Riding to Wales / Riding in Wales

Hurrah, for the 29er lives again… now that it has bearings which actually turn I can start putting some miles in once again.

The other weekend was my first ride on the thing for ages, and turned out to be the longest ride I’d ever actually done on a unicycle at 33 miles. The weather had turned wonderful and the road (and a few bridleways) were calling, so it was a great chance to get the legs used to spinning along, stomping up hills and crawling through mud again.

Starting from home mid afternoon, I cycled to Wales. In fact, because I am so truly hardcore I actually went through Wales about half way back. Yeah.

This is the bit where ordinarily I wouldn’t mention the small hamlet about ten miles from Yeovil called Wales. You just don’t need to know such minor technicalities. Unfortunately the thought kept occuring that there are crazy people like Joe out there who would have cycled all the way to Wales and back. Bah…

I did go to a place called “Queen Camel”, though. A name like that has got to be worth something.

It was an excellent way to round off the weekend; the weather was fine, the countryside relaxing, you could see for miles and I hadn’t ridden the 29er for far too long. There were loads of people out enjoying the countryside on foot, bike or horseback. Strangest comment of the day was while slogging up a big hill, a chap coasted the other way on a bike saying “that’s cheating!”. Barely able to see through the sweat let alone make a coherent reply I didn’t quite catch his drift…

Last Sunday involved a ride in Wales proper (the really hilly one, as opposed to the merely very hilly one), as my brother and I took on The Wall at Afan, the location of the South Wales BMW last year. A shade under 14 miles of blummin’ brilliant trail, as those who rode it at the BMW will agree. (Not the wusses who only did the last bit though, they still don’t know what they missed!)

The trail follows the course of an old railway along the valley floor for a few miles to get your legs warmed up before climbing steeply to the top of the hill. From there it winds its way back along the ridge on some really challenging but enormously fun singletrack. It’s clever how it manages to be fast and technical without really losing very much height; most of your hard earned gravity karma is saved until the end for the truly awesome descent that gives the trail its name. Great stuff.

I did take a camera and got a few shots of John screaming downhill, but then left said camera in Cardiff. Which means next weekend I’m going to have to go and get it, and of course it would be a waste to drive all that way and not go cycling again. Oh, poor me, it is a hard life…


you should have said you was going to Afan i would have met you!
next time give me a shout.

you in s wales this weekend?

The ride last weekend was very family and weather dependent, so advance planning and organisation didn’t really come into it much, sorry…

I am indeed in Wales this coming Saturday, though, albeit just me this time. I was going to take the bike and ride the Skyline; it’s the only trail there I haven’t done but looks a bit lengthy for an afternoon muni ride. I could however be easily persuaded to take a muni round one of the other trails…


Sorry phil i wont be able to make it tomorrow.

weather forcast is v good so heading down to the gower to climb in the morning then wil do a few miles on the coker in the afternoon.

You should take a coker round the skyline. its good for the coker! (but then so are the other tracks ).:smiley:

have a good ride

I thought about 29er-ing it, but I wasn’t sure how much I’d be walking if it had any really technical stuff like The Wall does.

Anyone else doing it on a coker would be reassuring, but I’m not falling for that one… :slight_smile: Penhydd and White’s maybe, but surely you haven’t done all of The Wall on a coker? There were bits we walked doing it with munis…

Have a good day tomorrow,


Yeah, but was that because they were unridable, or were they just towards the end of uphill bits where we were going to get on just as soon as the pedal came around in exactly the right place? I’m sure lots of bits would be rideable on a coker because you’d have more pedal clearance and more momentum. Admittedly when you get it wrong the chance of a very long drop with your fall/neck broken by a tree is a bit higher, but hey.


edit: Bah! I cnat tpye!

I’m a-thinkin’ of the scary rocky bike-chainring-destroying tree-versus-head-mashing bits towards the end of The Graveyard; surely nobody could get a coker over that lot?

(I’d post a photo, but they’re all in Cardiff…)


Meet Brian MacKenzie…

Can’t really remember it that well, I think my mind was occupied with preventing itself from being launched off a cliff at the time. There’s no chainring to get bashed, and I’m sure it was muni-able if we’d tried a bit harder. I’m thinking in terms of a bigger wheel to be able to roll over things easier and more momentum being helpful.
It might take some really silly long cranks though, maybe as big as 125s… :astonished:


Hey Phil sorry for the late reply.

Yeah i have ridden The Wall on the coker, well in fact all of the routes at Afan. They are all perfectly ok.

If any of them was harder i would say Whites Level just because of the technical uphill at the start. but even saying that i can still ride about 75% of the uphill.

The wall, penhydd and skyline are all easy on the coker.
just try on to think about what above you just ride and hit the branches with your helmet. if your going fast enough you hardly notice them :wink:

Take it easy

Ps did you ride on sat?

I did indeed; I biked round two-thirds of Skyline, taking the second shortcut after the really fast downhill after the lake bit (45mph! Although looking at the GPS instead of where you’re going is probably not recommended at this speed…). There seemed to be a lot of fireroad in the last loop, and the day was getting on a bit. That’s my excuse, anyway.

I can see how most of the tracks could be rideable, but the occasional uber-rocky bit still intrigues me… how on earth did you manage the last downhill on the Skyline on a coker? The large rock steps bit? You sir are mad… :slight_smile:


Phil - You are talking about ‘Des Lightyear’ now, remember!

Hey guys, Red Bull is fast approaching, so I hope your training is coming along nicely. I can’t believe it’s next month. See you both soon.


Training? What for? It’s not like I’m on the SCARY FAST team full of CRAZY PEOPLE…



Training, yeah, that… :roll_eyes:

Exams (and a cold. Always happens. Silent exam room + loud coughing sneezing snotty person. Yay) at the moment, so it’s all mental preparation. I should be starting some intensive training in a week or so, until the event.

To maintain Red Bull traditions, if you lot are the super fast crazy person team, can we be the very unfit and slow but good at drinking team? I like training for that.