Welsh trail centres which would be your pick?
(Mr Munqe Chick posting).
The builders of penmachno should get jobs as irrigation engineers in Egypt, we’ve ridden there after 3 dry weeks and loads of the second loop (sections 2.3, 2.5 and 2.6 IIRC) had standing water when the surrounding ground was bone dry. No flow to the trail, not a single section that is memorable for any positive reason other than the views on the second section.
Love the Beast etc and enjoyed Marin. Only specifying trail centres to guarantee ride quality when we are time-poor, I have a Garmin and would happily ride naturally if we had a gpx of a nice route, but back in my student OS-exploring days we had about a 50% strike rate for good rides vs yomping through knee deep heather…When we go back to S.Wales we dont even bother with the trail centres as there is terrific natural riding from the doorstep.
Heard lots of good things about Nanty but dont know many that have done Brechfa, Llandegla, Climach-X etc.Posted 4 years ago
Okay so how about drive down Tuesday morning afternoon at Llandegla, spend night in Betws, Wednesday morning head to Coed y and do Beast or similar shorter trails, stay somewhere .. who knows where! Then Thursday ride Nant y Arian. Does that sound sensible or silly? as not sure on distances between Coed y and Nant y…google is your friend?! Anyone recommend somewhere near Nant y to stay? with either food on site or walking distance to good food and beer/wine? Don’t mind if it’s a B&B. cheersPosted 4 years ago
Decision Nanty yr Arian, Brechfa then Afan! Having said no to Afan I realised it is donkeys since we went there, then I found afan Lodge which looks lovely! so it’s now all booked, just got to hope for some nice weather next week Tuesday-Thursday! as long as it’s dry I don’t really care. Excited now.Posted 4 years agophilwarren11Member
Its about 15 mins from Bridgend M4 junction, consists of a black run running into a blue for the final descent, making 4 miles. You can do loops of the blue or black, or shortcut to the bottom half of the black and so on. Great fun.
Park here and its superbly signposted.
Do a youtube search of bleangarw trails or mtb. Nice little rock garden in the middle of the descent.
Probably my favourite trail in south wales, and im local. lol.Posted 4 years ago
thanks to all those who replied. My review of our trip (still unpacking) cross-posted from our club website (hence some odd formatting, apologies). Continues some genuine info in amongst opinion!
We rode the longest trail, the 35km Syfydrin. This combines all the trail
centre singletrack of the 16km Summit trail with a massive natural
doubletrack loop out into the back of beyond. Terrific views and a real
old-school XC explore feel, very exposed so would be horrendous in poor
weather. The singletrack is typical of trail centres ie. good quality, all
weather surface. If you werent expecting the non-challenging backcountry
feel I can imagine it being disappointing or frustating but we loved it.
Excellent facilities on-site (good cafe), its popular with bird watchers
and walkers not just MTB so has had a lot of investment. Best views of any
centre in Wales.
Rode the longest trail, the red Gorlech in the morning, and the slightly
shorter black Raven in the afternoon. They run out of different car parks a
few miles apart, with no facilities bar (very clean and well maintained)
chemical toilets. You can join them together for one big loop but it suited
us to move sites as part of the trip. The Gorlech trailhead map claims to
have 1070m of climbing which is laughable- I can only imagine Rowan Sorrell
confused feet with metres (otherwise we need to give Dave Brailsford a call
about our climbing prowess). Lots of swoopy hardpack singletrack, pretty
much all in forest so good riding even in poor weather, no big climbs, and
a few bermy/bumpy/jumpy sections courtesy of Mr Sorrell. The final descent
with its multiple lines, berms and tabletops is something you’d want to
session again and again.
The Raven left us both a bit “meh”. You go from noodling up a steep
singletrack climb (seems to have far more and steeper climbs than Gorlech),
turn a corner and youre dropping into a Swiss national DH-style precipitous
rocky bermfest. I dont know what Rowan Sorrell’s brief was, but the
hardpack “bike park” sections are brilliant play riding but completely
incongruous and jar with the rest of the trail. There’s a lot of natural
dirt as well as hardpack singletrack and if you took all the “gnarl”
sections out it’d be a cracking trail centre XC route. Both bits are good
fun riding but the mix just seems odd.
