December 21st
Domain name change,  both still work  but this website address is now 



December 5th

Apex did a brill job on the Jerseys,  i dont have a photo of the blue one because Lesley refused to model it after i had been out riding and it was filthy



December 3rd

Change of website look,  this is to tie in with a fresh domain name and new direction for my three main business interests
Many of you know i work as a MTB coach/leader/guide, I also work during summers as an entertainer, i juggle, i stilt walk, i have a great bed of nails act!.   and as noted below i am training towards becoming a first aid trainer.
To give a level of clarity across these, all three websites now use the same design. I also have a new “HOME”  or group index page. 

with the individual businesses having




December 1st

I really enjoyed the course,  now carrying  Advanced Outdoor first aid  qualifications  i think this may make me the only MTB provider in the area with this qualification.  More than that though,  the course has sparked a new interest and a new business opportunity.

Early Feb 2021 i am now booked onto a week long course.    A 2 day induction,  A 3 day  FAW  course  and a Teaching qualification,  Level 3 Award in Education and Training AET formerly known as PTLLS Course.  
Once all this is completed.   I will be able to  run NGB accepted  outdoor first aid courses myself,  The domain name is  purchased already  and i am getting  quotes for insurance.
Keep an eye on

Easter 2021 will be launch date.





28th November.

Taking advanced outdoor first aid course this weekend.


November 26th
just came across this.   well interesting reading.




October 22nd



October 7th

Its been a strange year,  courses are now running,  numbers are down and the weather has turned to  Autumn

Roll on 2021


June 14th

Slowly reopening. 
courses can now be restarted with limited numbers and some distancing.


June 10th

Covid-19 has had a disastrous effect on the UK’s  outdoor industry, some of the practitioners, coaches, guides and trainers will have closed up business before the end of the summer.
Summer traditionally is when we all make our wages, and we have had  over 50% of that taken.


July 10th



I recently had a conversation with Jennifer Walker at Cascade Designs about the wild camping and ultra light camping I have been doing; she very decently posted out a Thermarest Neoair Xlite to me to use and review.

I have been using a Thermarest 3/4 lite for the past 15 years now and have been very happy with it, so I was interested to see any progression from Thermarest.

I was gobsmacked.

When it arrived I thought I had been shipped an empty box – the Xlite was around 450 grams lighter than my existing mattress. The astonishment continued when I inflated it. My 3/4 is a very short mattress in order to conserve weight; if my head is on it, then almost all my legs are not on the mattress at all – the Xlite is full length.  I have no idea how they made it around 750mm longer and still made it so much lighter.
Visual inspection complete, I then laid on them both, side by side. The Xlite is over twice the thickness, and so insulates from the ground so much better. I wanted to find out how it worked in the real world, so in my bag it went.

For size reference, here is a Coke can, The NeoAir Xlite and the Thermarest 3/4 lite. As you can see, the far longer and thicker Xlite is far smaller than the 3/4.

I cycled into the wilds and strung up my hammock and tarp, inflated the Xlite and settled in for the night. As I was in a hammock, there is a tendency for the night to be affected by a cold back, many hammock users carry an under-quilt to stop this.
There was zero need at all. I was warm, comfortable and very very happy all evening.

The ONLY negative I can give for the Neoair is that it is not self inflating. After over a decade of using a self inflating 3/4 it was odd to have to get blowing (there is an inflator available, but as an ultralight weight nerd I will continue to blow).

I have been loaned the Xlite for up to 6 weeks and then I have to return it. After my first night on it, I will miss it.  I truly don’t want to go back to the 3/4. So once my penny jar fills up, I will be buying a Neoair.




June 22nd

I have been  writing again



April 22nd

I teach snowboarding all winter so its good to be back on the bike.



Feb 23rd

An awesome  ride around the Eastern Moors
the conditions where almost summery,  dry trails,  sandy and dusty


March 17th

Not a good day to be out on a bike.


Feb 16th

My news


January 28th 2018


Some big news coming soon.


December  16th

 Off to Italy  teaching snowboarding.


November 26th

Mini is  VERY proud to say he has picked up a clothing sponsor



November 19th

Twitter. = awesome.
i found an account in the name of PDMBR  that had not been used since 2010.
less than an hour later,  and with only 3 emails,  Twitter transfered the account name to me.  so i now own


November 11th

Fox Hag.  definitely better DOWN than UP


November 9th

Peak District MTB committee  meeting
very positive.


November 4th

Rode for an hour,  to check out a new Bridleway i had spotted on the OS map.
Was NOT worth the hour


November 1st

Stepfest Chesterfield. 

an Awesome night


October 29th

Morning  ride with

Over the Eastern Moor with  pop down the rabbit hole.


October 26th

Peak District MTB AGM 2017



October 25th


October 21st

Brilliant  MIAS Weekend.

9 successful new mountain bike leaders


October 20th



September 29th


Back Up to Back Tor


September 28th

Packing light

Packing light






September 25th

Book Review


September 24th

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September 15th

I fancied a night out in the tent again, i had bought a new rucksack (Osprey Escapist 25) and wanted to see how it felt on my back.   It packed well and this time i spoilt myself by taking my bedding roll as well  so  the total weight was 4.5kg (10lbs)  I had a destination in mind less than an hour ride from my  door, i wanted to sleep in woodland,  next to water.  so off i set.

