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North Wales - Mountain Biking
2nd May 2019 - 6th May 2019 (5 days)
Four days of cross-country mountain biking based in and around the Conwy valley in North Wales, sampling some of the UK's best tracks and trails. Suitable for a range of abilities, the emphasis of the tour is on having a sociable few days away in this superb mountain biking location. Local purpose-built trails in the Betws-y-Coed area will be used, along with some fabulous high level routes if weather permits. The terrain is hilly, so a reasonable level of fitness is required, although regular regrouping and cafe stops facilitate everyone enjoying the tour as a sociable group. The aim is to have a minimuim of two groups to allow for both responsible mountain biking and personal safety, and it is intended that by having smaller groups on the trails it will be possible to cater for a range of abilities from the less experienced mountain biker through to those who want the full-on adrenalin buzz!
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Paul Rogers
- Grade Challenging
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hostel
- Board Basis Some Meals
- Travel Arrangements Land Only
- Road / Off Road Off-Road
- Holiday Style Centre-based
- Vehicle Support Carry Own Luggage
- Holiday Ref 01903
Thursday 2nd May
Meet at the hostel from 5pm onwards. Social evening together in Llanrwst. Stay 4 nights.
Friday 3rd May
Local trails of the Gwydir Forest will be the basis for today’s rides, based around Gwydir red Trail. Other local forest and hillside tracks will be used to accommodate abilities and/or weather conditions.
Saturday 4th May
A high level coastal moorland ride with great views out to Anglesey and the Great Orme.
Sunday 5th May
Local trails in the Gwydir Forest and the idyllic Llyn Crafnant for lunch.
Monday 6th May
Head east to Llandegla Forest for what are possibly some of the best forest trail routes in the UK. (See note for train users in the Additional Information section).
Accommodation & Meals
The base will be a large private hostel close to Llanrwst, approx four miles north of Betws-y-Coed, with all breakfasts and two evening meals included. The dormitory-style bedrooms will be shared, though there is some private accommodation available at an extra cost – please contact the tour manager for details. A sleeping bag and towel will be required. Bike storage/wash, car parking and kitchen facilities are available.
Obtaining travel insurance is optional for UK residents as your Cycing UK membership provides third party cover. However, this does not cover any other risks such as cancellation charges, personal injury or lost property. We therefore strongly recommend that suitable insurance is taken out to safeguard against such risks. Members who do not reside in the UK are not covered for third party and are advised to obtain suitable cover before leaving their normal residence. If you already have an annual policy, you may need to confirm that it will cover a UK holiday or make provision for it to do so.
The price of £215 is based on a minimum number of 12 people taking part in the holiday. If there are insufficient bookings by 21st February 2019, we will contact you and return all monies paid, although in certain circumstances the holiday may still run at below minimum numbers but at the same price.
- 4 nights hostel, sharing dormitory
- 4 Continental breakfasts
- 2 Evening meals
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to and from the tour
- Thursday & Saturday evening meals
- Drinks with evening meals
- Lunches or refreshments at morning and afternoon stops
- Any other personal expenses
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £50 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £165 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 21st February 2019.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 21st February 2019
From 21st February 2019 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
The rides will be based around the local purpose built trails in the Gwydir forest, along with other more exposed routes if weather conditions permit; these other routes are quite stunning in good weather, with superb mountain and coastal views. Monday’s rides will be at the Llandegla Forest MTB centre. The Conwy valley area of North Wales has miles of purpose built mountain biking trails and wild open moorland tracks, with some great walking opportunities for those who might fancy a day off the bike. A small selection of photographs from previous tours can be viewed here.
