Coed Y Brenin Trip

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NigelP
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Coed Y Brenin Trip

Post by NigelP » Thu Nov 13, 2008 13:48

This was my third visit to Coed Y Brenin and it lived up to expectation.

Rob, Martin, Anna and I travelled up on Sunday and the plan was to arrive in good time for a short ride. However, these plans were quickly adapted to take into account the gale force winds and horizontal rain, so we retired to café and then went straight to the cabin.

Unfortunately it was the very last day for the existing café owner and the centre was then closed for a week while the Forestry Commission established their own service. Aside from bad timing, there was a consensus that this was not going to be a good move.

Monday was a day of torrential rain. Anna hired a ‘full sus’ and Rob masterfully navigated our way around the MTB course, which was exceptionally rideable in the conditions and I slipped into my role of playing tail end Charlie. When we returned to the centre, Martin and I retired, while Rob and Anna went off for another short loop. When I stopped my body temperature fell sharply and I felt very cold indeed. All the ‘waterproof’ sections of my kit were soaked, apart from a small section in my socks, just around the toes.

We made a latish start, after Martin very bravely took his shifter apart and everyone else indulged in a little TLC for their bikes. The ride started with a very heavy set of shoes - which had not dried out overnight - and today's weather was gale force winds (but no rain). We completed the ClimachX trail, which is an all time favourite. Anna, Rob and Martin all cleared the rocky section and I cleared the narrow plank across the swamp. Anna kindly waited for me just after the right angle bend - which used to be marked with an arrow (although this point was debated) - and I am not quite sure what she hoped to see. Somewhere along the downhill section of the trail there’s some new North Shore joining from the left. I only caught sight of it out of the corner of my eye, however it looked fairly extreme: banked and elevated.

The downhill left everyone on a high but unfortunately there not sufficient daylight left to do another run. So, we retired to Machynlleth for some retail therapy at the bike shop and a last minute hot chocolate.

Packed up on Wednesday and headed over to the CYB centre to tackle the Tarw trail (Red Bull). The day started in sunshine and T shirt weather before the wind and rain arrived towards the end. Another great ride, although some of the sections felt too short; I just wanted them to go on endlessly. Since our last visit the route seems to have been sanitised in a few places making this more like the Pink Bull. Although the trail was in a great condition the autumn leaves made it difficult at times to know where to go. Towards the end a combination of wearing glasses and heavy rain added an extra degree of surprise on the single track sections.

An awesome few days, which left me wanting more :lol: :lol: :lol: (ever if it did mean missing out on the Nomads speed event :cry: ).
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Ian Long
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Post by Ian Long » Thu Nov 13, 2008 16:45

That can't be a proper Nomads trip - there was no mention of mechanicals or impromptu dismounts.

Sounds like you had a great time, despite the weather :D
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NigelP
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Post by NigelP » Thu Nov 13, 2008 17:13

The weather did add an extra dimension to the challenge, however there were no notable body dabs to report, unless I missed something. The condition of the trails was stunning, given the weather.

Mechanicals are best left to Martin and his very brave (and intentional) dismantling of his gear shifter. Springs galore.

Anna's speciality was the pinch flat, with at least three on the last day. I also noticed that when I have had punctures Martin does not stand there dutifully holding my bike ready for me to get back on :cry:

All a bit tame and unnewsworthy.
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Post by Adrian » Fri Nov 14, 2008 12:10

Windsurf in wind, cycle in nice weather :lol:

I rode the new north shore section on the Climax earlier in the year as i spotted it join and pushed up to the top - only the very last bit is as bad as it looks.

The new sanitised bits at co-er-y-brenin are good fun but they have taken out all the really difficult bits now with very few technical challenges - a real shame especially for those riders better than us.

Glad you had fun.

Adrian

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Post by NigelP » Fri Nov 14, 2008 19:43

I had hoped that we would make a pilgrimage to the bridge where you (Adrian) tried the off the lip manoeuvre, but unfortunately there was not enough time on the final day.

Rob has suggested a trip up to Scotland next year for those who want to be more technically challenged

CYB is remarkably good in bad weather, which is probably just as well. It was just a pity the centre was closed for R & R.

However, I would have loved to have a go at the speed course and can’t believe that there will be similar conditions at future events. Looks like the Johnson wind dance is working well this year.
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How to dismantle SRAM X.9 shifters...

Post by MartinF » Sat Nov 15, 2008 18:33

Not much to add to Nigel's description.

Just to put things in perspective regarding any taming down of the trails: The last time I was at CyB was 3 years ago, riding a hardtail. I'd been riding a mountain bike for about 18 months then. The trails scared my s41tless :-0. I forget how many dismounts I had - either intentional or involuntary - but it was many. I seem to remember sliding off the trail into a stream within about the 1st 500m at one point!

This time, I blasted round the trails we did with only the odd dab here and there. Easier trails? Or 3 years more experience? Certainly some of the technical bits, drops, stone slabs, etc, made me think about what line to take, and slowed me down, but 3 years ago, there's no way I could have done many of them.

So maybe the trails have been tamed, but I also believe our ability to tackle ruff stuff has improved.

Speaking of which - 10 out of 10 to Anna for sheer hard-core, go-for-it attitude, and amazing ability considering she's only been riding for 18 months. But a whacking great minus 5000 for passing on her cold to Nigel & I :curses:

As for SRAM shifters, dismantling them is a doddle. Re-assembling them can be, too - as long as you have the right tools. Whilst trying to set up my front mech today (shifting hasn't been the same since I replaced my chainrings), my front (left) shifter suffered the same problems as the o0ther shifter did at CyB. Ie: You could wind the gears up against the mech return spring (changing up at the front and down at the back), but can't shift the other way. The shifter just doesn't let the cable out.

Anyhow, as I said, taking the shifter to pieces is easy, BUT take VERY careful note of how all the bits fit together, and where all the springs were before they fell out. The special tool for reassembly is....

...a rubber band!. Without this, the big (against-the-mech-spring) lever unwinds and you need 5 hands to hold it in place whilst slipping the next layer of slidy steel bits and springs into place.

I just read that SRAM shifters are notoriously bad for this problem - the newer ones being even worse than my 2006 vintage ones. Practically every posting I read suggested the owner had to bin the shifter because they were impossible to service. Wimps!
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