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September 3rd



September 2nd


August 27th


More Wild,  less needed.

I have now written 2 posts about  wild camping on my  bike and in the past few months have learnt a few lessons  to make the process  easier.

Thought i would pass some on,

The first ride i packed what i thought i needed.

I packed a bedding roll. my sleeping bag, a bag liner,  waterproof coat and over trousers, dry socks, a dry jersey, 3litres of water, some wine, small bluetooth speaker, phone power bank,  7 inch tablet, os map and compass,  some midget gems and some packet chicken wings for supper

that plus tools, spare tube  etc   totaled over 16lbs,
when i picked it up it did not seem to heavy,  but after a few hours on the ride my back was in agony.
I slept this night in a stone hut, slept well.  and  dry.
next morning i rode back with a slightly lighter pack as i had drank and eaten all the food/wine etc  but i had  litter in the bag to carry.


The second time out,  this time i have got a tent to carry,  but have

not got the powerbank,  speaker  etc.  plus the  food is now unpacked and  is wrapped in cling film, this lightens the load  and reduces the size amount of litter i have to deal with.


The bag now weight 11lbs,    and is a lot easier to carry.  i ride out onto the peaks and find some very soft  peat to pitch the tent on.







The third time.

By now I have worked out what is essential and what is desirable.

Tent – 800grams
Sleeping bag – 600grams
1 litre of water.
A new and impossibly light waterproof coat
No spare clothing.
A tiny water filter that will let me drink from streams or puddles
Less food.

I also do not take a bedding roll.  Peat is very soft so that to is not needed although I have added 28 grams for a thermarest neo air pillow just for comfort.

Even including taking the tablet to watch a movie. And tools tube etc  the whole lot weighs 3.6 kg or under 8lbs.

I could ride for hours now

Lessons for the future.

Buy a better rucksack.  The 22l one I use was designed for snow sports. It is very sweaty on my back. I could do with one that is cooler.  One that stands away from my back and has some airflow would improve the comfort.

Notes for others

I don’t drink hot drinks at all so have no need to carry a kettles or means of heating water and if I am only of for a day then I am happy with fruit and cold food.

Doing without the need for a breakfast bacon Sarnie and a coffee probably saves me 2kg

Think about what you actually need. And if it’s worth having it on your back for 5 hours!  Every thing I need now fits into the 22L bag with room to spare. One tip is to stuff your sleeping bag in loose. It will fill the spaces in the bag and take up less space than one on a stuff sack

There are still  6 or more weeks of warm weather left this year  and we could have an awesome October.    if you have been thinking about  wild camping on your bike,  feel free to drop me a line

MIni Mansell


August 23rd


A  great afternoon with a dozen young folk doing their  Gold DoE  with Boldadventures


August 21st


Over the past year i have been working my way through the 6 levels for MIAS (Mountain Bike Instructor association)  I am passionate about my  hobby and wanted to pass on this to others,  and to help them become  stronger  riders.  I have already  done this with a lot of beginner rides with the Barnsley Mountain bike Club  and the facebook group Coggers.

I had passed my Levels 1 2 and 3  which are for personal progression and ride leading  but wanted to gain a qualification that would allow me to train others to be ride leaders and coaches.

In order to achieve the tutor levels for Mias i needed to run a Level 1 and 2 course. I would be watched as i gave the course by an assessor who would either pass or fail me at level 4 or 5.

If i had passed at level 4, then my new qualification would allow me to train and assess up to Mias 1

If i had passed at level 5, then my new qualification would allow me to train and assess up to Mias 2.

Obviously i had my mind set on level 5.


I found 4 people who wanted training and where able to book onto the course, i paid for an assessor to come up for a weekend and i set about preparing for the course..   At that point, everything went dizzy. I developed a syndrome called Labyrinthisis, this is an inflamation of the inner ear, I could not stand upright for a week, could not focus on a computer screen and certainly could not ride a bike.

A great  frend,  “Nelder”  came to the rescue and did all the preparation required, he created documents, assembled handouts, and scheduled the weekend.  (He also took part on the course with me and we where jointly assessed)


Saturday morning we met the group and assessor (keith) at a pretty cafe where we had breakfast and then spent the next 4 hours going through the classroom based activities that are required for the course candidates.  This covered  the legal aspects of MTB Leading and coaching,  Risk assessments, Conservation and Access, Bike set up,  and much more.
The aim of the course is to ensure that those who  i pass,  are able to safely take a group out for a ride,  navigate,and deal with anything that could  occur on the ride

Saturday lunch we set of for what is the level 1  aspect of the ride.  This should be canal towpaths, cinder trails  etc  the sort of ride that you would take a beginner for a few hours. As the grouo where stronger riders we went a little further and got some awesome photo’s on Stannage Edge.

During this  ride  the candidates  are asked to  give some coaching sessions,   coach gear usage,  body management, track stands,  etc. It was great to see them  do this, and it was interesting to see which clearly had some coaching experience prior to the course as they where able to break down the tasks and explain a lot clearer.

