the sound of Skylarks and Hope hubs ride

the 2nd day of the welsh trip was about 1.5 hours south of day one at Nant yr Arian. this trail was such a contrast to the day before’s, not quite so rocky but still technical in places, but much more rooty and twisty through the trees and then suddenly you emerge next to a stunningly beautiful lake, then through a gate and along some double track to the open moorland views you see above. we stood still and completely quiet and all you could hear were the skylarks above us. this is what we came for, all the pressures and responsibilities of home were put aside for a moment in a glorious moment of really feeling “out there”. eventually we carried on but quite frankly we could have just stood there looking at the view all day, but there was more fun to be had, at the next gate we spoke to a rider and his dog, turns out he worked for the centre and his job today was to ride round checking the trail, what a job! the next section of singletrack magic is arguably the best i’ve ridden, narrow and twisty through the trees then even narrower right on the edge of probably a 50ft drop with berms and little jumps, as i rounded a berm i saw Ben’s bike suddenly cartwheel and him disappearing over the edge and into the valley!. when i got to the spot i saw he was about 10ft down tangled in the heather growing on the very steep slope, this was the only thing that stopped him dropping a very long way. he managed to extricate himself enough for me to lean down and give home a hand up, any further and we’d have been stringing innertubes together to make a rope. once back on the trail we had a laugh about it but it was scary, he had just dipped his front wheel off the trail slightly and it had caught in the under growth and catapulted him over the bars. the experience didn’t seem to slow him down though, he was just as fast on the remaining trails. Ian was fast too, sometimes too fast as he overshot a few tight corners, it was a great giggle though. the legburner climb came next and it’s name was apt, a long grind on a fire road had to be endured before the final descent through the trees back to the start. the bonus at Nanty yr Arian is that it’s a centre for Red Kite conservation and everyday they feed the birds. it’s very impressive to watch the nearly 6ft wingspan birds circle and come down to feed and there were about 60 of them. so all in all the best day of the two for me and this was reinforced as when we got in the car to leave it started to rain heavily, the first real rain we’d seen.
ride 64
10 miles
total 1156
commute 346.5

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