Outside interest: rugged-terrain biking

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 6 Jan 2016

Mark KrassowskiWhen he's not directing the Knutsford office of Walsingham Planning, Mark Krassowski is riding his mountain bike up hills and down dales or competing with several hundred like-minded competitors in mountain bike orienteering.

How did you get into mountain biking?

I have been mountain biking for many years, but since I moved to Derbyshire in 2001 it has become my main hobby. I was a rock climber but as the body grows older and the shoulders begin to creak, you have to refocus your sporting efforts.

What does it involve?

I live in the hills and mostly ride from my house in the Peak District, usually twice a week. This can send me out for the whole day on a Sunday with a riding mate or you might catch me on a Wednesday evening in winter fully lit up, enjoying a bit of off-road night riding.

Why do you do it?

I love being outdoors: on a mountain bike you can get up close and personal with the countryside and the hills. I enjoy the physical and technical challenge of climbing off road up rocky trails, and descending at speed over rough ground. The scenery can be amazing and there’s nothing more rewarding than a well-earned pint with your mates after a long hard ride.

What’s the toughest thing about it?

Falling off and breaking bones is never fun. I've got off relatively lightly but I've broken the same wrist twice and on New Year's Day last year I fell while mountain biking in New Zealand and broke my ankle. I was out of cycling action for four months.

What’s the most rewarding thing about it?

Just being out of the office and taking your mind off work is fantastic: executing a hard technical climb is as rewarding as making a fast, single-track descent.

Are there any similarities between your day job and mountain biking?

Both disciplines are tough, sometimes painful, but always rewarding.

Do you have any unusual interests or hobbies that you would like to tell us about? If so, please email planning@haymarket.com