Rides & Rest Days
The tour is designed with two rides each day to allow participants with different abilities to enjoy this tour, with regular regrouping stops. However, a reasonable degree of fitness and off road riding skill is required as this area is hilly and occasionally ‘technical’ at times. See below for further information about fitness/experience. These rides will be mainly off-road (approx 75%), utilising legal tracks and byways only. The local purpose-built trail surfaces are excellent, well drained and should provide some fabulous riding. Both rides will generally meet up at cafés for brunch/lunch. The ride pace will depend on the participants, but expect to cover approx 20-35 miles on each of the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and many options to short-cut if it becomes necessary. The rides on Monday will be at the MTB centre at Llandegla Forest as this makes the exit from North Wales much easier for most on the Bank Holiday
Accommodation & Meals
Accommodation will be at a basic hostel style building/bunkhouse, arranged into 5 bedrooms with more than enough comfortable beds/bunks. The group will have sole use of the property and so the building will in effect be about half-full. Some private flats are available on the site at extra cost – please contact the tour manager for further details. The house has been greatly improved since our initial visits here, with showers & toilets now within the main building, along with an upgrade to the kitchen and dining room facilities (it is still not the Ritz, a little tatty around the edges, but the beds are comfortable, and the groups have always felt ‘at home’, with plenty of space to chill out after a ride, including the large garden when the weather allows). Pillows and comfortable mattresses are provided but you will need to bring your own sleeping bag and towel. A simple breakfast of cereals, toast and fruit etc is included in the tour price, along with two evening meals - subject to availability, these will be a three course meal at an excellent local hotel and a Chinese meal taken at the house where the group can enjoy a social evening together. On the other evenings, the town of Llanrwst is just a short walk away with restaurants, pubs and takeaway outlets. There are full kitchen facilities on site should you wish to prepare your own meals. There is plenty of car parking at the accommodation, along with a large cycle store.
Llanrwst lies approx 12 miles south of Conwy on the A470, four miles north of Betws-y-Coed. Mainline trains stop at Llandudno junction and there is a branch line into Llanrwst; check details of the current bike carriage arrangements for these lines if you intend to use them. From the mainline station at Llandudno, the ride down the B-road on the west side of the Conwy valley to Llanrwst is relatively level after an initial climb out of Conwy, and very scenic (approx 15 miles). For those arriving by train for the holiday, the transfer to Llandegla will be through car sharing. From Llandegla trail centre, Chester provides access to the mainline connection (taking approx an hour off the homeward journey) and is a pleasant 18 mile ride, largely downhill.
The maximum group size will be 20 excluding the Tour Manager and ride leaders. The aim will be to have a minimum of 1 ride leader to 10 participants to cater for a range of abilities and lessen our impact for other track users.
Weather & Clothing
The routes each day will depend on the likely weather conditions. The local trails and surrounding tracks are virtually all within the forest and so the rides are unlikely to be too affected by poor weather - the tracks in the forest drain extremely well. The extended routes may go over some exposed mountain tracks and these may have to be cut short if the weather is poor. Please ensure that you carry an extra layer of clothing along with a waterproof, as each ride will stop to regroup often and your pace maybe different to others. A small bladder pack would be useful to carry these extra items.
Cycles & Equipment
As some of the tracks are quite technical you will need a mountain bike of reasonable quality – something that would cost perhaps £500+ when new. Suspension forks make control of the bike much easier and are essential for this tour, along with full knobbly tyres. Most of these types of bikes are likely to have plenty of low gearing for the hills. The addition of MTB specific mudguards may be useful if there has been a wet spell before the weekend. A small lock will be useful for our café stops. The leaders always carry a range of tools and emergency equipment to deal with any incidents that might occur, but all participants should carry, as a minimum, a spare tube(s), a waterproof jacket and some water/snacks. Participants will be expected to wear a cycle helmet at all times, as although riding off road is generally safer since there are no motor vehicles to contend with, minor spills probably do occur more often (this is not Cycling UK's general policy but it follows the UK standard for MTB leadership risk assessment).
Maps & Guides
An outline of the proposed routes will be provided each morning from a combination of the local 1:25,000 OS map and trail maps. Map OL17 covers virtually all of our rides but is not essential for the weekend as the tour manager will try to give you a clear idea of the local area and route before we leave each day along with tarmac ‘escape routes’ should anybody need to get back quickly, or get lost. The guides use two-way radios to help keep the groups together.
Fitness/experience - For those who have ridden purpose built off road trails before, you should be capable of riding to at least ‘blue route’ standard. For those riders who regularly ride red and black routes, the faster of the group rides provided each day will be suitable. For anyone thinking of booking on this tour who is unsure of their off road skills level, please contact the tour manager first to discuss the matter as they may be able to give some guidance. North Wales is very hilly and on most days you can expect to cover approx 800 - 1200 metres of climbing, depending on the group you are riding with. The pace on the hills will not be quick, but if you dislike hill-climbing then this tour is probably not for you!