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Monday, 31 March 2014

British Downhill Rd 1 at Antur Stiniog
The first round of the British Downhill Series at Antur Stiniog, North Wales. A massive success by the sounds of it. And here's a rock music themed video to give you a taste.

Ride IO Shimano BDS 2014 Round 1 Antur Stiniog from on Vimeo.


Posted by hannaht at 17:39:53

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Antur Stiniog Jump Park
You're probably all aware of the downhill trails at Antur Stiniog but did you know about the jump park located by the café and visitor centre?  Fun and no uplift required. 

Posted by hannaht at 13:31:49

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Pedal & Petrol in North Wales
The weather for the weekend ahead was looking all blue skies and suns so it seemed like an ideal time to put into motion a petrol and pedal Welsh weekend roadtrip that we'd been talking about for a while. 
We loaded our bikes of choice into the back of the car along with our camping gear and set the sat nav for North Wales. 
First stop was a day of petrol driven uplifts and downhill trails! We strapped on our body armour and rode the bone shaken, jump inducing descents at Antur Stiniog
Antur Stiniog Hill
It was my first time riding at Antur Stiniog for a full day and I always underestimate just how tired I'll be after riding downhill for six hours.
Antur Stiniog Blue
The uplifts worked perfectly and I almost wished it would take a little longer to get back to the top just so I could have an extra rest. 
Lunch a la Antur Stiniog style was delicious.  But after a half hour break it was back to hitting the trails and not wasting any of that precious uplift time. 
From there it was on to Arthur's 'five pounds please' campsite. A simple camp spot by the river and a short walk to the pub.  More food - this time accompanied by beer - and we were soon well and truly ready for bed. 
In the morning we decided to give the Y Ffowndri Skills Area at Coed y Brenin a blast. A very worthwhile trip and if you can squeeze in your hardtail all the better. 
After a good work out we had another excuse to consume yet more food at the Cord y Brenin café before heading for a spin around Penmachno.
It had been quite a while since we'd ridden the trails and it was oh so good with some nice trail developments.  I too easily forget the delights of the Penmachno single track descents and so I've made a promise to myself not to leave it so long next time. 

Posted by hannaht at 09:49:20

Wednesday, 05 March 2014

Mtb trail Storm Damage update for Coed y Brenin

The Ffowndri skills area/bike park, Tarw Du trail and the first 3km loop of the MinorTaur trail are open. All other mtb trails are still closed.

The guys have worked hard since the storm to get the visitor centre, car park etc open. The bad news is it’s going to take a lot longer to get the rest of the trails open. There are several areas of devastation. The worst being around the Bailey bridge area over the  Afon Mawddach river. There are 7 out of the 8 trails that come through here, so it’s the worst place the storm could’ve hit us. The harvesting machines have been making good progress clearing up the tangle of uprooted and snapped trees. But it’s slow, time consuming and needs to be done safely. Please remember to observe all closures, signs and stay out of the live working sites, for your safety and to avoid delays to our work.

As the trails are slowly emerging from under the mess Andy is getting a better picture of how much trail repairs there are to do. At the moment his best estimate for timescales to open the rest of the trails is 3 to 4 weeks. The photo’s should give you some idea of what we’re up against.

storm damage
CYB Storm Damage

We’ll update as news becomes available to keep you informed. You can check the  Coed y Brenin  Facebook page or follow  @MTBRanger  on Twitter. So in the meantime have fun on the Ffowndri, it’s a great place to play, learn and practice those essential skills before a few circuits of the MinorTaur and maybe tackling the black grade Tarw Du. The original trail at CyB that started the trail centre revolution!


Posted by hannaht at 16:45:18

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Coed y Brenin: Y Ffowndri Skills Area & Bike Park
Try out and improve your bike handling skills on a variety of technical trail features. All the features are clearly graded so you can decide which grade is right for you.

If you're new to Coed y Brenin and not sure which grade of trail to ride, Y Ffowdri's Singletrack Zone lets you find out what you're capable of.

There are four grades of trail, from easy (green) to severe (black). Start eay and progress till you find your level.

Find out more at the Coed y Brenin website.

