Great ride today with a good turn out. Must have been something to do with that big round yellow thing in the sky. The 'slightly less fast' group lead by Big Gav was 13 strong (well we felt strong at the beginning). We were joined by three newbies John, Terry and Stuart (please forgive me if these aren't your names...not my best skill, names!). As there were some lovely new clean bikes amoungst the group Gav managed to find the only stretch of boggy mud in the woods! Good one Gav. Bike's got their christening.
As the temperature began to rise gradually by at least one or two whole degrees, everyone started stripping, having layered up just a bit too much.
For the second hour we decided to split into 3 groups as there were at least 25 of us. Didn't count exactly as people don't stand still for long enough. Trouble was Woody must have crucified the first 'fast boys' group as no one wanted to join him for another hour! He he. So Woody joined the 'not so speedy' group for the second hour.
Keith led the way out and after another wizz round the woods we headed for refuelling at the cafe. Sat outside in the sunshine for a bit discussing all the events to be entered this year before a steady ride back. Andrew and Jason went for the bacon/sausage & egg baguettes so were still digesting most of the way back.
Here's looking forward to plenty more sunny rides throughout the summer! See you next week.
Re Afan wales weekend 3rd to 6 th May.
Please let me know if you are coming along and if you would like to B&B or camp . We have 8 places at the B&B @ £28.00 pppn. First come , first served so let me know asap . B&B contact is http://
The camping is £3.20 pppn . Thanks, Gilly
I'm never good at writing reports but the home page is looking a bit out of date! it looks like we never ride as a club but I promise that we do, every Sunday in fact!
Cyclone's first trip away of 2012 saw members heading to North Wales for the weekend . Some arrived a bit late and missed the Saturday beasting due to a mishap on the M6 but thankfully there were no injuries other than to Jason's van and they arrived on Saturday evening for Sunday's ride.
Saturday The Wayfarer and Berwyn's...
We all set out on a route from Llandrillo that I done a few years ago with some guys from mtbbritain. Weather was looking ok ish showers were forecast but it was sunny when we set out on the first climb. It was quite a slow and steady affair a few gates to open and bit that were too steep for us southern softies to ride up at well Gilly was still new to being clipped in and was struggling abit so ! had to act like a bit of blacksmith at one point and move the cleats back on her shoes, the walker that went passed gave us a funny look ( she kept her shoes on ! ). A few showers passed the coats went on, came off, it got cold it got warm typical welsh weather! We finally arrived at the top to the memorial plate and everyone signed the book that it kept there in a large metal box.
Down hill at last ! Most of us found it great fun on the rocky bumpy trail down, Gilly was still struggling with being clipped in but luckily just happened to have a pair of flat pedals in her bag (Sure there should be a joke about women's hand bags here)
Pedals changed we were all happy and going down hill fast. Quite a lot of the trail is quite damaged now by the amount on motorbikes that use it I did test one of the puddles I dunked my bike it was over the wheels and still not touching bottom. I hope hope hubs and bottom bracket bearing seals are as good as they say they are. We were soon on over half way and on the linking road section quite a few more hills on the road section that I remember we caught up quite a bit of lost time though without having to go too mad.
We were now back off road and had a bit of a rest before tackling the last hill. What a killer it was I can remember it being a bit of a push, It was a mega push and carry. I struggled and I know I'm a little fitter than a few of the people I had dragged out into the back of beyond. I got to the top eventual left bike and walked back down to help a few others out with getting up the hill/ mountain. We made it! to the top almost all down hill from here we headed across the top along the bridleway but it was quite hard going as it had been ripped to pieces in places by motorbikes. Someone did say about putting up a gun placement to shoot them as they came up the hill most thought this was a very good idea. Finally gravity took over properly just as the weather turned a bit of rain, sleet and hail it was dam cold! what ever was falling out of the sky it was a straight dash to some of the original climb now so a few made a bit of a dash for it as cold was setting in. Respect was needed as a lot was on wet grass and rocky paths. The weather improved the lower we got and it was sunny again the time we reached the car park. A very tough ride ! very character building as Caroline put it Thanks for no one throwing their toys out the pram ( a couple of times I though people were going to miss out on the toys and just throw the whole pram )
We all arrived back at the hostel in Llangollen to be met by Jason and Phil who had the bad luck of a blow out on Jason's van on the M6 Friday evening. Very good to see them safe, Jason informed me parking with a wheel on top of the crash barrier on the hard shoulder isn't recommended.
