Brechfa and Afan w/e 14/15

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NigelP
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Brechfa and Afan w/e 14/15

Post by NigelP »

Paul, Geoff (from Corneewall) and myself are planning to tackle Brechfa and possible one of the Afan tracks on the Saturday, camp at Afan and complete the 'best bits' of Afan on the Sunday. Monday might be Cwm Carn or another location.

I assume most people will be weather dependent, but the more the merrier.
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RaV
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Post by RaV »

You beat us to it! Was just about to post to say that Rob & I are off to Afan on Sunday - aiming for a 10.30ish start, so hopefully see you there.

Was thinking of a combo of some of Whytes, across to The Wall and then back to the last descent of Skyline.

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Post by NigelP »

Hi Vicky

Was it this weekend or the following weekend you will be there?

I didn't make it clear we are there the following weekend.

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dro
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o.k.

Post by dro »

hope to meet you all in Brechfa
Martin's reject bike very excited
decided to do the down hill bits only (like the google video)
Seems much less tiring.
Huw
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Post by RaV »

Oops, just realised you're talking about the 14/15th July and not this weekend!!
We will be doing the Bontrager Twentyfour12 event that weekend.

We're going to Afan this Sunday (8th), if anyone fancies it?

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Post by NigelP »

We are planning to arrive at Brechfa at about 11.30 and leave for the ride at 12.00.

However, we are going to the Chipping Sodbury beer festival the night before. so, if you are planning to join us then it would be a good idea to confirm times on the day Oh794Oh 54Oh54Oh

We are camping at Glynthingy on the Saturday night and will do an Afan ride on the Sunday. I assume it will be an earlier start.
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Adrian
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Post by Adrian »

Dro,

Brechfa has been eliminated from the agenda with the weekend now starting at afan at 11.00

Regards,

Adrian

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dro
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cheers

Post by dro »

thanks for info
see you Afan 11am

(is it Afanargoed or Glyncorrwg ?
i.e. new or old)

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Post by Adrian »

Errr, no one said........

I was hoping to find out when I pick Martin up!

New I think so go to the ponds.

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Post by Paul McCormack »

I think the ponds too so I'll pass that on to Nigel.
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Post by Adrian »

Handbrake siezed on making forward progress to Afan difficult :oops:

Then problems removing wheel nuts due to usual issue of being put on with an air gun and the wheel brace having the wrong size spanner :oops: :oops: The jack was siezed as well.......... Then of course the drum was siezed on and I could not get it off until I got help from next door with both of us leveering from either side :???:

Eventualy ready to roll by mid day so decided to do a 30 mile Ridgeway jaunt eastwards to Lambourn in the afternoon. Not technical but pleasant.

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dro
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info

Post by dro »

Cmon Nigel tell us how the weekend went and did Paul get better ?

Huw
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Post by NigelP »

The longer an event is planned the more that can go wrong.....

Plan A was to ride Brechfa on Saturday and Afan on Sat/Sun.

Plan B, hastily concocted at the beer festival was to ride Afan on the Saturday, when Martin and Adrian could join us and then ride Brechfa on Sunday. We just hoped we could contact Hugh in time.

The reality started with a call from Adrian on the Saturday saying he was stranded at home (see above).

Geoff then noticed that my rear shock was stuck down. The bike centre offered to take it apart to see if it could be revived for the day. However, they did not have a special Yeti tool, so my bike was not rideable. Hugh kindly took me to the other centre where I hired a Kona Dawg for the weekend. £72....Ouch!

By mid day we were ready to tackle Whytes/Skyline.

Three of us were suffering injuries before the ride. Geoff had a big gash in his knee cause by falling on a large chain ring (after chain suck). He was desperate to make sure the wound did not open. I had received a deadleg from windsurfing the previous weekend and rather than getting better, the pain spread to rest of the muscle. As it turned out, the ride made it better. Paul was suffering from a fairly severe bug, which was sufficiently bad that he missed the beer festival. Shortly after we started the Skyline ascent Paul realised his body was not up to the task, so he sensibly returned to base.

