Mountain biking in Wales is extremely popular both with locals and visitors not only from England but also further afield. This is due to the success of the man-made trails that the Forestry Commission have established and the huge number of tracks and trails that cross the remote hills and mountains of Wales. One such set of remote mountains can be found on the doorstep of Abergavenny: the Black Mountains.
A number of organisations that you can hire bikes from are listed on the Cycling page.
A loop of the Black Mountains is a challenging ride and one that requires that you take plenty of food and drink with you as there are no places to get food en route. Start at Pengenfford and follow the byway along foot of northern escarpment. Clamber up the face of the Black Mountains and descend past the Gwryne Fawr reservoir to tarmac. Climb through the forest and descend Crug Mawr on a fast bridleway back to tarmac. Head up the valley and follow the old coach road past the Hermitage to the pass high above the A479. Descend off the ridge and take the middle track before using lanes and old roads to return to the start.
For more information on mountain biking in Wales take a look at MTB-Wales.com Wales' premier mountain bike website, or at www.bikebasewales.com (which includes a number of free downloadable route maps for mountain bikers.
'Bike rides around West Gwent and the Borderlands' is a guide to both cycling and mountain bike rides (with route maps) that tie in with the many heritage sites around the Abergavenny and wider Gwent area - contact www.odynbooks.co.uk.