Finally! This one has been on the list for a long time! Rounding off an incredible summer with a Harvest moon ride through the heart of Wales.
101 Miles – 11673 ft Climbing – 3 days
While there are many ways to approach this route, I took the 3-day option. They were still big 7/8 hour days with plenty of climbing. An early train from Machynlleth took me to the start at Knighton to begin riding at around 12. I spent the first night bivvying off the trail up on high ground to hope for a mist-filled valley lit up by the Harvest moon, and stunning sunset. It worked out perfectly, waking up naturally to see the moon setting and the sun about to rise. The second night would be spent on lower ground in or around the forest, so I had a cosy night by the fire in Nant Rhys Bothy, ready for the final day back into Machynlleth.
The route is well known, with plenty of places online giving details and gpx files to follow. It really is a great ride, there is some amazing singletrack and that final descent is wild! If this is your type of thing go for it! Wales doesn’t mess around with the hills, so bring your best legs!
It was a little different for me to follow an established route and not spend weeks researching and creating my own, normally I am blindly hoping it will all work out. But this time I could just concentrate on having fun and keeping the flow. Body and bike working in harmony, all the gear and kit works and the legs keep spinning.
You might notice that I travelled very light on this one, just a small bar roll and a small backpack. My last video was in early March with frost on the ground so needed a lot of kit, this was early September with some gorgeous weather, so I could take full advantage of lighter travel. In the Alps this summer I learned some valuable lessons and pushed the kit to have a great grasp of what is truly needed. If you want to know more about my kit list just ask.
I have really enjoyed the simplicity of this route and film. Everything has been done the purest and most honest way, not being too concerned with the filming, video or this text. I am loving this new creative outlet and then improvising some guitars as a soundtrack certainly tops it off for me.
So! I’ll let the video speak for itself, I’ve kept it short but kick back and enjoy this tiny snippet of the incredibly beautiful “Desert of Wales”.
As always, I sincerely hope you are taking steps to get out there and explore the world around you by bike. Sometimes it takes a bit to make that leap, but once you find the flow you’ll be surprised how strong you are, and what you are truly capable of.