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Wild Wales ‘24!

Updated: Jun 13

Wait! What just happened!?

Wild Wales - now in its 3rd year - just happened.


Thanks to all the amazing people who joined us at Wild Wales this year - for funnerizing a weekend of riding in beautiful places, feasting, chilling, chatting, sketching, saunaing, dipping and dancing - YOU made it an extra-special one!



Now the dust has settled on a sublime set of trails (amazingly - the mud was in very short supply) we're reflecting on an unforgettable weekend of riding, dancing, feasting, drawing, sweating (on the bike and afterwards - in the sauna).

Folk were just blown away by the fabulous Afan landscapes, waterfalls, rivers, the company and all-round good vibrations.


Willow Springs provided the perfect mountain setting for basecamp with an endless supply of rides in beautiful places, great community, delicious food, foot-stomping music and wild Ceilidh. All you need for wholesome weekend.


Thank you so much for delivering an unforgettable experience this weekend.

Antoinette


I just wanted to again say a BIG thank you to yourself and the whole team for organising and delivering a truly great Wild Wales weekend. It was great fun and incredibly enjoyable and even those pesky midges couldn’t spoil the fun!

The location, landscape and of course the rides on both days were just great, with ideal weather conditions for pedalling to.

Graham


Thank you for your kind words! If you haven't already - we'd be super grateful if you could leave us a review here. That would be very much appreciated.




basecamp Willow springs


Earlier this year our search led us to this fabulous campsite situated slap-bang in the middle of gravel/MTB heaven - the Afan Forest. Surrounded by an endless array of sweeping gravel roads and the sweetest winding forest tracks and cliff-hugging trails.


Not to mention the on-site waterfall, river, sauna and plunge pool and the super helpful and talented Willow Springs crew  - we knew we'd found some place special.



Since the find we've spent many a weekend designing, recce'ing, tuning and re-recce'ing routes to ensure maximum riding pleasure. They came, they rode - and they loved it!


Wild Wales is - crucially - also about community, delicious home-crafted food, campfire vibes,  connecting with friends - old & new - enjoying post-ride banter and refreshing stohk brews. Which is the inspiration for this wholesome experience - and many more to come.



More than riding a bike

(in beautiful places...)


At Wild Wales Gravel Festival - every aspect is designed with you - the adventurer in mind.


Our aim is to make exceptional experiences accessible to more people and a wider, diverse audience and Wild Cycles' signature approach is all about impact, the finer details and experiences set in beautiful places that make for unforgettable adventures and special moments. 


It was amazing to see such a mixed group of riders turn up, from seasoned gravelistas to folk who'd never set tyre on the rough stuff before.



The Afan Forest and mountain scenery is off-the-scale beautiful. Edgy, cliffside trails and rolling, sweeping gravel roads rise up - offering stunning views of the surrounding valleys and distant Brecons.


There were 3 routes to choose from on Saturday - 35km, 50km and 100km - all of which were painstakingly designed to include the perfect blend of smooth, sweeping gravel and just enough beautiful single tracky, techy stuff - gotta throw in a challenge or few to get the fun type-2 flowing...




Back at basecamp - riders were replenished with delish stohk brews - the perfect post ride refueller. Some chose to cool off in the waterfall, in the pool and/or relax in the sauna.



Followed by a delicious and wholesome dinner from the legendary Wild Cycles kitchen. Chilled vibes complete thanks to resident folk maestro Rob Shipster (sharpest dressed muso in the West) accompanied by the simply amazing and magical Clara Clay on fiddle.

A mad flailing, foot-stomping Ceilidh - gottem going - even after a long day in the saddle!

Rounding off the set with a spine-chilling rendition of Hiraeth - a very traditional and moving Welsh song.


Part of the magic of Wild Wales is to slow things down just a bit and we were over the moon to see the response to a new feature.


Too often hurried by bleeping devices, chasing the average speed, or just the thought of the finish line, we can find ourselves hurtling through without taking the time to actually touch, smell and see the places that we ride in.


Everyone got a sketch book in their goody bag. Encouraging folk to take a moment to pause, reflect and really take in their surroundings - and write down a thought, sketch a something,,,


We were amazed how this little experiment turned out, with a fantastic response including sketches of features encountered en-route, words and expressions from the rides.



Feeling grateful for such a lovely crowd this year at #WildWales2024 and thanks to everyone who took part in the competition.



Huge thanks for coming


Thank you - all the amazing folk for joining us at Wild Wales '24 in a very special place.


We're bloody genius and have set up a google drive with all the fab pics of you lovely people funnerizing the weekend.






Our mission is to bring people together in incredible places of beauty through cycling and we feel like Wild Wales did exactly that.


Stay tuned for the next celebration of the GRAVEL and all the loveliness that goes with it.


Thanks to partners & crew

Without your support and tireless help and passions it wouldn't be nearly as special or fun.


Thanks to the fab trio - Tom, Rob and Georgie for having the Wild Wales Festival at the magical Willow Springs - for being so helpful and welcoming from day 1.

We believe we have found Wild Wales' home and cannae wait for the next one! Stay tuned.


Huge thanks to new partners - Albion - for providing Wild Cycles ride-lead crew with the most gorgeous on-the-bike gear. Universally admired as the brand that enables adventurers to stay outside for longer. No doubt about that!


We absolutely loved riding out in our Albion kit at Wild Wales and are super proud of our partnership and association with this highly respected brand. We are looking forward to building on our relationship and doing more fun stuff together.




For the best ever post-ride refreshments and hugely welcome finishing beers brilliantly delivered by the Wild Cycles crew...




Route design, planning, guidance, fab goodybaggoodies and vouchers and for their generous ongoing support.


For furnishing the Wild Cycles fleet with their amazing, smooth-rolling, hard-wearing Riddlers, Raddlers, Senderos, Ventures, Resolutes and Rangers - and keeping the Wild Wales wheels rolling.


Our incredible Crew

Rob Desbois

Allesandro Giordo

Bart Lee Bart

Lora Pierre

Nick Porter

Tim Roberts

Alf & Safety

Nunziella Salluce

Recce rippers

Rick Allen

Andy Burgess

Tom Hall

Mark James

Kate Payne

Barnz Stormer

Photogs

Allesandro & Nunziella

Jon Snaps Heard

Markovich James

Spike Lee Morris

Nick Porter

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2 Comments


Hello John and the entire team. I just wanted to add my huuuuge thanks to everyone involved in making the Wild Wales adventure happen. The team who reccied the routes and the sweeper-uppers are rock-hard heroes. Beyond that, the campsite, facilities, food and social engagement were brilliant. We got to meet and mingle with lots of new friends. Thanks to Tim for the ferrule, which rescued my tent from collapse. The Saturday 50km route was perfect for me. Not exactly a MTB shredder (more of a steady plodder) even I could manage the technical parts, albeit slowly. The midge turbo-blaster was really effective. Alas, the blighters had their revenge when I headed back to the tent. But hey ho, in…


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c.whitey8
c.whitey8
Jun 14

I can’t wait to come to the next one!! So sorry to have missed this one. I love Wild Cycles 💕

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