10th Anniversary Welsh Ride Thing

Welsh Ride Thing 2018

The excellent Hafren Forest Bunkhouse

Rather than the rush of previous years we left on Friday morning, the journey from Worthing can take seven or eight hours so it was nice to arrive at the bunkhouse mid afternoon in stead of at midnight like last time! An honourary mention must go to Hafren Forest Bunkhouse, we first stayed here for the winter event and this place is amazing! If you’re looking to ride in Mid Wales (or the North for that matter) it’s great place to base yourself and Darren and Sarah are excellent hosts.

Bear Bones Towers

As per usual once everyone had arrived at Bear Bones Towers the excitement started to build for the event, the sun was out, the sky was blue and a great weekend looked on the horizon. I even won a raffle prize!

2018 Welsh Ride Thing

We took the path out the back of BB Towers and headed north up the long climb.

2018 Welsh Ride Thing
Travers Russ Ti
2018 Welsh Ride Thing

As per previous years we headed north up NCN8 to Corris, up the infamous climb. It was hot in the valley and we were all pleased to top out and get a bit of a breeze before we headed down the other side and across to Dolgellau.

Colin
Travers Russ Ti
Brother Cycles Big Bro
2018 Welsh Ride Thing

That long climb can do funny things to a person!

Tal-y-bont

From Dolgellau we rode along the Mawddach Trail to Barmouth, sea mist was coming in and for the first time in the day it was pretty chilly. We were looking to get some food, but everywhere seemed to be shut, so we hit the supermarket for supplies then headed along to Tal-y-bont where we were planning to bivvy. We stopped for a couple of pints in the pub there and then headed up the path to our chosen bivvy spot.

Dinner day 1
Tal-y-bont
Bivvy spot day 1 - Tal-y-Bont

The following morning started misty again and after breakfast we headed back along the coast to Barmouth, then got in touch with Richard, who was meeting us for day two and three. We agreed to meet him for second breakfast in Dolgellau and headed back along the river.

Afon Mawddach
Barmouth
2018 Welsh Ride Thing

We decided that we would stick to our original plan and head round to Llyn Efyrnwy and bivvy somewhere there. We’d skip Coed-y-brenin and head off cross country. It was a great route, and it was nice to ride some bits I’d not visited before. There were a couple of long, pretty savage climbs and we were pleased to finally roll in to Llanwddyn. We had planned to get some supplies from the shop there, but it turned out they were a chippy too so we had cooked food and then headed to the bar in the Lake Vyrnwy Hotel & Spa.

2018 Welsh Ride Thing
2018 Welsh Ride Thing
Cwm Hirnant
Cwm Hirnant
Llyn Efyrnwy
Llyn Efyrnwy

After a few beers we didn’t want to go much further, so we went up the bridleway behind the hotel just over the crest so we were out of sight and then bivvied down on the top of the hill.

Bivvy spot day 2 - Llyn Efyrnwy
Mozzie net

Day 3 dawned sunny again and we had about thirty miles left to go. We stopped for breakfast by the bird hide at the end of the lake as the sun was on it and there were less midges. Then we rode some more new trails and stopped for a second breakfast at the cafe in Llangadfan, I’d given up hope on a cup of coffee and as we rode past I spotted some other WRT riders outside, cups in hand, so we swung in and very soon there were about a dozen of us enjoying breakfast.

2018 Welsh Ride Thing
2018 Welsh Ride Thing
2018 Welsh Ride Thing
2018 Welsh Ride Thing
2018 Welsh Ride Thing
Llyn Gwyddior
2018 Welsh Ride Thing

It was a magical weekend, the weather was the best I’ve ever experienced in Wales. I ended up carrying the kit for “usual” Wales weather, so my bike was way heavier than it needed to be, but it was all good. In the end we covered 135 miles and for once bikes and kit didn’t need cleaning afterwards!

Here is the route we ended up doing.

Here’s the video from the trip.