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Challenge your Boundaries (Mountain Biking)

Challenge your Boundaries (Mountain Biking) image 1 Challenge your Boundaries (Mountain Biking) image 2 Challenge your Boundaries (Mountain Biking) image 3 Challenge your Boundaries (Mountain Biking) image 4 Challenge your Boundaries (Mountain Biking) image 5
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Extreme Sport
Contact Details

Challenge your Boundaries (Mountain Biking)
Coed y Brenin Mountain Bike Centre
LL40 2HZ
Phone: 01341 430628
Email: Send Email
Website: Visit Website

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The Challenge your Boundaries Adapted Mountain Bike project is based at the Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre. It offers genuine mountain biking experiences to disabled riders. The trails and bikes are adapted to meet the needs and indeed Challenge the Boundaries of everyone who takes part. Be warned, these trails are not tarmac covered, flat or with guard rails. This is real mountain biking adapted to fit everyone's needs!

There is a good range of adapted bikes on offer for riders to hire. You can take a guided trip (like our researcher enjoyed) or with suitable accreditation in place, you can take a completely independent ride into the forest. (The Challenge your Boundaries team will assess your limits and capabilities regarding getting back onto/into the bike in the event of a spill, and also your ability to get back to the Centre independently).

The team were very welcoming and explained the different fitness levels needed and also how far the project can take you (if you wish it to), in the form of training others. Our researcher felt that an overall good level of fitness is needed for this activity.

The project operates out of a wonderful area, the Coed-y-Brenin Park is huge. The trails surround the centre and there are a variety of activities available, its well worth a visit.

For more accessibility information about Coed-y-Brenin Visitor Centre itself please click here.

Extreme Sport Facilities

Assessed by Disabled Holiday Information
Assessed by Disabled Holiday Information

On - site facilities

  • Easy access around ground floor/area of site
  • Wheelchair access to other floors e.g. lift
  • Lift controls at accessible height
  • Room for carer/companion in lift


  • Designated Disabled car parking
  • Level/ramped wheelchair access to entrance
  • Level/ramped wheelchair access into venue
  • Prebooking necessary for wheelchair users (for all)


  • Level/ramped access to cafe/tearoom (This is located in the visitor centre)
  • Sufficient wheelchair access to tables


  • Wheelchair accessible toilet/toilets (accessed via lift)
  • Wheelchair turning space in accessible toilet
  • Room for carer/carers in accessible toilet (two if required)
  • Space for right transfer to toilet (this is diagional only as it is impeded by a rail)
  • Easy access to hand dryer/towels
  • Easy access to wash basin
  • Grab rails in toilet



Mountain Biking at Coed y  Brenin

Well the day had come; believe it or not I am going Mountain Biking today!! Didnt sleep much last night as to say I was nervous about this is an understatement. But here we are, Coed-y-Brenin Visitor Centre, just outside Dolgellau. The weather is awful today, its been bad all week and it hasn't let up for today, some hope really.

The Visitor Centre at Coed-y-Brenin is very spectacular, even in the rain and as we parked up Graham O'Hanlon from the Challenge your Boundaries organisation came across and introduced himself. After he and his partner Jacky had had a chat with my husband and I, we went up to the area of the park where they keep the adapted mountain bikes and they explained this is also the area where they train people for their accreditation, which is what you need if you wish to go out in the forest on the adapted bikes by yourself. You can also go out on guided trips which is what, Graham explained, he and I were going to do today.

This meant that although they would show me an adapted mountain bike and let me have a go by myself in this training area, this adapted bike was going to be hitched to the one Graham would be on and we would go out and pedal the trail together. Phew, didnt sound quite so frightening now!

Graham and Jacky got one bike out, a yellow one with a reclining seat and foot pedals that gave it away straight off, this must be his  and it was.(It is actually called a Hase Kettwiesel Ride) They explained that many less able visitors loved to use this bike as it was very stable and although it still needed strength in the legs to pedal, the steering and brakes were all in the levers by the seats and this meant the bike was ideal for all levels and abilities. The next bike out was a shiny red one,(Jacky called it the dragon but its actually a Hase Kettwiesel Handcycle!) again it had a reclining seat but this time there was places to strap your legs into and a funny contraption that folded in front of the person driving it, that must be the pedal mechanism. Yes this was to be mine, but first I was asked whether I would be able to get back into the bike, from the floor, if it tipped? Well that was comforting but as Graham explained this is an important factor as being able to return to the bike and therefore get back to base is essential before you go out. So before I got in, I got out, if that makes sense. I sat on the floor and climbed into the bike from both sides to demonstrate this would be possible in the event of a tip.

So here I am, in or on the bike, strapped in, arm guards on, helmet on and gloves on and OH NO! The husband is taking pictures, what do I look like??? I had a go trying to ride in circles, it is really hard work  you have to put your hands round and round to pedal, push the funny contraption to either side to steer and I have a brake on each pedal, which is just as well because I nearly hit someones van and then Grahams dog too. But after 5/6 minutes it did get a little easier to steer but was really tiring.

Graham then decided it was time to hitch the two cycles together and do part of the Blue or Minotaur trail. Sounded good to me! It only took a minute to take the front wheel of my bike and hitch my bike onto the nut on the back of his and that was it, we were one. Graham had a little try to see how easy it was, with me pedalling too, to go up hill, and decided it would be ok to go on part of the trail that way.

So off we went. The trail started through the ring of a Minotaurs nose and then off we went through the forest. The track was wide and firm and well laid out and although it went up and down in places, between Grahams powering away in the front and my trying to help in the back, we fairly raced along some sections of the trail. There are some sections of the trail that had rough patches, and even in a few places we went down a step  at speed  but Graham warned me in advance these were coming and this meant I could lean forward and lesson the jarring on my back.

Then came part of the trail that I will remember for quite a while, its called the Slipway and from the top it looks a bit frightening but as you go down, getting quicker and quicker, and making sure to lean in on every corner, the sheer speed is exhilarating and the feeling of freedom is something well worth anything I may feel tomorrow, I hope.

Towards the end of this shorter version of the trail is a slope that took every ounce of energy I had left to help Graham get us up, my arms were burning and it took all that I had to keep going: BUT the feeling of achievement when we reached the top and shared a high five felt great. We made it back to the Visitor Centre, muddy wet and tired, but do you know, it was worth it and I would recommend you to give it a go if you can  I loved it !!
by Linda Boulton on 08 May 2012