Posted by Geraint at 12:24:59

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

New and Revamped Trails at Afan Forest Park

The classic Penhydd trail at Afan Forest Park has been revamped and this 14km Red grade trail now also combines with a totally new 7km Blue grade trail named ‘Blue Scar’ giving the Afan Valley something for all abilities of riders. 

Both the trails are now open. See the Afan Forest Park website for the latest updates for all the trails.

Tags: Afan

Posted by Geraint at 11:18:13

Friday, 20 December 2013

Bwlch Nant yr Arian Trails Reopen

Natural Resources Wales are pleased to announce that the mountain bike trails at Bwlch Nant yr Arian have re opened. 

High as a Kite' remains closed so please follow diversions and take extra care.

For more information, get in touch with the Nant yr Arian team on 01970 890453.

Tags: Blog

Posted by geraint at 12:02:49

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Trail Closures at Bwlch Nant yr Arian
News from Bwlch Nant yr Arian: 

Due to the felling of diseased larch trees, unfortunately all of the mountain bike trails at Bwlch Nant yr Arian will be closed for approximately 3 months from October 2013.

For more information, please see the Natural Resources Wales newsletter or get in touch with the Nant yr Arian team on 01970 890453.

Posted by geraint at 11:32:52

Saturday, 02 March 2013

Mountain bike partner sought at iconic trail centre
Forestry Commission Wales is looking for someone with the drive and energy to keep Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park at the forefront of the mountain bike scene in Britain.

FC Wales, which runs the iconic destination on behalf of the Welsh Government, is inviting tenders for a business partner to help develop the cycling opportunities at Britain’s first custom built trail centre. The successful bidder will manage the new cycle retail, hire and maintenance building housed within the new £1.2 million extension at the visitor centre, seven miles outside Dolgellau, which is due for completion in June.

The 160m2 area will have a panoramic frontage looking south towards Cadair Idris and include an impressive 100m2 shop, as well as a workshop and storage area for a fleet of bicycles for hire.

Dave Liddy, FC Wales Visitor Management Advisor, said, “This is a fantastic commercial opportunity for a business to work with us at this iconic destination. “We’re looking for much more than someone hiring out bikes here. We want someone able to help us build on the enviable reputation of Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park and increase the positive influence it has on the local economy. “We’re seeking a win-win scenario where Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park’s status is enhanced and other local stakeholders also benefit.”

It is expected that the successful bidder will help to increase the number of visitors to the site and broaden the range of people enjoying the benefits of cycling at Coed-y-Brenin, which was visited by more than 150,000 people last year.

Among the services the new partner will be expected to offer are:
• Retail, bikes, accessories and “trail consumables” such as inner tubes, drinks and energy bars
• Bike hire
• Mountain bike tuition, taster sessions and guiding services, where novices and experts are
advised where and how to make the most of the trails
• A variety of mountain bike events
• Marketing the facilities, both locally and nationally
• Outreach activities, building links with businesses, cycle groups and schools
• Provide site-related information to visitors.

An invitation to tender for the opportunity was placed on the Forestry Commission Wales website on Thursday, 28 February and can be found at

The Coed-y-Brenin Forest Park development forms part of the Gwynedd Council-led Eryri Centre of Excellence partnership, which is part funded by the by the EU’s Convergence European Regional Development Fund through Visit Wales and the Welsh Government.

Additional funding towards the project comes from Forestry Commission Wales, Gwynedd Council, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and Tourism Partnership Mid Wales. From 1 April 2013, Natural Resources Wales will take over the functions currently carried out by FC Wales, the Countryside Council for Wales and Environment Agency Wales.

Posted by hannah at 10:42:24

Thursday, 07 February 2013

The Dyfi Winter Warm Up 2013 - A Girls Eye View

The Dyfi Winter Warm Up is in its third year. Organised and run by volunteers it is a great little preview of the Dyfi Enduro which happens in May. It's a perfect opportunity to make sure you keep those pedals turning despite the winter months. 

