Crank it up on V-Day

After the high of Pancake Day it’s time for an unfortunate low – Valentine’s Day. Yep, that annual parade of commercialised love has rolled around and it’s as heinous as ever.

Love is a beautiful thing, but February 14 seems more about lining the pockets of florists and card shops than celebrating life-long companionship. That’s why we’re sacking off the romance and hitting the trails instead – and here’s why you should too:

It’s less crowded

Remote singletrack featured

Is there anything less appealing than a restaurant on Valentine’s Day? Who wants to eat their dinner surrounded by other couples when the same place is half-empty (and half the price) the other 364 days of the year? Not us.

Instead, escape the crowds and hit up the local trails. You get all the space you want to shred to your heart’s content, and anyone you meet is far more likely to talk about the latest bike gear than the dreaded let’s-talk-seriously-about-our-future V-chat.

It’s better for you

Train by stealth climbs

Valentine’s Day is a byword for unhealthy, rich food. From oozing fondants to heart-shaped novelty chocolates, there are a whole lot of calories that could be easily avoided.

Hitting the local trails is the polar opposite. A tough climb may have you sweating and out of breath but it will do wonders for your fitness. If you keep it up you may* even be able to get a date next Valentine’s Day!

* this is not guaranteed

How to ride technical climbs

You get to see some real nature

Review of the year lomond rides

What would the Roman festival of love be without its iconic rose – the prickly flower of passion. Except, it’s not proper nature is it? The flowers are grown in a greenhouse in Holland using fertilizers and pesticides then delivered en-masse to Britain to be sold at a hiked-up price.

When you’re out in the woods real nature is all around you. February heralds the start of spring when the daffodils peep out their heads from underneath the soil and the trees awaken from their winter slumber. Honestly, it’s gorgeous out there right now – go and see for yourself.

It’s a whole lot cheaper

Real world testing: the Whyte 901 up against Specialized's Camber

By the time you add up the cost of presents, flowers and a meal, Valentine’s Day can get expensive very quickly.

Now, we’re not trying to say mountain biking is a cheap hobby, but if you have all the gear already you can easily plan a ride out of your front door that won’t cost you a penny (as long as you’re lucky enough to not get a puncture). Leave a card on the kitchen table before you head out the door and, hey presto, you’re quids in.

It can still be a date

Calfee Ellsworth Valentine's tandem

There’s nothing that says you and your partner can’t kill two birds with one stone and hit the trails together on Sunday. If you want to be really romantic you could even hire a tandem like this 140mm Calfee Ellsworth Witness.