Destination: Afan Argoed, near Port Talbot, Wales
A good few years ago, myself and two mates decided that linking together all the trails at Afan in one mega day was a good idea. A sleepless night at the Best Western Port Talbot due to a raucous wedding reception, biblical rain, countless anti-motocross gates and over endless fire road climbing didn’t wipe the grins from our faces that the fast challenging singletrack induced.
How to get there
Come off the M4 at J40 and head north under the motorway. Turn left at the mini roundabout onto the A4107, following signs to Afan Forest Park. The Afan car park is on your right after about five miles. For Glyncorrwg, continue three miles to Cymmer and turn left following signs for Glyncorrwg. The centre is on your left, just before the village.
Afan - SA13 3HG
Glyncorrwg - SA13 3EA
Two centres, both with cafes, bike shops, campsites, showers and bike washes. Glyncorrwg gets the nod though for a larger camp site, later opening hours and a licensed bar.
In a state of transition with the old Penhydd trail closed and under redevelopment as a blue graded trail with a red extension. The opening date seems to be shifted further and further into the future. With the rest of the trails, do check before making the trip for other closures as it’s a very active working forest.
The biggie is the red graded Skyline. At 46km with 2,000 m of climbing and a really exposed wilderness feel, it’s a big tick to have. Steel yourself for some fire road slogs, though. At 17km, the red White’s Level, shares the same goat track first climb as Skyline and is far more singletrack heavy. Technical and rocky in places, there’s also an optional black descent.
The 23 km red-graded Wall has a bit of everything from fast, open and flowing to tight, technical and rooty. Link the Wall and White’s Level by the spectacular high level route and you’ve got the 44km W2. Most of the trails are cut well into the rock base so it tends to ride well in winter and the wet.
Nearest bike shop
Skyline Cycles at both Afan Visitor Centre and Glyncorrwg http://skylinecycles.tumblr.com/
There’s also a disused railway line cycle track along the valley floor that links the two centres. Parking at Afan Visitor Centre is £1.10 for two hours and £3.30 for the day. At Glyncorrwg it’s £3.00 for the day.