Written by Tom:
The riding group was dwindled to just four of us. myself, Pete, Jim and James. On the way to Coed-y-Brenin, the weather went from bad to worse, the rain became heavy and a thick fog descended on the mountains. After parking we went to the visitor centre to use the facilities which consisted of a large cafe, toilets and a small bike shop. I visited the bike shop downstairs to buy a waterproof jacket as the weather was so poor. I eventually went for an Endura coat, which was significantly cheaper then the other jackets but it proved to be very good, keeping me dry all day.
The GoPro's were fired up once the bikes were assembled and we rolled to the start of the trails next to the bike centre. It was decided among the group that 2 smaller trails would be tackled, Temtiwr and Cyflym Coch. These red trails were selected as they provided the flexibility to run away if the weather worsened and they suited the capabilities of the group as a whole. The trail started further downhill from the centre and set the theme for the day, which was wet rocks, streams, loose surfaces and big puddles. The trail continued to climb, followed by long sections of swooping track that ran through woodlands and over the the odd stream/waterfall. The small waterfall did claim a couple of near misses, when I passed through it the first time, my front tyre washed out and I unintentionally got off the bike in a partially controlled manner, but I'm not counting it as a fall...( I do - Ed)
After reaching the end of Cyflym Coch, we decided to do a loop of it again, as everyone enjoyed the first round and we figured that we could tie in the end of the second loop with the beginning of the other trail which would lead us back to the start. The second time around it was more of the same, however this time I managed to conquer the waterfall and Pete decided to have a sudden, unplanned sit down on a gorse bush halfway up a climb (this was caught on camera). The trail as a whole provided decent fast flowing sections, with a few scattered rocks from which those who wanted to could probably get some small amounts of air. I found that the weather was an influencing factor for me, especially as the wet rocks were something I wasn't confident with, causing me to perhaps hold back a bit more than I should have.
We eventually looped back around to where we had started from, stopping for a minute on the bridge to admire the view of the waterfall and river flowing below us, the current raging from the recent and consistent rainfall.
The second trail, Temtiwr, provided some long and arduous climbs, with lactic burning being felt by everyone in the group. This climb was followed by a number of shorter descents which lead us closer to the visitors centre. One descent in particular sticks out because of its misleading name, "Glide" gave illusions of
smooth graceful descending tracks, maybe with some berms and mounds thrown in. It couldn't have been further from the truth. It composed of rocky, rooty drop off's and a series of short slippery steps over small streams. To call a section of technical trail "Glide" was as misleading as saying that the Pamplona bull run is just a casual stroll with some cows. If that's your kind of trail then fair enough. Anyway, we returned to the car park soaked (some more than others) and proceeded to disassemble the bikes and fling them in the car, as it continued to pour with rain.
The general consensus was that it was a good day despite the weather, and a return to Coed-y-Brenin is inevitable, due the amount of trails still left to attempt, this was followed by a rather bold statement from James who claims that he wishes to tackle "The Beast". (And the other 2 black trails MBR and Tarw - Ed)