Bike exploring: Help for Heroes
OS GetOutside Champion, Helen Pollard, takes us on a great Mountain Bike (MTB) route used as part of the delivery of MTB leadership training to Phoenix House staff in collaboration with Cycling UK.
Meet Suzanne Hill - Derbyshire-based walker, wild-swimmer, Adventure Queen and mum.
What drives you to spend time outside?
It’s when my head feels clearest and my heart feels fullest. I also find it’s where the best conversations and connections happen. And it’s really important to me that my kids grow up spending time in nature.
Where are your favourite places to go?
Despite growing up close to the Peak District, I’ve only started to explore it properly since moving back 3 years ago – and still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface! After years of living in big cities, it’s a total novelty to have places like Kinder Scout and Bleaklow on my doorstep and I love discovering new routes and hidden gems close to home.
What is your favourite thing to do outdoors?
I’ve long loved hiking and camping, but having children brought with it a renewed passion and energy for those things. Since having my second baby my favourite thing is a walk and a wild swim. Plunging into cold water makes even the shortest outing feel adventurous.
Who inspires you and how?
Jasmin Paris (who I recently met at a Parkrun!). Watching her win the Spine Race in 2019, while expressing breastmilk at checkpoints, was really emotional. It cemented for me that having children doesn’t have to stop you from pushing yourself and achieving incredible things.
What are your focuses this year to help people get outside more often?
Sharing tips and ideas to get outside as much as possible with a baby and pre-schooler in tow. Showing family micro-adventures. Finding pockets of time to get outdoors alone, and exploring new ways to feel more connected to nature and the seasons (I’m actually about to do some training to guide Nature Mindfulness walks).
What are your 3 biggest life achievements?
Moving to France and Germany when I was 20 to learn the languages. Raising 2 small humans to love the outdoors. Being part of a movement to encourage women in the outdoors and playing my own small part my organising events and leading walks.
3 words you live by…
Connection, Compassion and Growth.
Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Actually I have a whole Spotify Playlist full of them, named just that! Think 80s earworms, power ballads and cheesy guitar riffs – perfect for road trips!Click to see all 100 GetOutside Champions