Now in its fourth year, MTBMeetup is a not for profit, social mountain biking event held at OnePlanet Adventure Coed Llandegla. Organised by Si Bradbury and his mates, the weekend attracts 100s of keen mountain bikers from across the UK and beyond. Having managed to get a last minute booking at Llyn Rhys campsite, we packed the van with enough kit (beer) for the weekend, and set off for North Wales.
Llyn Rhys is ideally located for Llandegla and offers camping over 2 large, flat fields. It’s only limited by the facilities, which can only comfortably accommodate a finite number of campers. To be fair to the owners, they didn’t overbook the site. It was busy, but there was loads of space for everyone. We arrived on Friday night and pitched up in the main field. Having missed the Friday night social ride, we cracked open a couple of tins and made plans for the weekend.
Beers, bikes and BBQ
Saturday was the main event. We decided to ride up to the venue. Word on the street was there would be free beer and we didn’t fancy driving. We arrived shortly after 10am and the place was heaving. Mountain bikers as far as the eye could see. Si had created a monster. A really friendly, fun, monster. We said a quick hello to Si and Rach, and set off on our way. Ka-Wai joined the ladies only Trail Takeover ride, which by all accounts, was ‘a right good laugh’.
After a couple of laps around the trail centre, we headed back to OnePlanet Adventure for bite to eat and a couple of the aforementioned free beers. Berm Basher was kindly brewed and donated by Kirkby Lonsdale Brewery especially for the event – and lovely it was too. We finally got a chance to catch up with Si before heading out on a final lap of the red trail.
That evening, we headed over to the Crown Hotel for more food. We met up with a buddy who knew the area, and told us about a quieter singletrack trail off the back of the trail centre. He dutifully sketched out a rough map and a plan was formed. With full stomachs, and on slightly wobbly legs, we headed back to the van with big ideas about tomorrow’s off-piste adventures.
The next morning we drove up to the trail centre, armed with mild hangovers and our beer mat map. It was considerably quieter and parking was not a problem. After a brew, we headed up the infamous 3km climb for the fourth and final time that weekend. We consulted the map and decided that you shouldn’t try to draw maps after a few beers. We managed to pick up the trail which veered left out of the trail centre from the top of the climb.
Another short climb took us up to the mast. From here, we were treated to some lovely narrow singletrack, around 2.5km with 200m descent. Things got a bit steeper towards the end of the trail, with some deep ruts ready to send the unwary over the bars. We arrived unscathed at Offas Dyke and began the climb back to the trail centre. Following a quick lap of the blue we found ourselves back at the cafe.
After another quick brew, we said our goodbyes and headed home with tired legs and good memories. We reflected on the success of the weekend and how far MTBMeetup had come since it’s humble beginnings 3 years ago. MTBMeetup exists because of the hard work of the organisation team and the generosity of their supporters so a big thanks goes out to them. Also thanks to OnePlanet Adventure Coed Llandegla for hosting the MTB event of the year. We’re looking forward to next year’s event and are already counting down to MTBMeetup 2018.