Thursday, March 08, 2007

Coed Y Brenin, MBR

Day2 of our sneaky mid wk road trip saw us start the day in no frame of mind to rush anything. Breakfast was at a sensible time and we spent a while spannerin' our rigs to ensure they'd survive another tough Welsh trail. Uphilla even found a couple of admirer's at the b&b, lets the rumours begin...

The day started a little more overcast than day1 but we were thankful it was dry, albeit a little cooler.

Coed Y Brenin is one of the original MTB'ing center's and after our last visit I felt it had lost some of it's appeal. However, the prospect of a sizeable reinvestment tempted me back and I'm pleased to say that the revisions didn't disappoint. They've built a new eco-friendly center with lots of facilities to keep the ankle biters amused whilst pah is rolling his knobblies. They've also invested in the MTB trails with revisions to old alongside new routes plus several running and walking options. Although most are classed as "difficult" they also now have a shorter taster for novices.

The altitude climbed the day before still left our legs feeling a little tender so over a brew we pondered route choices. Our legs certainly wouldn't survive the longer Beast or Dragon's Back although we felt the shorter Afon and Temptiwr would leave us wanting. So that left a revised MBR or the new Tarw and the thought of an extra 50m climbing shook the knee's so we opted for the slightly shorter MBR, an old faithful.

Leaving the trail center through the "fork" sculpture we were immediately presented with an extremely well armoured trail with large slabs of rock to skip across. Fortunately the climbing was gentle and didn't shock the system too much. Much of the trail remains from it's previous guise but they've beefed up the odd section and it now rides even better. For anyone that remembers, this trail offers some excellent techy climbs with a good mix of roots and rocks to amuse. This time the long, steep and loose bridleway climb was too much for my tired pins :x

The last few sections are all new and they sweep from turn to turn with speed inducing cambers. Naturally, there's always a boulder or jump to reign you back in but the feel got us to push it to the stops. The signs at the end of the trail aren't clear at the mo but that's my one and only gripe from a thoroughly good little blat.

Overall it's a good route but the builders obviously don't want you to hook up too much speed. My poorly fork had me revert from my usual fast'n'furious approach (which was now becoming dangerous) to more of trails style. So much so that on the Pink Heifer I enjoyed lots of track stands, rolling over ledges and steadily (very steadily) controlling my descent. By this point I'd also got to grips with my new brakes, although my rear tyre clearly got a beating whilst learning to be delicate.

The drive home wasn't the swiftest catching three tractors on the twistiest sections and loads a traffic at the bottom of the M6. Talk about lucky, within an hour of returning the heavens opened so we defo timed our sneaky mid week excursion to perfection.

Route; waymarked Forestry Commission trail starting at the revamped Coed Y Brenin visitor center, Tracklog
Weather; Dry, mild and sunny/overcast
Posse; Farqui(5Spot), Uphilla(5Spot)
Mechanicals; Uphilla lost his rear hydro cable guide and his new LX brakes weren't particularly strong even after covering all the rough terrain in this trip.


uphilla said...

This was certainly the most challenging trail of the trip and it would be good to try it on fresh legs.
I recognized some parts from our last visit, there had been serious erosion in places and some trails had become small streams as a result of the rain.
Good to go mid-week, very quiet. New centre looks good, but suspect Café may be busy at weekends.
Farqui forgot to mention that I suffered serious brain fade at times and rode much of the 'Serious' down stuff with my fork lock-out on! Which, with the Nixons misbehaving, must have put us on equal terms!