Destination: Brechfa, near Carmarthen, Wales
My first encounter of Brechfa and the vertiginous berms on the Raven trail was at the end of a grueling 60km linking stage during a rain-blasted TransWales. Having teetered down them, I then had to go back out later to ride a timed stage on the Derwen trail, having been shifted from the Gorlech because of the horrendous weather.
It’s testament to the quality of the trails that I still enjoyed both under extreme conditions and, even with my tent subsiding during the night, still have fond memories and have been back since.
How to get there
The A482 (Lampeter to Llandovery), the A40, and the A485 (Lampeter to Carmarthen) encompass the forest. There are numerous roads that lead to Brechfa Forest, and Abergorlech and Brechfa are small villages located next to Brechfa Forest on the B4310 road. Follow the A482 between Lampeter and Llandovery until the turn off for Llansawel (B4302). Once in Llansawel follow signs for Abergorlech.
Sat Nav: Brechfa
Parking’s about it but you can arrange hire of Cotic bikes from Bike Brechfa (see link below).
Genuinely something for everyone. Both the 22km red Gorlech and 18km black Raven use forest road climbing to get you to the top and the launch you into big berms, compressions and jumps. Not hugely technical but easy to find yourself scarily airborne if you carry too much speed.
The 9km green Derwen trail is ideal for novices but still fun, when ridden hard, for more experienced riders. The 5km blue extension is a definite step up in level and is easy to overcook things on. If you’re a bit rusty, dialing yourself in on the Derwen is really worthwhile.
Nearest bike shop
Mobile mechanic service from Bike Brechfa (see link and take phone number) or Hobbs Cycles in Carmarthen although it is more road orientated www.hobbscycles.com
The nearby Black Lion pub is excellent for pre and post-ride refreshment