Cwmcarn MTB Ride
The end of October already, which could only mean one thing, the end of month ride was due and this time we were off to Cwmcarn in South Wales, a trail centre I’d never been to.
It was a long drive so an early start for me. Up at 5ish, check my e-mails and such like, pack the car, have some breakfast to fuel me for the day and then headed off at 7.30am ready for the 10am start. Trouble was the SatNav was saying it was going to take almost three hours to get there so it looked as though I might be late. Guess I’d better get a move on.
Thankfully the roads were clear, if a little slippery with the leaves and rain, but the drive down was good, especially all along the Wye Valley from Llangurig, through Rhayader and on down to Builth Wells. The trees were looking particularly autumnal and it looked pretty spectacular with the low morning sun.
The SatNav then went a bit mad when I got close to the trail centre so I ignored it and followed my own instincts which took me staight to the car park for 9:45 where I met Jay and Brad and got kitted up. Dave arrived a little later having followed his SatNav up a very narrow, slippery track, and John came a little after him having done the same.
We said our hello’s and were soon off on the trail. It started with a long climb, mainly single-track though and fairly undulating, not the long slow fireroad drags that we’re used to. On top of which there were lots of leaves on the trail hiding the very slippery roots. Again, we’re not used to roots around here and they are evil!
We slowly made out way to the top and got there unscathed. At the top the trail splits into two, a red-graded trail and black-graded trail so we took the red one first with the plan of coming back up and doing the black one. The little bit of red-trail here was OK and it was only a short climb back to the top for the black one (which we ended up doing twice). To be honest it wasn’t that great as I much prefer more natural trails than the obviously man made table tops and berms. It was still fun though. We then continued our descent onto some really nice, more natural trails right back to the car park. Some of these were quite long, fast descents with the obligatory roots and rocks. Jay managed to have a crash, but was soon back up and riding with a sore knee.
It was only short ride of about 10 miles – A long way to travel for such a short ride, but good to ride somewhere different. We then played a little on the bottom of the downhill course but didn’t do it all as burgers from the visitors centre were calling.