/ Marin Trail Gwydyr Forest Park How hard is it

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SCrossley on 05 Jul 2012
Hi
I am MTB newbie, done the blue and red at Gisburn on the same day, and done the Blue at LlanDegla and other stuff and fancied some MTB ing in Wales. How hard is the Marin and are the difficulties avoidable, going with the Wife so really really don`t want to bite off more than we can chew as she will shout at me :-(, fitness is not a problem as we can push, it`s more how comitting and technical it is. Any help appreciated.
Cheers sjc
Dom Whillans on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc:
if you're happy with the red run at gisburn you'll be fine on the Marin... one or 2 steep bits like the home-baked section, loads of fire road and a couple of longer descents. i did the marin well before i did gisburn and would rate gisburn as being technically harder. certainly there's nothing you couldn't easily walk down if you need to.
AlisonSmiles - on 05 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc:

Marin is kind of nice. I have limited skill and didn't find it too committing or technical. It can be a long old drag at times but if you're happy enough with some uphill plods and take a picnic to make a day of it I suspect you'll enjoy it. First time I did it, it probably took 4 hours but now I flit around in two and a half. The fire roads are a bit of an acquired taste. Actually not the most interesting of rides though.
SCrossley on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc:
Thanks for that, any feedback on Penmachno
David Hooper - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc: Penmachno 1 is harder than Marin, and if wet can be greasy and slatey. Arguably a better trail in dry conditions though. Penmachno 2,if you drive to the high parking spot is a superb singletrack XC loop without a lot of up and down and with superb views. My fave quick blast. Obviously you can link i & 2 together.
SCrossley on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to David Hooper: Thanks David, yhm, emailed you before I saw this.
unclesamsauntibess - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc: None of these bike parks are that difficult, they have to give you safe/easy options - technically speaking. Some are longer, steeper, more sustained but all the difficulties can be circumvented. Ride them faster and you get more of a workout but there is no real or even contrived danger on any of them. Same as climbing walls have no objective dangers, trail parks are safe and simple by and large.
Sir Chasm - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to unclesamsauntibess: Yes, paramedics hardly ever attend trail centres.
highclimber - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc: Not done the Marin for over a year now but from what I remember it wasn't very technical. Penmachno is brilliant and quite fast though you can roll pretty much all of it. it is wet though though I think this adds another level of fun to it.
MHutch - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to unclesamsauntibess:

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/ribble_valley/9731313.Gisburn_Forest_fast_becoming_acciden...

Just because somewhere has fewer objective dangers doesn't make it safe and simple.
David Hooper - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to unclesamsanalmess:

Your post is disingenuous and could potentially lead someone to an accident.

IMHO Penmachno Loop 1 has quite a high level of objective dangers. It is a very narrow trail in places and at this time of year will be lush with vegetation. Apart from the vry slippery nature of he trail in certain places anyway,there are many hidden trailside hazards,rocks,stumps etc,that can catch your pedals and have you over the handle bars. I think that his nrrow twisting trail with these obstacles calls for constant concentration and decent riding skills. It's certainly a step or two up from the Marin.

Even if it's easy for a hardened expert like yourself. Please try and put yourself in the place of theperson posting. Don't underplay the risks and lure them toward a potential accident.

The Penmachno is a wonderful trail,but give it the respect it deserves.
highclimber - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to David Hooper:
> (In reply to unclesamsanalmess)
>

>
> The Penmachno is a wonderful trail,but give it the respect it deserves.

especially when you consider the nearest emergency department is in bangor!
ojp - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc:

We did it in sleet. By the end couldn't change gear or brake in fairness. Wasn't anything that was technically that hard maybe one little section towards the end that had a few rocky drops



S
SteveRi - on 06 Jul 2012
I don't think unclesamsanalmess was being provocative or smart, it's a valid view. You'd have to be nuts to think these mid-level trail parks are *designed* to be dangerous, the flipside of that post. You'd also have to be nuts to take someone off the internet's view of the danger of a place over and above your own assesment whilst you're there, whilst you're riding.

You could equally read that Lancs Telegraph story as 'Gisburn fast becoming more popular'. Don't read me wrong like, bikes can be dangerous. I've not liked the time I've spent in A&E with friends. Cordially,
Frank4short - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to steveri: Another point about mtbing and it's dangers is that you can always slow down or get off and walk a section. In that regard it's quite different to climbing say. As it's extremely difficult to get yourself in an unextractable position. Mind in saying that I do actually think it can be a more dangerous sport at times as it's very easy to overcook it at times.
bullandbladder - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc: IMO, Penmachno is the better trail but quite exposed in places and not much fun when it's raining. It's rockier than the Marin, so probably a little more technical. It seems to me to feel more 'natural' than the Marin. If you're up to the distance, it's definitely worth doing the extension (AKA loop 2), as it adds a lot of interest. The Marin is a fine trail, and ideal territory for a newbie. There is only one long trickyish rocky section (The Dragon's Tail), but that is avoidable - I've put in a link to the trail map below. Last time I was there, we did Penmachno2 then drove over to the Marin and rode that in the afternoon.

