Afan W2

Afan W2
Afan W2

Its not like me to not take any photos but I only had my phone with me and it was raining – a lot!

Anyway, we (Calne MTB) got up early on Sunday and 8 of us drove to the Glyncorrwg Visitor Centre at the Afan Forest Park Bike Trails, near Port Talbot in West Wales.

Our plan for the day was to do W2 – this is both the “W” trails: Whites Level and Y Wal – see the two “W”s…

Starting with Whites Level at the Glyncorrwg centre we knew we were going to get wet as we arrived the Heaven’s opened!

Whites is an absolute classic and perfect example of a Welsh trail being almost all singletrack. It begins with a 6km technical climb and raises you to around 500m elevation from the valley floor. Its rocky, rooty and twisty and famously a tough climb.

Around 10km in and we break from Whites to a link trail that takes us to Y Wal. At this point it was almost white out as the clouds were completely obscuring the wind farm and we made our way to join the top of Y Wal.  By now we were soaked through and had even considered just completing Whites Level, but we had made the effort to get here, the weather wasn’t going to beat us.  Besides we were starting with the descents of Y Wal this should be OK.

After the link road and a bit of the trail we came to a split – we went left down through the Graveyard. This started with some steep single track with a few nice switchbacks and that eventually brought us to a welcome site. The small forest cafe – we were definitely in need of a cuppa!

Refreshed (slightly) we left the cafe and went down the Final Descent to finish off the best parts of Y Wal – next came the climbing.

The climb on Y Wal is mostly fire road – which while being a bit dull compared to Whites sheep track climb, is actually a simple way of gaining some height quickly.  There a few lateral sections such as Tramway that break up the monotony, but we all were now thinking of the Whites descent.

By the time we reached the link road again the sun was out – coats were being packed away and someone had put up half a dozen wind turbines during the last hour or 2! The clouds had completely lifted and the view was altogether different. Love them or hate them being able to see the wind turbines meant we were able to see the sky and the sub was shining – this was a welcome site…

Whites famous descents – Energy, Goodwood and Darkside are one of the reasons people come to Afan. Energy threads you through the trees and twists you down one of the best single track descents in the area. The recently refurbished woodwork at Goodwood was a pleasure to ride and keeps you focused on the trail with some minor consequences for an lapse!

Finally, Darkside, a long fast rocky loose trail running along the valley side – Keep your eyes peeled and your speed as high as you can cope with. Great fun!

And that was it! W2. Took us longer than we hoped as the rain certainly dampened our spirits for at least the first half, a few punctures and technical failures on the way added to the time but we were all done in the cars and homeward bound ready for our respective evenings with our families.

Despite the rain it was a great day – back again soon I think to get some more of Whites and maybe Blade or Skyline.

—-

Cognation mtb trails South Wales is all about investing in mountain biking. We recognise that South Wales is a top destination to ride and our goal is simple; we aim to make it even better.

Over the past three years we have improved the current trails, built new trails, renovated our facilities and create a new bike park in Merthyr Tydfil.

The trail centres that make up Cognation mtb trails South Wales are Afan Forest Park, Cwmcarn Forest, Brechfa and BikePark Wales. The majority of the trails are looked after by Natural Resources Wales, with the except of BikePark Wales who have their own trail crew.

– See more at: http://www.cognation.co.uk

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