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Welsh trail centres

kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
edited March 2014 in Routes
Just after some advice for the best trail centre to take the wife to in wales. Probably looking more at blue trails to be honest to get her into things. She has a proper XC hard tail mountain bike and rides the trails by us which tend to be fairly flat and quite smooth. There are a few downhills which you can easily hit 30mph plus off road.

I have not been to Wales mountain biking for many years now.

Thanks.
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  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Not (quite) Wales, but Verderers (blue) at Forest of Dean is excellent.
    I personally also love the green/blue graded Derwen trail at Brechfa, though depending on where you are, it could be a fair trek.
    Twrch trail at Cwmcarn is red, but fairly easy for beginners, as long as they're relatively fit, cos the climb's strenuous, and technical in places.
    Newly-opened Blue Scar trail at Afan is meant to be ok, but I haven't ridden it yet.

    Further north, The Minortaur trail at Coed-y-Brenin is meant to be a good blue, with lots of red trails available if she wants to start small and build up.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    I wouldn't recommend cwmcarn to a beginner no matter how fit they are tbh.

    But agree about FoD.
  • +1 for FOD verderers.
  • mcnultycopmcnultycop Posts: 2,143
    Llandegla blue is a nice ride. I often prefer two laps of that to one of the red.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Thanks for the advice I will add those to the list to try :)

    Any more suggestions welcome.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    kajjal wrote:
    Thanks for the advice I will add those to the list to try :)

    Any more suggestions welcome.

    as jim said, you could try the new blue scar trail at afan and then onto brechfa. they're only about 30/40 mins apart
  • Who comes with the idea Cwm Twrch is an easier red, IMO its one of the rockiest steeper reds i've seen no questions.. bizare.
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Who comes with the idea Cwm Twrch is an easier red, IMO its one of the rockiest steeper reds i've seen no questions.. bizare.

    Hey, just my opinion, from what I've ridden. Twrch doesn't have any really steep chutes, areas of loose or jagged rock or big drop-offs/step-downs, which are the features that I think make a trail difficult/dangerous for beginners, as they are better ridden with speed and commitment. Everything on Twrch can be safely rolled at a slow speed, whereas other reds I've ridden (such as Whites level and The Wall) have features that require more technical bike-handling abilities.

    Anyway, from what the OP was saying, his missus isn't really a true beginner, just a relative beginner.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Thanks for the advice, we have checked out the suggestions on youtube and made a list of where to go.
  • grant43grant43 Posts: 170
    llandeglas a good laugh usually do the red then do the big climb again and do the blue,the blues quite easy/good but fun fast and flowy hope to be going again soon
    keep smiling no matter how much it hurts,commencal ramones 1 loving it lol
  • I think Brechfa is more like an Hour and 20 mins from Afan mate, ok
    Don't get me wrong, I love animals. I just love to eat them more. Fun to pet, better to chew.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    I think Brechfa is more like an Hour and 20 mins from Afan mate, ok

    all I've got to say to that is b0llocks

    I've driven there in an hour and 20 from Cardiff

    admittedly my saying 30 mins was not quite right :lol: , but 1hr 20 is way off
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Thanks :)
  • jimothy78 wrote:
    Who comes with the idea Cwm Twrch is an easier red, IMO its one of the rockiest steeper reds i've seen no questions.. bizare.

    Hey, just my opinion, from what I've ridden. Twrch doesn't have any really steep chutes, areas of loose or jagged rock or big drop-offs/step-downs, which are the features that I think make a trail difficult/dangerous for beginners, as they are better ridden with speed and commitment. Everything on Twrch can be safely rolled at a slow speed, whereas other reds I've ridden (such as Whites level and The Wall) have features that require more technical bike-handling abilities.

