On Sunday morning I got up early(ish) and drove down to Afan from my in–laws, about 50 miles. A lot nearer than Surrey and a good incentive to go visiting! The closer I got the weirder the weather got.
Driving over the hill from Neath (slightly cloudy) into the Afan valley it got seriously cloudy and windy. When I got to Afan I decided to ride the Penhydd Trail since although it wasn’t raining as such it was about as close to rain as it could be, so heavy was the mist, and the Wall might have been a bit too interesting in the wet.
In the car park it struck me I was the only hardtail rider [they’re all in Surrey!—Matt] and over 50% of people seemed to be riding Orange 5s. I rode up out of the centre and saw one rider heading for The Wall. This was the last rider I saw until I got back to the centre.
Out on the trail it was soaking. Lots of ‘I wonder how deep that is’ puddles and although not Surrey mud it was loose and muddy/sandy. I came back with everything covered in fine grit. Lee will be pleased to know that I went through an almost new set of new XT rear pads on this ride.
The trails were great, as usual, but weird due to being in the clouds. The fog and mist kept on swirling in and in the wind it was really cold—perhaps one of the spookiest rides I’ve ever had. Green Lane was almost completely dark and at points you could just about see enough ahead. It was certainly atmospheric.
By the end of the ride I was soaked—the stream crossing really was a crossing. I was planning to ride The Wall if it had been better weather but I was getting cold so I didn’t go for it.
On a kit review point I picked up some Specialised Defrosters from Pearson Cycles during the week (Guy couldn’t get me some Shimano, so I got these instead). Although warm my feet did eventually get wet. Thanks for the recommendations—I got some 661 Veggie pads at Skyline Cycles—they were great and made me go for it a bit more.