10 second trail guide: Penhydd, Afan

The good, the bad and the ugly

Want the essential info on the latest trails? Can't be arsed to trawl the web or read reams of text? You're in the right place!

Where: Afan Forest, South Wales – postcode for sat-navs is SA13 3HG

What: Red graded XC loop

How long: 14km, with 550m of climbing

Trail map: www.cognation.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/Penhydd-A4-Website.pdf

The Good

The Sidewinder descent is several minutes of old-school skinny singletrack goodness that's guaranteed to put a smile on your face. 

The Bad

After some initial twists and turns, the climb up from the visitor centre turns into a fireroad drag that goes on and on. And on. And to make matters worse, there's lovely woodland on either side. Why can't we ride in there instead?!

The Ugly

After the natural-feeling Sidewinder section and Dead Sheep Gully traverse, it's easy to be lulled into a false sense of security. Then you hit Rocky Rebellion. The chainring grooves on the edges of the numerous rocky drops show just how many people have got things wrong down through here, and earn the trail its red grading. If you know what you're doing though, it's great fun.

Look out for a full Wrecking Crew feature on the Penhydd trail in an upcoming issue of Mountain Biking UK.

This article was originally published in Mountain Biking UK magazine, available on Apple Newsstand and Zinio.

CW has been riding mountain bikes for more than two decades now. He's the first to admit he's not the fittest or most skilful rider on the hill, but that doesn't stop him sweating up the climbs to have a blast on the downhills.
  • Discipline: MTB, commuting
  • Preferred Terrain: Big mountains and flowing singletrack
  • Current Bikes: Whyte T-129 S SCR, Stanton Sherpa 853, Pinnacle Dolomite 6
  • Dream Bike: Evil The Following
  • Beer of Choice: Theakston Old Peculier
  • Location: Bristol, UK
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