Thursday, March 13, 2008

Brechfa, Derwen

The last ride of our trip was a little gem I found last September, it's a complete hoon of a trail and I simply had to come back. I'd done my best to explain it's "style" to Uphilla beforehand and wanted to hear what someone else thought of it. It's only a few miles down the road from Abergorlech and as we were passing it'd be rude not to make use of the trail fairies efforts :p

It's graded green from the start with the option of a little blue loop halfway around but after just a couple of sections Uphilla was struggling to believe any novices would be comfortable with it's opening salvo's.

Unlike the Gorlech trail the Derwen doesn't gently ease you in, it sets out the style early on and gives you more and more of the same. It's a great way to learn how to tackle berms, small jumps and better still how to pump for "free" speed and keep your knobblies hammerin' along.

The climbing is steady and a mix of fireroad and broad hard packed slate that my Bonty's appreciated a little more than this mornings surface. Quite impressive considering it drizzled throughout this ride - not that it dampened my enthusiasm. Or perhaps the additional grip this afternoon was simply down to the flowy nature of the turns ?

Did I mention the flow, my goodness in most sections you could see soooo far ahead that choosing your line was easy and safe, just as well 'cos the speed often had my eyes watering :p

Again I clocked a number of hawks that weren't just circling overhead, they'd be slicing and dicing their own trail through the forest.

The last section is the cherry on the cake and a great way to end a short blat around the woods. Now we can understand the comical first sign that comes shortly after leaving the car park which suggests the "1st short section". However having ridden it you could easily hammer through this last bit half a dozen times for some seriously fun "sessioning" :)

The smooth surface was great for Uphilla's dicky shoulder and he claimed not to have suffered at all. Some might prefer lumpier and more technically challenging trails but I'm sure this route will bring everyone a bundle of fun that I found to be quite addictive and could easily of had another loop had we had time.

So in the space of two days, I've had three awesome rides on superb trails, each with their own character and challenges. Fantastic.

Uphilla, thanks for driving and I hope that you're not too sore...

Tracklog and pic's here.

; Farqui (5.5 Spot), Uphilla (5.5 Spot)

Weather; overcast, breezy with misty rain cooling our hot heads ;)

Mechanicals; none


uphilla said...

I had no idea what to expect from the Brechfa trails, but a big thanks to Farqui for suggesting we do these.
The hills are more gentle than Afan, so ideally suited to a second day.
I am sure many pass the Derwen trail by as it is advertised as green/blue, but the grading is deceptive, though much depends on how fast you ride it.
This would be an ideal place to take someone who is thinking about trying mountain biking because you could take them on that short initial loop and it would be sure to give them such a big buzz on the way down that they would want to do it again!
This is the first trail where I felt able to take my hands completely off the brakes and let the bike go, and I was going carefully!
Clever trail-builders, pity we do not have something similar nearer to home.
Brilliant way to finish our trip, we both had big smiles on our faces despite tired legs.

MP3 e MP4 said...
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toons said...

Sounds like an Excellent few days; must come down and check'em out.