Trans Cambrian Way ITT

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Dave Barter
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Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Dave Barter » Mon Aug 01, 2016 7:57 pm

I wrote up my ride this evening. Hope you enjoy!

http://phased.co.uk/the-trans-cambrian-way-itt/
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macinblack
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by macinblack » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:16 pm

Ha, I chortled. I never know whether I want to ride a route after Dave has. It would be like MTB sloppy seconds.

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Ian
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Ian » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:25 pm

Brilliant observational humour on the gates. It's actually the result of paranoia in Welsh sheep farmers and the Houdini abilities of Welsh Mountain sheep. There is a knack to it, so you just need more practice :wink:

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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:30 pm

Thoroughly enjoyed that as ever Dave ... if it was easy, there'd be more names on the list. :wink:
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Dave Barter
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Dave Barter » Mon Aug 01, 2016 8:38 pm

Ian wrote:Brilliant observational humour on the gates. It's actually the result of paranoia in Welsh sheep farmers and the Houdini abilities of Welsh Mountain sheep. There is a knack to it, so you just need more practice :wink:
Are you volunteering to make the video? I had plenty of practise this weekend thank you.
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Ian
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Ian » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:08 pm

Not enough practice, obviously ;)

There's some "gate action" in this video at 1:40: https://vimeo.com/127090772

Angle of approach is sometimes important, as is using your foot as a third hand on some of the more testing examples.

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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by slarge » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:12 pm

Enjoyed that Dave, it is a cracking route. Well done fella

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Dave Barter
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Dave Barter » Mon Aug 01, 2016 10:18 pm

Ian wrote:Not enough practice, obviously ;)

There's some "gate action" in this video at 1:40: https://vimeo.com/127090772

Angle of approach is sometimes important, as is using your foot as a third hand on some of the more testing examples.
Sorry but that is the "one" gate I mention :grin:
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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:40 am

Maybe it's time for your 'Rate my gate' website Ian? :wink:
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Dave Barter
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Dave Barter » Tue Aug 02, 2016 10:59 am

As a serious thought would adding gates to a map be useful? I could create a very quick and dirty app to allow this and they could then go onto the Bikepack or other maps
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by whitestone » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:09 am

Dave Barter wrote:As a serious thought would adding gates to a map be useful? I could create a very quick and dirty app to allow this and they could then go onto the Bikepack or other maps
That would be a lot of work Dave - up here in the Dales routes like the YD200 & YD300 have close to 100 gates along their course. Over time their ease of opening (or otherwise) changes so even if you do manage to log them all then the information could soon be out of date.

They are just another (frustrating) obstacle in the countryside.
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Dave Barter
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Dave Barter » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:26 am

I could derive a lot of them from GPX files and boundaries. The stops would tell me where the gates are hmmmm
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Ian
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Ian » Tue Aug 02, 2016 11:36 am

Dave Barter wrote:I could derive a lot of them from GPX files and boundaries. The stops would tell me where the gates are hmmmm
Except for the ones that Matt RV bunnyhops...

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barney
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by barney » Tue Aug 02, 2016 1:32 pm

Dave Barter wrote:I wrote up my ride this evening. Hope you enjoy!

http://phased.co.uk/the-trans-cambrian-way-itt/
I'll have to wait till I get home tonight, just tried in work...

"Access Denied to URL: http://phased.co.uk/the-trans-cambrian-way-itt/
Reason: Page content filters applied: banned keyword."


:lol: :lol: :lol:
Wait for me...

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Dave Barter
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Dave Barter » Tue Aug 02, 2016 2:59 pm

Ian wrote:
Dave Barter wrote:I could derive a lot of them from GPX files and boundaries. The stops would tell me where the gates are hmmmm
Except for the ones that Matt RV bunnyhops...
I'd look at the height profile as well.
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ctznsmith
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by ctznsmith » Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:35 pm

is the track with the baby heads the one that myself and others have moaned/talked about before where you can see the nice tarmac road teasing you over the river? Really need to revisit the tcw.

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Dave Barter
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Dave Barter » Tue Aug 02, 2016 9:00 pm

Yes it is. To make matters worse there is a load of shale beside it and a digger sat uselessly not putting the shale on the track.
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by slarge » Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:58 am

To add my story to Dave's, so we don't end up with loads of TCW threads.....


Six years ago I had a mega plan. The biggest ride I had ever done - in a day. That was after reading about the Trans Cambrian Way in a magazine, and speaking to John Houlihan at a trailquest about it. In June 2010 I packed up all my tent, sleeping bag, cooker into the mother of all rucksacks and set off from Knighton. My Magellan GPS showed the way badly, so it was lots of paper maps and unknown trails. I seem to remember a lot of muddy rutted tracks and wet feet. Around 13 hours later I was in my tent in a midge infested campsite outside Mach, chuffed to bits I had completed this ride I had no clue whether I was capable of.

Roll the clock forward, and an older wiser version of me decided it would be a great idea to do the Trans Cambrian Way double, something only Ian B had attempted before, and he'd had a sleep in the middle. None of that for me - I purposely didn't take a sleeping bag or any overnight gear, trusting my old and unused foil bag if the worst happened. Driving from Warwick on Thursday night the omens weren't good. It hammered it down most of the way, but still, it couldn't be that bad in Wales as the BBC forecast wou ldn't lie to me would it?

