Its a bit click baity, but I have to try anything these days to get views!
If you haven’t been to BikePark Wales in a while you might not know they’ve made some new trails – 7 in all. Well I rode 5 of them on Monday and in the video above you can see montage of my day.
I’ve put a shortcut below to each trail and highlighted the 5 new ones with an asterisk. I have also colour coded the trails Blue and Red.
Please note that ACDCand Watts Occurring are graded as RED below but are a bit of a step up in some ways. Any other trail centre and they might be considered BLACK as they have some features that require commitment and in some parts of the trail there is no obvious line choice.
Anyway, i hope you enjoy the video and your next visit to BikePark Wales…
Now is always a good time. That’s another saying I like.
Done is better than perfect. Not one of mine, but I like it and its my new blogging/vlogging moto.
Don’t wait until you have perfected it, just get the content out there and be yourself. Sometimes too polished and fancy can seem fake. Sure I’m doing some intro’s, adding music etc but you have to make it a little interesting, there’s just no need to spend days making a slick edit, unless thats what people want. Mountain bike videos don’t have to be all from behind the bars or on top of your helmet.
Anyway – i might do a “guide to mountain bike vlogging” post at some point, but for now please head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe.
I’d love the support and encouragement and if you could hit the Like button and leaev comments that would be awesome!
Ok it wasn’t on a mountain bike but it was on a cyclocross/gravel bike and was hard work in yesterday’s heat.
I didn’t have much of a plan. I’d loosely mapped out a 100km route and I had 3 main check points.
Solsbury Hill (From the Peter Gabriel song)
The Bath Two Tunnels
and getting home via the Caen Hill Locks by 9pm
I set off after 1pm with a sort of plan that it would begin to cool as my ride went on rather than get hotter, and because I’d had a few beers the night before and didn’t feel like riding in the AM.
My journey took me along probably 50km of cycle paths (40km of which were rough – the Kennet and Avon tow path sounds lovely but its bumpy and rough for a 30km stretch). And 50km or roads and paved tracks.
My bike is a Genesis CDF – a few years old, and is a steal cyclocross machine weighing around 12kg I think – haven’t weighed it. And I currently have fitted some Specialized Borough tyres – these are great for the smoother surfaces but don’t hide the bumps of the Kennet and Avon Canal tow path!
I didn’t really plan this very well and though I thought I did OK, it shows that with some better planning I would have had plenty of energy
I carried 2 x 500ml bottles that I refilled in a pub, a camp site and with a bottle purchased from a shop. So I drank around 4 litres as well as a milk shake and a bottle of coke.
Before I left I’d had some eggs for breakfast and bacon sandwich for lunch.
Food en route consisted of 3 basic cereal bars, and half a pack of Haribos.
Elapsed time 7 hrs 55 min
Moving time 5 hrs 57 min
Max speed 64kmph
I know I profess to be a mountain biker but you do see me on something different from time to time, so I thought I’d so a little post about me and my flirtations with the curly bars.
Firstly let me put this out there LOUD and CLEAR – I hate riding on the road!
It’s my least favourite place to ride and I just hope I am a more considerate driver than most of the drivers that seem to pass me on my local roads. So why do I ride such a bike?
So this is a cyclocross (or CX) or gravel bike, not a road bike. That means I can (and do) ride it in places that are not suitable for your average road bike.
Someone told me a road bike would be good for fitness and winter riding. I’m not sure I ever really believed that but I first got interested in something like this when I saw pictures of bikes being ridden on the Tour Divide. Ok they are not cyclocross bikes, they are adventure bikes, rigid 29ers and basically sturdy mile munching cart horses. I liked the idea of this and as I explored and Googled around the topic I started to come across what I considered to be cool looking bikes with drop / curly bars but in muddy and dusty places. I was hooked!
So now what?
Well I often get the cyclocross bike out when I want a quick blast and don’t want to get too dirty, so I take in a few quite roads, have an urban explore and hit some tracks. Occasionally I go full off road and take it up the local hill, but mostly its road and gravel tracks.
I really honestly don’t enjoy the road bits. I’m not against the concept of road riding and I actually enjoy the speed and covering the distance – but I really hate being buzzed by inconsiderate motorists. Its pretty scary when a car passes within 2 feet of you at 40 miles an hour! But its a means to an end sometimes.
Connecting up some trail and gravel tracks with road is a necessity around where I live and is certainly easier on a cyclocross bike that a mountain bike.
But why the cyclocross bike? What’s so good about riding a cyclocross bike? Why not just ride your mountain bike?
For starters it gets me off the road a little quicker! Making light work of the road sections.
I don’t take a pack, travel light which is refreshing and simplifies my ride.
It makes you very aware of where your wheels are going – line choice becomes very important when your wheel is only an inch wide instead of 2-3 inches!
The bike is not forgiving off road so I think improves your bike handling skills