Off On Road

It’s been 6 months since my last mountain bike ride as my last attempt resulted in an unplanned dismount and a broken thumb.  Pain, lack of control (nothing new there) but mainly fear has kept me off off road and on on road ever since.  Richard found a sneaky local loop which has tempted me back.  1 1/2 road miles from Ty Beic, a mile long with 200 feet of climbing and a gradual ascent and gentle singletrack descent.  Nothing technical and can be ridden all year round.  Ideal.  Ride it multiple times at speed and it’s a good workout.  Perfect for a quick morning spin before anyone else is out of bed or a gentle evening ride before bed.

I first road it last week in snow and ice and again yesterday in mud.  I prefer the snow.  If Eleanor isn’t too brutal I may go again today.

Shameless marketing warning, if you want to try it for yourself it’s only £65 per night (£32.50 per person) to stay during January to March and there are further discounts if you are a Singletrack magazine subscriber.


Snow Story

Bala LakeNorth Wales SnowWelsh winterMTB North Wales

Three inches of snow on top of a foot of mature welsh bog – think I have found the limits of the Geax Saguaro.

Up on the tops the wind is whipping the snow off the ridge against a bright blue sky.  A frighteningly sketchy descent (the brakes work but nothing’s gripping anything) and ten minutes later it’s like a summer’s day in the valley.

Apart from the half mile stretch of black ice on the road, which I can’t even walk on.

Home for a warm bath. Perfect.


Ffensio (Cymraeg for fencing)

December was busy and productive, January less so. Some concrete was poured then Gwyn went skiing for a week in Austria and brought back snow and ice.  Not the requested cow bell.  It gave us an excuse to test the new sledges and made for some very pretty photos but put a stop to anymore concrete work.  Too cold.  In the meantime, the rotten sycamore was felled (see previous post) and we had some fencing erected in the field in front of the barn.

That doesn’t sound very exciting but it is to us as it means we have an area of the field set aside for guest car parking and a separate garden and barbecue area.  The natural/organic lawnmowers (sheep and cows) can continue to use the field until we turn it into a pump / cyclocross track.  That’s next year’s project. We have lots of other ideas for the field including a sauna and pizza oven.  The latter inspired by many happy, slightly drunken evenings spent at Bob and Ian’s pizza nights at Casal dei Fichi.