4.45 am and I took a selfie on the station platform in Knighton and set off. Feeling good lots of the tracks were familiar, even the sheep poo laden route across the moor to Beacon Lodge. It was a bit soggy, but by no means waterlogged, and all quite rideable, some other tyre tracks around Stanky Hill made me wonder if someone else had ridden the route a day or 2 previously. In Davids Well, it was good to see the Reliant Robin still there, quite derelict and slowly being reclaimed by nature. Into the woods, 6 years ago these were a boggy mess, but now were great and well surfaced tracks. The track out of Bwlch Y Sarnau was also well surfaced - I remembered this as a muddy push up a rutty track, but this was all resurfaced and easily ridden. Rhayader came 4 hours in- not bad timing to here. Phone call home and a bite to eat and plug on, down to the Elan valley and almost familiar tracks. The climb to Allt Goch and Gro Hill was still steep, but the track with the babies heads rocks had been sanitised a bit - I remembered this as a really tough technical section, but all the rock steps had been smoothed out. The sunken road was dry - this was a waterlogged bog fest last time I rode it, and this time was a completely rideable track with a few puddles - the trail fairies had been out in force. Round Claerwen, where a few blokes with a digger were patching the track, kind of nice as it creates fewer puddles, and then past Claerdu, and onto the snakey road that winds down to Ffair Rhos. The track to Blaen Marchant had been resurfaced as well, easy riding now. Then the small diversion round the farm, and up and past a tiny cottage and then past the wierd orange house (where is the access to these, as the map doesn't show a connection to a road?).

Filled up with water at the campsite in Cwmystwyth, then over the mountain road to the Esgair Ychion forest past the Nant Rhys turn and down toward Llangurig - these were becoming less familiar now as I was probably tired the last time I did it. Up into Hafren, then on toward Glaslyn. The descent frojm Foel Fadian last time I did it started on a slippery rock slab, but the trail pixies had been out and now it was a slate chipping path, not sure which I prefer. A full on descent though with cooked brakes by the bottom...

By this point I was thinking of the return journey, and how I was going to be feeling. Quite tired was the answer. I was estimating that around 30 miles into the return leg, I was going to have a meltdown, and that would be a long way from a train station. Then what - it would be dark (I had lights), I would need energy (I had food). I had everything I needed to keep riding but my legs weren't up to it. So I rolled into Dovey Junction, 12:45 after leaving Knighton. Not a bad time and I had been taking it steady to save me for the return leg, I still had a frame bag full of food, and some jam sandwiches in my pocket (edit that: I had some mushy bread with red stuff smeared all over the bag).

The train to Newtown arrived in 20 minutes, so I had a decision. Have a miserable ride back on the TCW, and become the fastest rider ever in the history of the world to do the double, or taken the train to Newtown and ride back on the road to Knighton.
Throwing away the chance to become a major celebrity with book deals and documentaries and stuff I had a little sleep on the train instead...

This really is a cracking ride. 6 years ago I had never done anything like it, and was blown away by the remoteness and beauty of mid Wales. Now it is more familiar, but the beauty is still there, and it is still a ride I get drawn back to. One day the double will be mine, but there's a lot of training to do first.

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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon Aug 29, 2016 10:33 am

Good work Steve ... turning round and riding back probably would have been a anti-climax, now you still have something to look forward to :wink:
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by ctznsmith » Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:01 am

For those who like riding in a slightly slower fashion. The 3 day touring version.

https://punkrockbikeclub.com/2014/04/tcw/

Amazing how much you learn/changes in two and a bit years.
Will try to ride it in one day next summer.

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Mart
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Mart » Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:45 am

You noticed the Orange house too - Weirded me out the more I thought about it :lol:
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Ian
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Ian » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:00 pm

this point I was thinking of the return journey, and how I was going to be feeling. Quite tired was the answer. I was estimating that around 30 miles into the return leg, I was going to have a meltdown, and that would be a long way from a train station. Then what - it would be dark (I had lights), I would need energy (I had food). I had everything I needed to keep riding but my legs weren't up to it. So I rolled into Dovey Junction, 12:45 after leaving Knighton. Not a bad time and I had been taking it steady to save me for the return leg, I still had a frame bag full of food, and some jam sandwiches in my pocket (edit that: I had some mushy bread with red stuff smeared all over the bag).

The train to Newtown arrived in 20 minutes, so I had a decision. Have a miserable ride back on the TCW, and become the fastest rider ever in the history of the world to do the double, or taken the train to Newtown and ride back on the road to Knighton.
Throwing away the chance to become a major celebrity with book deals and documentaries and stuff I had a little sleep on the train instead...
Classic chimp/human brain stuff there Steve. You had me thinking you would take the TCW Double crown, but your chimp talked you out of it....

I took 13 hours for the first half, so similar timing, but I arrived quite a lot fresher than I expected (good job, really). I remember having a good feed on the platform, but then the next 40 miles took their toll and forced me to sleep at Nant Rhys at 1am. It's not an easy double, but someone needs to do it without the sleep stop

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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by slarge » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:23 pm

Yes Ian, I think the chimp got the better of me? You're right, someone needs to do this in one go - it is possible, but I had forgotten how tough a route it is, not sure why it's so tough, as there isn't much technical stuff, or muddy stuff, just lots of ups and energy sapping bits. The 3500m of climbing advertised is less than the actual, which is about 4400m. This makes the double quite a big ride. One for next year I think.

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Ian
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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by Ian » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:01 pm

It favours an attempt earlier in the year, imo, preferably with a dry Spring.

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Re: Trans Cambrian Way ITT

Post by paramart » Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:31 pm

well done dave, as usual pmsl :lol: :-bd
it's not that I can and others can't, it's that I will and others won't.

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