Gore Bike Wear TransWales 2009 Day One 2009: Pic Jon

Gore Bike Wear TransWales 2009 Day One

Pic: Jon Brooke Riders had flocked to mid-Wales from all around the globe, with no less than 13 nationalities and 4 continents represented, including
the US, Finland, Sweden, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, and Holland. Africa is also represented at the Gore Bike Wear TransWales for the first time in the shape of 28 year old Kenyan Nickson Mwaura, a second hand clothing dealer from Gilgil, near Nairobi – a place that Nickson explains is characterized by rocky and technical riding. With plenty of rocks and singletrack on the menu during the week Nickson should feel fairly at home, despite the relative cold. Out of Builth and the trail worked its way towards Newbridge-on-Wye and then Llanwrthwl before ascending to the purple heather covered plateau of Carn Gafallt. From here, riders dropped down an all-too short but loose fire road descent before dropping to the shore of Caban-coch Reservoir, the most southerly of the Elan Valley ‘s manmade lakes. The route then hugged the shores of the four reservoirs, steadily climbing, before reaching the windswept lunch stop. Then came the trail of the day: the descent off the top of Moelfryn to the River Wye (Afon Gwy in Welsh). Gently dropping off the moorland top, the trail quickly became a boulder and gulley strewn adrenaline fest which instilled a do-or-die mentality to plummeting downwards. Rounded boulders embedded in the dirt became inviting kickers over wheel-grabbing (and destroying) trenches rock slabs became perfect flat banks for railing turns and carving high lines and loose babyheads kept riders loose and hanging it out until the full-fat 3km descent finally came to an arm-pumped close by the riverside. Asked how he started riding he explained that, “I just fell in love with mountain biking through my brother when I was at school: I wanted to be a conservationist but my mother didn’t have the money for the extra schooling so I thought, ‘I cannot fly in the air, but here on the ground with the dirt and the rocks and the geology I can ride and still be part of it.’ Completing an event is the best thing to experience: winning comes later. But finishing is the greatest. Then, if you’re good enough to grab the win – then you should grab it as no-one wouldn’t like that.” Distance: approx. 79km Ascent: approx. 2523m Descent: approx. 2668m Sign up to the BIKEmagic facebook group
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