All too often trips further then your local trails are few and far between so Chris and I thought that we would take an extended riding holiday in order to reach the parts of Wales that it is impractical to travel to for a weekend ride from the East Midlands. After convincing our better halves to let us go we set out a plan and went for it! The Van
Although it’s not strictly necessary, we decided to hire a van for the week. We could have taken a car but it’s a lot more convenient, you can carry more gear with you, and it’s more secure then leaving your bikes strapped to the top of your car. We went for a short wheel based Transit with a high top which allows you to stand up inside, which is quite useful if you want to get changed in it. The van came to around £150 to hire and we used around £100 of diesel during the week.
Now where did I put those marshmallows? Plenty of room!The Plan
So with transport sorted we just needed to sort out where to go. We decided that starting in North Wales and heading southward along the coast would make the most sense. Our aim was to ride as many trails as we could and fit in a few that we hadn’t ridden before. The week panned out like this..
• Saturday – Llandegla, Black Route
• Sunday – Coed y Brenin, Dragons Back
• Monday – Machynlleth, ClimachX
• Tuesday – Day off. A touch of filming at ClimachX
• Wednesday – Nant yr Arian, Summit Trail
• Thursday – Brechfa, Gorlech and the Ravens Trail
• Friday – Afan, Whites Level
Essential maintenance along the wayWhere to Stay?
In all we stayed in three locations. On Saturday night we stayed in a rather nice Log Cabin courtesy of Cader View Lodge. This is located about 5 minutes up the road from Coed Y Brenin near Trawsfyndd. This offered us a little luxury for the first night, and with a great pub nearby, set us up nicely for riding Dragons Back on the Sunday.
For the next three nights we stayed at a Gwerniago Farm Campsite near Machynlleth. Set in the beautiful Dyfi Valley, we felt compelled to stay for a few nights, and with the added bonus of being allowed a campfire, we thoroughly enjoyed our stay.
The final site was the Abermarlais Caravan Park near between Ashfield and Llanwrda. This was the closest site we could find to Brechfa, although admittedly we had left it very late to find it. We landed on our feet though and the site had great facilities so we set up there for the final two nights. The Trails
Let’s just say, we chose well! I’ll be doing some individual write ups over the next few days!
The great thing is that because you are riding during the week, the trails are nice and quiet. You basically have them to yourself. We expected with the weather how it was, that there would be plenty of riders out enjoying the sun, but in fact we hardly saw another soul. This just made the riding even more relaxing, you could fully enjoy a section without coming accross a slower rider or without having to move out of the way for a faster one!
The one conclusion we came to was that you don’t have to head out to the alps, you can have a great Mountain Biking holiday in the UK.
Hmm.. Next stop Scotland?