When we reached the top of the climb, we found the top section of Whytes was closed. So, plan D (by this time), was to tackle the black run. This went well until the last drop off down to the road. Three of us walked (Geoff, myself and Hugh) and Martin was brave enough to give it a go. This produced the most spectacular fall I have seen from a bike. Martin went over the front at the top of the drop off and completed a full somersault in the air, landing feet first about 10 feet further down the slope. He missed the rocks. The bike somersaulted through the air and all the way down the embankment. Martin suffered a small scratch to the arm and the only damage to the bike was a mangled hand grip.

The rest of the ride was largely uneventful, as we climbed back up to the start and completed the shortened Skyline.

Hugh cleared the rock steps on the downhill, in a very confident manner, but then had a puncture. Martin suffered the same fate on the last few yards.

Distance traveled 17.8 m and 2,800 ft climbed. Riding time 4hrs 10.

We found Paul, who had spent the afternoon sound asleep and was just returning from a short ride along the old railway.

Camping at Afan was a great success, although you need to book a pitch in advance. Do not expect any hot water in the showers, although the centre is open until 10.30 and food is served to 9.30. Bottled beer is available on site and the local bar was friendly, but I suggest you bring your own.

It was a largely peaceful night until the very early hours of the morning, when a thunderstorm arrived and the rain came down. Our spirits dipped on Sunday morning and the rain was so heavy we decided to cut our losses and head home. And yes, halfway home the rain lifted leaving a pleasant afternoon.

Paul kindly lent me his Specialized for the Monday, so Geoff and I went off to the Forest of Dean. A pleasant day, aside from one short shower.

We made the mistake of trying to navigate by the bike trails map, ending up a couple of miles from where I thought we should be, so we retraced our steps on the road. :cry: However, I did have an Ordnance survey map with me this time.

The FODKA (Sp?) trail has been extended and a further new section is being added. It was as rooty as ever and was very wet going after the rain, from the day before. The section is fairly tame by Afan standards although a number of small jumps have been built (all rollable except one). It took us about 45 minutes to complete the trail.

The Cycle Centre told us there were some good rides miles away, so we set off down the forest trails. It was very slow progress because the trails are not marked, so you are stopping and starting all the time.

Some of the off piste sections look awesome and the riding would be the equal of Roberrow if you knew where you were going. We tried two trails, only to find fallen trees at the bottom of steep drop offs, which made us a little wary.

Not to be deterred, on the way back to the centre we took one of the trails though the wood. Geoff was leading and took a blind drop off only to find a deep gorge carved out by a steam. He went straight over the bars but fortunately found a nice loamy patch to land on. Unfortunately, his bad knee landed first, which produced lots of red stuff. So, I packed him up and sent him over to the McCormacks, who I hoped had the technology to repair the damage.

Stats: 20 miles traveled , 2,800 foot climbed. Riding time 4hr 50m

There were some highlights and two spectacular dismounts. But, the more we planned the less we seemed to achieve. Maybe Spike Milligan had it right when he said “It’s alright. We don't have a plan, so nothing can go wrong".

PS Yeti repaired the shock free of charge, even though it was just out of guarantee.

PPS I now appreciate how light my bike is!
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brechfa derwen

Post by dro »

Took the wife and dog on the new family friendly Derwen trail in Brechfa yesterday.
A really nice introduction to mountain bikeing
relatively gentle uphills on forest roads and well constructed trails back down parallel to the roads.
This means never a crisis of confidence that can not get back

Only minor mishap was after me giving the wife a long lecture about the safety aspect of the one way system on trails that we set off up a rather narrow recently constructed trail which seemed to get steeper and steeper.Wife complaining ++++++ and in fact I was beginning to find the whole experience rather tiring.
eventually we both came to a halt and looking back noticed signs that could only be read looking backwards down path.
Realised that we had ridden up the downhill path.

Thankfully no one had come down at speed

retraced path
much easier downhill

All in all a really nice way to be introduced to the mountain bike experience (as long as you read the direction signs !!)

Rhian loved it and wants to go again
Dog not impressed ,too much pfaphing around

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