There were six of us – Sam, Steve, Mike, Barn, Nick and me, Al.
We are all from Wotton-Under-Edge in Gloucestershire and form part of EdgeMTB, a local mountain bike club that rides around the South Cotswolds. We are also the organisers of the Heaven of the South mountain bike festival that marries the beauty of mountain biking with the necessity of cider.
We all ride at least 4 hours off road a week. I would say this gives you a fair fitness base to tackle the Trans Cambrian. Anything less and you’ll find it hard.
Best bit of trip: Massive views, and the musical slates DH.
Worst Bit of trip: Knackered freehub and the constant thought that it was about to expire on me and I’d have let the side down. I should have known something was amiss when it began to lose its click prior to the trip!
Piece of glad you’re glad you took: Chamois creme, GPS with OS maps (Backcountry Navigator), frame bag, jelly babies.
Piece of kit you wish you’d left at home: Nothing; I’d pretty much pared down my kit to the minimum. In fact I would add a few things in: I’d take some light footwear and a change of shorts for the evenings.
Best bit of trip Stunning scenery and sharp descent off last peak (Foel Fadian)
Worst bit of trip Getting the bonk on the last climb of Day 2
Piece of kit I’m glad I took Sandals for evening wear
Piece of kit I’ll leave at home next time I’ll save weight by cutting off the unused sections of the paper map
Best bit of trip: Scenery, big fire road climb on day 2, and big downhill on day 3
Worst bit of trip: insect bites.
Piece of kit you’re glad you took: Crocs (any footwear for that matter) for the evening. GPS would be second choice.
Piece of kit you’ll leave at home next time: Some of those cereal bars that I carried round for 120miles. Would plan to buy more snacks en route next time.
Best bit of trip: The views – epic doesn’t even start to describe them. Sam’s face on Sunday morning at breakfast.
Worst bit of trip: Being eaten alive by midges in about 5 minutes.
Piece of kit you’re glad you took: GPS – took the pain out of navigation.
Piece of kit you’ll leave at home next time: Nothing – was on the skinny limit with my packing.
Best bit of trip: the huge satisfaction with myself that I could actually complete this type of endurance ride, the scenery and the craic with all of you lot.
Worst bit of trip: getting out of bed on Monday morning and wondering why my legs didn’t want to function..!!
Piece of kit you’re glad you took: my back pack, kept my kit dry, carried a 3litre bladder and with the airflow didn’t overheat my back while climbing up all those mountains.
Piece of kit you’ll leave at home next time: Took Sealskins and a spare pair of gloves which I didn’t use. Apart from that I got the rest of my kit spot on.
Best and worst bit of trip: For me, I think it’s the combination of highs and lows that made the trip awesome. ie, you need the long slog uphills along with the loose fast downhills and you need the rain and river crossings to go with the sunny beer gardens.
Piece of kit you’re glad you took: Alpkit koala (under-seat bag) and Garmin GPS
Piece of kit you’ll leave at home next time: Think I used everything I took (except for the bike spares). But would definitely try some chamois cream next time!