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Snowdonia means Coed y Brenin right? Oh! You’re not talking about a trail centre? Must mean Snowdon then?

As mountain bikers, it’s amazing how narrow our focus has become. Snowdonia is Wales’ largest national park – nearly ten per cent of the total land mass – and it’s mainly mountainous. So it’s perhaps not that surprising that there’s some pretty awesome mountain biking to be found away from the trail centres and the tallest of those peaks. You just need to know where to look…


In an attempt to divert thrill-hungry eyes away from the quick fix of man-made singletrack and to showcase the diversity, and at times adversity, of one of the area’s best-established, yet least-ridden classics, Steph and I met Singletrack’s Ali Chant in Caffi Moel Siabod in Capel Curig – one of the best cafés you’ll ever find anywhere – on a bright, sunny March morning.

Now, few things are more pleasing to a writer than a story that goes full circle. It’s just so simple when all the parts fit together by themselves. And this was going to be one of those stories. Steph and I had only ever ridden with Ali once before, way back in 2005, and today’s route, known by most as the Llyn Cowlyd Loop, had been on the menu that day too.

Siabod or Poqb!s? You decide…
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About Singletrack

International Adventure: Patagonia – Barney travels to this remote region of Chilé to find some killer singletrack – and a fair bit of dust. We Work Here: Rocky Mountain – We take a trip to the distant (but still very wet) shores of North Vancouver, to see the inner workings of one of Canada’s oldest mountain bike companies. UK Adventure: Dances with Wolves – Andy McCandlish takes a chilly trip down memory lane with Ed Oxley and Andy McKenna. UK Adventure: Riding Through The Seasons – Sanny extols the virtues of riding all year round. Room 101 – Mark is the ultimate arbiter of your submissions to our Room of Shame. Classic Ride: Capel Curig – There’s more to Snowdonia than a few trail centres and a mountain. Grouptest: Wider Wheels – The Grinder team put six sub-£500 wheelsets through the mill. Bike Test: Flat-out Race Bikes – We take a look at three nose-to-the-wheel speed machines. Through the Grinder – A plethora of promising products, assessed by our accomplished assemblage of trusted and true testers. Grinder Bike: Pivot Mach 4 Carbon – Chipps takes a long look at Pivot’s swoopy carbon trail/race monster. 15 Years of Spine Lines – To celebrate our 15th year, some of the best – and the weirdest – of our Spine Lines. International Adventure: Suisse Rolling – Jérôme Clementz takes a busman’s holiday in the Swiss Alps. The Last Word – Antony de Heveningham wonders if we’re actually in the golden age of mountain biking right now.