Top to bottom: Cruisy climbs lead to sweet descents; large bits of Welsh countryside; parp!; mmmmmm, flapjack
A few million years ago man discovered that sharp stones can be used to add meat to his diet, and the greatest step in the evolution of man began. If prehistoric people had lived in Machynlleth, they would have had an easy time finding sharp implements for the purpose, as the area is stacked on top of millions of tonnes of slate rock.
If this slate is handy enough to fell a sabre-toothed tiger, you’d think it’d have an easy time slicing through a rubber tyre, and you’d be right. We rode the Berghaus Dyfi enduro at the weekend and lost count of the number of riders sidelined with punctures and slashed tyres.
Now in it’s fourth year, the Raw Dyfi is building an enviable reputation as the most fun ride you can pay for, and at £15 you don’t even have to pay much for it. In our opinion it ranks up there with the best enduros (personally it’s my favourite). The reason it’s so good is simple: the descents are awesome.
But you wouldn’t want to fall off. The rock and slate on the descents is like the side of a cheese grater with the large holes. It would hurt big time. So we didn’t fall off but plenty did and we hope they didn’t keep the St John’s crew too busy.
The other reason it’s so good is that somehow it isn’t a particularly hard ride. Yes, there are some monster climbs but they’re a big-bike friendly gradient and allow a relatively easy grind back to the top. Boring yes, but the climbs are a good place to bring your heart rate back down after nailing another great descent. We’ve been trying out a Suunto T6 heart rate monitor/altimeter/teamaker which, allowing for sundry atmospheric fluctuations, gave us about 1,400m of up and an inevitably similar amount down.
Great descents. Easy climbs. Sounds good doesn’t it? Add in some surreal moments, like the brass band at the summit of the first three mile climb. And what was the group of people playing rugby in the peat at the top of the moorland hike all about, or was it just us that saw that?
It’s nice to see the organisers aren’t resting on their laurels, with a couple of new descents after the feed station added to the already rich mix. Of particular note was the new rock face off-camber awkward section, which quickly became covered in a pile of bodies and bikes.
All that and we haven’t even mentioned the fantastic flapjack (thanks, ladies, for the vital mid-ride energy top-up), the laid back vibe, long travel rigs almost outnumbering XC bikes and a mostly sunny day. Make sure you add this event to your calendar next year, but be quick – they limit entries to 500ish). See Summit Cycles for more information. Summit Cycles also has the results to download (77Kb Excel file).