We all met up before going out for dinner in the lounge at the hostel where they had a guitar a piano and didgeridoo which had a few giggles going on, Phil was quite handy with the didgeridoo. We all had a very nice and very reasonably priced meal at the Dee side bistro with proper sized portions too. A few more drinks and a chat back at the hostel it was time to retire for the night the stairs did feel a bit on the painful side to most after the days ride.
Sunday dawned to the sound of down pour things didn't look good. Llandegla was the plan for today after the previous days out in the wilds natural ride. Looking out the window into the rain it was possible to seen where it had snowed up high not good.
After breakfast things got a bit brighter and the sun even started to show its face by the time we had driven to Llandgela it was bright and sunny bit still a bit chilly. I had a confession I did arrive a bit before the others a llandegla and had one of their very nice bacon rolls. The trails at Llandegla had a bit of an upgrade before Christmas making things a lot more fun, with more climbing of course. We split into two groups today as some didn't fancy the extra climbing of doing all the black sections. Myself, Jason and Phil done the black route I have ridden it quite a bit as I'm lucky enough to have family living only 20 mins but still find it great fun though lots of jumpy swoopy bits of trail with table tops and double to roll or jump if you dare. Lots of shouting and squealing like a girl from Jason and Phil at times too. Jason cleared his first table top which made him quite happy. It had turned into a wonderful day the sun was really bright but with a bit of a nip in the air to stop you getting too hot. The trails were a bit wet still but you can't have everything this is Wales!
I think everyone will agree a great weekend away
Thanks for doing the hard part of organising it Gilly
We saw the best and the worst of Afan weather in two days, I got 2 sunny rides as I took the extra day
I forced myself to an early start on Friday and after a nice easy cruise down I was at Cwmcarn and heading up the first climb at 9am in glorious sunshine. I haven't done Cwmcarn for a while and forgot how technical some of the climb is certainly takes your mind of the height that you are gaining.
I took the easy route down at the top as I was alone and there wasn't another sole about it was very temping to have a look at the ladder drops though!
I had a nice steady run down only stopping for the motorbike gate things need to practices long times descending without stopping as going to more downs than up in the alps .
The last section at cwmcarn is still my favorite really fast sweeping bends and crests just enough to get the bike going light.
I was back at the carpark for 10am so guess I done a good pace
Arrived Afan intime for lunch opted for the Jacket spud as I still have memories of little snacks like the beans on toast.
I chose whites level to ride in the afternoon, was I really in wales the sun was still shining?
The trails were just so dry can't remember seeing Afan so dry the past few visits have been in November though!
Im a lot fitter than when I rode Afan last I went for the BG style of climbing in the middle ring and I was up the first climb before I knew it I was expecting another section of up but I was at the top of the black run before I knew it . I steady ride down the black run the last section still a bit scary but I think its a bit tamer than it used tobe.
I had a bit of a scary moment on the last decent got a bit over enthusiastic at one point (way too quick). I came across a secton a lot took quick for comfort lucky I managed to point the bike in the right direction and it done it thing and I kept it rubber side down.
I made it back safely for a post ride beer and an evening in the dropoff with a few more beers to keep the first one company.
Saturday dawned Yep Im in Wales its biblical wet Im not sure if it was all rain or just low cloud all I can say it was wet!
It was temped to spend the time wating for the others in the cafe but I headed up the mountain, things weren't much better up there infact a lot worst, I was planning to do some of the skyline but at the top of the climb visabilty was almost nil with the cloud and rain. I decided to stick to the trail I know better so took the whiles level without the black section.
I had a bit of lunch and waited for the others to arrive the weather hadn't improved Only a little faffing and most were ready other than Verbal who was a little late so the others started without us so we could catch them up.
I think I wore Otick out a little bit on the climb as he was quiet all the way up!
I was expected to catch the others on the climb or at least the climb out of the energy section but they were nowhere to be seen.
On the climb there has been a short cut put into the last decent on the skyline trail I though maybe they had taking this route thinking it was a shortcut to the top!
We arrived back at he cafe still no sign of anyone else an hour later they turned up, they had done the black section of the white level so we had passed them then while they had been doing that. Well done to otick for doing whites in less than two hours though there was a little spill on the northshore though maybe he can compare notes with filthy.
