After a pretty awesome honeymoon over the festive period, swanning around South Africa, making the most of the exchange rate to lavish on beer, wine and steak I needed another little training goal to work towards. With my fist main race of the year at the European 24 champs not actually that far off in May I wanted to get in a long ride. Just like the first in the series of ‘epics’ with it being a fairly typical UK winter, trail centres are the best places to ride to get in a long day in the saddle without getting lost down a boggy moorland hole.
I cut my teeth at Coed y Brenin ‘back in the day’ when the ‘Redbull’ trail offered a major technical challenge (and highlighted the need for suspension forks) whilst the ‘Karrimor’ trail seemed unfathomly long with never ending fire road climbs. I’m a bit older now and a lot fitter and Coed y Brenin has changed a lot in that time. I’m sure my experience as a youth have been replicated by many who have taken up mountain biking and I’m excited about the fact that the next epic will be staged here, ‘EPIC BRENIN’.
Coed y Brenin has lots of different trails but many criss/cross and duplicate each other so the total unique distance possible is a little short to be considered an epic. Fear not though. Close by trails at Penmachno and the Marin Trail at Betws y Coed offer plenty more riding to up the mileage for the day. We could ride between the two main centres but that would make the mileage a bit steep for a winter training ride. So instead we’ll be using the car to link between Coed y Brenin and Penmachno. We’re making up for the car use by linking the two trail hubs at Penmachno and Coed y Brenin by using the Sam Helen trail which ups the total ride distance which looks around the 90mile mark with nearly 4000m of climbing.
As with Epic Afan we’ll record the ride so anyone can give it a shot in a day or two depending on what floats your boat distance wise. We’re got some great supporters helping us organise everything, most importantly Cadair View Lodges who are very kindly hosting us. They are only 2miles from Coed y Brenin and allow very late arrivals which suits us heading up from the South West. My new clothing sponsors the chaps at Tenn Outdoor are also sponsoring the ride whilst Weldtite and Exposure Lights are keeping us lubed and lit respectively, cheers guys!
The weather forecast is vile but it’s all character building, bring it on!