The Real Ale Wobble

The Real Ale WobbleThe Real Ale Wobble takes place in mid Wales every November. It provides two days of riding with beer stops plus a beer festival and bands in the town. This was my introduction to epic riding back in the early 2000s. It was wet, muddy, cold and exciting, with several hundred riders all making the most of the situation. I’ve been going to this event for so long that I can’t remember what year was the first. I think it was 2001. I’ve no idea when it started…I can find out though.

It was started by Gordon Green (Green events) who was the landlord of the Neudd Arms Hotel in the centre of town. He also dreamt up Bog Snorkelling and Man vs Bike vs Horse. Sadly, the bike bit was dropped from the latter event. Times article.

Llanwrtyd Wells was a town in decline and Gordon set out to change that by bringing visitors to the area with a series of events over the year.

I know the area really well from years of visits and events like the Devil’s Challenge and Elan Valley Challenge with Red Kite Events.

Real Ale Wobble route history. Download gpx (right click) and view using

  • Year km/miles ascent(m)
  • 2001: 43/27 1270 GPX
  • 2002: 39/24 1130 GPX
  • 2003: 41/25 1260 GPX
  • 2004: 44/27 1250 GPX
  • 2007: 41/25 1200 GPX
  • 2008: 40/25 1220 GPX
  • 2009: 38/24 1140 GPX
  • 2010: 32/20 1090 GPX
  • 2011: 32/20 1090 GPX
  • 2012: 40/25 1080 GPX

2001 GPX
Real Ale Wobble map 2001

2002 GPX
Real Ale Wobble map 2002

2003 GPX
The Real Ale Wobble map 2003

2004 GPX
The Real Ale Wobble Map 2004

2007 GPX
Real Ale Wobble map 2007

2008 GPX
Real Ale Wobble map 2008

2009 GPX
The Real Ale Wobble map 2009

2010/2011 GPX
The Real Ale Wobble map 2010 / 2011

2012 GPX
The Real Ale Wobble map 2012

In the early 2000’s the route went out to the LLyn Brianne reservoir. The route was pretty much the same for a few years. In 2002 the woods down to the Trallwyn control were avoided with a short cut over the hills. A feature of these early rides was the “transport museum”; a collection of rusty buses on the hillside before the Trallwyn control. By the late 2000s these had gone and had been replaced with a house.

In 2004 there were major changes whBig puddle on the Real Ale Wobbleen the the reservoir loop was dropped as the trail centre at Coed Trallwm was opened. This trail centre is regularly used for the Red Kite xc races. The first part of the route moved from the bottom of the valley and used a stinging climb up through the trees. This gave a good downhill section on rocks.The position of the last beer stop moved. Before then it was up a short climb from the road. It was now in the car park by the bridge over the river.The “sheep dip” section was first used this year too  This is the section with numerous rock puddle, the deepest of which is up to the middle of the wheels. This section has been used in ever route since 2004. Rightly so, since it’s a great bit of riding.

Prior to 2004 the the Sunday route was the Saturday route ridden the other way round. From 2004 the route was the same both days.

In 2005 the route start and finish moved from the square outside the Neudd Arms hotel to the local school. The “proper” wobble always started with Gordon Green giving a safety lecture outside the hotel.

The Real Ale WobbleThere were changes in 2007 when the route started off up the road, did what was normally the last section first, then had a steeper descent down in one of the main valleys. This was followed by descent over the open hills into the Abergwesyn valley. It also had an out and back loop near Llanwrtyd Wells. This route used a lot more road than usual.The Sunday route had a completely different start – going towards the Woolen mill and then joining back onto the Saturday route.

2008 and 2009 were back to the 2004 model but with slight differences in the trail sections used at Coed Trallwyn.

2010 and 2011 was a new, shorter route with the trail centre not included.

2012 used a new route in the Crychan Forest due to forestry work in the regular area.

2002Real Ale Wobble map original scan 2002

Real Ale Wobble map scan 2003

The Real Ale Wobble original map scan 2004

Real Ale Wobble 2007 original map scan


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