Ride report from Afan
I was joined on my Sunday ride by Fran, Phil, Byron, Paul and Terry.
Having taken the road out of the L&A Centre we picked up a lane at Bryn which took us to a farm through which a bridleway was alleged to pass, a short distance along the path brought us to a field with no apparent way across.
Welsh united 1 RCC 0 We retraced our path to the farm and having consulted the map decided on a footpath that took us in more or less the right direction. Welsh united 1 RCC 1. A puncture on Paul’s bike caused a short delay and after emerging on to a track and riding for a 100 yards or so saw we had to retrace our steps to discover the barely seen footpath sign. Following this down a steep hill brought us to someone’s back yard with the way blocked by barbed wire and branches. Welsh United 2 RCC 1. Having stumbled around for a short time we were informed by a local we had to climb over the branches and continue on the footpath having to wade through the undergrowth etc where we found ourselves on a beautifully manicured lawn alongside a jacuzzi. Not to be put off by this we rode in single file over the lawn, past the Jacuzzi down the drive and out through the gate marked. private, no right of way, mountain bikers shot on sight. I decided to award the team an extra 2 points for this highly satisfying occurrence Welsh United 2 RCC 3.
Having soundly trounced the Welsh at their own game we picked up the excellent cycle track from Pontrhydfen to Cymer on the North side. Reaching Cymer we soon found the wonderful Brewers Arms pub which is in a converted station and crammed full of miner’s artefacts from gas lamps miners helmets and huge hand saws for cutting coal. The bar is filled with rows of superb black and white photographs depicting the miner’s lives above and below ground. After a well earned cup of tea we set off down the other side of the valley back to Pontrhydfen resisting the temptation to pop in to the Afan Forest Mountain Bike Centre for a quick circuit. These cycle tracks are particularly scenic.
The route from there took us to Cwmafan back across the river and up a splendid 1 in 5 hill followed by the long drag upwards back towards Bryn (I must have imagined a few groans from behind as the hill came into sight)
At Bryn a swift descent down the disused track brought us back to the centre by 1.30pm. In all about 25 miles covered.
Ride report from Afan