After chatting to the FC Ranger we chose to ride Y Wall, which we haven’t ridden for over a year, when diversions were in place. Penhydd will re-open in September and be pretty much new, the logging operations have
moved from Afan valley to Glyncorrwg valley so Whites Level/Skyline suffer
heavy detours. They are also building a brand new 30+km trail, Blade, that
will join Wall and Whites Level (rather than the fireroad slog it is to
join them to make W2 now).
Y Wall has always been a fave trail of mine, and theyve managed to improve
it with half a dozen new sections of singletrack. The ride down the side of
the river and back up the fireroad on the other side has been replaced with
singletrack sections out of (Alpha) and into (Omega) the centre, over a new
purpose-built bridge. Some of the climb is covered in a new “Elevator”
section, which has that magical quality of sucking you along and uphill
without you realising. There are other new sections of singletrack too. At
the top of the trail, before the final “zigzags” descent you keep riding
uphill, in order to ride a bike skills trail (its near a second smaller
trail centre building) which has perfectly flowing swoopy pumpy berms. Had
it not been p1ssing with rain we would have done multiple runs of this- I
cant remember another set of berms that flows so well (at trail centres
subsequent berms often tighten up to force you to lose speed rather than
let you keep it up).
Is further north, and we didnt go there, because it is crap.Posted 4 years agoHob NobMember
The Raven left us both a bit “meh”. You go from noodling up a steep singletrack climb (seems to have far more and steeper climbs than Gorlech), turn a corner and youre dropping into a Swiss national DH-style precipitous rocky bermfest. I dont know what Rowan Sorrell’s brief was, but the hardpack “bike park” sections are brilliant play riding but completely incongruous and jar with the rest of the trail. There’s a lot of natural dirt as well as hardpack singletrack and if you took all the “gnarl” sections out it’d be a cracking trail centre XC route. Both bits are good fun riding but the mix just seems odd.
people obviously have different perceptions of what’s hard & what’s not, but comparing the first real descent with the big berms just before the fire road to DH (even tame DH like the Swiss Nat) is something i’ve never heard before.
Personally, i’d like the whole trail to be more like that. The end is a nice, fun way to finish, but I want harder trails, not removal of the more technical features.Posted 4 years ago
That’s the point though HobNob if whole trail like rhat it would be begger, know what to expect, get uour head in, it is the extremes of riding which isn’t great and doesn’t allow it to flow.
Afan and coed y brenin still my favourite trail centres by far. Y Wall had be whooping and hollering like a small child.Posted 4 years ago
Hob Nob you missed my point. Feel free to mis-interpret it to suit your ego but where in my post did I say the sections were “hard”? I said those sorts of features were
brilliant play riding
good fun riding
just that they didn’t fit in with the rest of the trail. I’d happily have a whole trail like that, along with a separate naturalistic XC trail. The mix of the two styles seemed a bit clumsy, especially as the Raven has more natural feeling (dirt/loam rather than hardpack) singletrack than many.
And they’re berms, and they go downhill, not sure how comparing them to a downhill run is such a stretch! I havent been to PdeS for a few years but I seem to remember the runs towards the Swiss side were rockier than those closer to Morzine and I was trying to paint a picture people could relate to (most of my club buddies have done the Passeport). Thanks to an impending house move this summer will be the first in over 15 years I’ve not ridden overseas which is why we’re having long weekends away to make up for it, and a trail centre that covered both singletrack and harder trails would fill the void.
Rusty, thanks I was kicking myself for leaving my Garmin at home. Gorlech certainly felt like it had less climbing than most trail centre routes (theres normally at least one “memorable” climb in every route but I dont remember any there).
Feel so lucky being 10 miles from nant yr Arian glad you enjoyed the views still gets me every time
I actually stopped in one of the right hand berms on the first section of singletrack as the view opened out in front of me to appreciate it. Not often that happens!Posted 4 years ago
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