Days like yesterday are few and far between. The bitter cold and fog of the weekend cleared to reveal clear blue sky, grass and leaves edged with heavy frost and crisp ice where previously there was water. A perfect day for a ride then.
With the bike stowed in the back of the car, I headed out to some of my woods* around Llanidloes, which is conveniently only 15 miles or so from Nant yr Arian, east of Aberystwth. Red kites circled above the visitor centre and its largely empty car park as I headed out on the Syfydrin Trail. I didn’t quite have a enough light to do the whole loop, but local knowledge and couple of shortcuts later I’d bypassed the boring bit past Nant-y-moch reservoir and made it to the top the Nant Bwlch-glas descent. A fun piece of trail under normal conditions, made all the more exciting with little icy rivers and frozen patches to keep me on my toes.
The sun was beginning to set as I made it to the final descent. This bit of trail had been in the sun most of the afternoon, so despite still being very cold, much of the ice had melted so I could cruise through the turns, pump the dips and fade the crests with much more confidence. Once the Leg Burner climb was out of the way, all that was left was the final descent through the larch trees back to the visitor centre, where there was just enough light left for the full on blast this brilliant piece of trail deserves. An excellent day that was too good to miss.
* One of the perks of being a forestry consultant is deciding you “need” to go out and visit such and such a wood on days of glorious weather, preferably in close proximity to some decent riding. This is countered in equal measure with arranging to meet someone at a specific time and place which will usually be in the cold or the rain, or both.