After talking about it for the last 6 months, it was finally time to head up to Snowdon for what we were sure would be an epic weekend of riding.
We headed of on a rain soaked Friday morning which had already caused the Ryder cup to be halted as the greens were flooded .. heaven only knows what we were thinking – surely if a purpose build golf course is flooded the trails will be a mess? Still there was only one way to find out.
We had had pre-booked our lodgings in a bunk house in Llanberis, so we skirted the check in and headed straight over to the Penmachno trail for a warm up ride before hitting Snowdon the next day. As we pulled in at the temporary car park, the heavens opened and after some confusion we decided to head back through the village in search of a coffee.
Penmachno Mountain Bike Trail, North Wales
After a quick coffee the rain had eased so we set off up the first climb we all looked back to see who would be the last one up. The fire road climb is short and sharp but it does get your breathing going and settles you down ready for things to come.
It’s a great place which just feels entirely natural with narrow overgrown paths, rock drops and some lovely flowing singletrack. The first ride of the weekend and were all pushing and egging each other on through each section, taking turns to lead the pack just to be heckled by the riders that catch you up.
We should have know from this very moment that it would end in tears and as I loose my line and end up head deep in brambles I’m unaware of the drama unfolding 100 yards ahead. Kirby’s taken a low speed spill as his front wheel slides down a water soaked rock face he somehow popped his finger sideways resulting in a nasty dislocation. We tried to set it right but the little bugger was jammed in place and as we tapped it up the best we could we wondered just how the flip you get outta this place.
Luckily (or not) we found a fire road and navigate the route back to the cars for Kirby and Co for the journey to the nearest hospital whilst we head into the second half of the course. Unfortunately for Kirby it still took him an hour and a half to get back to the car – something tells me he would have rather stayed riding than getting lost in the woods!
The second half of the trail is a beauty which flowed and dragged, dropped and climbed and as we put the miles behind us we took in the scenery and more water in my boots than ever before! Its hard to recap just exactly what came next but the track but watch out for the north shore over the bog and the tactically placed tree that doesn’t allow for wide bars, a quick snap of the bars and your round the little bugger but for some it could cause an issue.
Out into the open and another climb and although the rain has stopped the track is flowing like a river. As we waited for Coup at the end of a very open section we realise he’s not looking a very good colour, a bit of spunk (that’s a SIS Go gel) and he’s good to go although I’m not sure anyone should look that colour!
The end of the course has some lovely tight switchbacks, berms and some really good rock face drops. As we arrive back at the cars some 36 kms later battered bruised and soaking wet we wonder what lies in store for us on tomorrows epic Snowdon Llanberis Mountain Bike Trail ride.