Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

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jimothy78
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Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby jimothy78 » Fri Nov 09, 2012 21:05 pm

Hi all,

have just confirmed with my "social secretary" that I'm not otherwise engaged on Sunday, and have been granted a short leave of absence.

If anyone else is free, and fancies meeting up, I'd be glad of some company. Feel free to suggest the time of day and route, but just so you know, I'm pretty new to this so nothing too technical/hardcore, please.

cheers,
jim

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welshkev
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby welshkev » Sat Nov 10, 2012 14:25 pm

Hi jim, usually I'd say yes. But I'm booked to go out on the dh bike at Cwmcarn tomorrow. next time though :-)
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jimothy78
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby jimothy78 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 16:20 pm

No worries - have fun at CC - BTW do you ever ride "Twrch" instead of hitting the downhill? If so, what's it like in terms of technicality? It's on my "to-do-when-I'm-more-confident" list, but would be interested to know how rollable it is?

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The Northern Monkey
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby The Northern Monkey » Sat Nov 10, 2012 16:23 pm

its just a trail!
Climbs are quite hard, nothing technical on the descents!

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jimothy78
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby jimothy78 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 18:06 pm

OK, thanks NM, maybe I'll try it sooner than I thought, then.

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welshkev
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby welshkev » Sat Nov 10, 2012 18:28 pm

Yeah as Ben said. The climbs are tough - dont feel bad about getting off to push (I don't :-))

But it's all rollable, just go as fast as you feel is comfortable, there's nothing that'll catch you out that you can't just roll over
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jimothy78
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby jimothy78 » Sat Nov 10, 2012 19:37 pm

OK, thanks for the encouragement. I'll try it soon, but probably leave that one for a weekday, so I don't hold up too many faster folks.

As for tomorrow, I'm wondering about tackling the Garth and (possibly) the descent from there into Coed y Gedris - have either of you done that route? I've read its a good ride, but also that it can be a bit hairy in places...

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welshkev
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby welshkev » Sat Nov 10, 2012 20:10 pm

Nah I've never ridden over that side, but I think they had a British champs xc race up there do it must be ok. Don't think you'll be holding people up at cc mate, the trail itself never gets too congested.
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jimothy78
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby jimothy78 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 21:29 pm

Well, I made it!

In fact, the climp to the top of the hill wasn't as bad as I was expecting, but what was worse, much worse, was the initial climb through the woods in Gwaelod-y-Garth; Extremely wet and slippy, plus some really nasty gradients and cambers meant I was walking some of the way. Once I'd made it onto Mountain Road all was well, though, and the climb up the final path to the summit was steep but very rideable.

Just before the final push:
Image

Made it:
Image

On the last leg of the climb, I was caught up by a very friendly and helpful guy called Liam on a Cove Stiffee, who was going the same way as me, so after catching our breath at the top, he kindly let me tail him down. I was very glad of this, as the trail was a bit intimidating, and I may well have decided on an alternative route had I not had someone to follow. As it was, I really enjoyed the descent - very challenging in places, and I did jump off to walk the bike over a couple of the more awkward drops, but on the whole a very valuable experience, and definitely a route I'll repeat many times, I'm sure.

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The Northern Monkey
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby The Northern Monkey » Sun Nov 11, 2012 22:19 pm

Hmm.. a quick google and Gwaelod-y-Garth isn't far at all from me!
Where abouts is the trig point? and how do you get up there! Looks like a good ride, I could get there without driving lol!

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jimothy78
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby jimothy78 » Sun Nov 11, 2012 23:54 pm

Map below is, to the best of my knowledge and abilities, the route I took, starting and finishing at the lower taff trail in Tongwynlais (marked by the star).

Will see if I can find a better way up to the top, as route through intial forest is far from ideal (couple of styles as well as the nasty conditions). But the view from the top is great and descent as marked to North of hill is not to be missed.

Image

Any decent local routes you'd be willing to share?

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welshkev
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby welshkev » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:27 am

Looks like you'll be guiding me and Ben up there soon then mate :-)
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jimothy78
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby jimothy78 » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:16 pm

welshkev wrote:Looks like you'll be guiding me and Ben up there soon then mate :-)


Anytime, you just have to put with me leading from the back, as it were.