We caught up with Polly from Mountain Yoga Breaks (awesome Welsh holidays combining yoga and bikes) who had signed herself up to accept this years winter warm up challenge.  This is what she had to say;

Having missed the Warm up last year and hearing what a great event it was I was determined to do it this year so I made sure I signed up in advance. I won a place on the Dyfi Enduro through MBWales last year - with two weeks to train and having only been Mountain Biking for a year I managed to ride it without getting off on any of the hills or without breaking anything but with plenty of mud and sweat and not quite tears! I knew the event would be a good way to kick start a new year of riding.

Having signed up I then proceeded to try to talk my friends into joining me as my riding buddy - all of them came up with an array of excuses, of which half of them I believed, the other half were just plain terrified! The Dyfi enduro has got such a reputation for being a very challenging ride that all my friends were scared off! So I resigned myself to riding alone which isn’t quite as appealing.

photos by Peter Jones
Luckily on arrival at the Corris Craft Centre I bumped into a friend who was riding with two other lads ,“join us “they exclaimed. I knew by looking at them that I could start the ride with them but they would soon leave me behind on the first hill. I was right, they all left me behind but I did manage to catch up with one of them at the top of the first climb and we rode together from there. With around 300 riders and only around 6 women (that I was aware of) I did feel in the minority - where were all the girls?

The first climb was 2 miles long up a forestry track. I remembered the climb from the Enduro so knew how long it was. I certainly didn’t feel very fit as people just kept passing me up the hill, but I just kept my head up and kept pedaling steadily, having a bit of a chat to people on the way. The first descent was really really muddy, sticky, lots of tree roots and I had forgotten to unlock my suspension so went bouncing uncomfortably downhill in an uncontrolled fashion. It was at this point that I likened riding in the Dyfi Forest to giving birth - you don’t remember the scary bits!

Having been only riding for 2 years now it takes me a while to relax into rocky singletrack and this first one was pretty grim due to the conditions. Luckily they got better after that and once I had turned my suspension back on, had a little word with myself (“c’mon girl, get yourself together, relax, breath, soften up”) I found myself really enjoying the ride. The singletracks were wet, some of them were rivers all the way down, they were rocky, muddy, but fun. The adrenaline was starting to kick in, my focus was improving, my reactions were getting quicker, I did lots of loud whooping down some of the scary bits, being cheered on with “Well done lads, oh and lady!!” by the really friendly stewards, and then we were back to the uphills which were long but steady. The weather was lovely that day, the first bit of sunshine revealing the distant hills, with the odd invigorating hail shower now and again.

It was really nice to get round the 12 miles of the first lap to the food stop where some lovely ladies were handing out delicious flapjack and sausage rolls, it was too cold to stop for long though - especially with wet feet, legs and bottom. After a quick discussion with my new riding buddy we decided that it would be pretty wet to wimp out on only one lap so we went for the second.

The first uphill of the second lap was up a really narrow singletrack which was wet, rocky and tight - I tried to ride it but made the decision that if I don’t want to feel broken I should just get off and push for a little bit - I had nothing to prove (especially after being lapped by superfast boys in lycra on the first lap - not a bad sight!). My legs did feel a bit tired on the second lap but I enjoyed the downhills much more having by this time relaxed and got into my stride. Everyone that passed us or that we passed was really friendly, there was no sense of competition - we were all just out to have fun and enjoy the day. So we finished the second lap, we still had time to do another lap but we both quickly agreed that we had done well and lets head back. So it was a quiet ride back to Corris, with slightly tired legs, people passed us on the road with their mucky bikes on the roof, waving.

Getting changed back at the car park was interesting - not having a van I had to somehow remove all of my clothes, get dry and re- dressed which was quite hilarious as there was a guy sat in his car next to me as I battled with wet leggings and pants - we shared a bit of a smile at the silliness of it as I hopped around trying to get some dry stuff on without revealing too much!

Then with the mild euphoria that comes with the endorphins released during exercise, myself and my new found riding buddies hit the Cross Foxes pub for a well deserved pint and some delicious food... I finished with a stretchy wind down yoga session which meant my legs felt fine the next day.

What a great day, so well organised and such a lovely sense of camaraderie with everyone, I will definitely be going next year and trying to encourage some other ladies to join me!


Posted by hannah at 13:35:29

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