From last Thursday to Sunday some friends and I have been touring some of the mountainbike centres in Wales, from Cwmcarn in the south to Coed-y-Brenin in the North. Having starting mountainbiking myself recently, and the others never having been to any of the Welsh centres, it was a great way to use up the last few days of annual holiday.
The original plan was to stay at Afan (last year’s location for the first BMW) for two days, but because of the manky weather we spent the second day at Nant-y-Arian, near Aberystwyth. We hadn’t planned to go there at all, but I am so glad we did, it was truly excellent.
Stunning scenery, fantastic singletrack and some breathtaking sections snaking down a steep, rocky valley side quickly gave it the highly prestigious honour of Phil’s Favourite Trail, knocking Afan’s The Wall from the top spot.
There is only the one proper trail, unfortunately, which means it’s difficult to make a weekend of it. (Unless you ride it four times, which to be honest wouldn’t be all that much of a hardship…)
If you’re ever passing nearby (ie. within a few hundred miles of the place) I heartily recommend going for a ride there. In fact go now, you know you want to. Your boss / SO / insert dependent person[s] here will understand…
New holiday quota starts next month. We’re very tempted to do it all again…
edit: even spelling nazis aren’t infallible…
Was that pic taken at Cym Carn?
That photo is about ten minutes into the trail at Nant-y-Arian. It starts at the top of the hill, winds down into the valley below then climbs back up along a fireroad. That bit is very similar to the clifftop bits at Cwmcarn except that here the track winds back and forth a bit as it goes down rather than just going around the hill.
I’d like to go back and do Cwmcarn on a muni sometime. NyA was a very fast, flowy track, where most of Cwmcarn seemed more tight and technical which might be more fun on a muni. I found the first uphill bits very tough going on a bike, but on a more manouvreable muni it might be a bit less frustrating…
Four days in Wales just isn’t enough!
What are you up to on friday, sunday or monday?
I’m just wondering what it was you were doing with that sheep that seems to be lying on the bank just in front of the bike.
Strangely enough my brother and I will be in Shaldon, Devon over the weekend with the family. He’s heading back on Monday afternoon; a ride on the Monday might be a possibility…
I shall find out if he’s interested.
Matt: Sheep? I see no sheep. Are sheep substantially rockier in your part of the world?
Deffinately looks like a sheep, lying on its back with its legs in the air, nothing to be ashamed of though and perfectly legal in wales.
By that I mean two wheeled mountain biking of course, I do it myself sometimes, and as legal in Wales as it is in England and Scotland.