Having spent the week in the Cairngorms in some lovely weather I was feeling psyched to get out on the bike and explore somewhere new for the day. My inspiration came from Pete Bursnalls book “Mountain Bike Guide North Wales” which has 27 of the best Mountain Biking routes in North Wales. I plumped for a day in the Rhynnogau as it’s an area that I don’t know well at all. In fact I go there so little that when I dug out my map for the day it had a cover price of £6.75 and had never been used which shows how long ago I bought it!
The ride starts in the village of Llanbedr and winds its way on country lanes towards Moelefre which it flanks on its Southern side. As soon as I left the tarmac behind I was on grass which I think would be lovely when it is dry but for me was just sodden and hard going. I started off in the sunshine but the arrival of the rain seemed to coincide with the tarmac running out!
My first descent took me down to the beautiful bridge of Post Scethin where I met a few trails bike riders stuck in the mud. Even in descent this section was hard going as the ruts were enormous and the ground incredibly soft. A steep pull took me over the crest of a ridge where normally I think the views would be stunning – for me they were hidden in some thick cloud.
The best descent of the day then took me down a sweeping ridge and as I escaped the cloud the rain stopped and I got to see the views I had missed higher up – it was stunning and in full autumn glory. The riding was great too – fast grass and occasional single track albeit having to keep my wits about me as it was so slippy, I was glad of the big rubber on my Whyte.
The next ascent was a long push – the track was running with water and the motor bike traffic meant that again the ruts were huge and I couldn’t ride much of it. Having reached the col of Bwlch y Rhiwgyr I got some lovely views North to the sea and the mountains of home before a bit of technical descent lead to another swooping grass descent to civilisation.
I avoided the footpath pushing section that Pete mentions in his guidebook by hitting the road and descending to the A496. A kingly farmer told me it was a quagmire and I felt I had got muddy enough for one day. It’s always great to be exploring new places and I enjoyed the day but I don’t think I would be rushing back to do the ride again unless it was after a long dry spell!
Height Gain: 900m