Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole ValleyMuddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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4 moles go to North Wales – Llandegla Red and Black

Posted by Andrew | November 13, 2012 | 10 comments so far

4 moles at Llandegla

With an early start from our overnight stay near Wrexham we were at Llandegla and ready to roll by 9.30 on Saturday morning.

With the promise of a sunny day in mid November, the car park was reasonably full, but we seldom saw other riders except when hanging around at the start of sections. Our group was split between repeat visitors Tony and D’Andy and first timers Matt and myself – we found it all very much rideable on sight but the experience certainly helped with navigation.

First stop was to check out the things-you-only-get-at-trail-centres in the shape of the skills area and pump track. There is a very interesting boardwalk run (chicken-wire covered, as with the rest of the site, so it’s always rideable) with a tight corkscrew section.

Looking up the valley at Llandegla

I should have asked exactly what Tony meant by “corkscrew”, as it was pretty surprising when I got there – it turns out you can not only brake in the middle of it but also dab if it seems to help! After this I took the only fall of the morning by trying to power up the hill with my back wheel on what was actually a sawn off fence post – nothing broken except my front mudguard.

We set off on the red trail proper in bright sunshine with clear views on the long climb to the high point of the centre. At this point in a ride a long gentle climb is fine, and what looks a long way on the map was hardly any effort as we gradually warmed up and gained height. When the trail narrows to singletrack and you start to descend and contour you really know that it was worth the journey – from open moor into the woods it is really excellent riding.

After departing the red for the black extension D’Andy had the only puncture of the weekend, with the power of Strava telling me it took 13 minutes to fix!

The black sections continued the good fun whilst not appearing particularly dangerous. There are a few rather steep climbs to get back to the level of the red which tend to stick in the memory at this point in the ride. We continued with a turn on the jump gully (at least half good according to our most Jedi’d D’Andy) before continuing onto the B-line.

The drop onto the boardwalk here looks worse than it is and the section continues into a very tidy run of tabletops. Contrary to the trail map the red passes to the north of the reservoir and back to the carpark.

Matt sets off on the Llandegla B-line

At the final reckoning we had ridden about 22km with roughly 600m of ascent in 3 hours including stops – an excellent mornings riding. I felt fine on my hardtail, it was also quite forgiving of Surrey tyres – I don’t think Matt or Tony had too many worries with their MudXs on the artificial armoured trail.

Andrew

About the author

Andrew is currently an absent mole, holed up down in Wiltshire and not often seen in Surrey. He can be found riding long distance challenges, running and even turbo training.

There are 10 comments on ‘4 moles go to North Wales – Llandegla Red and Black’

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  1. Glad you had a good time lads. Sorry I missed it as Llandegla is soooo good.

  2. tony says:

    Message to Barrie, Message to Barrie. That’s 13mins for a puncture fix……calm down…..calm down….and breathe.
    .
    .
    .Glad you weren’t waiting with us!

  3. Bazza says:

    The title should have been
    The Expendables……..

    tony
    as i was reading this, my first comment 13 f*cking minutes…. then, i scrolled to the comments an low and be hold, you got there first!!!, sounds like a great trip
    any antics off the bike?????

  4. Markymark says:

    That’s a quality place to ride up there! And you were blessed with good weather. Nice one.

  5. Matt says:

    Barrie, you had to be there mate… 😉 Tony and I were getting worried…

    Llandegla was a great place to ride and I felt well-dialled from the off on the Orange despite worrying about only having MudXs available. Llandegla has such a nice flow that it builds confidence as although there are some big tabletops and stuff you work up to it over the ride.

    The steady uphill at the beginning is one of the nicest ways to start a trail centre ride I’ve found too.

    The red and black downhills are complimented by red and black climbs, giving it a ‘big hills’ kind of feel. I can be tiring as a result. I would have liked to have had better tyres available to me (ran out of time to sort out), and I would have liked to have had my rear brake pads replaced, but we got lucky with a bright sunny day.

    One final comment about the boardwalks – excellent fun after initially getting spooked by the corkscrew (clue: don’t brake!) but the transitions on and off were a bit abrupt in places if you weren’t going fast enough. The massive board drop which Llandegla is famous for was a hoot – had to do it twice!

  6. Hi All,
    T’was great to meet you guys at Deggy on Saturday. Think it was the end of “parallel universe” when we bumped into two of the four of you. Hope the weekend went OK and you enjoyed what the Welsh Hills had to offer. Thought I post up after spotting the muddymoles top one of you was wearing. Hope to ride the trails down your neck of the woods should work take me near (fingers crossed). Anyway, as said, good to meet fellow MTB’ers. Ride safe!
    Carlos n syk0
    (or Steve and Clint in the real world)
    see http://www.thewoollybacks.co.uk for our “bleatings” (lol)

    • Matt says:

      Carlos (or Steve), thanks very much for the comments and if you do happen to be near the Surrey Hills get in touch and we’ll show you round. It’s a different kind of riding area to North Wales but still lots of fun.

      It’s always weird when people recognise us from our logo/name on the shirts but that’s the point of putting it there after all.

  7. AJ Kiwi says:

    One of my favourite places to ride and is loads of fun especiallynow they have added a bit more to it.

    Matt your comment on red and black climbs and big hill feel????? where are the big climbs on this one I must of missed it…..

  8. Pingback: Mountain biking the Cadair Berwyn Loop in North Wales

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