Machynlleth; Easter 2010

Posted by Swaledale Outdoor Club on 2010-04-05

We decided to continue our annual series of visits to Welsh mountain biking areas by basing ourselves in Machynlleth for Easter weekend. Twelve of us stayed in a couple of B&Bs whilst Pete and Ann roamed around in their camper van and popped up in unexpected places. The weather report for the whole weekend was fairly dire and as we set off on Friday morning for the ClimachX trail we just knew we were going to get very wet. True to form, just as we arrived at the trickiest descent the heavens opened and we went from being a bit damp to being soaked in a few minutes. I tried to promote the view it was just a thin veneer of drizzle but as Steve pointed out, the water was running off in sheets. However this didn’t damp our enthusiasm and everybody got to the bottom, had a snack, admired Phil and Mat’s voluminous (in certain areas) waterproof trousers and decided to climb back up and give the black descent another blast.

Saturday was amazingly dry so we drove up to the Nant y Moch reservoir and did the long route at the Nant yr Arian trail centre. This takes in all the prepared single-track and also a lot of natural trails which had spectacularly deep puddles where Mat and Olly managed to create bow waves which soaked Karen from head to foot. We also fitted in a cake stop at the visitor centre and watched a huge number of Red Kites wheeling in the sky waiting for their daily feeding slot.

Sunday was supposed to be the best day weather wise so we (well, actually, I) decided on a long hilly route that started with a seven mile climb up through the forest to Glaslyn. Very Scottish scenery as we looked south to Plynlimon and a very cold wind as well. The boys decided to stop for lunch right in the wind but Rach, Judith and I demanded we ride back and shelter by some rocks to avoid hypothermia. After lunch we had a series of fun descents and not so fun climbs, we got a bit lost and then a bit found and did a final climb up through a wood which finished us all off. Steve managed to accidentally scare a lamb away from its mother so we hung about and cheered as it floundered through the gorse and eventually found her again. The last descent was fun though and by the time we got back I reckon we had done about 1400m of climbing so we deserved the excellent supper we had in the best local pub just outside of Machynlleth.

The last day dawned wet so we drove up to Coed y Brenin and hung about the café until it was only drizzling and we felt ready to hit the trails. Rach led us on a ride to do all the best bits that didn’t involve massive climbs, by the end though my legs were trashed and the rocky sections on the last track nearly got me. Another excellent weekend away with the club.

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