Random musings about mountain bikes…

Emergency Holiday Day

Me and Stu (@stuartw81) tend to have a Tuesday evening ride on the old MTB’s.  This generally involves Stu riding very fast and trying to find every possible hill in the surrounding area.

Obviously we generally tend to end up finding a pub on route as well, and it would be rude not to have a sly bevvie. 

Anyway a couple of weeks ago we had a pleasant ride and stopped at the Square and Compasses for a pint or two.Discussions led from bikes to other areas and Stu mentioned he still had five days holiday to take before Christmas.  To this I replied that he was a jammy git as I only had one day.  I tend to keep one day spare incase of any emergencies and then use it up in the last 2 – 3 weeks of the year.  This got me thinking – Why should I waste my last day either Christmas shopping or doing some other mediocre project around the house. 

‘I should use my last day to ride my bike!’

I mentioned this to Stu, whose eyes immediately lit up and a plan was hatched, we would check our diaries and see if we could make a weekend escape out of my remaining one day holiday.

We mentioned this to the other members of our little gang and before we knew it there was four of us looking at a nice trip to Wales.  Last minute accommodation was found at www.tyrcae.co.uk  which seemed to suit our requirements perfectly.

We set off on Friday morning at 5 am, shot over to Nant Y Arian and spent a fun day on the trails there doing a couple of laps before we lost the light.  We also managed to see the Red Kites being fed whcih was an impressive site.   I found Nant Y Arian  to be a really fun trail centre.  The trails were fast and flowy, not too much technical terrain but if you carried some speed it was good fun.  Great for beginners as well as more experienced bikers.

Saturday we headed to Brechfa were we tackled the Raven Trail.  This was completely different to the day before.  The trail seemed a lot more natural and not as groomed.  You had to think about what line you were taking, some nicely placed tree routes designed to grab your front tyre and fling you into trees added to the excitement.  The climbs at the start of the trail was also immense.  Some of the most sustained and steep climbing I have ever done at a trail centre.  We all agreed that this was a ‘Man’s’ trail centre.  It  reminded in some ways to Kirroughtree which cant be a bad comparison.  My only comment would be sometimes you descended on Fire road which always leaves me feeling a bit cheated.  If I have struggled up then I want some sweet singletrack back down.

Would definitely like to do both centres again in the future.  The Raven really tested my fitness and would like to see how I faired on it later next year to see if my fitness has improved.

Anyway I took some pictures which I will add below, as you can a great weekend had by all.

It’s amazing what a day off work at the end of the year can lead to.  This could become a tradition?

Me catching some air at Nant Y Arian.  Love my Yeti 575!

Stu on the Summit Trail – Nant Y Arian.

Dont think this is anything to do with the Soft Porn films?

Mick on some sweet singletrack.  I was perched on top of a waterfall at this point.

End of the ride – End of the Day – Nant Y Arian.

Brechfa trails.

Mick and Stu riding Brechfa – Some nice sunshine coming through the trees…




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