Bank Holiday Riding – Jael Maw

Well, its that time of year again. Our annual Bank holiday caravanning weekend in North Wales. It is one of my very favourite places to ride my bike.  

It’s a long way to travel for us. We left straight after I finished school on Friday and arrived at the Tan Y Fron campsite at 9.30pm. The campsite is lovely, with amazing views of the stunning scenery of North Wales.  Each pitch has lots of space to park the van and caravan with space to set up the BBQ! (very important for a camping weekend)

 

 

Although the weather had been a bit hit and miss on the Friday, Saturday morning came, and the sun was shining. What better place to go than the home of UK trail centre’s Coed y Brenin. This place is fab. We met up with our MTB friends, creating a pack of 8 ranging from 7 years to … much older!!!!!

Coed y Brenin is great, safe, technical and fast. It has a massive selection of trails ranging from family friendly beginner green routes to the mega gnarly and long Beast. As we have been many times before we opted to cobble together our own route picking out our favourite bits that everyone could ride.

We began on the Minatour with its fast, hard packed sweeping berms then across to the   technical single track of Uncle Fester. Up the climb past the copper mine for a photo shoot

 

 

Then the longer downhill of Pink Heifer with its water crossing.  After lunch we played on the skills loop – this is a brilliant example of a skills section. Enough to occupy beginners and experts alike. To finish the day, Mum and I treated ourselves to a run down ‘The Beginning of the End’ with Mum on a mission to nail the rooty bridge bit in one go then down through the Seven Sisters and back to the van.

 

 

A great day done and dusted. Time to call at the Eurospar then BBQ tea!!!! Love the Eurospar, we don’t have them locally and it gives a European holiday feel – more than you get from a Co-op. 

 

 

Sunday

Back to Coed y Brenin!

 

 

After starting on the Minotaur as a family my Dad and I made a break for it on the search for more adventurous riding. Again, made our own route – picking out favourite bits but without the little ones we hit some great sections on the Cyflym Coch and Dragons Back – (cool as they are named from the Adams family) – after an horrendous climb to Coed’s highest point and getting ready for the good bits, it began to hesh it down in typical Welsh weather fashion – grrrr!!!

 

 

But at least it was then downhill all the way; taking in fast flowing red single track downhills with cool names like Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Pugsley’s bottom, Lurch, then finishing with Uncle Fester and Pink Heifer again. Dad held me up after 50 metres when he burped the air out of his tyre and had to put a tube in. He’ll do anything for a rest – just can’t keep up – HAHA.

 

 

I don’t think I have ever been so wet on a ride, my ‘waterproof ‘shoes had filled from the top and my feet were swimming in the water that couldn’t get out!!! I was SOOO ready for the massive slice of delicious Victoria sponge we bought from the café.

 

 

Monday

Tried somewhere new today – Dyfi and the ClimachX trail. First impression Eek!!!  – empty carpark, no café!!!! And it started on a mile-long fire road climb – I was not impressed!!! Time for a rest and a map check. 

 

 

We’d made it, the first downhill section – it was fast flowy narrow single track on broken slate with natural rocks and slabs (which caught me out – but no injuries!!)

 

 

At times the trail was no more than 30cms wide- I really had to concentrate. The trail was 9 miles culminating in Tony the tiger. This final descent was on open hill face with amazing views

 

 

Good job I’m not easily distracted as there were a lot of tricky rocks to get over.  The berms at the end are fast, steep and covered in loose slate – this caused a few sketchy moments.

I got down in one piece, especially with it being a bit wet and slippy – and I’m pretty proud of that at 11

 

Jael Maw

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