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Nant yr Arian Bike Trail  By Paul Davies

Bike Trail report by Paul Davies

Total distance for Route 13.5K (8.5 miles) Landranger 135 Aberystwyth and Machynlleth.

Where is Nant yr Arian? 
Nant yr Arian Big Ride 
Plynlimon Tourism Site For local information.

Up, Up and Away...
Five trail builders have been working on this trail for months. It is an 8.5-mile strenuous mix of flowing man made singletrack, double track and fire road. For such a short distance there is a lot of upness. It is not the Red Bull but that is no bad thing, variety is the spice of life. One and a half-hours should see you round.
The trail is well waymarked by big blue boards with a yellow bike on them. A large A3 colour map of the trail is available from the Visitor Centre for 1. It is not essential but the money goes to improving the trails so please buy one.

Motocross Madness
The trail starts at the top end of the upper car park and goes slightly right and up the fire road. Near the top on the left is an obvious single track which winds uphill. It was not signed when we did the route but goes over specially made bridges and brings you out at the barrier gate. We carried along the fire road and came out at the minor tarmaced road by the barrier gate. There is a sweet bit of singletrack here on the south side of the road, which is rideable but was going to have top ballast put on it soon.
Out back on the minor road, you go through a gate and follow a delightful stony doubletrack past lonely Llyn Rhosgoch with great views down Cwmerfyn valley .A good down hill leads to a minor road, turn left for 100 metres and left again down the Ski slope. This is a very steep and technical downhill, backside over the rear wheel and very little front brake. It was here we found two moto-crossers snarling up the dedicated bike route. There are tons of legal tracks for them, why do these mindless morons destroy trails? We had a laugh though when one fell off!

Blazing Muscles
There is a very sharp right half way down the ski slope, don't miss it. Now there is a downhill blast. Dave said 'We've been going downhill for a long time now'. At the bottom we could just make out the Visitor Centre way, way up in the sky. The blue sign encouragingly said LEGBURNER and was decorated with a calf muscle in spasm and in small print '750 feet ascent'.
Halfway up Legburner hill an improbable singletrack goes off left and continues uphill with a Dafydd Davies trademark tight radius turn. Back on the fireroad again, you've guessed it more uphill.
You are now by the barrier gate again and head back for the Centre, a few hundred yards uphill the track goes left into the woods and another good piece of singletrack over many large water pipe bumps leads to a short but wicked uphill which needs to be hit aggressively if you are going to get to the top. Here the single track goes left again into the forest on the sweetest trail on the whole ride. Taken at speed the track surprises with tight turns, rock ledges, a few small drop offs and canting the bike over to get through the narrow tree gaps. You don't want this to end, but it does at the Visitor Centre where we had coffee and cake and watched 30 Red Kite hawks feeding.

The trail is now open and rideable. The manager was looking for some large boulders to 'spice things up a bit' which is a refreshing attitude. I would not drive hundreds of miles just to do this trail, but it would be ideal to have a go at this first, have a break in the Centre and then go and do one of the Wilderness trails. Or if you are really lazy just go up to the barrier gate and back to the Centre as many times as you can.
Latest news: the wilderness trails are not waymarked yet because of one landowner. However they are open, legal and maps are available. Go and enjoy.

Print Text! the whole route in text only form.



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