|Just like the old days. Classic Welsh trailcenter riding.|
So back in the early days, when trips to ride bikes outside the woods where rare, most trips were to the promised land of North Wales and it’s man made trails. Shaking ourselves to shit over the rocks of Coed-Y-Brenin was the holy grail of riding back in the early years of this century. But then Coed-Y-Brenin changed. We returned to Gomez et-al armed with better skills and bikes, only to find the classic pieces of trail gone, however away from CYB all was not lost. Whilst the Marin Trail slowly eroded into maturity, and Machylyneth remained as glorious but distant as ever, Penmachno opened some time after the first wave of trailbuilding had swept the principality. However the formula remained unchanged and we got yet more of the man made yet fairly untamed good stuff to ride. Problem was, by the time Penmachno had its 30kms of singletrack going we had moved on to pastures new; pastures up big mountains, with big rocks, and a fair degree of tech. Yeah, the Marin trail remained a staple of our riding, but we where no longer making long drives for trail centres, our attention had been drawn to trails down the side of mountains and glens, that had come into existence through centuries of foot traffic and erosion.
Problem is, we missed out. Due to Ste’s desire not to do anything to big before exams, but a desire to get into the hills non the less, we headed to Penmachno for the first time in 5 (I think) years. And it was great. It was ‘classic Welsh riding’ just as I remembered. It had the slippery rock, the benchcut, the jurrasic park sections, sections that made you think a bit, the feeling of being somewhere remote out in a big forest. As much as I love the Marin trail (and we followed our Penmachno ride with a lap there) it has become over familiar, it was nice to be riding a new, or mostly forgotten about, trail in Wales, almost like back in the day.
Anyway, that was a rather long way of saying Penmachno is bloody good, and hopefully a few of Ste and I’s shots from the day will make the final cut. There were not many trails I would have enjoyed riding more than 40kms of Wales purpose built finest.