The unbearded Jenn from the Bearded Man team has sent us some more news about their three day endurance event being held in the Black Mountains this July. They’ve been braving the soggy weather to prepare the course and they’ve sent over a preview and some course profiles to whet your appetite…
“Entries are coming in thick and fast for the Black Mountains 3 Day endurance event in July. The course preparation continues apace, despite the unhelpful weather and we’ve put together a brief round up of the three days routes to give you an idea of the sort of riding you can expect. Head on over to www.blackmountains3day.co.uk and book your spot on the start line now!
Day 1 – Friday Night Time Trial
We kick the weekend off in style with an evening time trial around the Glanusk Estate. The 13km course will test your singletrack skills and fitness alike, with steep climbs and swoopy singletrack winding through the woodland.
The estate has hosted numerous endurance events in the past but of the petrol-powered kind – whilst we’ll have to work that little bit harder being fully pedal-propelled, they’ve left us some fabulous trails to work with and we’ve woven as many as we can into our opening loop to get you in the mood for fun. Once you’ve laid down your time you’ll be able to relax with your fellow riders and get ready for the challenges to come…
Day 2 – From A to B
Saturday’s riding starts at Mynydd Forest. We’ve taken the current forestry work into account and picked a route which includes some very fast descending and challenging ascending. There’ll be a few surprises in store as you traverse the valley walls and once you reach the north west corner of Mynydd, you’ll leave the forest for more natural trails.
Undulating terrain will keep you busy as you meander down towards Llanbedr. Multiple line choice, hidden ruts and some really quick sections will test your bravery. The final kilometre is a steep descent through woodland to a small farm road which will lead you to the day’s feed station. Top up your tummies and Camelbaks with energy goodies from sponsors Torq, healthy fruit and snacks.
Next up is the Grwyne Fawr black route towards Mynydd Llysiau – it’s a tough bit of riding with lots of climbing but you’ll need to keep some energy in reserve as once you’ve summitted, you face the descent towards Pengenfford. Steep, rocky and technical to begin with, you’ll then find yourself traversing the hillside on vague sheep track before crossing the road at Pengenfford to head for Mynydd Llangorse.
Another fast descent will test your handling skills before the final challenge of the day is presented: the ascent of Mynydd Llangorse is a major climb that will see everyone off and shouldering their bikes as you make your way towards the stunning views up top. Take some time to soak up the scenery and your accomplishment before rolling into the fast and fun descent that drops you gradually to the mountain’s boundary. Keep a wary eye out for the wild horses that like to lurk around the trails in these parts! Finally, sit back and enjoy the final few kilometres spinning on easy trails to Glansuk.
Day 3 – The Gap and more
Sunday will dawn bright and early for the riders, hopefully after a refreshing night’s sleep under canvas. We leave Glanusk for the last time today, routing the peloton along peaceful back ways to Talybont-on-Usk forest.
Like yesterday’s Mynydd Forest, we’ll spend the first part of the day carving from one side of the valley to the other taking in the best of the woodland’s wet, rocky descending and punishing climbs. Once you’ve exhausted what the valley has to offer, although hopefully not yourself, we’ll take you out of the trees and into the open, heading for Taf Fechan forest and the old Roman Road that leads to the day’s main objective.
You’ll be able to top up your energy levels at the day’s feed station before hitting the bumpy, stony trail that takes you up to the Gap. Whilst it’s a tough road to ride particularly for those on hardtails, it’s short and the reward is more than worth the pain. The elements play a major role in making the Gap a fun ride as wind and rain funnels through the amazing ravine making it a really exciting place when the weather gods aren’t playing. Hopefully we’ll be rewarded with sunshine but even if it’s wet the rocky surface copes with wet weather well and the technical sections of the descent remain fun even when they’re partly river! It’s a thrilling escape from an amazing landscape and well worth pausing at the bottom for a brief look back at what you’ve done today.
The roll into the finish line is undemanding and will make a great opportunity to share your experiences of the three day challenge with your fellow riders on the Black Mountains 3 Day – we hope you’ll have a fantastic time exploring this corner of Wales with us and look forward to raising a celebratory beer with you at the ride’s end!
What: The Black Mountains 3 Day
When: 1st – 3rd July 2011
Where: Glenusk Estate, Brecon Beacons, Wales.
More info: www.blackmountains3day.co.uk