First time in Wales

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  • First time in Wales
  • Premier Icon ComradeD
    Subscriber

    Hi there,

    Planning on doing a mid week trip to North Wales to do one of the centers. Was thinking of the Marin trail as i've heard good reviews. Is there any others worth doing or is the Marin trail the one to do?

    Cheers

    snaps
    Member

    I'm doing the Marin & Penmachno on thursday, more info here http://www.mbwales.com/default.aspx

    Premier Icon ComradeD
    Subscriber
    Tracker1972
    Member

    Did Penmachno then Marin in one day as my first visit, Probably prefer Penmachno, but we did that first and was pretty knackered by the time we got to Marin. Final decent at Marin was excellent though.
    For me Penmachno gets the vote.

    Premier Icon vinnyeh
    Subscriber

    Did Penmachno 1+2 last Thursday. Nice day out, some really nice bits of trail. With a lot of it you'd think 'bridleway' rather than 'bike trail'.
    Lots of freshly cutback brambles, standing water in a lot of hollows, just enough to wet you, but no mud.

    I was surprised by how underused the trail seemed- hardly any treadmarks/wear showing on the trail, and only one other car there when I left Thursday lunchtime- a complete contrast to Llandegla where I went in the afternoon. The carpark there, midweek, looked like the forecourt of a major Audi/BMW dealer- or a golfcourse carpark. I can see why it's a love it/hate it sort of place- fun to ride, well designed, and (for someone of my skill level) it lets you ride at a pace outside of your comfort zone. Great, but needs to be eaten as part of a balanced diet.

    PJM1974
    Member

    It depends what you're riding. I tried the Marin trail for the first time in 2004 on a 4" hardtail and loved it. Next time round was Autumn '07 on a 5" full suss and I found it less challenging than I remembered, but still fun.

    Last time round was June '09 on a Marin 140 and I had a miserable time… Not enough gnarly descents and too much climbing. I feel I may have been somewhat over-biked though!

    I really like Penmachno because it's quiet and has a natural feel. As for Marin, I can leave it except for the final descents which are some of my favourites anywhere.
    If you do Pen in the morning, just session the final descents of Marin a couple of times from the main car park near Llanwrst (drive over the ornate bridge and up into the forest to find it). The descents are easy to find, look out a few hundred metres before the top of the forest road climb where the returning trail comes in from the left and crosses over the straight-on outgoing trail. Look for the posts of the crossing trail and turn right here to do the final descents.

    Premier Icon ComradeD
    Subscriber

    Which is the best place to go to?

    Coed-y-Brenin or Betws-Y- Coed?

    Were going on the Tuesday

    qwerty
    Member

    CyB every time as many more trails which can be mixed and matched

    RudiBoy
    Member

    DONT GO TO WALES….

    the people are horrible and the trails are crap.

    My advice is to try the south downs as the people are lovely and the trails are mint.

    Betws is central for penmachno and marin trail. CoedyBrenin is about 35-40 mins drive away from Betws

    All three are different and have their strong points. Coedy has a visitor centre, cafe etc and is known for its rough, rocky build.

    Pigface
    Member

    Marin has to be the most overated trail in the country, apart from the final descent what is there to get excited by. Penmachno way more fun.

    Trailseeker
    Member

    Anyone got any recommendations for cheap bike freindly accomodation in Betws-Y- Coed? as I'm planning a few days riding later in October.

    Premier Icon IdleJon
    Subscriber

    The last time I rode the Marin trail (admittedly a few years ago now) there was a young lady who was coping with the trail quite easily on her slick-shod 700c hybrid. Made me feel quite a fool wearing full on mtb gear.

    (BTW it's a rubbish, boring trail – it quite easily made the bottom of the list of trails to ever return to.)

    matt lewis
    Member

    We're only horrible to you Rudiboy.

    Premier Icon takisawa2
    Subscriber

    I like Nant-y-Arian. Nice trails, couple of great descents, well surfaced & not too busy. Good little cafe & terrace for shilling out afterwards.
    Marin seemed to be more climbing than descending, but finish descent worth it. The MachX trail is pretty close to CyB if you fancy an hours ride, brilliant downhill run to finish.

    Trailseeker
    Member

    I was reading about joining Marin & Penmachno up off road but I think that would be an epic hard ride!

    I rode the Marin on Thursday. It is the worst trail that I have ever ridden. Fireroad climbs leading to…fireroad descents! Huge climbs leading to small descents leading to another fireroad climb.

    Last two sections were great but they last around 5 minutes.

    I found myself thinking, while plodding along another fireroad climb, that if there was a war and I happened to be in charge of firing missiles, I would "accidentally" fire one straight into the Marin trail. Which would probably improve it.

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