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Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
edited August 2016 in MTB rides
Hi all,

have just confirmed with my "social secretary" that I'm not otherwise engaged on Sunday, and have been granted a short leave of absence.

If anyone else is free, and fancies meeting up, I'd be glad of some company. Feel free to suggest the time of day and route, but just so you know, I'm pretty new to this so nothing too technical/hardcore, please.

cheers,
jim

Posts

  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Hi jim, usually I'd say yes. But I'm booked to go out on the dh bike at Cwmcarn tomorrow. next time though :-)
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    No worries - have fun at CC - BTW do you ever ride "Twrch" instead of hitting the downhill? If so, what's it like in terms of technicality? It's on my "to-do-when-I'm-more-confident" list, but would be interested to know how rollable it is?
  • its just a trail!
    Climbs are quite hard, nothing technical on the descents!
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    OK, thanks NM, maybe I'll try it sooner than I thought, then.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Yeah as Ben said. The climbs are tough - dont feel bad about getting off to push (I don't :-))

    But it's all rollable, just go as fast as you feel is comfortable, there's nothing that'll catch you out that you can't just roll over
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    OK, thanks for the encouragement. I'll try it soon, but probably leave that one for a weekday, so I don't hold up too many faster folks.

    As for tomorrow, I'm wondering about tackling the Garth and (possibly) the descent from there into Coed y Gedris - have either of you done that route? I've read its a good ride, but also that it can be a bit hairy in places...
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Nah I've never ridden over that side, but I think they had a British champs xc race up there do it must be ok. Don't think you'll be holding people up at cc mate, the trail itself never gets too congested.
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Well, I made it!

    In fact, the climp to the top of the hill wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but what was worse, much worse, was the initial climb through the woods in Gwaelod-y-Garth; Extremely wet and slippy, plus some really nasty gradients and cambers meant I was walking some of the way. Once I'd made it onto Mountain Road all was well, though, and the climb up the final path to the summit was steep but very rideable.

    Just before the final push:
    IMG_3362.jpg

    Made it:
    IMG_3364.jpg

    On the last leg of the climb, I was caught up by a very friendly and helpful guy called Liam on a Cove Stiffee, who was going the same way as me, so after catching our breath at the top, he kindly let me tail him down. I was very glad of this, as the trail was a bit intimidating, and I may well have decided on an alternative route had I not had someone to follow. As it was, I really enjoyed the descent - very challenging in places, and I did jump off to walk the bike over a couple of the more awkward drops, but on the whole a very valuable experience, and definitely a route I'll repeat many times, I'm sure.
  • Hmm.. a quick google and Gwaelod-y-Garth isn't far at all from me!
    Where abouts is the trig point? and how do you get up there! Looks like a good ride, I could get there without driving lol!
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Map below is, to the best of my knowledge and abilities, the route I took, starting and finishing at the lower taff trail in Tongwynlais (marked by the star).

    Will see if I can find a better way up to the top, as route through intial forest is far from ideal (couple of styles as well as the nasty conditions). But the view from the top is great and descent as marked to North of hill is not to be missed.

    Garthmap.jpg

    Any decent local routes you'd be willing to share?
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Looks like you'll be guiding me and Ben up there soon then mate :-)
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    welshkev wrote:
    Looks like you'll be guiding me and Ben up there soon then mate :-)

    Anytime, you just have to put with me leading from the back, as it were.

    I've been doing some more digging, and found a site belonging to a couple of other riders which shows a way up to pentyrch on the other side of the "Pentyrch Hill" road, above morganstown. I've transposed it as best I can onto a more accurate map for future reference - Start point on my version is the railway crossing at Gelynis farm, Radyr, which is accessible from the Taff Trail via the footbridge at the bottom of Ironbridge Road, Tongwynlais:

    Garth2.jpg

    Looks like mostly forest tracks/fireroads so might be a bit dull, but should be easier in slippy winter conditions. This route would also mean about a mile's worth of tarmac through Pentyrch Village to get to the "mountain", but it's very quiet. I'll have a pop at it next time I have a chance.
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Just for the sake of completeness:

    I tried out this latter route this afternoon. The early ascent is through open beech woodland, with well-defined paths - a much more pleasant experience than the greasy mud of the spruce plantation in Gwaelod, and no super-steep get-off-and-push sections. The path then levels out between two old quarry sites as shown, before dropping onto the quarry access road and then up a tricky climb on a forestry track strewn with small loose rocks. This leads onto a very muddy path between two hedges, that eventually pops you out in a quiet residential street in Pentyrch. Cut throug the village to join up with the original route at the lower left-hand point.No stiles/gates to contend with going this way, overall a much better way to get up onto the garth if you're coming from this direction.

    Total length for a loop starting and finishing at the Taff Trail is probably somewhere between 7 and 8 miles. I did it in 2 hrs, taking it pretty easy. Can easily be combined with some riding in the hills and forests the other side of the A470 if you want to extend it.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    Sounds good mate. I reckon a date for early in the new year should be arranged :-)

    Only because of Xmas parties etc I don't think I'll be getting much weekend riding in :-)
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Sounds good - my workload tends to be a bit lighter at that time of year, so I may have a few saturdays free myself.

    BTW how did you get on at CC on sunday?
  • Some really good routes! its surprising what you have on your doorstep without realising!

    CC was good, nice and dry! Got an uplift this Sunday with a load of lads from South Wales.

    We did an XC ride round the Twrch last night (Tuesday), was great until I fell off being a kid haha!
  • GazlarGazlar Posts: 8,110
    Been eyeing that hill up a while now from the comfort of the train
    Mountain biking is like sex.......more fun when someone else is getting hurt
    Amy
    Farnsworth
    Zapp
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Gazlar wrote:
    Been eyeing that hill up a while now from the comfort of the train

    I have a similar relationship with the hill on the opposite side of the valley (marked "Craig yr Allt" on the maps). One of the gardens I look after in Gwaelod has a perfect end-on view of the ridge, complete with zig-zag tracks above cliff faces. I'm determined to have a look at this one soon, although some of what I've read suggests it might be more trouble than it's worth.

