter the season.

Check your roads beforehand

When it’s icy out, you need to check the roads you are going to take before you set off. It is imperative that you only stick to roads that have been treated already. This should ensure your safety when biking in icy conditions.

Even when following these routes, you need to stay alert. Large, exposed sections of the road can become icy again as the wind chill affects them. When you see icy patches, you should always try to go around them – that’s only if you have time to manoeuvre it and if the route around the patch is safe.

If you find yourself in an icy patch, the best course of action is to ride it out. But, whatever you do, don’t make any sudden movements.

As with all winter weathers – snow, ice, rain – be aware of increased stopping distances.


In the winter, it gets light later in the morning and gets darker earlier at night. Even during daylight hours, it can get pretty dingy and dark on a cloudy day. Because of this, keeping on top of your lights is essential. Both so you can see, and so you can be seen by others.

The best way to keep your lights safe is to ensure your lights are USB chargeable, not battery chargeable. With battery chargeable lights, you’d have to stop to switch out batteries if your lights go. Plus, if you find yourself caught out with no replacement batteries, you won’t have any lights at all. This is simply too dangerous during the winter months.

Goggles or Glasses

Wearing goggles might make you feel a little silly, but they are a necessity during winter. The rainier season means the tracks you’ll be biking are much muddier. Keeping your eyes protected from the splatter is key to keeping your vision clear (and your face clean!).
Goggles will also keep the wind out of your eyes – and keep your eyes moist. However, ensure your goggles are clear so you can see your route perfectly.


Fuel your ride with great tasting coffee

Fuel your ride with great tasting coffee

After what feels like a lifetime of being stuck inside our homes and restricted from non-essential traveling, we are now finally allowed to step into the great outdoors once again. Get rid of those odors coming from your biking clothes, give your bike a good clean and get ready to hit those trails again!

There are a few things that we’ve deeply missed when it comes to the thought of getting out on the bike once again – The view of surrounded forests from the top of a climb, the feeling of the wind rushing past your face, and doing all this whilst the rest of the country is still waking up. Now that we’re feeling that extra appreciation, let’s talk about how we fuel these early morning starts on a full day of mountain biking.

First up, let’s talk about equipment. You don’t need anything fancy to make an amazing cup of coffee, an Aeropress is perfect for making great tasting coffee without the faff so you don’t need to wake up any earlier. Overall it should take around 3 minutes including boiling the water.


In recent years there have been world championship recipes brewed with an Aeropress that are so simple to make, you can prepare a cup before you set out or take it in a flask for the journey to your trails. Try the below method:

  • Heat some water over your stove or fire until near boiling point
  • Weigh out 20-25g of good quality coffee, you want a coarse grind if you’re using whole beans and grinding yourself.
  • Add coffee to the press and use 150ml of hot water
  • Stir for around 30 seconds using a spoon and then apply the press and push down slowly, don’t stop when you hear the bubbling, we actually want this to happen and create a nice compact coffee disc when we’re done with the brewing. 

You should now have a fresh cup of coffee which you can dilute with hot water to get your preferred strength and taste. The smell alone from a freshly brewed coffee is enough to wake you up and give you that boost to tackle the day ahead. Take a deep breath in and savour the moment. 

Author: Rave Coffee

“Quality beans. No jargon. No BS. Great coffee made simple”. 


Brecon Beacons mountain bike mini break

Brecon Beacons mountain bike mini break

Inspired by the sun today we thought we would share a little video of our mini break to South Wales. Mountain biking is an awesome way to experience the outdoors and get back to nature, all of our mini breaks include wild trail rides as well as skills coaching by experienced mountain bike coaches, Pilates, comfy beds and comforting food.

To book onto our next South Wales mini break visit our weekend breaks page here. This mountain bike mini break is perfect for those who have been riding blue and red graded trails at trail centres and fancy getting off the beaten track away from signposts and going where there is less ‘traffic’. You will need a good level of fitness and have been riding a mountain bike for at least a year to enjoy the trip. Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Guest Post – Carrianne’s Quantocks Adventure

Guest Post – Carrianne’s Quantocks Adventure

At Beyond the Mud we want to enable as much riding as possible! Which is why we started guest blog posts, these blog posts let you hear about riding in new places from other passionate mountain bikers and hopefully give you some ideas on where you could go on your next mountain bike adventure. This latest blog post is by mountain biker Carrianne, we hope you enjoy reading and thank you Carianne for sharing your adventure with us.

