May 13, 2018

As a professional coach, I rarely get weekends off to spend with my friends. May Day bank holiday I took the opportunity, and it was a decision I did not regret!

Here's my recipe for an epic bank holiday weekend. There are many variations, feel free to experiment with it!

Ingredients:

  • The biggest mountain in Wales
  • Bikes
  • One spectacular sunset
  • Friends
  • Dogs (Collies or similar work best)
  • A beach
  • A giant inflatable swan
  • Tiny surf
  • A SUP
  • Kayaks
  • Scorching sunshine
  • A comedy festival
  • Camping
  • BBQs
  • Dancing (optional)
  • Bike lights (optional)

Method:

Begin by racing ahead of the bank holiday traffic to meet your friends at the foot of Snowdon on Friday evening with a van full of toys for the weekend ahead. Grab your bikes and set off through Llanberis. If you have a dog to hand, you can try encouraging them to tow you up the first steep road climb before going through the gate to the rocky Llanberis Path. 

Enjoy spectacular vistas as you make your way up to the summit. If timed well, you'll catch an awesome inversion and dramatic sunset as you reach the top.

Snap some mandatory summit photos. 

Get back on your bikes and race the last of the light back down. Spend the night in a nearby mountain hut drinking prosecco. Alternatively, bivvi atop Snowdon and do the descent early the next morning. The sunrise will be just  as spectacular as the sunset had been (though sleep might be minimal). 

Saturday, take the bikes and dogs to meet more friends for some classic trail centre riding in the sunshine. Break off mid afternoon to make your way to the Machylleth Comedy Festival (other comedy festivals such as Edinburgh Fringe or Llangollen Fringe may also be used, depending on your location). Watch top comedians such as Josh Widdicome, Ed Gamble, Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Nish Kumar. Warning: face ache is a common side affect. If you bump into a famous comedian, act cool - even if you're buying Scampi Fries to get change for parking.

Enjoy the festival atmosphere, cold beer and live music.

Head back to the campsite for a BBQ and campfire.

 Sunday it's time to hit the beach! Grab every surfable, rideable or throwable beach toy you have and discover that 1ft surf is plenty to entertain 11 full grown adults and 2 dogs for at least 3 hours. Extra fun points for every hilarious stack off the inflatable swan. Smug points for any headstands on the SUP. Top tip: find children to play with the dogs to give both yourself and their parents a well-earned break.

Surfing Swans

After a coffee and ice cream, it's time to head back to the comedy festival for more hilarious shows and dancing to an eclectic soundtrack. When the music stops, retire to campsite.

Monday, it's a return to the bikes. This time add in a few big rock slabs and fun jumps with a bluebird sky backdrop.

Your epic weekend is now almost complete. All you need to do is avoid the congestion, crashes and road closures on your mission back home.

Optional garnish: upload your photos to social media immediately to ensure everyone knows that you "won the bank holiday".