Dub be good to me. Volksfest Wales, Carmarthen August 2013.

The start of August saw me attending my second Volkfest, which was also being held for a second year in Carmarthenshire Show Ground.  The weekend camping was a bargain £25 with full show entry.  I arrived Friday night under a cloudy Carmarthen sky but the rain held off long enough for everyone to get their pitches set up.

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When the rain did turn up in the evening, we were all safe and dry watching the bands under the cover of the large events shed.  This was massive and everyone fitted into it no problem.  I made myself at home along with my bulldog buddy Winnie.

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Winnie and I settled back to watch the bands and enjoy our evening, before calling it a night and getting some shut eye ready to be up and at it for the rest of the Volksfest Wales weekend.

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Winnie has been getting upto all sorts of adventures this Summer, and you can follow them at #AdventuresOfWinnie or on my Twitter feed @DimExcuses.  She was sporting her VW bandana especially for the weekend, and taking no nonsense.

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I can assure you now that rumours Winnie and I were at Volksfest Wales 2013 in this massive adventure bus are not true.  It must have been another South Wales celebrity, Dainton from Dirty Sanchez and Kill City Skateboards was spotted at the show but I can confirm this wasn’t his either.

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Next on the agenda Saturday afternoon was to catch with our favourite Carmarthen local band Idiot Box, who played a set out of the hanger to the whole show ground which was now basking in the Welsh Summer Sun.

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As the Sun continued Saturday, so did the fun.  We were in the same field as Rothfink Industries.  They are a crazy VW apparel company with a cruising retro style.

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I can’t even explain the next picture?  Maybe you can get some answers at their website www.rothfink.com.

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As the sunny Saturday at Volksfest Wales moved into the evening we were back at the main stage for more bands and a couple of pints.  After a great night we woke up Sunday to the Welsh weather, but by then nothing could ruin a great VW weekend.

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I will definitely be back next year and DimExcuses so should you.

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This weekend’s must do – Swansea Street Feasts. #SuperYum 29/06/13

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I do love getting out on my bike, trundling down Clyne Valley and riding down the Promenade with anything in Swansea Bay easily accessible, from Mumbles to the Marina.  If there is anything I love more than getting out on my bike, it is good food!  So I was really pleased back in April when I heard about the first Swansea Street Feast event.  Organised by ‘Fired Up Feasts’ and held at the 360 watersports centre on the Promenade opposite St. Helens rugby ground, it is Swansea’s first street food festival.

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Street food is about showcasing world flavours and providing customers with top quality food at take away prices.  This event was certainly that with the biggest problem being which food should I buy, because apparently you can’t eat it all.  In the words of Homer Simpson ‘that sounds like a wager’!

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It was amazing sunny back in April and that is when Swansea Bay is at its best.  In the sun combined with the great food and music the atmosphere was great. So great in fact they are doing it again this weekend – Saturday 29th June @ 360 16:00 – 21:00.

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The promoters promise that again this will be an awesome event with a great atmosphere, numerous food stands, live music and covered seating incase of rain.  All weathers, DimExcuses, I like the thinking.

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Great food vendors include The Munch Box, Samosaco, Fired up Feasts, Taste of Persia, and Streetballs.  Sorry if I left anyone out, please leave your business details in the comments below.

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So what are you waiting for?  Get down 360 Watersport Centre this Saturday and get some tidy street food.  DimExcuses.  Oh and for the real cycle geeks here is my strava cycle route.

Darren Fawr, Garw Valley Mountain Bike Trails. First Ride Review.

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I was pleased to hear this month that the Garw Valley had completed their new mountain bike trails.  So armed with my new video camera I had to try them out.  Firstly I drove up the Garw Valley from the M4 Junction 36.  Following signs for Bryngarw I drove up to the top of Bryngarw village.  Parc Calon Lan is well signposted, and has a good sized car park next to a small wooden visitor centre.  They were several riders in the car park and a good atmosphere, plus it was a great afternoon for a ride in the rare winter sun.

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The trails are very well designed.  You can find a map here, on the Garw Valley Community Council website.  There are two loops, both 3km, that can be joined to make one big loop 6km.   The format is very similar to Brechfa’s Derwen green / blue trail, but this ride is very different to that. You start of on the blue loop with a moderate climb up gravel single track.  You soon get to the pinnacle of the blue route.  At this point you can take the blue descent completing the blue run, or head up the black climb.  You could do the blue route several times and have fun.

I took the black route, and it is proper black.  I suppose if you ask for black in a famous coal mining valley you will get pitch black, you can’t see your hand in front of your face underground black.  I must admit i had to push in parts.  As this is Dim Excuses I won’t say it was the first ride of the year, my thin tyres were struggling over the stones, I was recovering from a cold and a goat ate my homework.  There is a further option for a halfway shortcut on the black trail.  I continued to the top where there is a sign saying ‘well done you are at the top. Yeee Haa’!

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All the signage is excellent and bilingual, da iawn!   It is then pretty much all downhill single track.  The top has some really challenging rock garden sections.   This is a very technical track.  Several sections got the better of me (sorry about the moment the trail made me swear in the video).  Once down the black descent you seamlessly crossover to the blue descent, which is very flowing and great fun.  If you are coming with the family or inexperienced riders I would just do a few laps of the blue, as I said before the black is challenging.  All in all, a great addition to the South Wales MTB trails, well done Garw Valley, I will definitely be back soon.

So here is the video edit, sorry about the riding, filming and editing.  I will try better next time.  It is a chest mounted camera, I will try helmet mounted next time.  Music in the video is by Crystal Method.