Today was all about blue skies and sunshine – the perfect weather for a springtime bike ride! So my husband and I loaded up the van and took our mountain bikes over to Afan in South Wales for a day on the trails.
I’d only been to Afan once before, when it had been cold, grey and deserted! Today was quite the opposite, as the bike shop there was running a demo day and that, combined with the sunshine, brought the riders out in force.
We decided to ride the red-graded Whites Level, which the website describes as the most technical of the trails at the centre. The other routes there are all huge though, and I decided I’d rather take technical over distance. Be warned: there is a diversion in place on the trail at the moment, which meant that the first climb was a really long one, up the side of the mountain in the glaring sun. I’m pleased to say that better riders than I stopped to catch their breath on that bit!
Anyway, we had a really good ride, with some of the most technical stuff I’ve tried. I made two big mistakes though:
1. Not taking enough sustenance with me. I’m pretty certain I learnt what it means to bonk on a bike today! I was exhausted by about three quarters of the way round and really needed another energy boost. One energy bar was definitely not enough.
2. Falling off into a bed of nettles. I can assure you that this was a very silly thing to do. I’m still feeling the stings now, five hours later! OUCH!
I hope I’ll learn from both these mistakes, and not make them again! The food one is really important, so I stocked up on more Mule Bars as soon as we got back to the trail centre, to make sure I have plenty in my CamelBak for my next ride.
Here’s a pic of one of the views from the top of the trail – I like the nature meets technology thing that’s going on here: