Chalk and cheese. Oil and water. Some things just don’t mix. Other things look terrible together on paper, ever tried strawberries with black pepper? Interestingly good. Or Weetabix with honey? (I always butter first to smooth the application of the honey and I find set honey best but squeezey-runny honey works well if you are in a pre-ride rush). Then there are other things that should work together that simply don’t. Denim jacket with denim jeans – double-denim – despite what your Dad might tell you.
Add cycling and yoga to that list. They should exist in symbiotic bliss. Just not in our household. To be honest, It’s a mix of time and space that are the real culprits. Cycling & yoga demand both. Time, that’s obvious – you can’t be looking after the kids, doing chores when you’re on your bike. Space – bikes in the yoga room don’t go down well either.
Team Sky practice yoga, most professional sports teams do now. Apparently it was pioneered by the British 8 at the Sydney Olympics. At regattas they were a source of amusement as they downward dogged. Then they won Olympic gold and no one laughed anymore. Yoga was no longer just for Sting or middle aged women. It’s officially performance enhancing. So with that promise I floated the idea of a family-cycling-yoga weekend in Brecon, lit the fuse and stood back. No explosion. We were on.
Stevie & Emma have escaped. They sold up in London and bought Danyfan, a grand Edwardian villa at the foot of Pen-y-Fan, an imposing mountain in the Brecon Beacons. We headed there. The cyclists with heads full of slow grinding ascents and screamingly fast descents, the yogi’s seeking peacefulness and relaxation. Danyfan and the Brecon’s can provide both (and almost as importantly enough beds for 3 families).
The weekend. It worked. Of course I knew it would all along. The cyclists clocked up their miles in spectacular scenery and even a little early morning sunshine. The yogi’s got their peace and quiet, sun salutations in the shadow of Pen-y-fan. Pimms* fuelled talk of a future Danyfan family-yoga-cycling festival livened up the Saturday evening BBQ (which included BBQ’d chicken marinated in peanut butter – that works too), ambition and grand planning were interrupted only when a child need saving from a potential toasted marshmallow related injury.
* Pimms, a fruit cup or liqueur mixed with lemonade, mint, cucumber, oranges and strawberries. Who would’ve thought that would mix so well together?