Wednesday, July 23, 2008

White's Level, Afan, Glyncorrwg.

It is some weeks now, but I finally got to do the day trip to Afan I have had in mind for a while. The idea was to drive most of the way Friday night, stay in a YHA overnight and then start riding early Saturday am. This is much less of a commitment than a whole weekend and easier to fit in, so will be doing it again before too long if anyone is interested.

My companion this time was a young friend from the midlands who is a very able and keen cyclist just about to start University. It was tempting to do the July trail at Glyncorrwg as the final descent one of the best, but I decided to start with White’s level as I had not ridden this for some years and had heard about a new section.

Overnight stay was at YHA just south of Brecon, so we were also given a hint of how good it would be to ride some natural stuff in this area. The drive down was over the hills, so very scenic.

All the trails at Glyncorrwg have that long initial climb; it is a slog, but perfectly fine. We opted to do the optional black section running from the top of this climb and both managed to clear this. Francis got a pinch flat, so I was glad of some time to catch my breath and watched other riders picking their way through the ‘Black’.

I had no memory of White’s Level, so it was like riding a new trail. The great thing is that after that long initial climb the rest is mostly downhill and real single-track blast! We soon came the new Energy Section which is a sign of how trails are going with jumps berms and ‘north shore’ – all roll-able, but actually hard to keep your wheels on the ground at times. Great Fun! Further down more North-shore has been installed, probably some of the trickiest I have tried for a while – certainly needs full concentration. The rest is just fast downhill single-track with switchbacks and optional jumps. Highly recommended

We did lunch at the Drop-Off cafĂ© that was as good as always, then off to Afan Forest Park to do the Penhydd trail. Nothing different here, and it did not disappoint. It was Francis’s first visit to a trail centre and he was always way ahead of me, totally unfazed by the terrain, a great intro.

As we finished a little rain started to fall, the rest of the day had been warm and fine. Great new feature at this centre is a shower block, very welcome after our day in the saddle before heading home. We both suffered in days after with midge bites, it seems they have moved south :-(

Next time Penmachno or Black Mountains?

Posse: Uphilla; 5-Spot; Francis: Gary Fischer Marlin HT

Weather: Warm, sunny.

Mechanicals: Both suffered pinch flats


Farqui said...

Hmmm, it seems that I can't recall much of the Whites either. Which probably says more about "us" that the "trail" ! ;-)

Always good to hear about someone riding some decent singletrack. I recently found a mostly off road route to Salcey Forest and the "bobble around edge of field x" to "bobble around edge of field y", etc got mighty dull.

Sandi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.