We went over some coaching techniques  and  everyone got to  give a 2nd coaching session later that ride.

The general feedback was very positive. It felt  good to hear the compliments on how the course was going.


Sunday Morning we met again and the group where given an Ordinance Survey map with 8 points marked on it.

The aim of the sunday is that  the group take it in turn to lead the ride.  They are responsible for navigation, group management and safety  etc. This was there the weakness in their knowledge began to show up. While most people can follow a map  to drive somewhere not all can take a back bearing,  or set a route to follow using only map, compass and terrain.

We stopped a few times to go over this and by the end of the ride the whole group  demonstrated competance and confidence with their navigation skills.

We also had a mock accident  and the group where asked to manage the situation.   They did this perfectly.  Which was great to see.

One of the guys bikes had a few minor breakdowns so we also got to practice mountain mechanics.


The weather was perfect for us all.  The sun shone and the ride was a pleasure.


When we got back  the group where asked to get themselves a coffee while we did their paperwork  and discussed with assessor their results, i was confident when i stated  everyone had passed and keith agreed.   We filled in their log books,  congratulated them on their  passing and took some  really nice feedback.

After they had left  Keith  told Nelder and I that we had acheved level 5 status and where now licenced to train and assess.   WOOO HOOO


Personal  notes for myself.


The group where strong and confident riders  and as the ride flowed i found myself leading at a speed that was maybe not appropriate given that they where on a course not a lads ride. I needed to be more aware of this for future courses  


Hey,  everyday is a schoolday


EO-MTB  next.    This is the pan European qualification which will allow me to coach and lead across Europe.


Mini Mansell




August 19th

Another  night ride and wild camp.  i think i have found my happy place

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August 18th

Feeling frustrated. had a nice ride with Adam from  Primalfitlab,  but the  residue from the inner ear infection is still there,  it can feel it actively holding me back from just letting it go on descents.   I hope this feeling goes away soon


August 14th

A lovely  ride out into the peaks with a group  from Coggers

August 11th

A dream has been to ride out for a few hours and not come back.
Certainly not straight back anyway. It’s possible in the peaks and really easy to to with the ownership of s bivvi bag.
Unfortunately the weather has been terrible of late so sleeping in a dry bin bag when everything you are wearing is soaked does not hold the same romantic image in my mind as the Same ride when dry.
After pouring over the OS map and visiting in daylight the birdwatching hut at alport towers seemed a dry if slightly naughty overnight destination.
A chat with a fellow mountain bike rider mentioned a nicer place to bed down for the night.
The ride involves some tarmac around ladybower, and then 2 hours of filthy climb through mud so deep my wheels struggled to spin through the forks.
it truely was the hardest ride i have ever had. the climb was horrible,
definitely type 2 fun
the overnight was spot on, a VERY isolated shed with a table and a couple of chairs. It was bone dry so my sleeping bag and bedding roll where opened out on the table and that was bed for the night.
i cracked open the tiny bottle of red wine i had packed to celebrate and the chicken salad i had brought for supper.
all in all a wonderful way to spend an evening.
Soaked. covered in mud. in the pitch dark. and happy happy HAPPY.
8am i woke, a nice easy downhill to a bacon sarnie, a drive home and a shower.
i WILL be doing this again. many many times


August 11th

Off out to the peaks for a solo  night ride with a bivvi bag to finish it.



August 10th

Shop ride with EMR,  the  Labyrinthitis is not  gone yet,  randomly fell over twice.



August 5/6th

Given a 2 day course  training 3 great lads to be MIAS level 2 MTB leaders. I was assessed while giving this course  and as a result  am now qualified to  MIAS Level 5.

I cant  say just how proud i feel right now.

Saturdays ride

Sundays ride




I have been   quiet lately,       google for    to see the reason.   a horrible feeling.






A Busy couple of weeks,   lots of riding  and an evening helping deal with an injured rider discovered on the trail




Tuesday 30th May

Westwood, Chapeltown

Recce location for Beginners technical skills course



Saturday 20th May

Greno woods for Peaties Steel City Downhill.

Find me for a coggers sticker



Friday May 12th

A Long day working, i was ready to put my feet up when i got a call to go ride Cannings.
Met up with a couple of new riders and spend the next few hours coaching.  Very happy with the outcomes

Tuesday May 9th

A drive over to LLandegla on Monday evening  and a night in the quietest campsite on the planet was  followed today by my MIAS Level 3 assessment.




Wednesday May 3rd

What felt like a very successful meeting with a great business owner in Hope.  I am confident it will lead to a long and fruitful association that will benefit us both, and hopefully a lot of riders


Wednesday May 3rd

Charlie, a typical 10yr old with a major ipad addiction and a nice home mainly surrounded by tarmac or flat grass  came to me today for some private coaching.

He had a bike that needed some setting up, the seat height was far too low and his brakes didnt work.

The brakes where a simple fix but he HATED the seat at the right height, was scared when he could not touch the floor.
We went through mounting, dismounting, use of brakes, and use of gears and headed off to the wilds of lady Cannings 

An hour or so later, 


He WILL be back