Welsh Weekender Day 2 – 11th March

A typical Nant-Y-Arian view

“Alex Deakin Rocks”

Once again we were up early, the Manc lads who had turned up last night were too. Telling us of their broken sleep due to a couple arguing in the alley next to the bunkhouse for 1/2 an hour at 2am. Annoyingly it was conducted in Welsh so they couldn’t even evesdrop!

It must have woken our Brummie friends too as they were on that side of the building (Cadair, our room was on the other side). Having been asked not to use the cooker extractor by the Brummies as it was noisy in their room Chris cooked his bacon buttie without switching it on. Unfortunately however in going up and down the stairs to get all our stuff must have made quite a noise as several Brummies appeared downstairs looking very bleary eyed and their volume control had somehow been turned down by a combination of the alleyway incident and our accidental noisyness 🙂  Oh, yeah, and it turned out that last night one of the thieving gits had taken a can of my beer!!!

Heading out of Machynlleth the sun was breaking through the mist, and the closer we got to Nant, the more it did so. However as we climbed up to the centre we drove into mist. As we pulled in the place was shrouded in greyness, but by the time we had unloaded the bikes and kitted up, the sun had burnt it off. Alex was right! With Chris still suffering we ditched the plan to do the big 35k Syfydrin loop and opted for the shorter Summit route.

The single track (and doubletrack) at Nant is superb, and ‘The Italian Job’ got us in the mood for some fast techy decending. Climbing on fireroads we reached ‘Mark of Zorro’ a stunning combination of riding, starting tight, twisty and pretty technical it suddenly opend out and traverses down into a valley, eventually turning and heading back. If you get to the bottom and are not out of breath you’re not trying hard enough! Reaching the bottom all three of us were panting well, but wore huge grins.

Now we had to ride back up ‘The Leg Burner’ a long fireroad climb that lives up to it’s name. No point trying to power up it as it goes on forever, best just get on the granny ring and plod up. Very soon we were at the top and into the final ‘High as a Kite’ section back to the trail centre. At this point Chris retired to the van while me and Rob headed out to ride the first and last sections of the Summit trail again. A spirtited descent of ‘The Italian Job’ and ‘High as a Kite’ and we were done.

Bikes were loaded, and the cafe was visited, then Rob pointed his van East and we headed home.

Shame we didn’t do the Syfydrin loop as it has some stunning riding and superb views, but it’ll be there next time 🙂

Nant-Y-Arian is in my opinion the hidden gem of Welsh trail centres, and I rank it easily as my favorite.

Ride – #42    Bike – Gary Fisher Paragon 29’er

Miles – 15.3     Total 2012 miles – 899.0


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