    Anyway, from what the OP was saying, his missus isn't really a true beginner, just a relative beginner.

    uhm not sure where you are seeing rocky sections and loose bits in whites or the wall in comparison to Cwm? those 2 trails are far more cultured and less steep with alot less rock. though with the drops i will say that whites has some optional ones.
  • wmorgswmorgs Posts: 113
    welshkev wrote:
    I think Brechfa is more like an Hour and 20 mins from Afan mate, ok

    all I've got to say to that is b0llocks

    I've driven there in an hour and 20 from Cardiff

    admittedly my saying 30 mins was not quite right :lol: , but 1hr 20 is way off

    I live in Port Talbot and it takes me about 30mins or less in my crappy van :D
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I would say Twrch is very easy for a red. Whites and the Wall should be graded as blue trails.
    The blues at Bike Park Wales are perfect for beginners, smooth and flowing with nothing intimidating but interesting enough to keep you riding all day and not get bored. There's also the option of uplift or a 5km, steady climb which should take no more than 30 mins. Four laps in a day isn't too tough.
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Thanks, I will add them to the list. Ideally we are going to go for a few weekends.

    When do the trails dry out in the trail centres ?

    Round by us it us like a swamp until April normally and then fine until around November.
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    kajjal wrote:
    When do the trails dry out in the trail centres ?

    The purpose-built trails tend to hold up pretty well, especially at Afan and some of the BPW stuff. Cwncarn is maybe slightly more natural in places, and there are muddy sections, but it still tends to be rideable in poor weather.

    Rode The Wall at Afan today, after weeks of solid rain, and although there were plenty of puddles, there was no mud to speak of, as the trails are mostly hardpacked aggregate and stone.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    Most trail centres are fine in the wet. Most have stone surface which doesn't get muddy.
    I only ride trail centres when it's too wet to ride anywhere else.
    There are exceptions, Cannock, Swinley and FoD can get muddy.
  • Brechfa has been mentioned a couple of times and it is a really good place to ride. Just a few minutes up from brechfa is the Gorlech trail at Abergorlech. My personal favourite ride i've done to date.
    I don't know enough to make smart r's remarks about peoples choice of parts 'n' things, yet!
  • kajjalkajjal Posts: 3,380
    Thanks that gives me a idea of where to avoid when there has been heavy rain.

    :)
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    I would say Twrch is very easy for a red. Whites and the Wall should be graded as blue trails.
    There's also the option of uplift or a 5km, steady climb which should take no more than 30 mins. Four laps in a day isn't too tough.

    I think you're talking out of your censored there mate. I judge trails on how easy my brother would find to ride them and I know he'd struggle on the twrch, whites or the wall. so in that case they should stay as reds. for super dh riders like you, of course they're going to feel tame.

    also, I did 2 and 1/2 laps of bike park wales the other day and I was fecked :lol:
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I have ridden all three of those trails with beginners who had no problems. None of them are any harder than the blue at FoD. All the technical features have alternative lines, all the drops on Whites level are optional including the ones in the black section.
    Fecked after only 2.5 laps? Thats only about 10 miles! It's not a particularly tough climb either.
  • welshkevwelshkev Posts: 9,690
    It was 12 miles actually ;)

    But I stand by my statement that they're not blue trails. And yes, they are tougher than FoD.
  • I'm with kev here, blowing bum wind out of your mouth mate...
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    ^Me too.
    All the technical features have alternative lines, all the drops on Whites level are optional ...

    That's completely mising the point - the gradings are as they are because you're meant to ride the trail features, not miss bits out.
  • RockmonkeySCRockmonkeySC Posts: 15,247
    I can't think of anything technically tricky at Afan other than on the black section and even then the drops are off the main trail. I guess the fast finish at Cwmcarn could be a bit much for a beginner though.
  • Any recommendations for red trails in South Wales? I'm going with friends to the Brecon Beacons area in early march and wouldn't mind a mix of trail centre and ranging into the wild. Thinking maybe Afan, Cwm carn and then maybe some trails around pen y fan. I guess everything should be rollable, but I wouldn't mind things to be technical.
  • jimothy78jimothy78 Posts: 1,407
    Read the rest of this thread ;) - Twrch, Whites Level and The Wall all come highly recommended. New reds at Afan (Penhydd and Blade) are open, and new red XC (I think it's called Cafall) at Cwmcarn opens on the 19th.

    As for the beacons themselves, you currently aren't allowed to ride as much as you might think, but The Gap is the classic route for that area.

    Check http://www.mbwales.com and http://www.mtbbreconbeacons.co.uk for more info.
  • Well, I did read the thread and everything about red trails seemed to be an argument about their definition :P I will check all those out, thank you!
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