Calnefornia to Snowdonia

Last weekend 7 of us headed from Wiltshire to North Wales for what promised to be a good weekend on the bikes.

Friday, 2 of the gang went straight to Coed y Brenin while the rest of us headed for Cadair Idris and a grueling climb in temperatures just shy of 30C.

It was hot and hard work but the views were staggering and the descent simply brilliant!

This was the second time for me and I was keen to check out a short bridleway on the return leg and its fair to say it didn’t disappoint!

Saturday saw 7 tired campers hit a muggy Penmachno at an agreed later time, that almost back fired on us!  One of the guys had a free hub issue and we didn’t leave any time to get to a bike shop on Saturday evening.

Luckily, we bumped into Tom Hutton (MTB Guiding) at Coed y Brenin who arranged to meet us Sunday morning and loan us a wheel. What a gent!

So Sunday, all of us made our way around the Dyfi Forest, around the Climach-X trail north of Machynlleth where we rode the epic final descent, but not before exploring some of the Welsh Gravity Enduro stages still widely used but not sign posted in the forest.

We had a cracking weekend and I want to get back to the Dyfi Forest ASAP..

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Sparks will fly

If you are a follower of my blog, facebook or instagram you will know I like to take photos, and my Gopro usually accompanies me on my trips too. Well it was only a matter of time before I got a flying camera wasn’t it!

I’m not made of money so the entry level Spark from DJI has been on my watch list for a while and I finally saw a great deal and went for it.

I was also on my way to Snowdonia and the Elan Valley with my mate and his van for the weekend so it was an opportunity to good to miss.

Day 1 I spent most of the batteries figuring out what to do and didn’t get much footage. Day 2 I felt I got a lot more efficient and managed the day with juice to spare.

I wasn’t quite brave enough to fly it out over the reservoirs in the Elan Valley or let it get too far from me in the mountains as I hadn’t quite worked out the “homing” settings.

What do you think of the results of my first drone edit?

I want to mix it up with GoPro footage in the future and think I’m going to have to invest in some decent video editing software sooner or later…

Britain’s Favourite Walks

NW7
Snowdonia

You watched it. I watched it. We all watched it.

You didn’t?  What? This has to have been one of the best things on TV so far this year – maybe in a long time (for me).

“From one end of the country to the other, from the mountains to the sea – we’ve pretty much covered every bit of Britain that there is for hikers to explore.”
– Ore Oduba
It was a two-and-a-half-hour special on ITV and was a countdown of Britain’s favourite 100 walks – featuring all your favourite mountains and coastal paths.
Based on the results of the largest survey ever conducted into the UK’s hiking habits, the top 100 have been voted for by more than 8,000 walking enthusiasts. You can watch it on the ITV Hub here if you missed it –  https://www.itv.com/hub/britains-favourite-walks-top-100/2a5330a0001
“This could be your next big adventure – you’re going to be blown away.” – Julia Bradbury
All the walks (slash hikes) are available on the Ordnance Survey website and downloadable to subscribers.

https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/itvs-britains-100-favourite-walks/

Why am I talking about this? Well I’ve taken my bike to a few of these places as well as walked a few too. But this morning I’ve seen so many bike forums and Facebook pages flooded with requests like “Can you ride on Helvellyn?” and its great. Bikers, hikers and sofa sitters up and down the country probably broke the OS website last night looking up routes to explore.

But before you all head off to Glencoe, Stanage Edge, Snowdon, the Lake District etc just remember that not all walkers paths can be ridden both practically and legally. Snowdon has set times for mountain bikers – check before you go.

Check the OS map for bridleways and byways and not footpaths! Or hire a guide!

Walna Scar Road Shuttle Drop Off
Walna Scar Road

Ask me even!  Or check out some of the published guide books on mountain biking on the Lakes, Peaks or Snowdonia for instance or online lists on MBR for example.

http://www.mbr.co.uk/news/20-best-mountain-bike-trails-uk-322684

There’s a reason why us mountain bikers havent been to Malham Cove and Gordale Scar – its simple not possible by bike due to the sheer cliffs and the footpath only access.

Suiting up after our dip in Windermere
Lake Windermere

Make these locations absolutley part of your plans but PLEASE check before you go taking a bike.

Cadair Idris by Bike

Cadair Idris by Bike by TimFromWales

I could write loads and wax lyrically about what a great ride Cadair Idris was and talk about the 10km climb through fields and up the valley with a stunning back drop.

I could mention the amazing sound of jets flying the Mach loop or the simply breath taking view at the summit.

Its possible I could mention that you can ride a lot of it and you have to carry you bike for a portion of it to.

And I could finally state what an amazing 10km descent it is from the summit through gnarly rock sections, over weathered steps and through fields of single track.

Instead just take a look at these pics… Some by me and some by my mate JP.

Cadair Idris by Bike by TimFromWales

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