The Italian Job – Nant Yr Arian

I am sure there are better sections of trail – I know there are. Steeper, faster, more technical etc but The Italian Job is something special I think.

This was my second visit to Nant Yr Arian and I had forgotten how much I enjoyed this trail centre. We rode the Summit trail which perfectly suited our needs to top off the weekend of riding in Snowdonia.  Approx 2 hours of trail with some of the best purpose built singletrack you can ride.

Everyone talks about the Mark of Zorro (a seemingly never ending 2km descent zig zagging through the pines to the bottom of the hill), and High as a Kite (the final tree stump ridden exposed descent to the centre).  Don’t get me wrong, these are both excellent trail sections – the entire trail is a great one actually – but the Italian Job is a real treat and here’s why.

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Nant Yr Arian’s cafe and trail head is at 300m which makes it different to many that we are used to in South Wales for instance, where they are typically situated 200m lower. As you can see from the pic above (the view from the car park), this means you already have some height gained and Nant Yr Arian delivers you a cracking piece of singletrack and a great descent within 5 mins of the car park!

The Summit Trail as a whole is superb and yes Mark of Zorro is a real thrill but the Italian Job delivers smiles and grins straight away.

I need to go back for another go ASAP.

Here’s Mark of Zorro just for good measure!

Contact Info

For trail information call the Nant yr Arian visitor centre: 01970 890453

Visit http://naturalresources.wales  or email: bnya@naturalresourcewales.gov.uk

Follow Nant yr Arian on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/bwlchnantyrarian

Getting There

Located 10 miles east of Aberystwyth on the A44, two miles west of Ponterwyd.

For Sat Nav/GPS/Mapping Services use: SY23 3AB
OS
Grid Reference: SN718813

Snowdon 2017

2 years have passed since I went up and down Snowdon with my bike.  Notice I didn’t use the word “ride” or “rode” – there are large portions of the ascent that you simply cannot ride. I was not surprised to find that the climb hadn’t got any easier. Despite all the tourists, they haven’t quite put in an all weather all purpose track. Thank God!

Its brutal.

Going up is exhausting as you are pushing, pedaling or carrying your bike for nearly 2 hours and it was hot last weekend! I wont complain about the weather but it was warm…

Coming down – by the time you have regained your energy at the summit its time to descend and what a descent it is!

Fast, loose and hugely rocky…

Starting at the top of the highest peak out side of the Scottish Highlands with almost 1000m of descending ahead of you feels quite special. By making your way up the mountain under your own steam, you have just earned one of the best and gnarliest descents in the UK.

No trees grow here so you are exposed to the elements (in this case sunshine) all the way down. The surface is hard, rocky and in most places loose under the wheels!

Its a challenge of nerve and skill from top to bottom and I love it.

Go to LLanberis, obey the cycling restrictions and get your bike up the Llanberis Path.

Then enjoy what has recently been voted the best view in the UK and then pick your way down the Rangers Path.

After your ride, count the new scratches on your bike, check for missing teeth (yours or your chain ring) and go grab a beer cos you deserve it!

Its not Moab but its mine

 

Mountain biking doesn’t have to be just a dream you have of far off places.

You don’t have to live in Utah, New Zealand, Canada or even Wales.

Right on your doorstep is something worth riding and you must learn to embrace it and enjoy it.

We are bombarded with clips of dusty far off lands, Surrey Hills shredding, never ending descents to deep blue oceans and Scottish highland rocky trails, but no matter where you live, you will have something right under your nose, I guarantee it!

With work and family commitments its tricky for me to get away, even short drives up to Wales are hard to squeeze in and so most of my weekends are spent riding the Wiltshire Downs.

You don’t have to ride the best trails in the world, you just have to ride!

Excuse the Youtube friendly music – I have lost my original footage so had to overlay some copyright free tunes onto my entire soundtrack to keep YT happy.

Want to see more from me then please subscribe to my Youtube channel for weekly uploads of mostly mountain bike videos.

An Oldie – GoPro 960 Fun

I have been looking through some old videos and clips and found this one. For some reason it wasn’t on YouTube so I thought it was time to add a YT friendly bit of music and share it.

Why?

Cos even 4 years ago I was rocking the multiple angles with my filming, that’s why!

This was filmed with my first GoPro, a 960 one of the early generation models and the video quality isn’t so great but it still served a purpose and helped preserve some memories.

Anyway, hope you enjoy. Please subscribe to my channel!!!  Go on please!

Throw Back Thursday – Antur Stiniog

I’ve been thinking about doing a mashup video edit from some old footage and have just been looking at some clips from last year’s trip to North Wales and found this run from Antur Stiniog.

Such an amazing place and remarkably more rideable than I thought it would be.

Its definitely quite intimidating to start with as its very steep, but its all rollable and if you control your speed anyone can find a way down the red trail.

The Blacks step it up a little but you can see that my Vitus Escpare with 150mm front, 135mm rear travel was more than capable of dealing with the rocks.

Here are some more pics from the rest of the weekend…

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I need  to go back..