3 hrs in Afan…what to do…

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  • 3 hrs in Afan…what to do…
  • To cut a long story short, next weekend I have a 3 hr window in afan area and am wondering which trail to do in that time. I’m also taking a mate who is slower + first ride since an accident last September…

    As far as I can make out

    [list]
    [*] Blue Scar (Blue, 7k) 1 – 1.5 hrs[/*]
    [*] White’s Level (Red, 15k) – 1.5-3 hrs[/*]
    [*] Y Wal (Red, 23k) – 1.5 – 3 hrs[/*]
    [*] Penhydd (Red, 14k) -1.5 – 3 hrs[/*]
    [*] Blade (Red, 24k) – 2.5 – 3.5[/*]
    [*] W2 (Wall + Whites Black, 44k) -4 – 7 hours[/*]
    [*] Skyline – Currently out of action due to windfarm development[/*]
    [/list]

    Of the 3 reds, which *should* actually be quickest? Whites seems to have less “ups” for my unfit friend, even though Penhydd is shortest, so I’m assuming it’s Whites.

    Another option could be to do the blue twice, to be kind on my mate. I should be able to have this “window” every other week so this may be a sensible option for his first time out tbh, and could see how we go from there..

    Any thoughts would be great πŸ™‚ Ta

    taxi25
    Member

    Penhydd is the quickest and easiest, That and the wall is a nice ride. well under 3hrs is doable, but if your mate is coming back from injury probably not . If I had to pick one it would be whites πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon Painey
    Subscriber

    Whites is the most fun I’d say. I personally prefer the descent of the Wall and also Blade but it’s still good and should see you finished well within 3 hours (unless your mate is very slow).

    “Windy Point” that starts after the top of the climb is always a blast.

    chrispo
    Member

    Don’t do Blue twice, it’s not the funnest of trails.
    Blade is a very tough 20k.
    White’s is a BIG climb if you’re not too fit, plus you need to allow extra 1/2 hour driving to Glyncorrwg and back.
    Wal doesn’t feel overly climby to me but hard for me to judge these days.
    So safest to start with Penhydd in the circumstances. It won’t take 3 hours though, even with a looooong picnic.

    Mbnut
    Member

    Penhydd has a horrible climb and the rewards are limited.

    The two older sections are the stand out ones and require pedalling/fitness to get the most from them.

    The last new type of trail drop at the end is a good example of the demise in class and quality that is now coming through.

    The Wall for the best all round ride.

    All of the above is just imho.

    Could do the blade skipping the big loop once you’re at the top. I didn’t find that section v inspiring anyway.

    Tbh, if you can work out a way to lap the final descent you’ll have much more fun!

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    The last new type of trail drop at the end is a good example of the demise in class and quality that is now coming through.

    I have no idea what this means!

    Not been for a few years, but White’s is good, climb’s nice (although not as nice as it was), and although it’s long, it’s not particularly steep, and it’s interesting, rather than straight up a fireroad like some of the other trails.

    Even with driving to Glyncorrwg it won’t take 3 hours! I did it on an XC race bike in 1 hr 25 last time I was there, including the black loop (which I’d not bother with!).

    rob8624
    Member

    Park at Rhyslyn by the old bridge that crosses the valley, then go up the cycle path but take the first fire road left. This is steep, but will quickly get you to the bike park up on top of the hill. From there you can loop the good bits of Y Wal, and session the skills park. You can then do zig zags which will take you back down to Rhyslyn.

    Premier Icon Pawsy_Bear
    Subscriber

    W2 (Wall + Whites Black, 44k) -4 – 7 hours> 2:30 – 3 hours if your quickish

    adsh
    Member

    To completely turn this on it’s head which is the toughest fitness wise? πŸ˜€

    Whites climb. Turn right and fire road over to Helter Skelter on Blade. Ride that, hokey kokey, joyrider, up the fire road past the start of that blade section and past deadwood, keep on the fire road taking the first left turn, follow that back past the start of helter skelter to the top of whites climb. Black run and the rest of Whites. Done.

    P-Jay
    Member

    adsh – Member

    To completely turn this on it’s head which is the toughest fitness wise?

    W2, because it’s White’s and Wal combined.

    Second toughest is Blade, it’s longer than the rest and has some tough climbs.

    In regards to the OP – Penhydd is your answer, it’s the perfect return to riding, ride – 1.5 hours is standard which gives you plenty of spare time – if it’s all goes well and you’re hungry for more you can loop back up for a lap of Blue Scar.

    The climbs are all pretty easy fire road stuff, bar the first bit out of the car park which is steep in parts, but otherwise not technical.

    Thanks for all the replies.

    Whites climb. Turn right and fire road over to Helter Skelter on Blade. Ride that, hokey kokey, joyrider, up the fire road past the start of that blade section and past deadwood, keep on the fire road taking the first left turn, follow that back past the start of helter skelter to the top of whites climb. Black run and the rest of Whites. Done.

    To the uninitiated (i.e. me), that reads like Id get lost! πŸ™‚ No idea how good / bad the signs are. I’ve actually got a 4hr window from starting in Swansea, and have reckoned 1/2 hr each way to make the 3hrs but can’t afford to be late / lost as I’ll be picking up my eldest daughter afterwards back in Swansea.

