Aptly named Temtiwr: One who tempts, one adrenaline junkie rider was Tess who unfolds the weekend's events...
Words by Tess Agnew
Wales being Wales, it obviously rained quite a lot over the weekend. Pretty much non-stop in fact, but the weather did nothing to dampen our spirits. We were there to ride, and that’s what we did – along with a lot more.
I’ve never ridden with just girls before. I mean, there may have been one or two of us on a few group rides I’ve been on, but it’s never been a female majority. I always notice how outnumbered us girls are at trail centres, and although it’s getting better, there’s still work to do.
Rested from the more-than-eight hour drive up on Friday (top tip: if your other half says you need to leave Brighton by 09:00 to miss the traffic, listen to him), I woke from my van on Saturday morning at a nearby campsite and feeling eager to get stuck in.
Day 1: sun salutations, rainy rides and MTB films
Kicking off the packed itinerary was a challenging but blissful yoga class with Polly from Mountain Yoga Breaks. I thought it might be an easy beginner class but I was wrong. It was hard, one of those yoga classes where you shake, and sweat, and pray for the downward dog because that turns out to be the rest from the leg-raising twisty postures.
After yoga, we all had the chance to get to know each other over lunch. Some of us were seasoned black trail riders, others total beginners, and more than a few of us at intermediate level looking to up skill. A couple were even MTB leaders, so we were in good hands.
The post-lunch social ride was a chance to get into groups and into the rain. It was unguided and a real chance to hook up with each other and just enjoy the trails for a bit of fun. The Coed y Brenin team talked us through each trail and what to expect, going into detail when asked and showing us maps, so everyone could pick a ride to suit their ability.
In the evening we gathered for an MTB film – Mountain Biking: The Untold British Story. This was a real treat. If you haven’t seen this film and you’re into mountain biking, you have to watch it. It's a really inspiring story of how the sport began and developed, with comment from legends past and present, including our very own T-Mo.
Day 2: Workshops, coaching and questions to a champion
The second day began with our chosen workshops – I went for the MTB leadership class as I’ve been thinking about becoming a Breeze Champion, but there were other workshops on nutrition, bike setup and trailside maintenance.
The coaching session was exactly what I hoped for – front and back wheel lifts. It’s something I’ve never been able to do and I want to get more efficient and agile on the bike, so this was an hour very well spent learning manuals, bunny hops, front and back wheel lifts, pumping and track stands.
That afternoon we headed out for the guided rides. I was grouped in a ride with the other leadership workshop attendees where we looked at the best practice to lead a group out on the trails.
“The best thing you can do is come to an event like this. Finding a community is the best way to start." - Tracy Moseley
The weekend was rounded up with sixty rain-soaked, muddy MTB women filled the room for the closing Tracy Moseley Q&A session on the Sunday evening of Temtiwr. Plied with hot tea and homemade biscuits, we were thankful to be in the warm and dry after a more-than-soggy day’s riding.
The World Champion shared so much sound advice to the room and it was really inspiring to hear that there were still some things that she struggles with, or is trying to master. It doesn’t matter what level cyclist you are, there’s always something to learn.
Temtiwr was the first of what organisers plan to be many women's weekends at Coed y Brenin. The weekend was a collaboration between Natural Resources Wales, Beics Brenin, Welsh Cycling and Infinite Exposures.