I've been doing some more digging, and found a site belonging to a couple of other riders which shows a way up to pentyrch on the other side of the "Pentyrch Hill" road, above morganstown. I've transposed it as best I can onto a more accurate map for future reference - Start point on my version is the railway crossing at Gelynis farm, Radyr, which is accessible from the Taff Trail via the footbridge at the bottom of Ironbridge Road, Tongwynlais:

Image

Looks like mostly forest tracks/fireroads so might be a bit dull, but should be easier in slippy winter conditions. This route would also mean about a mile's worth of tarmac through Pentyrch Village to get to the "mountain", but it's very quiet. I'll have a pop at it next time I have a chance.

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jimothy78
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby jimothy78 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 21:20 pm

Just for the sake of completeness:

I tried out this latter route this afternoon. The early ascent is through open beech woodland, with well-defined paths - a much more pleasant experience than the greasy mud of the spruce plantation in Gwaelod, and no super-steep get-off-and-push sections. The path then levels out between two old quarry sites as shown, before dropping onto the quarry access road and then up a tricky climb on a forestry track strewn with small loose rocks. This leads onto a very muddy path between two hedges, that eventually pops you out in a quiet residential street in Pentyrch. Cut throug the village to join up with the original route at the lower left-hand point.No stiles/gates to contend with going this way, overall a much better way to get up onto the garth if you're coming from this direction.

Total length for a loop starting and finishing at the Taff Trail is probably somewhere between 7 and 8 miles. I did it in 2 hrs, taking it pretty easy. Can easily be combined with some riding in the hills and forests the other side of the A470 if you want to extend it.

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welshkev
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby welshkev » Wed Nov 14, 2012 21:24 pm

Sounds good mate. I reckon a date for early in the new year should be arranged :-)

Only because of Xmas parties etc I don't think I'll be getting much weekend riding in :-)
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jimothy78
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby jimothy78 » Wed Nov 14, 2012 22:01 pm

Sounds good - my workload tends to be a bit lighter at that time of year, so I may have a few saturdays free myself.

BTW how did you get on at CC on sunday?

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The Northern Monkey
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby The Northern Monkey » Wed Nov 14, 2012 22:06 pm

Some really good routes! its surprising what you have on your doorstep without realising!

CC was good, nice and dry! Got an uplift this Sunday with a load of lads from South Wales.

We did an XC ride round the Twrch last night (Tuesday), was great until I fell off being a kid haha!

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Gazlar
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby Gazlar » Mon Nov 26, 2012 18:34 pm

Been eyeing that hill up a while now from the comfort of the train
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jimothy78
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby jimothy78 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 18:14 pm

Gazlar wrote:Been eyeing that hill up a while now from the comfort of the train


I have a similar relationship with the hill on the opposite side of the valley (marked "Craig yr Allt" on the maps). One of the gardens I look after in Gwaelod has a perfect end-on view of the ridge, complete with zig-zag tracks above cliff faces. I'm determined to have a look at this one soon, although some of what I've read suggests it might be more trouble than it's worth.

As for the Garth, Gaz, get off the train at Taff's Well and you're basically at the start of the ride.

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Gazlar
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Re: Sunday (11th), Cardiff Area - anyone about?

Postby Gazlar » Tue Nov 27, 2012 20:02 pm

jimothy78 wrote:
Gazlar wrote:Been eyeing that hill up a while now from the comfort of the train


I have a similar relationship with the hill on the opposite side of the valley (marked "Craig yr Allt" on the maps). One of the gardens I look after in Gwaelod has a perfect end-on view of the ridge, complete with zig-zag tracks above cliff faces. I'm determined to have a look at this one soon, although some of what I've read suggests it might be more trouble than it's worth.

As for the Garth, Gaz, get off the train at Taff's Well and you're basically at the start of the ride.


I could try that tomorrow, mind you if I do I will have a train full of passengers wondering why they are going nowhere :roll:
Mountain biking is like sex.......more fun when someone else is getting hurt
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