Mat Weale heads to the wilds of South Wales to catch up with local pinner and rising Enduro World Series star, Lewis Bradley.
Words and photos by Mat Weale.
Slaying trails, but.
Lewis Bradley is one of the most known faces in the South Wales Mountain Bike scene.
He started out racing DH in the Welsh Downhill Mountain Bike Association and has gone on to become one of the rising stars of on the South Wales enduro scene. He’s a regular on the podium at the Welsh Gravity Enduro Series and has competed in a few rounds of the Enduro World Series and the Megavalanche. His ability to slay on a bike is unquestionable.
South Wales is home to so many talented riders like Lewis and as you’d expect, the terrain and the trails are a big part of that. The local trails are top quality …especially the back-country, off-the-beaten-track ones.
I met Lewis near to a well known South Wales trail centre. It was already crowded with families and riders heading out to the way-marked trails …all unaware of the hidden gems tucked away just around the corner.
I’m also from the area and the spot we were going to ride is one of my favourites but not one i’d explored at length. I was excited to see what I’d been missing up to now!
Up the fire road
We started off up the fire road and as we approached the top of the first trail, excitement and anticipation were building. We started on one of the best trails on the hill which includes a steep chute onto a sketchy, narrow ledge. It’s barely wide enough to ride along and fires you into jumps, rough corners and drops. It’s a hell of a track.
We climb back up and it’s pretty obvious that there’s a lot of ride. Each trail has multiple choices and it’s the perfect spot to session short sections. It’s the perfect training ground for Lewis and his enduro racing.
This set the tone for the rest of the day. We charged down seemingly endless selection of trails, from fast single track cutting through the pine forest to deep, steep sided gullies that plunge you beneath the forest floor.
With local backcountry spots like this and dedicated riders who maintain them, the South Wales scene look set to continue to thrive and help the next generation of riders take on the world.