Llanwrtyd Wells and Rhayader
I've been meaning to go to this area for years
because I'd heard it was great for mountain biking, but I've only just got there.
Let me tell you, it lives up to it's reputation! Superb riding, especially around
the Elan Valley. You probably wouldn't want to ride there in the middle of winter
when the wind was up though!
We spent one day riding a classic route (straight out
of MBR, thanks guys!) around the Elan valley (Rhayader) and another day riding another
classic route around the Irfon Forest (CTC marked) at Llanwrtyd Wells.
The ride out of Rhayader is absolutely brilliant, and
takes in what must be the best bridleway in Britain, as shown on the right.
I can't wait to get back, if it just weren't so damm
Llanwrtyd Wells is the smallest town in Britian and
is rightly proud of this accolade. They hold many events here for the more lunatic
fringe (bog snorkelling, man vs horse, real ale wobble etc), as well as a famous MTB event
organised by Red Kite Bike Events.
Accomodation, routes, bike hire and everything else
you could possibily need (including beer) can be got at the Neuadd Arms Hotel.
Bike shops: Cycles Irfon
Tourism: Llanwrtyd Wells
When your in the Elan Valley, make sure you ride DOWN to the resevoir along
this briddleway. You WILLNOT regret the hard climb up!!!
Cos this is what it looks
Beacons, South Wales
The Brecon Beacons national Park is really three
mountain ranges, The Black Mountain, The Brecon Beacons and confusingly, The Black
Mountains. I've ridden on the last two, the Black Mountain has never really
The Beacons themselves are the middle range of
mountains and have the highest peaks - and therefore the most walkers.
Best riding I've found is out of the Talybont
resevoir and a bike path called the Taff trail which goes all the way along the Taff river
down to Cardiff. This trail is useful for linking bits of more technical riding, as
it's a bit of a motorway. A good bit of track is over the old cart track that forms
the pass between Cribyn and Fan Y Big It's steep and loose on the north side and
fast and rocky on the south side - watch out for walkers though! If you ride this
and the Talybont Resevoir it's difficult making a circular route without doing a fair bit
The Black Mountains are the eastern most range and
lie above Crickhowel.
I like the Black Mountains for riding. You get
that high mountain experience and you can ride most of the flat peaks without having to
get off and push. Another bonus is they tend to be less busy than the neighbouring
mountains. Just watch out for bogs that appear at the first sign of rain on the flat
plateau areas on and near the ridge, you could loose your bike in them!
A good ride I have done several times starts at car
park in the Mynydd Du Forest and goes up through the forest (mainly hardpack trails) to
the track that runs to Waun Fach (boggy). Then head towards Pen Y Manilwyn and Y Das
(some good technical singletrack with killer views). Head to the trig point
(713m)and then right to Twyn Talcefn and along the ridge (sometimes good sometimes
boggy). When you get towards the forest again you can take any route down, some are
mentally steep (like straight down the side of the enclosure) and some really technical
(go over the gate half way down and into the forest). You can then head back to the
car park on the numerous fire tracks (I don't know about the legality of all of this by
If you fancy a shorter way up then go past the Grwyne
Fawr Resevoir but the last part of the climb up is really steep and technical. If
you fancy some more try the Vale of Ewyas - looks good!
Open moorland, this area has it all
Riding above Llanwrtyd Wells,
the Brecon Beacons are in the background
No matter which way you look at it, Wales has soon big views.
On top of the Black Mountains, it's pretty flat, but watch out for bogs!