Twrch, Cwm Carn

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  • Twrch, Cwm Carn
  • It’s great. Lovely climb, good flow on the way back down.

    5hr trip? No. Not worth that. Great if you’re near or there for the weekend, but not just to ride it as a single trail.

    b45her
    Member

    it’s not worth the 30 minute trip from my house let alone 5 hours, cwmcarn has always been a piss poor excuse for a trail.

    Premier Icon valleydaddy
    Subscriber

    head to BikePark Wales instead loads of trails and big grins

    LoCo
    Member

    New trail due to open December though, One Rowan’s creations too so should be brilliant 😀

    heavy_rat
    Member

    Dont mind the drive as its nice to ride on some rocky stuff now that my local trails have turned into a mud bath. Might wait for the new one to open then.

    Not sure about bikepark. Isnt it all downhill and uplifts?

    heavy_rat
    Member

    Whats it like nowadays? Havent ridden it since the work was done. Just trying to work out if its worth the 5 hour round trip

    l0key
    Member

    been smoothed out quite a bit in recent times, not as rocky now as you may remember it. Still a fun start to a weekend in Wales (Friday afternoon after the drive down cwmcarn, Sat – Afan for W2 or penydd/skyline when they re-open, Sun – Bike Park Wales)

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    good fun trail, could always tag on a couple of goes on the uplift afterwards but its a long way for just 1 trail,

    as a side note – Its desperately needed expanding for a while, its 2-3 hrs from london but its got 1 xc track and 1 dh run, massive waste imho, BPW uplift is booked up until December so the demand is there but for whatever reason cwmcarn has never expanded, properinvestment you could have anotehr tweed valley a few hours from london, but sadly its never happened.

    Except for the new XC trail with two descents and the new DH trail that’s being built right now. The new carpark and changing facilities and the open space waiting to be filled by whichever bike shop wins the lease.

    l0key
    Member

    beat me to the response Jimbo.

    Investment all over the shop at the moment, next on the list hopefully Brechfa.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    Agreed things are looking up but its been what, 10 years? with just 1 xc and dh trail, its a missed opportunity imo

    Agreed things are looking up but its been what, 10 years? with just 1 xc and dh trail, its a missed opportunity imo

    Hear, hear!

    If you look at what’s been done during the same period at Afan, Brechfa, CYB, and now BPW, Cwm Carn has been stagnant too long. I like it as a place to ride, but it’s limited at the moment. Yes, things are improving, and will continue to do so, but especially with BPW’s rapid rise, I suspect it will have to come up with something special to keep drawing people in. From what I hear of the short term plans at BPW, it will very, very rapidly overtake Cwm Carn, and probably Afan as well in terms of riding variety and scope.

    wrecker
    Member

    Agreed things are looking up but its been what, 10 years? with just 1 xc and dh trail, its a missed opportunity imo

    Absolutely. It took them 9 years just to start charging for car parking!
    I really don’t know why Cwmcarn didn’t get its act together sooner. It could have had as many trails as Afan (if not as long) and being much closer to the majority; would’ve cleaned up!
    With BPW open, I can’t help but think it’s too little too late.

    LoCo – Member
    New trail due to open December though, One Rowan’s creations too so should be brilliant

    So that’s what he’s doing. There a bunch of us over here in Ireland, drumming our fingers, waiting on some trails he’s due to build over here. The man’s in demand.

    llama
    Member

    Is Cwm Carn quieter now BPW is open?

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    the uplift is less busy these days

    Premier Icon faustus
    Subscriber

    I went to Cwm Carn recently, and it’s a bit more convenient for poeple travelling from the south east to get some ‘proper’ trail riding in (Swinley doesn’t have proper hills, or rocks). It does seem like a missed opportunity to not expand it, and surprised there was no bike shop at the moment. The area and the trails are really good, and I think there’s enough demand from mtbers to use it, as bike park wales is a pay for uplift affair as opposed to a ‘normal’ trail centre.

    greeble
    Member

    Less busy? You mean dead? Gone from 2-3 buses per weekend to just one. Hardly surprising the dh track is boring and unmaintained. Bpw is 25mins away. Even when the new trails open before Xmas is going to have to be something special…. Its 7 years too late

    LoCo
    Member

    The issue, or one of the main ones, was getting the go ahead to use the land on the l/h side of the valley looking up it from the visitor centre.
    Add to this that the bottom of the valley is county council land which adds to red tape as more spoons in the pot as it were.
    Slightly biased as 10 mins ride away so proper local trail for me.

    mduncombe
    Member

    Twrch is a proper mountain bike trail.

    I rode the Twrch back in August for the first time in a while and loved it and always have done. Cant say I have noticed any huge changes over the years. Plenty of rocks and particulary roots to test you on the climb.

    Its too short for a full day out but the toughness of the climb puts you off doing a second lap, so for me it makes a perfect half days outing on a Sunday morning living in Bristol.

    DanW
    Member

    I have never really understood why Cwm Carn gets such a rough deal interwebz opinion-wise.

    I has one of the toughest technical climbs of any trails centre within a decent radius and has a nice varied and flowing descent back down with some excellent views. Yes it is shortish but it crams a lot in with no boring “filler” sections and is all action. Places like Afan by comparison have boring climbs, descents with no real flow and far less variety. What you do get is a longer overall distance ride. If you want an all day ride around Cwm Carn then do the trail centre parts then ride the “natural” stuff nearby. To the OP: Ask any LBS or locals on here and you should be able to locate a lot of the awesome surrounding trails to make the long drive more worthwhile!

