True grit: gravel biking through Wales’ ancient Cambrian heart

A cycle route takes in misty lakes, forest tracks and quiet lanes amid a remote, magical part of Powys. The epic ride ends in a cosy pub just as rain sweeps in

“You used to be able to ride through here,” I said. “Yes,” replied my friend Mark, “but that was more than 20 years ago.”

We were looking for a dirt road through Cwm Henog forest, to the west of Llanwrtyd Wells in mid-Wales. I cycled around here regularly in the 1980s and 90s when I started mountain biking but things change, even in these remote hills: I simply couldn’t find that old road.

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