The Valleys really is a mecca for Mountain Biking - our landscape just cries out to be explored - and the way that Mountain Biking is being developed means that we have routes for the young and more mature - the beginners and the high level competitors. Just put your bike on the back of the car and pick up your helmet (or hop on a train) and you can rapidly be exploring some of the UK's best routes.
Cwmcarn Forest is the destination for all you downhill adrenaline junkies. The Y Mynydd course consists of one man-made downhill Trail (with a choice of lines on the top and middle sections), simply named red run and black run. The course demands a high level of skill (and guts). These are extreme downhill trails and are suitable for experienced riders only.
You’ll be challenged with loads of berms, a few switch backs, doubles, a tunnel, rock steps, the bridge, hip jump and the quarry gap. The jumps are there if you want them, but can be ridden around if not. An uplift pass is available at www.cwmdown.co.uk.
Cwmcarn Forest is also home of the Twrch Trail, this is a superb 15.5km trail of the very highest quality that is not for the faint hearted. Virtually the entire route is on purpose built single-track through a mixture of broadleaf and conifer woodlands and open ridge tops.
BikePark Wales – Merthyr Tydfil
Located in Merthyr Tydfil, BikePark Wales is the UK’s only purpose built bike park that has trails suitable for everyone. Long awaited BikePark Wales has sent shockwaves through the mountain biking world.
BikePark Wales consists of six downhill trails (of various grades), one xc trail, one family trail, a pump track, a vehicle uplift, cafe, bike shop/rental and plenty of locally sourced hearty meals! A 1 day pass to ride BikePark Wales costs £5 and the vehicle uplift is £30 a day (this includes your 1 day ride pass). Car parking is free at BikePark Wales.
For further information and to book your visit including the uplift service please visit www.bikeparkwales.com
Darren Fawr Mountain Bike Trails
There are two great trails. The Blue "Glengarw" Trail, 3km long and with a 100m climb. This is the perfect appetiser for mountain biking in the Gawr Valley. Suitable for riders with intermediate bike skills. The winding single-track together with beautifully crafted berms offers lots of fun and exhilaration.
Then there is the Black "Gellideg" Trail, 3.2km long and with a 200m leg and lung burning climb coupled with one of the most varied and thrilling descents. Check the website for maps and details.
Garwnant Visitor Centre, Merthyr Tydfil
The two short trails here are aimed at junior riders. One is graded green and is aimed at first-time mountain bikers while the blue-graded trail was designed to improve riding skills. There is also a skills park with child-friendly obstacles to improve riding technique and build confidence. Find out more at the Natural Resources website.
Visit www.cognation.co.uk for more information on Mountain Biking.