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19th August 2018 / Comments (1)

The Call Of The Wild – Bike Corris

Bike Corris - Call of the wild

“Deep in the forest a call was sounding, and as often as he heard this call, mysteriously thrilling and luring, he felt compelled to… plunge into the forest…”

OK, I’m sure Jack London wasn’t thinking of a weekend away in Wales when he wrote that but bear with me, there is a tenuous link!

Dyfi Forest

Wales offered up some incredible views between rain showers.

Wilderness Riding

We don’t have much real ‘wilderness’ in the UK. But if ‘wilderness’ to you, is heading off the beaten track, going off grid, with no mobile signal, then there are parts of Wales and Scotland that fit the bill nicely.

Enter Dave Evans of Bike Corris, who asked us along for a weekend of guided riding in the 93 square miles that he calls his home trails in the Dyfi Forest.

Bike Corris Dyfi Forest Tour

Lakes and mountain backdrops guaranteed.

Admittedly, Dave is more of a mountain bike man at heart, but he knows this area like the back of his hand. It didn’t take him long to show us some top class riding.

Bike Corris the Dyfi FOrest

Wilderness. Welsh Style.

Corris

Corris is a former slate town in South Snowdonia, whose heyday was in the 19th Century. The quarry has long gone but, as with the Peak District, the post industrial landscape has become the basis for a wide range of recreational activities.

Concentrating on the cycling aspect, this translates into over 300km of gravel track in the forest, drovers roads, terminally quiet back roads and more.

Biek Corris and Idris Stores

The Idris Stores is the hub of the small village of Corris and where Dave starts his rides with clients

As an outsider, you might be overwhelmed by the sheer scale of the options to hand. Where do you start? How can you pick a good route, or more to the point, avoid a bad one? The answer is, you employ a guide.

Gravel Guides

Employing the services of a guide will ensure you get the most out of your weekend riding

Dave is the man behind Bike Corris. A ‘BC Level 2’ qualified guide with an encyclopaedic knowledge of the local area and a stalwart of the local MTB scene. You really couldn’t put yourself in better hands.

Maybe the most important thing a guide will bring to the party is the skill to create a route which you will enjoy. Something to help you get the best out of the area without taking you too far beyond your comfort zone. Dave seems to have this in spades!

Map at Corris

The Knowledge. Dave’s dogeared map of the Dyfi Forest is consulted every morning for some prime riding.

So what can you expect?

Each morning, we met up with Dave for the obligatory bacon sandwich and fresh coffee. While we made the most of the food, Dave outlined the plan for the day. The closely packed contour lines filled us with trepidation but we were determined not to show it.

300km of Gravel

The Dyfi Forest has over 300km of gravel tracks. So rest assured you’ll be seeing a lot of it.

Heading out, we found ourselves riding a really eclectic mix of trails and roads, a smorgasbord of what is available. Quiet lanes and bridleways were combined with drovers roads and gravel forest access roads. We skirted the lowlands of Caidar Idris in an easy section, and later, in stark contrast, headed down a trail called The Chute. Decidedly techy in nature, it seemed to be made up entirely of slate. We made it down in one piece but it took us very close to the limits of what a gravel bike can cope with.

Gravel riding

Tarmac with grass up the middle is about as close as we got to a major road all day.

Probably the most memorable part of the weekend was that we had so much fun. With all the worry and stress of ‘blind’ route planning taken away from us, we could just enjoy ourselves.

If you have ever thought about dipping your toes into the waters outside the well trodden Welsh trail centres, this might just be enough to whet your appetite and keep you coming back for more.

Bike Corris descent

Gravel tyres and wet grass are not the best of partners. Descending this field was more like a ski run than a bike ride!

Bike Corris
Find out more at www.bikecorris.co.uk

Dave still has some free dates for 2018. Get in touch and get it booked!

September 29/30th
October: 6/7, 13/14, 27/27
November: By arrangement.

Bike Corris

Every surface and every trail style imaginable is rolled into a ride with Bike Corris.

Photo Credits: Dave Evans, Bike Corris.

 

Last modified: 19th August 2018