February 11, 2013

Y Wal - Mountain Biking Afan Argoed on a Wet Winter Day

On Sunday my Brewer Half and I headed to Afan Argoed for a quick blast around Y Wal - 11 miles of lovely single track with some of my favourite descents - and even climbs! - in Wales.

Y Wal is mountain biking pleasure.

It was raining heavy on the drive, but once we started cycling the rain disappeared and we were left with a nice winters day!  The fog was immense in bits - Afan has parts where you go through forrests and trees and the fog adds to the striking ambiance!  Especially when the trees open and you tear through puddles and bumps on a scenic hillside - if that's not perfection I don't know what it!

Y Wal did have more fireroad ascents than I remembered, but they're all the better to practice my climbing on....

...Or my standing next to a bike and posing.

Of course I strava'd the day, and was quite happy with 12 Personal Records and 28 Achievements!

The only minor hiccup was on the last turn of the last decent.  One thing I'm still not confident on is Burms - curved bit of track like this:
(that is not me.  that is a good biker)
And especially when they go into a downhill.  But I was feeling confident.  And so I saw a burm and a decent and I slowed down to get off and walk, but then I decided "NO!" and I said to myself "Self, you can do this!" so I did not get off, I decided to pedal through... heeding the words of wiser men than me...

"If in doubt, go flat out..."

And as I tried to gain speed I realized I had second guessed myself too much, and I was not going to make it - not because I couldn't, but because I hesitated.

I asked my brewer half to get me some water to clean my knee.  Instead he grabbed my camera from my backpack and started taking photos.

Luckily I saw the humour in the situation. Also lucky is that I was wearing cheapie Tescos leggings.  Unfortunately I knocked my crank off and so I had to walk the bike back, but luckily (AGAIN) I was pretty much at the end of the trail anyways.  

So that was another awesome ride at Afan, I will get back and do Whites Level (another slightly more difficult trail) at some point soon, but I think my bike (and knee!) need a bit of TLC first!

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