Bike Park Wales
Eleven of us turned up at Bike Park Wales near Merthyr Tydfil on a slightly drizzly Saturday morning ready for some downhill only bike park action (BPW is a purpose built trail centre with a minibus and trailer uplift service). Present were Andy J, Karen, Neil R, Neil S, Dave T, Mike, Liz, Nigel, Andrew W, Alan and me; dressed in a variety of full face helmets, knee pads, elbow pads etc. Some new trails have been built since our last visit so we headed off down one of these and almost immediately Neil R burped a tubeless tyre and had to carry his bike all the way back down and fit a new one. The rest of us carried on zooming down trails and queuing up for the next lift back up the hill. We gradually split up into smaller groups as the day went on and bumped into each other at the top and bottom of the trails. Andrew W had a go at the new black route Fifty Shades of Black and reported it had a lot of mandatory air (large unavoidable jumps) so we gave it a miss! By lunchtime the drizzle had stopped and the trails started to dry out so we headed up again with renewed enthusiasm. We set off down a trail with Neil R again and just before arriving at the end his pedal dropped off (not a lucky day for him) so it was back down again to get it fixed. By the end we had done nine uplifts which equates to about 2500m of descending - the equivalent of a day out in the Alps.
Ten of us headed to a local Indian restaurant on the outskirts of Merthyr Tydfil for supper, good food but a long wait!
On Sunday eight of us did a good natural ride from a nearby reservoir over the Gap, a col between two of the main hills in the Brecon Beacons, and down to Tal y Bont for a cafe stop by the canal. On the way down we had a long section of quite gnarly, narrow, rocky singletrack that left various people with bloody bramble scratches. After a good long cafe stop we rode slowly back up into the hills for a rocky run back down to the cars. Unfortunately Alan also damaged his tyre on the way down and ended pushing his bike back to the car (only about a mile though). A good ride but muddy towards the end as we got tangled up with a local sponsored ride with loads of riders who had turned the trail into a gloopy mess. The weather was lovely and we had great views - thanks everybody for coming along, it was a very good weekend away.