Not that far from my home is the extensive Brechfa Forest which is becoming well known for its Mountain Biking. The routes cover those suitable for the beginner (more of that later!) to the most severe.
I drove to the start at Byrgwm Forestry centre where there are lots of parking and a couple of portaloos. I was not the first and when I returned there quite a few cars parked up.
As a raw beginner I chose to ride the Green Route and was not sure what to expect. The following is a general guide for a Green Route
Beginner/novice cyclists - that's me.
Relatively flat and wide, may include short flowing single track sections - note the word "may"
Climbs and descents are mostly shallow, no challenging features - sounds good to me.
Suitable for most people in good health - well apart from the knee, I should be OK.
It starts uphill straightaway but nothing too bad and well sign posted.
I soon left the wide forestry track and onto a single track route.
This looked like fun, although the downhill bits meant a cautious use of the brakes. At one point on the route I met a father and son pushing their bikes up from the river below - they had missed the signpost!. We kept passing each other for the rest of the route. My main concern would be holding up those who were in a rush, but luckily, although I met increasing numbers, I never met that problem.
There are plenty of views to use as an excuse for a rest, but I am pleased to say at no time did I wuss out on a hill. Having said that the black route is no doubt a different kettle of fish and probably will remain off limits to me.
On the green Route there are a number of benches and two shelters. I made use of one of the former for an extended break and then continued on to the car park.
It took about 2 hours and very enjoyable and more importantly no ill effects on the knee. I still wish this was the case for walking.