If you did the blue at Llandegla, you should definitely go back and do the red trail. I took my wife a few years back (a total novice and more used to horses), and she had a great time - it's nice and smooth and flowing. Hope this helps - enjoy!

http://mbwales.com/en/content/cms/bases/betws_y_coed/marin_trail/marin_trail.aspx
SCrossley on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc: Thanks everyone, very helpful. I will try the Penmancho but when it`s a bit dryer.
Cheers sjc
highclimber - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc: You won't be dissapointed, just be careful.
SCrossley on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to highclimber:
> (In reply to sjc) You won't be dissapointed, just be careful.

Thanks, I will.
highclimber - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc: I'd be up for joining you if you don't mind a tag along - any excuse to go to Penmachno is a good excuse!
ads.ukclimbing.com
David Hooper - on 06 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc: you could comfortably do penmachno loop 2 - its a little xc singletrack gem 1- 1 1/2 hours easy. It's kind of twisty and technical,but on the flat with not a lot of up and down on it.

PS did you get my mail?
unclesamsauntibess - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to MHutch:
> (In reply to unclesamsauntibess)
>
> http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/ribble_valley/9731313.Gisburn_Forest_fast_becoming_acciden...
>
> Just because somewhere has fewer objective dangers doesn't make it safe and simple.

Yes it does. The plain fact emerges that there are too many folk who ride beyond their comfort zone, trying to be heroes. I blame the telly. And DVD's.

When your talent is outweighed by your ambition it's always going to get messy.

I could take a shopper's bike round Gisburn and not have an issue anywhere. Laden with the shopping.
unclesamsauntibess - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to David Hooper:
> (In reply to unclesamsanalmess)
>
>
> IMHO Penmachno Loop 1 has quite a high level of objective dangers. It is a very narrow trail in places and at this time of year will be lush with vegetation. Apart from the vry slippery nature of he trail in certain places anyway,there are many hidden trailside hazards,rocks,stumps etc,that can catch your pedals and have you over the handle bars. I think that his nrrow twisting trail with these obstacles calls for constant concentration and decent riding skills. It's certainly a step or two up from the Marin.
>
As said earlier too many people find themselves in situations that they are not fit to be in. Too little skill, too little imagination and too much ego are a combination that sets one up for disaster.

The trail itself is NOT dangerous.....the riders(?)are.

Slippery, narrow, steep, boulders, tree stumps are part of the fun and are the technical element of a ride. Ridden properly they give satisfaction. Ridden by idiots then accidents happen.
highclimber - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to unclesamsauntibess: so everybody that rides aggressively and fast at penmachno are egotistical, dangerous, idiots?
unclesamsauntibess - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to David Hooper:
> (In reply to unclesamsanalmess)
>
> Your post is disingenuous and could potentially lead someone to an accident.
>
I resent that statement, it is wrong on so many levels.

People cause their own accidents, anything I (or anyone else FTM) says on a forum is a subjective matter, yes, even your comments. So do shut up until you can talk sense. If anybody follows ANY advice on here verbatim then they want their heads looking into. There are no rules, just guidelines. And common sense.
unclesamsauntibess - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to highclimber:
> (In reply to unclesamsauntibess) so everybody that rides aggressively and fast at penmachno are egotistical, dangerous, idiots?

Not at all. Just the ones who can't do it correctly, get it wrong and call upon the emergency services to sort them out.
geologist - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc:

Try Nant Yr Arian - its a gem of a trail, excellent trail centre type riding, combined with the more natural extra loop, makes for a varied and technical (but all escapable) ride.


Edit - Gisburn red is a much more difficult trail than the Marin.
David Hooper - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to unclesamsanalmess:

I am SO glad that I seem to view the world on a different channel to you.
David Hooper - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to geologist:
> (In reply to sjc)

> Edit - Gisburn red is a much more difficult trail than the Marin.

Totally agree with you.

Not done Nant y Arian but its on the list - its the one inland from Aberrystwth?

geologist - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to David Hooper:

Thats the one, Id say that Nant Yr is my fav welsh trail centre, allthough despite mountain biking every week for 20 years, I have yet to try Afan, which alot of my mates say is the best in wales.

unclesamsauntibess - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to David Pooper Scooper:
> (In reply to unclesamsanalmess)
>
> I am SO glad that I seem to view the world on a different channel to you.

Me too. Glad you're able to clean up after me as well.
David Hooper - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to unclesamsauntibess: I think we might have the same sense of humour ;o)
bullandbladder - on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc: Any of the Welsh trail centres are worth a visit, I've yet to find one I didn't enjoy and I've ridden most of 'em. If you can get up to Scotland, you must visit Glentress - it's on another level to Wales, quality of trail-wise. Even the initial climb up from the bottom car park is enjoyable. Any of the blue runs would be perfect for newcomers - very smooth and swoopy, lots of fun to be had on them, then when you've warmed up and had some cake, take on the red loop - I guarantee you won't be disappointed!
Horse on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to David Hooper:
> (In reply to geologist)


>
> Not done Nant y Arian but its on the list - its the one inland from Aberrystwth?

That is the one. When you go make sure you do the big natural loop round the outback, it really good and a contrast to the more trail centre stuff you start and finish on.

SCrossley on 07 Jul 2012
In reply to sjc:
Went to the Lakes instead, glorious weather. Walked up cautley spout in the morning, Then cycled from Stavely up past Grassgarth up to Kentmere Church, tea and cakes for 2 at Maggs Howe, 4 Bargain, then over to Longsladdale then half way down the valley cut back over the fell, very satisfying, Dog`s sleeping it off.
Cheers for all the Welsh suggestions, I will be taking them up.
sjc

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