Monday, 24 September 2012

Wild Cycling in North Wales

Last Saturday saw the formal launch of a brilliant mountain biking trail book relating to North Wales. This took place at the Outdoor Partnership Festival at Plas y Brenin.

North Wales is rightfully well-known for it's fantastic purpose built mountain bike trails. At Coed y Brenin, Dafydd Davis pioneered the concept in the UK. Today we've also got trails such as the Marin and those at Penmachno and Llandegla to choose from.

But before these developments mountain bikers got their two-wheel fix and honed their skills on the area's trails and bridleways. The hills and mountains offer no shortage of memorable unsanitised adventures.

This new guidebook offers a carefully selected choice of 27 such routes using Ordnance Survey mapping. They range in difficulty from suitability for those new to the sport, through medium distance & black difficulty and on to some real challenging expeditions to test your fitness, skills, navigation and even sense of humour, like the epic 78km circuit of the Carneddau mountains.

There is a poignant story behind this book in that the author, Pete Bursnall, had just about finished writing the book before becoming too ill to carry on and sadly didn't live to see it published.

Matt Strickland, who has ensured that Pete's work wasn't wasted, said: "Pete researched, rode and wrote this book whilst dealing with what he always referred to as his 'cancer black dog'. He rode his bikes pretty much as if nothing was wrong with him and only in his final few months when lesser mortals would have long since stopped riding was Pete unable to ride."

He added: "This book was never intended to be a farewell from Pete, he never saw life like that, it's a book of great routes to be ridden and enjoyed just because you can."

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