The South Wales Mountain Biking Triple Crown

Mud was the order of the day

Just back from an awesome road trip to South Wales with Darren, Mark, Matt, Nik and Guest star Ben.

Taking in the 'Triple Crown' of South Wales Mountain biking, we kicked off with an uplift day run by Cwmdown on the Cwmcarn Y Mynydd Downhill course. Battling with the rather tricky wet and muddy conditions, the first damage was done to Ben's brake lever, but this was soon followed on the next run when Darren decided to become a tree hugger and in the process ripped out his brake hose, twisted his handlebars round and give himself an impressive bruise. Mark then decided to go one better and show off his combat roll bending his forks and buckling his wheel in the process. There were other spills and some hero moves on show, but all in all this is a definate must for any biker!

After a night drinking the local ale at Glyncorrwig Rugby club we had a leisurely start as we waited for the bike shop to open ( for repairs ) and the cafe to get the brews on. Five healthy breakfasts later we headed out on Whites Level trail ( which starts right next to the campsite ). Unfortunately Mark was a little battered from his combat roll and headed off to the local hospital to get an x-ray, so it was down to 4 of us to do ourselves proud. On some of the best singletrack in the world we held our own, even when it got tight and testing. The sun also started to win the battle against the rain which given that it is July was rather nice.

Glyncorrwig Valley seen from the Whites Level Trail

Meeting Mark back at the campsite ( he hadn't broken his wrist, just a little sprain ), we decided not to head out on the bikes again ( muscles were a little sore at this point ) and instead cleaned down the bikes and cracked open the beers and run around trying to keep away from the midges.
Glyncorrwig Campsite

Saturday morning was a little drier and we broke the camp down before filling our bellies with another healthy breakfast at the famous Dropoff cafe. A short drive back down the road is the Afan Forest centre and home of the famous 'Wall' trail. This turned out to be a very long fireroad ascent followed by a rather tasty continuous downhill trail back to the centre. It was a little bit of a let down after the constant hits of the White Level trail, but still a classic run nonetheless. I would have probably enjoyed it more if my forks hadn't lost all their travel ( 160mm forks running at 20mm doesn't really help the shoulders on a rocky descent ), but these things happen.

The tally of broken parts over the three days for the crew were as follows:
  • 2 bent brake levers
  • 1 ripped brake hose
  • 1 pair of bent forks
  • 1 pair of forks with internal failure
  • 1 buckled wheel
  • 3 punctures ( all Darren's )
  • 2 warped discs
  • 1 trip to Hospital
So all in all a classic 3 days biking with a solid crew of holligans!

Check all the Images here

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