BMW South Wales

Last weekend saw some hardy muni-ers trekking over to the Afan Valley in South Wales for the latest instalment of the British Muni Weekend. Evidently Red Bull wasn’t enough to put people off for life with many participants making an appearance, with thirteen riders (I think) turning out for the first ride.

In keeping with last year I turned up four hours later than I had planned due to being forced, totally against my will of course, to join friends elsewhere for a huge dinner before getting to the site at approaching 10pm on the Friday. They must have gone for their night ride before I arrived, I think, because they were all sat around the fire drinking beer. They must all be fitter than me, too, because they didn’t look like they’d been on a ride at all! Wow.

Saturday morning saw us getting up at the crack of about 10-ish, watching the grey clouds roll over just in time for our first ride. Apart from two rather heavy downpours the weather was alright, enough rain to give some puddles to splash through but no serious “goop” like the Red Bull.

On reaching what Des called “the last uphill bit”, about a a quarter of the way round, the trail proceeded to go up and down lots of big hills before returning to the campsite once more. For some reason I can’t actually remember very much about that ride other than everyone acquiring deep suspicions whenever Des says anything about the steepness or length of uphill sections… :slight_smile:

After lunch in the site cafe much umming and arring was done about what to do next; the afternoon was passing away and we couldn’t decide whether another long ride or a shorter play ride was in order. In the end we did both; Des, Steve R, Matt and myself went out to ride the full length of The Wall, while the pansies decided to go to the top of The Wall by car (wimps!) and ride down, twice.

Discounting the tedious bit between the site and the proper start of the trail The Wall was an excellent ride, more enjoyable than the first. The track gains height very gradually as it goes from one end of the hill to the other, then winds its way back along the top and descends steeply to the end.

Some of the singletrack along the top was excellent, slightly downhill for a good distance, with some really challenging rocky sections thrown in. The last section, from which the trail takes its name, is the highlight; a steep descent winding its way down the side of the hill. It was that perfect mix of speed and bumpiness to make it a real challenge; riding down right on the edge of losing control, bouncing from rock to rock in an incredible run down to the bottom. I both amazed and annoyed myself by only falling off once, but that one UPD was on a wooden bridge, the only flat bit of the section. Bah!

The thought of beer and barbeques drove us onwards, and the rest of the evening was spent around our “barbeque” (the ranger had said no fires, but strangely enough our barbeque never did die down, even after piling loads of logs onto it…). Some bikers camping nearby joined us, as did the ever present noise of loads of kids staying in the campsite that night. Bah humbug, and all that.

Sunday saw a trip to the White’s Level trail a few miles away. This was probably the most fun ride of the weekend; the first half was fairly steep and rocky, but we were going pretty much the same rate as lots of bikers and the second half was absolutely amazing, well worth the uphill. We were passed by two people doing the trail on a tandem; off-road tandem-ers must be the most tolerant people in the known universe (even above people who use Internet Explorer!), I think I’d be screaming at my fellow rider after a few metres…

As usual Des was powering up hills as if they weren’t there; Steve never did find where the energiser batteries went. Whenever any bikers caught us up on the ups he’d be there nipping at their heels after they’d past, held up only by having to wait for the rest of us.

The last half of the track was several miles worth of constant, slightly downhill singletrack around the side of the hill. There were loads of obstacles and rocks to add a challenge; Des was absolutely lapping it up, flying off ahead to ride the really hard stuff without making it look remotely difficult. I was flying off in a slightly different manner, doing a superman impression and making my knees leak from bouncing off the muni on a rocky bit. It was an incredible trail, however, I thoroughly enjoyed it… but oooooooo my rear was aching after the flat section back to the car! For three intense muni rides of a total of 35 miles, I think Alan’s idea of two pairs of cycling shorts is very appealing… :s

I had a field day with the GPS’s first outing to a BMW; it was interesting to see how far we’d gone and high high we’d climbed, and see a purtty map of the route so far. Sunday evening nearly went pear shaped as I accidentally deleted the track from the third ride, but the makers of the undeleting program Restorer 2000 deserve knighthoods because it got it back from beyond the bitbucket. I’ll post pictures of the tracks when I’m done flying around… :slight_smile:

Many thanks indeed to Des for organising such an incredible event… the riding was awesome, the views stunning and the company the best.


Phil - sounds great. Post photos!!


Great BMW

Hi Phill,

Great thread about the BMW… except for the part about the pansies/wimps… I thought we were the clever ones. The downhill section was fantastic and worth doing twice (with the ride up of course). I think you guys were amazing (or just plain silly - I havn’t worked that one out yet) to go on another even longer ride after our first one.

The Sunday ride topped off a great weekend for me,even though I was completely buggered by the end of it. Learning to do drop offs there was fun, and your GPS was great. You will need to do that superman impression a little further down the hill next time to get a reading on it however won’t you.

About Des’s batteries, no we couldn’t find them but whilst looking for them Steve C. did discover a name tag …

“Des Lightyear”… to infinity and beyond!

Take care phill,


I’m so jealous. One of my friends went and got married that weekend. Apparently, saying I’m going off to ride my unicycle instead of seeing them make a life-changing commitment wasn’t going to be acceptable.

