Sunday, 12 December 2010

My favorite mountain bike trails in the UK


Nine and a half miles of heart-racing climbs and heart- stopping drops, of the cheekiest twists and turns, of trees stumps, rocks, mud and glory - welcome to the Twrch Trail.
The Cwmcarn Trail climbs dramatically from dense woodland out onto open ridges with 15.5km of almost pure single track, this really is one of Wales’ hidden gems, and best of all the trails are free and can be ridden all year.
The Whyte bikes sponsored Twrch Trail at Cwm Carn is a purpose built 18km singletrack loop. We'll warn you know that nearly all the climbing is done in the first few km, some of it pretty technical and taxing on the legs. Don't give up though as once you're up the top the swooping, roller coaster singletrack back down again is more than reward enough. The trail is fast, flowing and very natural in feel, but first time round don't go crazy as there are some sections of real exposure on the edges of very steep hillside towards the end.

Any regular mountain bike will be fine for these trails. Just make sure the gears are working and there's plenty of life left in your brake blocks. As the trails are largely cut into stable base geology, there are only a few mud patches even in deepest winter but a Crud Catcher or similar will keep your face filth free.

The White’s Level Trail is the most technical of all the trails at Afan Forest park. Starting with a challenging singletrack climb, this 90% purpose built, all weather singletrack route then flows into a true trail roller coaster. An adrenalin pumping mix of rock drops, step sections, berms and cliff traverses - plus an optional black run descent section for the most skillfull riders - creates an outrageous 17km loop.

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