by Helen Pollard, #GetOutside Ordnance Survey Champion.
Wensleydale Bike Club has been running since 2014 affiliated to British Cycling as a Go-ride Club. The club is run on a voluntary basis by Stage 1 Cycles instructors and parent volunteers hosting sessions on Saturday/Sunday and Monday (term time) The sessions are accessible by a full range of cyclists to those wobbly wheelers learning to ride, to advanced MTB and ladies MTB.
In addition to the regular skill based sessions we aim to facilitate children, young people and families to visit new inspiring outdoor areas and supporting working families with positive childcare activities in the holidays. By applying for external funding the club regularly offers away trips at an affordable cost of £5. Bikes are also available to loan free of charge. This year we have been to Sutton Bank Trail Centre, Leeds Bike Park and in August host our first ever residential to Kielder Water.
Therefore when I received the “call to action” from Ordnance Survey about the #WildNightOut I jumped at the chance to organise an event for the bike club.
So 4pm on a beautiful Saturday afternoon with camping gear all deposited in advance at Stable Fell camp site at Marsett we started the mountain bike ride back to the site. We followed an ancient roman track, Cams High Road offering stunning views over Wensleydale and Raydale. Marsett is a fantastic camping venue at the top of the only natural water body in Wensleydale, Semer water. Semer Water is a mystical place from which a bronze age sword was recovered. In modern day it is a great place for kids to swim being very shallow and hosts the Wensleydale Triathlon, an 1/2 iron man challenge in August.
We made the lovely descent into Marsett to meet parents and other family members for a barbecue, camping, cavorting and cake. It was a fantastic night, the kids were able to run, fly kites and cycle with no worries. The site is basic but traffic free and a no music policy makes it perfect for families. Thank you to the tolerant campers around us that made no complaints about the feral cycling club.
The weather was just perfect and allowed even our non camping families to stay late into the evening with babies asleep in prams till the sun dipped behind the hills.
To wake up to a perfect blue sky the next day was a fantastic morning after to our #WildNightOut. Camping can take some organising with kids (and bikes even more so!) however the experience, the freedom to play and the memories made means that it is totally worth the mining for tents and sleeping bags from underneath the bed. Roll on 2019! we already have families putting the date in the diaries to do it all over again.
WILD NIGHT OUT: GET INVOLVED
There are so many ways you can go wild at night. Anyone and everyone can take this opportunity to make some amazing memories to treasure forever. To get your imagination going, we’ve gathered together some ideas, stories, and how-to guides to help you design the very best Wild Night Out for you.
Everyone needs a Wild Night Out!