My work mate is a fairly robust guy, plays football, runs 10 miles much better than me without becoming a limping wreck, but doesn't cycle. The plan is to take him up the Gap from the North and ride back along the Taff trail. I'm thinking three hours?
Gap for a fit novice - how long?
3 hour bike ride for someone that doesn't cycle at all? That's mean. He'll be stiff the next day!
Did it teh other way around a couple of weeks ago in about 3.5hrs inc a couple of short stops - with a pretty fit group of very regular cyclists.
Got passed by (and almost knocked off by) a bunch of guys going the other way on 90's hardtails and modern £500 mtb's who looked absolutely terrified and out of control. This was the descent South from the Gap.
Don't underestimate how hard (physically and mentally) it is for in inexperienced cyclists to ride even moderately rocky and steep stuff. 2 of the guys above were walking down the taff trail from the gap!
I'd caution that route for a complete novice - unless you have good reason to believe he's going to be competent offroad based on 'transferable skills'. Once you're up there I can't think of any obvious bailouts - well, plenty of roads to roll back down, but that's a pretty big waste of a ride up the gap!
Once did that route in January in reverse with a group including a 'second MTB ride ever' guy. He was OK (not the slowest climber in the group certainly, and not too far behind on the descents) but it still took us 5 hours due to a combination of some navigations issues, couple of mechanicals and having to walk some sheet ice sections (it was below freezing all day).
get him a gel saddle is my advice
When i take fit folk out they moan about a sore arse afterwards [ plenty to work with there for STW ]
The plan is to take him up the Gap
Football / running fit or not, his legs will be like jelly after the first tough climb!
Are you trying to make him suffer? Has he trapped off about cycling being easy, or bigged up his ability??
There's a video somewhere....
Went on a stag do a few months back with a load of non-cyclists and occasional cyclists and people who hadn't ridden a bike in years but played rugby/ran marathons etc.
Everyone managed Brechfa Red and Black (appart from me, I wussed out and did the red, blue and green as I had a broken arm), and survived to do some more riding the next day at Cwm Rhyadder.
Despite the self perpetuated Gnarr image, mountainbiking on average is closer to pony trecking than horse raceing.
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