March the 1st is St David’s day so it was only right we went to Wales to ride at Cwmcarn. My mate was demoing a new Whyte 650b full sus and he wanted to give it a proper test.
Cwmcarn is known for its brutal climbs that tests your fitness and your technical climbing ability. We were going to do both the Cafall and Twrch trails and boy was it gonna hurt.
The weather was great and we drove up the M4 and we were greeted by a practically full car park. Once we were unpacked and kitted up we headed off up the climb.
Cafall is about 400m up and offers a few moments of relief by way of some short downhill sections, but mostly it’s up through sections such as Quadzilla and the Hideout! At the top you descend following the signs and smiling.
It’s a great trail with some sections worthy of the Red grading. When we got to PowderHouse we took a right and headed for The Kaiser – this is the last section of a new down hill (extreme graded) section and we were in for a minute or so of big drops, roots and speed.
A tea and some some lunch later we headed back up, the other side of the valley this time, and started on the ascent of the Twrch trail. This is notoriously technical and tough. After we had already climbed then rested this was hard work. We typically only climb around 400m on a ride in Calne so having already done that size ride plus the added downhill workout, this was hard work.
To finish us off the weather took a turn for the worst and it even started snowing at one point!
It was an exhausting and tough afternoon, but we pushed on and finished the second trail. Then a quick change in the car park was followed by another tea and some light refreshments before heading back home.
It’s been a long time since I was completely exhausted and worn out after an mtb ride