Sounds like a great weekend packed full of rides. I can’t wait till the up north one, there must be scope for some good long rides up in the lakes too.


Re: Great BMW

I sense an embarassing story being kept back here. The people will demand to know…

Sounds fun, annoyed I missed it, but I got the job, so I’m happy and looking forward to the september BMW.


Re: Re: Great BMW

Two incidents, really… the superman impression caused the leaky legs, after crashing on a rocky bit. The “slight detour” down the hill was on a track running along the side of a hill when the inside pedal hit something, sending me flying down the hill away from the track. Being rather steep I couldn’t stop running until I found a tree to grab, about thirty feet down the hill…

It doesn’t appear to have been far enough to be noticeable on the GPS track, unfortunately. Next time I will have to be going faster… :slight_smile:


A great weekend and my first BMW, it was just great to be with people who didn’t think what I did was in any way strange, I am impressed as to what some people can do with a unicycle and hopefully given another couple of years and my cowardice somehow removed then I might be able to do things like that.

Okey, here goes, I’m trying to attach some photo’s. hope it works.

That seemed to work. That was of Phil jumping off a rock and if you look closely you will notice knees already bloodied and this if off des jumping down an even bigger set of rocks, these were both from the Sunday on the White’s level ride.

Umm, err. So what now? For the past month or two I’ve been doing rides building up to Red Bull, and then BMW… but now my uni-riding seems somewhat aimless…

The Cheddar Challenge is this weekend, I may go watch some of that to keep my riding-event-season going. It sounds like a truly mental event; 32 hours of riding and a total of 29,000 feet of climbing to equal the height of Everest by going to the top of the Mendips and back 29 times. And still there are people doing it solo!

On the down side, I discovered that the CrMo hub in my 29er appears to be rather mullered tonight. One of the flanges has a big inwards dent in it, which has left the wheel not quite straight. I’m not sure when or how it happened; I’ve not ridden it since that last lap of Red Bull, and it seemed fine then. Bah…


shame about the 29er phil.Nice picture damn i missed out! Turns out i could of made it the college weekend was cancelled.

Des Lightyear

It really was a great BMW. There were the 13 of us for the whole weekend and Nick managing the Saturday only. Sorry you had such bad luck with your cranks, forcing you to walk back to camp nick.

Lovely write-up Phil. I enjoyed the rides also and there was something for everyone on them. Shame about the lousy weather. There’s obviously a trend developing on these BMW’s - and that’s sheltering from the rain in the trees!:frowning:

As far as the comment about us wimps/pansies goes… We were just pacing ourselves for the Sunday ride. Don’t forget we did get to ride down the wall ‘twice’. Talking about wimps and pansies… Even though 3 of you ganged up against me to dunk me in the river, you couldn’t manage it - maybe you needed more backup, like everyone, eh!! You were obviously saving your strength for that second ride!

Yes, a big thanks to Des (Des Lightyear) for organising things. Like Phil says, the riding was awesome, the views were stunning and the company was definitely the best bit. A really good social event with good rides. What more can you ask for?

BTW, photos will be going up shortly. Here’s one for the man who goes “to infinity and beyond”. Or should that read “to insanity and beyond?” I must find out where he gets his batteries from, as this guy is seriously super charged.

In answer to your question about what to do next Phil. You’ll have to get into Cokering as we’ve got the Manchester to Blackpool (60 miler) this weekend followed by a longer ride, 100 miles, in the next month or so. Go get a bigger wheel Phil. :sunglasses:


Oh, so the truth about Des is finally out. I suspected something like that. Couldn’t tell at RedBull though as he was in stealth mode.


Well hello all
firstly thanks to all those that came along, it seems as though you all really enjoyed it and so did i.

phil that was a good write up. i was planning to do it today but you have already done so which is good for me (just havent had time this week).

pictures, i have set up a gallery that anyone can add pics on just create a folder and call it ‘from steve’ or whatever then we can all share pics then if anyone want any full res copies just email the relevant person for a copy.

thanks for that pic steve :slight_smile: and i like the new nickname!

you know you all enjoyed the hills really!!!

umm dont know what else to say

talk soon

HINT HINT, Steve :slight_smile:

Did the pics come out OK?


BMW 2004/1 Photos

All the photos I took over the weekend will be going on to the gallery tonight.:slight_smile:


Photos from BMW 2004/1

OK guys,

All my photos are now on Des’ gallery. Des, could you please change the title.

See you all soon.

me probably being really stupid but how do you change the title!

Sorry Des, I don’t know. Hope you like the photos anyway.

My training for the 100 miler was going well. After the Blackpool 60 miler I did a 40, then a 50 miler. Unfortunately I had a little accident on the 50 miler! I did a Phil (superman impression), but in my case I’m now struggling to walk. I’ve lost lots of skin on my knee, plus I can hardly bend my leg at the moment. You want to see the state of my jacket, my elbow and my hip!! Apart from that I’m OK.


once you have logged on to the gallery and gone to the gallery page concerned just pull down the menu under the album and select change title. Put new text in pop-up window replacing the old. You could also add a desription under the title by selecting the description from pull-down menu.

How was the party?