    As for the Garth, Gaz, get off the train at Taff's Well and you're basically at the start of the ride.
  • GazlarGazlar Posts: 8,110
    jimothy78 wrote:
    Gazlar wrote:
    Been eyeing that hill up a while now from the comfort of the train

    I have a similar relationship with the hill on the opposite side of the valley (marked "Craig yr Allt" on the maps). One of the gardens I look after in Gwaelod has a perfect end-on view of the ridge, complete with zig-zag tracks above cliff faces. I'm determined to have a look at this one soon, although some of what I've read suggests it might be more trouble than it's worth.

    As for the Garth, Gaz, get off the train at Taff's Well and you're basically at the start of the ride.

    I could try that tomorrow, mind you if I do I will have a train full of passengers wondering why they are going nowhere :roll:
    Mountain biking is like sex.......more fun when someone else is getting hurt
    Amy
    Farnsworth
    Zapp
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Ooops, didn't realise you drove it.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    jimothy78 wrote:
    Ooops, didn't realise you drove it.

    :lol::lol::lol:
  • GazlarGazlar Posts: 8,110
    Lol, that's ok, I can save hopping off for a non work day. Going up and down the valleys does give me great scope to find some riding, now it's just a case of mapping it and doing it
    Mountain biking is like sex.......more fun when someone else is getting hurt
    Amy
    Farnsworth
    Zapp
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Gazlar wrote:
    now it's just a case of mapping it and doing it

    Yes - that's the tricky bit. I went out today to try to find the route up the Craig-yr-Allt that I'd been lusting after. Unfortunately, lack of printer ink meant I couldn't print out a map of the area, like I normally do when going somewhere unfamiliar, so i ended up missing a path and going a couple of miles out of my way, ending up in an area of disused railway sidings which was 6" deep in water as far as the eye could see - after riding through watercress and moss for about half a mile, I decided I'd gone too far and doubled back.

    When I finally did get onto the hill, I found myself on the steeper of the two paths - it would have made a great way down - stoney singletrack with a few switchbacks of varying degrees - needless to say, going up wasn't very easy (although I'm sure a better rider would have managed). I ended up pushing my bike (on one wheel in front of me - too narrow to walk by the side of it) for about half of it.

    When I got to the point where the two paths met to carry on up the ridge, I'd already eaten too much into my time, so decided to head back down the shallower path, so never actually got anywhere near the ridge itself. Will be trying again another day - on the map it looks like approaching from the other end (nearer Caerphilly) might be the way forwards.
  • jimothy78 wrote:
    welshkev wrote:
    Looks like you'll be guiding me and Ben up there soon then mate :-)

    I've been doing some more digging, and found a site belonging to a couple of other riders which shows a way up to pentyrch on the other side of the "Pentyrch Hill" road, above morganstown. I've transposed it as best I can onto a more accurate map for future reference - Start point on my version is the railway crossing at Gelynis farm, Radyr, which is accessible from the Taff Trail via the footbridge at the bottom of Ironbridge Road, Tongwynlais:

    Garth2.jpg

    Looks like mostly forest tracks/fireroads so might be a bit dull, but should be easier in slippy winter conditions. This route would also mean about a mile's worth of tarmac through Pentyrch Village to get to the "mountain", but it's very quiet. I'll have a pop at it next time I have a chance.

    Hi, do you have a working link for this route? I tried a way down from Pentyrch today from Caerau Lane, route was far from great, overgrown with nettles and brambles, fallen tree across path and very boggy in places. I was put off going the way I wanted because of a sign saying Private - No unauthorised vehichles - can I just ignore this? data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1s_AUjX9y4s4ygfywfGWRp_A!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3D_AUjX9y4s4ygfywfGWRp_A%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D80.251106%26pitch%3D0!7i13312!8i6656 (not sure why the image doesn't show but it can be opened in another tab/window to see).

    Here's a shot of the path by the side of this gate;
    20krk7b.jpg
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    FatBoyFonz wrote:
    Hi, do you have a working link for this route? I tried a way down from Pentyrch today from Caerau Lane...

    Hi mate, my route might not be the best for you, depending on where you're trying to get to/from, but it basically connects Pentyrch to Morganstown (just North of Radyr). For me it works best as a climb to get up to the Garth, and I usually then descend the Garth on the Northern end, down the rider-built singletrack through the woods into Gwaelod-y-Garth from which it's a relatively quick and quiet road ride home.

    Anyway, the route starts/ finishes just behind the Ty Nant in Morganstown - between the pub car-park and the neighbouring allotments there's a rocky path that runs up through the woods and quarry site and eventually comes to the quarry's access road. A few hundred yards down this lane, there's a footpath signed on the left which winds it's way though the trees (keeping the fields on your left), until it eventually comes out at the very end of Cefn Bychan - a short road section takes you into the centre of the village from here.

    Map_zps2lxwfrd1.jpg

    You can see the strava segment details here:
    https://www.strava.com/segments/12102754

    Give me a shout if you want any more information, or if you want to meet up for me to show you around the area a bit.
  • Thanks a lot for that will definitely try it out sometime. I was looking for a way to get to/from the taffs trail without having to play with traffic on Heol Goch so that route will be fine. Was looking on the OS map last night and there should be a half decent way up from Pantawel Lane in Radyr as well.
    Haven't long moved to Pentyrch and have just bought a bike after not having one since my teenage years so I do need to work out where's good to go on my doorstep.
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