    Sounds like flipping a coin between Penhydd and Whites then.
    Most likely go for Penhydd as I can’t risk being late, though “Windy Point” does look like the kind of trail that floats my boat πŸ™‚
    I recon we’ll go with that to be safe, then see what’s occurring on subsequent trips.
    Thanks all for the recommendations πŸ™‚

    jakehinton
    Member

    Definatley wWites Level. I think its got the most fun descent and the climb is fairly long but actually quite enjoyable as its not just fire road slog… Could always push for a bit of it if your mates struggling and still do it easily in 3 hours

    rob8624
    Member

    Just do as I suggested (you can even use the link road if you want to do some of Whites) get up the skills park, loop 373, Graveyard and Corker and have fun in on the tabletops in the park, then down zig zags, or the alternative steep trail :D. Way more enjoyable than Penhydd if you are restricted to time.

    Premier Icon Painey
    Subscriber

    The Whites Level climb, whilst long is by far the nicest way to gain elevation there. Only takes about 30 minutes though.

    At the top of the climb you could always do Blade and just miss out the big loop out across the field (you’ll know it when you see it).

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    W2 (Wall + Whites Black, 44k) -4 – 7 hours> 2:30 – 3 hours if your quickish

    He’s already pointed out that his mate is unfit though.

    I’d go for Whites if you just want to follow signs round one of the trails.

    Mbnut
    Member

    njee – it means it’s crap.

    painey – 30 minutes is pretty impressive for Whites climb, it is my favourite one there.

    tom200
    Member

    Late hijack, but bare with me. I am working right outside afan on Friday so will be taking my bike for a lunch break. I recon I can spare 1 1/2 hours, is the wall feasible in that time? I am fairly fit (less at the moment as it’s the off season!), other recommendations for an hour an a halls spirt are welcome.

    jam1e
    Member

    If you’ve only got 4 hours you’re probably better off going to the Afan center rather than Glyncorrwg which is an extra 20 minutes drive (and obviously 20 mins back)

    taxi25
    Member

    @tom200. 1.30 for the wall is doable but you’ll need to keep a good pace and no stopping.

    Mbnut
    Member

    Tom – Park at Rhyslyn and The Wall is a comfortable hour and a half.

    tom200
    Member

    Thanks all, I don’t plan on stopping:-)

    Premier Icon deadkenny
    Subscriber

    Most times I’ve been to Afan with a group we do Whites and take most the day doing it! πŸ˜†

    Social faffing mainly. Start is also often late, maybe 11 by the time we set off. Seems to be about 4 by the time we’re done !

    Just a lot of stops, chat, photos and maybe a lunch stop also. It’s not that people are slow, it’s just the group isn’t going for a performance ride, just a social enjoying the countryside.

    If I get a chance to run it myself, could do it about 1.5 to 2 hrs, depending on doing the black option.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    It takes more than 30 minutes to get to Afan (Penhydd/Wall) from where I am in Swansea, and I’m close to the motorway. I normally allow 45 minutes plus faff time if I’m with a group.

    I rode Penhydd and Bluescar a few weeks ago, on my own, so no stopping. It took me just over 3 hours from the time I left the house until return. No faffing, no looking for signposts, etc. I’d hope that I’d be fitter than your mate..

    I’d be concerned about the limited time available if you need to be back for a certain time so I have another suggestion…

    In Swansea itself you have waymarked and natural trails in Clyne woods, down towards Mumbles, and also a range of trails on Kilvey Hill which are a bit more DH-style but feel remarkably like a trail centre. They are good, entertaining tracks, easily worth missing Afan for even if you had the whole day available.

    If you haven’t ridden these places, I’d question the decision to waste time in a car driving. You could easily spend 4 full hours riding these trails and still not have found all of them.

    Apologies if you know about the local riding, but if you don’t, then you’re in for a treat! πŸ™‚

    tom200
    Member

    I parked at the visitors centre and did the wall in the end, it was good until the hail froze my eyeballs! 1:34 total which was nice.

    Thanks for the tips. Whites level worked a treat. I imagine it’s a blast in the summer πŸ˜€

    What I hadn’t banked on was how awful the weather was going to be. Basically..
    a) Lashing it down at the bottom
    b) Sleeting sideways half way up, and
    c) Snowing at the top.
    oh, and
    d) Quite how unfit my companion was, who threw up on more than one occasion :), and went over the bars twice…

    Still, managed to do it all in time to pick my daughter up in Swansea.

    I also now fully understand the need for
    i) Waterproof gloves
    ii) Waterproof socks

    Glad we didn’t have any mechanicals as even fixing a puncture would have been very painful…

    I’ll have to look into Clyne woods and Kilvey Hill options – past experience of attempting find trails in the woods without someone who has been there first made me steer clear of these options…

    Onwards and upwards πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    I’ll have to look into Clyne woods and Kilvey Hill options – past experience of attempting find trails in the woods without someone who has been there first made me steer clear of these options…

    Clyne is reasonably obvious – there’s even a map. πŸ˜‰
    http://clyneriders.co.uk/page3/about.php

    Kilvey is not too bad to work out either as it’s a fairly small area.

    If you want though PM me and I’ll show you the trails. Or come up on a Thursday night and ride with the MTBPigs. http://www.mtbpigs.co.uk

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