Where: Coed Llandegla, Ruthin Road, Wrexham, LL11 3AA, Wales
Level: Casual / Easy
Most challenging section: Very steep climb at the beginning of the ride.
Most rewarding section: The sense of accomplishment at the end of the downhill section.
Llandegla forest is a mountain bike centre in Wales with different routes that vary in difficulty. I had heard lots of great things about it and was very excited to go!
I bought brand new cycling clothes for the occasion; Muddy fox padded leggings and a top from eBay. I loved my clothes even though I looked more like a road cyclist than a mountain biker. They also proved to be very comfortable throughout the ride. However, my new shoes weren’t the same success. I didn’t realise they were made for clips, so the soles were very bumpy meaning I couldn’t grip the pedals properly. “All the gear and no idea” comes to mind.
Since it was my first time anywhere like this, I thought I would do the green route (the easiest). I had wrapped up warm because it was an icey and cold day but as soon as I started pedalling I became so hot that my coat and buff had to come off!
Struggling up the first hill, I had to make a stop half way up. It was only short but I had never cycled up anything remotely steep and I started to worry what I had got myself into!
As I got into the ride it became slightly easier as I carried my momentum from the flat and downhill sections into the short uphill climbs.
I was also messing around with my gears, trying to figure out what felt best. At first I would try and lower my gears while peddling up hill, which wasn’t a good idea as it threw me off balance. Towards the end of the ride, I learnt to lower my gears in anticipation of any up hill sections and this helped massively.
Llandegla is very picturesque and it was great to ride through the forest, especially since there is limited off road routes in Liverpool. I got so distracted by my surroundings near the reservoir that I nearly fell off my bike, luckily I didn’t, but it taught me an important lesson to always look where I am going.
Towards the end of the ride I was excited to see some downhill sections. As I started to descend I was shocked at how fast I was travelling. The rough terrain and ice made my bike rattle so I held on tight and enjoyed the ride! (In hindsight I probably held on too tight and needed to relax my arms).
The trail continued to meander back down through the forest, finishing at the cafe where you can stop for a well deserved drink and snack. At the end of the ride I was worn out but I was ready for round two on the green route!
I had an amazing time at Llandegla. Everyone is very considerate and you can go at whatever pace you feel comfortable. Whether you are new to mountain biking or experienced, I would definitely pay this place a visit because there is something for everyone! Even if you want to try out mountain biking for the first time, why not rent one of their hire bikes and see what all the fuss is about!
Find out more here: https://oneplanetadventure.com/trails/