    I don’t really know what people expect as it is a great bit of trail with great non-trail centre trails literally a minute or two away. Do you really need you hand held around a way marked trail all day? 😀

    llama
    Member

    the nice things about the XC are its not _all_ smooth berm-roller-berm-roller-yawn, and it can be linked up the the DH for added gnar.

    but it is short

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    Do you really need you hand held around a way marked trail all day

    yup thats why i use a trail centre!, if im driving for 4 hours I dont want to spend my day getting lost down boggy farm tracks etc

    tho id be interested to learn more abou other trails there!

    if teh new xc route is good and you can make a day doing that and twrch then id be very keen to visit tbh

    david jey
    Member

    Ask any LBS or locals on here and you should be able to locate a lot of the awesome surrounding trails to make the long drive more worthwhile!

    Shhhh! Nothing to see here 😉

    S’funny, the same was true of when I lived in the Afan valley; there was as much ‘off-piste’ stuff again as waymarked trails if you knew where to look. I found nearly all of it by exploring on my own/chatting to other locals and rarely ended up on a duff trail/down a dead end.

    DanW
    Member

    I have moved away from the area so wouldn’t know the exact current local trail situation but…

    … climbing either from around Wyllie partly on road or up 2 mile climb off road on to the Sirhowy Valley side of things gives lots on nice steep singletrack/ rocky descents back down in to Crosskeys.

    Or, you could take some of the rocky descents in to Bedwas/ Trethomas which then open up tons of stuff south of Caerphilly/ Ridegeway/ Wenault/ Whips/ Castle Coch/ singletrack of Machen etc etc etc.

    A lot of those are marked bridleways so it is not really giving away any secret local knowledge and not too hard to find with the option of disappearing down some unmarked singletrack for even more fun.

    There must be tons North and East of Cwm Carn too towards Mr. Loco so it is just a case of getting in touch with a LBS and getting a map or GPS or joining one of their group rides. There aren’t many boggy farm tracks round those parts!

    LoCo
    Member

    Shhhh! Nothing to see here

    +1 😉

    Some of the trails are a touch ‘sensitive’ so if you do ride them, please don’t publish the routes.

    Wyllie is off limits now too, rangers and officers about who’ll book you and take bikes, so best to avoid

    DanW
    Member

    Fair enough, best ask the locals then! The bits I remember from Wyllie is the road climb up on the top of the hill joining up with a by-way/ bridleway and then taking any number of the by-way/ bridleways back down either towards Crosskeys or Bedwas area. I am assuming nothing wrong with these areas and “Wyllie trails” means something else to the locals???

    But for the OP, as I said, much of what I mention is marked bridleway and still lots of fun to extend a trail centre ride.

    Premier Icon woody74
    Subscriber

    Well I love Cwm Carn, the XC track is just brilliant, hard climb, great flowing single track and great fast descent. Cant wait for the other routes to open.

    cubemeup
    Member

    i never seen cwmcarn so quiet, popped down the other week for a quick spin and there must of been 6 cars max parked there.

    i did mention months back after they done the new alterations that they had made a mess of the trail. the last two descents are still in my mind two of the best in the country.

    DanW
    keep local spots on the QT we already have people from all over the shop coming over

    cubemeup
    Member

    just a quick question why do people think Cwmcarn is is two words???

    DT78
    Member

    I’m heading there tomorrow for my annual visit. The climb was the best bit in my opinion, real challenge to get to the top without unclipping.

    And agree overdue increasing the variety, for me it is always a stop off rather than a destination in it’s own right.

    How much is the parking then?

    cubemeup
    Member

    £1 2 hours or £3 all day

    DanW
    Member

    DanW
    keep local spots on the QT we already have people from all over the shop coming over

    Sorry if the trails are more sensitive that I remember them. Can’t get too possessive over the local rights of way though which make for an enjoyable ride in their own right.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    In comparison to other trail centres the down on the XC track just is nt that good at Cwmcarn.

    It is as people say however a proper XC route with a challenging climb, but the down is the bit that sells it too u to come back again.

    In some ways Im glad it was almost empty last time I went. Cos Swinely, Cannock, FOD always seem to be totally packed now adays.

    wrecker
    Member

    I find Cwmcarn much more challenging than the newer, smoother TCs. The FOD XC and Cannock stuff don’t even compare.

    scu98rkr
    Member

    I find Cwmcarn much more challenging than the newer, smoother TCs.

    The down or the up, the up is obviously much more changeling at cwmcarn think the downs are pretty similar my self.

    The Twych perfect for a couple of loops on a winter’s day. Or a loop on the way back from Afan/Brechfa/BPW

    wrecker
    Member

    The down or the up, the up is obviously much more changeling at cwmcarn think the downs are pretty similar my self.

    Perhaps the last bit, but the quite rocky section is considerably harder to ride fast than the others mentioned.

    scottfitz
    Member

    I still can’t work out how the uplift will work for the new DH trail at Cwmcarn when it on a different hill to the old one. 2 uplifts?

    philwarren11
    Member

    I must be riding a different Cwmcarn. The free ride and last descent are good but the rest are too short and you always get hit by a climb after every descent.

    In otherwords, the climb isnt worth the effort.

    Done it Tuesday night and wish i’d done it kinda in reverse like a few people were doin it.

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