Y Slab at Coed Y Brenin

Y Slab at Coed Y Brenin
I had a brief visit to Coed Y Brenin while in North Wales recently and Tom Hutton of MTB Guiding accompanied me to the top of the Tarw Du trail to show me the new Y Slab section.

It was a really cold day; my Strava record says it was a -2 Celsius average temperature and my toes were numb for about an hour after riding.

 

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Does my thumb look big in this?
While I have been to Coed Y Brenin a few times I had never ridden the Tarw Du, so this and a newly opened trail section was a double treat.
The Tarw Du is a Black / Severe grade trail and certainly has some obstacles that require commitment but ultimately I think its more a “Red +” as I didn’t find this any where near as daunting as say Dai Hard or 5o Shades of Black at BikePark Wales.
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One of the “slabs” on the Y Slab section
Its well worth a trip and Tom was great company as he knows the centre and the trails really well. His business runs guided days and full weekends in Snowdonia as well as the Lake District, Scotland and other parts of the UK.
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Tom Hutton (LEFT) drinking another coffee!
Tom is probably best-known as a guidebook writer and the man behind MBR magazine’s pull-out route guides.  I have been on a few trips with MTB Guiding and highly recommend Tom and Steph as excellent guides and superb hosts check them out on Facebook and the web in the links below:

Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour Trailer 2017

Its live.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival Tour Trailer for 2017 is here and there’s mountain bikes, ice climbing, hill running, snowboarding and a reindeer sled!

Can’t wait to see the line up of films for the tour. Come back soon to find out which ones I am most excited about…

However, if this years selection was anything to go by, I was surprised by my favourite film as it was about horses!

This one here – Unbranded

Plans for 2017

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YouTube Channel

Its almost the end of 2016 and its been a strange one for many reasons personally and professionally and its time to set some goals for 2017.

I have many plans and ideas (all revolving around bikes of course) and one of them is to try and turn my blogging into vlogging.

You may have noticed a few video posts today via social media and if you have seen any of those videos you see that I am making some YouTube friendly changes to them such as removing copyrighted music.

I don’t know how its going to pan out and I may even start up a whole new channel but this is just your warning ‘cos you may tune in one day to see my face on here talking some utter rubbish about something that you know more about than I do..

Just a heads up!

See you soon…

TV Show – MTB Adventures

Well i wasn't going to lead with a pic of Doddy was I!
Well I wasn’t going to lead with a pic of Doddy was I?

It reminds me a little of Ride Guide that used to be on Extreme TV a few years back; I’m talking about the new show on the Bike Channel that started last night called –

MTB Adventures

Hosted by Andrew Dodd of Factory Jackson and Anna Glowinski of well of Anna Glowinski I suppose. That’s a little unfair, Anna has hosted ITV The Cycle Show and pops up every so often as a spokeswoman for womens cycling and for various brands and media organisations.

Bikes were supplied by GT
Bikes were supplied by GT

Anyway, MTB Adventures is at last a TV show about riding in UK. Most mountain bike media is a bit too “Top Gear” for me – you know expensive bikes and beautiful riding in far away exotic places.  Finally we have a show based here in the UK that looks set to explore the UK trail centres (maybe some natural /wild stuff too Doddy/Anna?) – places I can ride and visit with out too much investment in money or use of my annual holiday allowance!

How was Episode 1?

Well no-one really liked Jar Jar Binks, Yoda looked bizarrely older than in Return of the Jedi and the less said about Ewan Mcgregor’s weird Obi Wan voice the better. Hang on…

In episode 1 of MTB Adventures Doddy and Anna visited Dalby Forest and showed us some of the riding available there from the 1 mile Green trails, to Dixon’s Hollow Bike Park and the 21 mile Red loop.  All good stuff.

Just like in a Singletrack route guide they covered some accommodation, talked about the visitor centre, surrounding area and gave a local bike shop a mention.

The show is trying to cater for a broad audience, talking about some basic stuff like tightening skewers and carrying spare tubes and also giving some info on the more detailed elements of the trail – how it flows and what to expect.

Some discussion on bike tech (this week how Doddy would rather a dropper post than suspension forks) added to the mix and altogether it was an enjoyable 30 mins of TV.

The show was filmed by the talented Liam Murphy and has been book marked in my series planner.

If you missed it, I’m not sure Bike has a catch up option but you can be sure this show will be repeated a few times throughout the week ahead.

Trail Centre Quick Review – Llandegla

This weekend was my first visit to Llandegla. What did I think?

Its tough!

Not tough like scary, just tough like exhausting. To get the best out of the trail and to ride it all you have to go around twice or find some fire road link like I did to go back to do do a loop we missed.

You will find yourself going up and down a lot! South Wales centres like Cwmcarn or Afan basically send you up and then down. This is a lot more lumpy and jumpy – I really need to push myself more as this is the ideal trail centre to spread your wings!

I am not sure if it claims it or not but these are some of the longest boardwalks I have ridden. Be careful in the wet! There is wire to give you grip but it can be torn / worn in the corners where you need the grip the most.

Its a very flowy trail centre and if you haven’t been don’t be scared of the Black Grades just keep an eye out for low flying bikes!