Wednesday, March 07, 2007


With the 1st ride of the day behind us, a brief lunch and popping around the corner (from the tourist center that is Betws Y Coed) we arrived at Penmachno. This trail differs from the majority in that it's not Forestry Commission developed but a private enterprise affair. Consequently it doesn't have a visitors center ...oh and it's quiet, really quiet with not another soul in sight.

From the teeny car park you crank up a gentle fire road until diving into the woods for a more entertaining climb. In contrast to the Marin trail it's much more flowing with less large rocks to negotiate. This type of trail encourages speed and commitment but these two riders appeared to have left their legs under the lunch table back in Betws! :p We were both really struggling to get the legs into any gear other than "reserve" and I recall the first 4 miles being really, really tough on the pins. I don't think that the trails were that severe, just that ride#1 had taken it's toll. At one point I even thought we'd be pushing up the fireroads let alone on the more demanding techy climbs. I have to admit that I walked a few of the steeper sections but even walking was painful...

This trail has some really long sections, which seem to be more and more common now :thumbu One exposed portion just seemed to go on and on and on, steadily up and up and up :x When it eventually pointed down, my mind and body had almost forgotten what to do ;-) I'm not jesting my reactions were slow and I nearly rode straight into the first big boulder.

The final three sections were by far the best, not least as they now allowed us to flow down rather than endlessly crank upwards. I tend to agree with Uphilla that knowing these trails would really allow you to build up some great speeds. Not on a par with the steep downs at CwmCarn but excellent xc trails none the less.

At the end, we were both glad to see our solitary transport and even more grateful that satnav cut the usual time to our b&b in half. Boy was that road narrow twisty and with excellent views over the range.

Route; waymarked private enterprise trail starting just outside the village of Penmachno (a few miles out of Betws Y Coed), Tracklog.
Weather; Dry, mild and mostly sunny
Posse; Farqui(5Spot), Uphilla(5Spot)
Mechanicals; Uphilla's relatively new Shimano LX brakes weren't performing as expected.


Farqui said...
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Farqui said...

In this dreary weather, I'm dreaming of getting back there and trying the new-ish loop 2