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Brenhden's TET

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:10 pm
by Brenhden
Brenhden’s TET

I love a challenge me. So I’ve decided to have a crack at the TET.

A quick blast from Somerset to Chepstow this morning put me at the nearest point on the TET to my house just to see what it was like. The B4235 is one of those roads that every biker will love, it’s all sweeping corners and ups and downs framed by forest on either side. Alas it was slightly wasted on me as today was the first time I’d gone back to enduro wheels from supermotos on the DR650 and I was a bit unsure of the fresh Trailwing on the back. I had also just started using viewranger on my phone for the first time and forgot it would be constantly be going to sleep in the way that proper satnavs just don’t… A left on down to Shirenewton and on to Red House Lane had me humming the old Hendrix tune and I was met with my first unpaved section.
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A lovely easy lane for a few hundred meters and then a right turn onto a trail between a copse and a field and after about 30 feet I stopped to make sure I was going the right way. I didn’t look like anyone has taken a bike down here in years! It was too overgrown to get up on the pegs without branches knocking you off and (most surprisingly for Wales) too hot to have the visor down.
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A few hundred yards of that later I hopped the bike up a big step I came across this lot:

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It took me about 25 minutes of sweating to pull it all aside enough to guide the bike under and by the time I was through I was covered in cuts from the holly. I was super chuffed to be through though, I might add some secateurs to my tool kit…
Out the other end and along some forest roads and Pen-Y-Worlod Road and I came to a gate the trail went through so I opened it. A farmer wandered down to me and we had a good chat about bikes and horses but it was clear that there was no right of way on his paddock so I missed this out and carried on to Wentwood which had a super pleasing and easy trail.

Re: Brenhden's TET

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:13 pm
by boboneleg
Nice one Brenhden 8-)

Re: Brenhden's TET

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:17 pm
by Brenhden
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This soon headed downhill and got narrower and narrower until it became a stream I had to ride up for a few hundred yards.
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This bit was awesome and after a couple of big steps at the top I was back on the road. More lovely country roads took me past Celtic Manor and into Caerleon which is a pretty place. Past Ponthir and onto the final trail of the day which I almost missed. This was another overgrown jobbie although nowhere near as bad as the first, soon it became too enclosed to support any life!
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Photos can never really capture how steep a descent is. If you lost it here in the wet you and your bike would slide a really long way…
At the bottom It was roads to Cwmbran and then I decided to finish on a high and head back in time for a BBQ.

Distance 47km, time 2hr 49mins

So what have I learnt to prepare me for the whole TET?
On getting back I checked for an update and there is a new version that is quite different from what I did so getting the most up to date version is really important.
A phone is no substitute for a satnav so a new Montana is in order.
I wouldn’t like to do those trails on anything bigger than say a Tenere although I’m sure some people could manage.
My new Trailwing rear tyre was really good in the mud but if we hadn’t had a dry spell I would have probably got stuck, so I might be looking at a ratchet winch…

Re: Brenhden's TET

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:51 pm

It would seem you've found you TET bike , great pics and trail

Re: Brenhden's TET

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:13 pm
by Tramp
great pics and well the TeT is going to get real popular and its great to see the variation of trails in each country...the uk I think will be the Hardest :D and also have the most interconnecting roads...

Great to see the community spirit alive too :P ...

the Dr650 is the ideal bike...plenty of torque and simple to fix.....nearly all new bikes have the euro 6 engine which are strangled to death inc the new smw650 and also have bad designed rear subframes....

most new bikes can be traced back to the old school ones lol..

Re: Brenhden's TET

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:20 pm
by micksea
Nice one,only 33953 kilometres left to do but you've got a head start on me

Re: Brenhden's TET

Posted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:24 pm
by WillS
Nice report Brenhden, looked like you needed a "Machete" not a pair of secatures :lol:
The Garmin Montana is a great GPS. Also agree always make sure you have the latest version of the trail.
Good luck.

Re: Brenhden's TET

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 5:40 pm
by Simon_100
Was that last bit one of those ancient deep lanes - I think there's a special word for them? - that you get in places like the South Downs, etc. Bren?

Nothing like that here, rather the opposite with the Spanish Cañadas Reales, which are about 75 metres wide!

Enjoy! :)


Re: Brenhden's TET

Posted: Sun Sep 24, 2017 6:53 pm
Nice to see those pics..well done.


Re: Brenhden's TET

Posted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:06 am
by Brenhden
TET Day two.

Having learnt from my first outing I came a bit more prepared. I treated myself to a CRF250 Rally and Garmin Montana and spent the day before fitting some old wrap around hand guards.
Another blast up from Somerset to Cwmbran where I left off last time and I was pleased to see how easy it was to use the GPS.
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I’m not drinking this month so I was feeling particularly chipper as I wound up Henllys Lane. It’s so steep and so greasy with wet leaves that the back wheel was slipping out on the way to the trail! At the top of the lane I pulled up at a gate and immediately had a problem. The front wheel didn’t have enough traction to hold the bike on the brake, it took me about ten delicate minutes to get the bike to a place where I could get off it without it pulling me back down the hill in a heap. You can see how steep the hill is by the angle of the gate.
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The gate was a big heavy thing with a thick chain on the back that acted as a self closing mechanism and was so strong that it was another ten minutes of graft to get the 30kg kerb stone you can see in the picture stood up to hold it open. Once through I had a new battle on my hands. It was just as steep but now instead of leaves and tarmac it was leaves and loose cobbles. I parked the bike sweating and shut the gate, hopped on the bike and immediately dropped it. Not the start to its off roading life I was looking for.
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Hoisted it back up and back on moved six feet and dropped it again, this time bending the handguard onto the brake lever and locking it on. Cursing the god of cobbles and simultaneously being chuffed I fitted the guards I got the tool kit out and removed it and bent it back into shape using a kerb and some more swearing.
That all done I fired her up and walked her to slightly flatter area to stand a chance of pulling off without another lay down. It had taken over an hour to move about 20 feet.