As most were staying down in Neath we ventured down there for the evening meal. Things very busy and some not liking indian or chinese we ended up a witherspoons food was ok but a bit loud and brash for most of us.
For those that have seen the TV progams on the binge drinking culture in the uk Neath is really like that on a Saturday evening ! come to think it was like that Sunday evening too, was it 3 or 4 fights we saw in two evenings?
Last weekend a number of us ventured south to take part in the first muc off 8 hour endurance mountain bike event at Pippingford park. The weather reports looked fantastic, Steve Pete had been drafted in by the organizers to help design a "down hill" section and even Mark Webber of F1 fame had been rumored to attend.
The event officially opened on the Saturday for registration and an opportunity to pre ride the course. Representing Cyclone Speedy Daz, Fizz, Woody and I dutifully turned up (sort of) when the gates opened (ok I was ~1 hour late, but the others were there). We pitched tents, registered, grumbled about paying for camping per person not per tent, claimed our free t-shirts (well new dress for Fizz) and headed out for a pre ride of the course.
For a 7 mile course the terrain was quite varied (bone dry or boggy mud) with lots of climbs, a water crossing and some sections close to a river where a loss of balance would leave you swimming! There was also a rather interesting ditch with a big sign suggesting you might want to get of you bike and negotiate it on foot.
After an easy cruse around the course, a loooooong wait to use the muc off bike cleaning facilities (queuing for 30 minutes in the cold for a bike wash is not fun) Daz, Fizz and I managed to find some food (in a local jazz pizzeria).
Saturday morning and reinforcements arrived (tho not bearing any of the promised breakfast items )! Time to get up prepped and in my case build a bike from parts (possibly not the wisest idea I've had). The previous evening while eating pizza we had all carried out fair and open votes on who would take the first leg. Everyone voted for the team members that were not present (Speedy Daz, My cousin Duncan and I were one team [no 219], Fizz and Scott [a colleague of Fizz from work] were another [no 124] and Woody raced as a solo hero). A few expletives were exchanged when they discovered on arriving the next morning .
Mark Webber may have chosen not to turn up, but red bull racing were out in force! With Ben taking part in one of their teams proudly wearing his Cyclone top!
The race started with a le mans style start with all of the starting riders running out to a flag and back to transition before setting off on their first lap. Unfortunately for our elected starting riders we didn't tell them this and they only learned about it during the race briefing on the start line ! The race started with a starter pistol and smoke filling the start line area. All of the starting riders dashed 200m out to the flag, then 200m back to the transition area. In the transition area riders desperately tried to remember where they had racked their bikes before heading out for the first lap!
At the end of the first lap we were sitting around the mid 70s in terms of position with Fizz and Scott a few places ahead. Speedy Daz took over for the second lap and lived up to his name setting what would be our fastest time for the timed down hill section (even with him having an off). During all of this I had now resorted to getting help from the cycle surgery guys in the pit lane to sort out my bike.
Daz put in a stunning lap and handed over to me for my first racing lap. Small issues in reconstituting my full sus had left me stuck in middle ring, so I had to resort to the Big Gav school of mountain biking and hill climbing! Some over confidence on one of the jumps on the timed down hill (and the discovery at the same time that my front break needed bleeding) led to a small incident involving a tree. Being stuck in middle ring forced me to attack the hills and actually led to me overtaking a fair few people on the climbs! I completed my lap and handed over to Duncan to carry on the race.
Following the first lap both teams had been climbing the standings with us now hitting the 50s. At some point over the next few laps we over took Fizz and Scott (who were still setting a good pace around the course). Speedy Daz continued to put in the quickest laps of our team, and my second lap (now with working front breaks) improved upon my first.
At the end of the race both teams managed 8 laps, with Speedy Daz, Duncan and I finishing in 45th place and Fizz and Scott finishing in 61st. Woody (who had been a solo hero all day) managed 5 laps on his own. Second place overall fell to the leading solo rider who managed 10 laps! Speedy came 32 in the timed down hill challenge with the time form his first lap (even with his small off). All that was left was to pack up, and attend the prize giving. Fizz and Scott came close to a podium in the mixed category, but alas it was not to be!
At the end we all had a good day out, and I for one was left looking forward to the next event!
Newcastleton - North Shore from Cyclone's tour of the 7Stanes '09