Outdoor loving, late thirty-something, Mum to two boys. I got into mountain biking in my early twenties, and I love the opportunity for exploration and friendship riding bikes has provided. From cycling North to South Wales off-road for a friends 50th to adventures nearer to home and getting lost in the woods trying to find new trails! Now I have a young family, mountain biking allows me to occasionally escape and have some all important ‘me’ time as well as having the fun of sharing my love of bikes with the kids and finding new adventures together as a family.

I don’t manage to get out on my mountain bike as much as I would like, and opportunities to ride anything other then local trails are even rarer! So when I had a child free day on the same day that some friends were heading to the Quantocks I was there!

Parking in the lay-by on the A39 just before entering the village of Holford, the first climb of the day was a bit of a challenge for legs still stiff from the car journey! It was 5km and about 320m up to the main ridge of the Quantocks. The reward was the descent down Hodders Combe, 4km of swoopy singletrack heaven and a big smile on my face! It had been a long time since I’d done such a long, natural descent and I was pretty nervous at the start – but I quickly got into the flow and it was a real confidence boost with nothing too steep or technical.

The Hodders Combe descent dropped us almost back to where we started in the village of Holford and from there it was a 3km, 300m climb back up to the ridge where we stopped for a quick refuel before the descent into Weacombe. This was another lovely flowing trail, starting in the open moorland before dropping down into the wood – again nothing too technical or steep just 2km super flowy fun.

The third climb of the day was 2km and 100m to near the top of West Hill and the descent into Smith’s Combe. Smith’s Combe was the shortest, at just over 1.5km, and most technical downhill of the day with a tricky loose rock section in the middle which I was super proud of myself for making it down – it wasn’t pretty but I didn’t walk!

The next section was a bit of a slog, with tiring legs, we followed the contour around the northern edge of the Quantocks before heading up a drag of a fire road climb back up to the open ridge and past Bicknoller Post for the final time. Crossing across the whole of the top of the Quantocks gives you a chance to admire the spectacular views – out towards the Bristol Channel and for miles inland.

The 5km final descent, Lady’s Combe, back to the car was super fun, starting in the woods dropping down to follow the path of a stream – making line choice all important! The trail zig-zagged the stream, taking a right-hand turn, up the final little uphill of the day, before popping out back where we started.

Loved getting out, doing a proper ride on some fantastic singletrack. The Quantocks offer a lot of quality riding in a small area, hopefully won’t leave it so long until we return!

TOP TIP: Take a packed lunch – there isn’t anywhere to buy food on the route.

RIDE STATS: 30.74km | 3:20:22 | 863m

Check out the route on Strava.

Written by Carrianne Priddy

Five reasons to hire a mountain bike guide

Five reasons to hire a mountain bike guide

Do you really need to hire a mountain bike guide?

The answer is probably not, whether you use your trusty GPS or map you will find your way round some beautiful trails in the UK. BUT, you knew there was going to be a ‘but’ right?!?

We take the hassle out of your experience so you can focus on the pedalling.

Here’s why:

  1. We find the ‘harder to find’ places.

If you’re looking for the sweetest single track, the best lunch spot with a view, most thrilling descent or climb, we can take you there. Our experienced team know the UK riding spots, like the back of their hands and will take you on an adventure down undiscovered trails, brand new lines and to the best views.

  1. We take you off-grid.

Our big day rides are full of adventure and about pushing your limits. Safely in the knowledge that our experienced guides will keep you out of trouble and riding all day.

mountain biking wales

  1. Time is precious.

Life is super busy, we reckon if you had to opt between riding your bike and planning a ride you would pick option one! So let us do the planning and organising so you can focus on the fun factor.

  1. We take out the ‘unknown’.

If the weather closes in and you need to dive into a pub which won’t mind soggy bodies, we know where one is. Legs turned to spaghetti? We know a local café serving the best hot chocolate and tasty cakes. Want to push hard all day? We will push you as far as you want to go, as long as you’re having fun we will ride all day long.

mountain biking spain

  1. No need to pack the kitchen sink.

Every guide on our trips carries an extensive pack of bike and human first aid essentials. No need for you to carry much more than water, a snack, coat and inner tube. Ride light and save your energy for the miles ahead.

Our weekend trips are now ready for booking to North Wales, South Wales, Surrey Hills and The South Downs.