Monday, September 08, 2008


After a month or so of sullen rain swept commutes had sapped my enthusiasm for getting up in a morning let alone riding off-road we forced ourselves to adhere to our scheduled trip to Wales last weekend. We left work good and early on Friday afternoon and against all the "news advice" that ALL of Wales was under water didn't drive through any floods or showers of note until we were a few miles away from our b&b. When the heavens opened briefly and dumped big time, thankfully this was the worse downpour of our trip.

A crackin' meal at the Belle followed by a long soak in our b&b's hot tub washed away the 5hr journey (+1hr delay of Friday madness) and our spirits were lifted ;)

The near constant showers on Saturday didn't bode well for a ride and I feared my rig would stay in the bike bag for the duration - just like our last trip to Mabie :( So we spent the day checking out the local area, duckin' the showers and even managed a walk around the start'n'end of the Brechfa trail.

Sunday dawned as another overcast, gray day (surprise, surprise) but after another hearty breakfast I decided that I was riding and that was that. I was so determined that I barely noticed the rain as I loaded up the jalopy. 20 minutes later and I was unloading at the Abergorlech trail head and it was dry - hurrah.

On the fireroad winch from the carpark, with my thighs grumblin' I remained in high spirits and soon started to calm down and "get my head into gear" for the route ahead.

The Gorlech starts off on a wide fireroad that then swings off onto a narrower path before you then start a bit'a'duckin' and divin' between the trees. It's a terrific route that starts off easy and then gets more and more challenging. Even though the climbs are still there they I don't find that they beat ya's up too much either :thumbsu

The first section of singletrack is a real treat and I'm grateful to the local lad who ripped past and soon had me lifting a chainring a pursuit. Otherwise I'd probl'y have continued my granny ring winch through a fabulous atmospheric and flowing climb. The Nobby Nic's were hooking up nicely and after a few more miles my familiar Bonty wiggle was all but forgotten.

The rest of trail is just as impressive with a good mixed bag of up and down action with numerous obstacles to keep you focused.

At the start of the final descent I made a determined effort to clear a dodgy switchback between two tight trees, over roots, followed by off camber and slippery rocks that I walked last time. With a controlled entry and growing confidence in my booties I slithered through without a dab :) The subsequent berms come thick and fast to end a crackin' trail.

Although there's no autumnal Afan action for me this year I thoroughly enjoyed these few Welsh miles the blasted weather has allowed.

Many thanks to Rosemary and Jim for their warm hospitality.

Mechanicals: None
Weather: Overcast, light drizzle for a while


dahnhilla said...

Sounds like a great ride, and nice write up.

This weather is disheartening for riding, came back from 30 deg sun in France to constant rain in Blighty. Got out for a ride round my local last week and it was still fun in the wet, you just gotta be strong and get out!

Farqui said...

Tx dude, you'd love the table table tops.

My young fellow, miserable commutes twice a day, x5 days a week make it difficult to "be strong". But you're right - sob.

Dan Howell said...

I haven't rolled for ages now - it's disgraceful, really :( I'm surprised you all still accept me in the clan and haven't booted my account off the blog :D

dahnhilla said...

Sorry, who the **** are you?! ;)

Just kidding fella, good to hear you're still alive!

You should defo get out asap!

We haven't met each others french friends yet!

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