Learning to take control
of the bike is the first step,
the rest will follow...

Over the years Wales has become something of a mountain bike mecca. Numerous purpose built trails, famous natural routes and the ability to just get out there and discover, make it a top riding destination. Below are a few ideas of places to ride, events to attend and races to try your hand at in 2011.

Purpose built trails

Nant yr Arian
A trail centre that's a bit different. Firstly you get straight into the fun early on without the usual fireroad slog. Secondly, the trails aren't all man-made, instead there's a mixture of purpose built singletrack and natural tracks which take you out into the hills ... It's like doing two rides in one. Nant doesn't tend to get quite as busy as some of the other Welsh trail centres, so you'll quickly get served in the cafe and the trails will feel like they're all yours.
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ClimachX Trail
Possibly one of the best kept secrets in Wales. The ClimachX is a purpose built trail in the Dyfi forest a few miles north of Machynlleth. It boasts the longest descent of any man-made trail in Wales if not the entire UK. This final descent is the icing on the cake with many riders looping back round so they can ride it over and over. Don't expect a trail centre though, there's no cafe or bike shop, just a car park and a collection box to raise money for trail maintenance. Don't let that put you off though or you'll really be missing something special.
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Cwm Rhaeadr
Down in deepest mid Wales the trail at Cwm Rhaeadr is pretty much unknown by the majority of riders. The entire trail is only 6.7km long, the first 2.7km are on fireroad and get the climbing out of the way quickly. Once at the top it's all downhill, 4km of twisty singletrack back to the start. The short trail length encourages multiple laps ... something that's well worth doing.
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Coed Trallwm
Situated near to Llanwrtyd Wells the trails at Coed Trallwm offer something for everyone. The centre has three trails, blue, red and black it also boasts a cafe and home made cake! None of the trails are very long which means it's possible to ride them all in a day, an ideal destination for a day out.
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Coed y Brenin
The trail centre at Coed y Brenin is where it started. It's seen a few changes over the last few years but the number of trails and facilities keep riders returning time and time again.
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  Natural routes

Mach 1, 2 and 3

Heading out of Machynlleth are the waymarked Mach trails. Not singletrack or purpose built for mountain bikes but signed routes linking up, various forest roads, tracks and bridlways in the hills above the town. Mach 3 is the longest route with the most climbing, if you remember the days before trail centres then you really should give it a go. The Mach 1 is the shortest and least strenuous and should be suitable for anyone with a little experience, don't underestimate it though, it's still a great ride.
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Pont Scethin
Setting off from the coast and heading for the mountains. Pont Scethin is a superb but often overlooked route.
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The Gap
A full days ride in the Brecon Beacons. The Gap might just be the most famous route in Wales.
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Doethie Valley

Perhaps not the longest ride in Wales but one of the prettiest. There's lots of possible extensions too.
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Going Mapless
If you fancy trying some of the best natural riding Wales has to offer but prefer not to get frustrated and lost, contact Forest Freeride for expert guiding in the vast wilderness of mid Wales. We offer day rides and overnight trips to suit every level of rider, whether on a one-to-one basis or in a group.
Contact us now.

  Events and races

Bear Bones 200
A two day independent time trial requiring riders to be able to camp self sufficiently. You will follow a pre-determined 200km route. Can you make the cut-off time?
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Brecon Beast
The Beast is a long running charity enduro and possibly one of the most relaxed events there is. Two course lengths to choose from and a great atmosphere.
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Black Mountains 3 Day
A new event for 2011. The event is a three day stage race in the Brecon Beacons National Park, two full days riding and an evening special stage should make for a great event.
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Trans Wales
A seven day stage race through the heart of mid Wales. The Trans Wales starts and finishes in Builth Wells and is a real test of mental and physical endurance.
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Marin Rough Ride
A one day enduro event starting from Kington on the Welsh borders. The rough ride prides itself on the high percentage of off road miles the course covers ... 90% is off road.
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Mach 'n' Back
A winter ride with a difference. Plan your own route from the given grid references which will take you to Machynlleth and back to the start. Sounds easy but one night's camping will be required, in January!!
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Forest Freeride, Ceulan, Pennant, Llanbrynmair, Powys SY19 7BH
Telephone: 01650 521301

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