Thursday, May 06, 2010

NANT YR ARIAN - May 2nd 2010

Last year Chas and I visited Nant Yr Arian for the first time. We rode the Summit trail which is a very enjoyable Red graded trail but completed the ride quite quickly and were left feeling that it was somehow too short. Nant Yr Arian is located in mid Wales around an hours drive from Aberystwyth on the coast. It is a very rural and quirt part of Wales and last years family holiday was such a success that we decided to repeat the holiday on the same weekend this year.

This time around we resolved to ride the longest route on offer, the Syfydrin Trail. Its Black graded, 35Km long with over 3000ft accent and encompassed the Summit trail that we rode last year. The trail route map contained the following description:

"We almost don’t want to tell you about Syfydrin because it’s the wild, desolate, lonely beauty of the far loops of this route that create its magic. A unique mix of technical singletrack and ethereal emptiness, this genuine mountain route is one to savour, but certainly not one to underestimate."

I'd say that the above description could not be more accurate. The ride starts from the car park and the initial trail sections are classic trail centre single track..tristy berms and switchbacks...I really great start to the ride. However, its not long before the trail breaks off and using some short road sections quickly develops into remote double track. At first its uphill, then as it plateaued we were subjected to very wet (knee deep puddles!....all I could think of was my bottom bracket and suspension sealed bearings being washed out!) . Finally, it descends. It remains double track but the decent in places is rocky and moderately severe. It's certainly the most technical challenging section of the route and I found it enjoyable but a handful in places. As a result about 50 yards from the bottom I found myself travelling too fast, taking the wrong line and on wet slippery rock drop offs.....WIPEOUT. I'm now the proud owner of a very big black and purple bruised arse!! A bit shacken up...I resolved to ride on in hope that the pain would subside.

Not long after this section the ride began a gradual but long accent across wild open countryside and on route back to the shelter of woodland and the Summit trail. This isolated section of the ride was fantastic. I real feeling of wilderness and towards the top of the climb fantastic views of the sea and Welsh coastline (I wasn't expecting that!). On a wet and windy day, I can imagine that this section of the ride would be quite gruelling. Fortunately, just like last year...we had great weather!

Once back in the forest we picked up the Summit trail and set about making the most of the single track sections. However, the best of these (towards the end of the ride) are interrupted by a climb referred to as 'the log burner'. It's around 3 miles continuous uphill and I was very pleased when it was finally over and I could enjoy the last two single track woodland sections back to the car park.

Great ride. I will ride again and would recommend.

To add to the feeling of wilderness....we arrived at Nant Yr Arian on a Bank Holiday Sunday. We rode a great trail and for 3 1/2 hours only saw 5 other riders!!

Trail: Syfydrin - Nant Yr Arian

Riders: Chas, R2

Rigs: 2x canyon's

Mechanicals: none

Incidents: R2 Wipeout....ouch


Farqui said...

The wild NyA trail is gr8 fun. We found water flowed up hill the last time I was there.

Sorry you took a nasty tumble, those loose rocks/slate can be tricky.

You must have rebuilt the Canyon well (no mechanicals) - well done.

Dangerous Dave said...

Nant Yr Arian was my first foray into welsh trails and I loved it. I'd never ridden a trail as long as this or one that took you into what felt like the middle of nowhere. I'd love to go back!

Good to hear you had such a cracking ride!