The 2008 Club Weekend took place at the end of May and was based in Barmouth, North Wales. We were blessed with excellent weather, superb scenery, a top class location and pleasant rides. Nineteen of us took part and as usual we hired a minibus and van for the weekend.
On Saturday we made our way, after a brief stop at Chester Services, via St Asaph and Denbigh to Llyn Brenig. The lake is situated high in the Hiraethog forests with superb views and an excellent cafe. The route around the lake was 11 miles with a couple of steepish climbs but mainly on good surfaces. After an initial trip off route we headed off across the dam wall. After an early mishap when one of us hit a wandering dog, we continued to the top of the lake where our hill climbers tested themselves against the steep hills at the top of the forest. After lunch it was on through the pleasant Welsh countryside to our base at the Arbour Hotel in Barmouth. It was pleasant to be able to sit out in the warm evening and have a chat before heading in to Barmouth for more drink and chat.
Next morning, we left the vehicles at the hotel and headed out along the seafront past the harbour and on to the long railway/cycleway bridge which stretches for 2200 yards across the estuary. At the other end, we joined the Mawddach Trail, reckoned by many to be the most picturesque trail in Wales. It certainly was an easy ride on the level and through beautiful scenery to arrive, eventually, 11 miles later in Dolgellau.
After a coffee stop, the group split into two. It has become the custom to offer an alternative “Adrenalin” ride over harder roads but with excellent views. This time, half the party opted for the easier valley route back whilst the other half headed through Dolgellau town and up a lane signposted Cadair Idris. Up it went for 2 miles hard climbing before easing into a steady undulating road through a high valley to reach the lakes at Llyn Cregennen. After passing through the lake area with long views over Barmouth, the lane plunged down through twists and turns, hairpin bends, the lot. This was probably one of the most exciting descents I have made in a long time. Back on the valley floor, we rejoined the others and back over the bridge. A lunch break in Barmouth then it was home via Bala and Queensferry.