In August 2013, we spent a week in Yellowstone National Park, which was the same humbling feeling you always experience whenever you get close up to Big Nature. Don’t be fooled by the tarmac roads and well lit camps.  Humanity can lose itself here, in every sense of the word.  In Yellowstone, you realise how quickly and profoundly mankind has changed the landscape of nature, and how little of it survives wild, unfettered and free in other places.

We hiked and MTB’d a little and tried to pretend we weren’t afraid of running into bears, even though at the outset we were a bit nervous every time we got deep into a trail.  Well, at least Andy the Limey was.  We’d be cycling through the trees, along narrow winding single tracks, utterly distant from the sound of traffic and human activity…..singing Old Macdonald’s Farm to frighten off any passing grizzlies.  And then suddenly we’d catch ourselves doing it and laugh at how ridiculous it was given the very small odds of actually coming across a bear in the wild.  And then after a little while, we would start singing again just in case!

If you go down to the woods today, don’t go in disguise.  Go on a 29″ MTB hybrid and be ready to put the hammer down if you bump into anything with bigger teeth than you.