sat 14th/Sun 15th

Ok - Windsurfing it isn't. This is the mountain bikers splinter group for when the wind don't blow!

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Adrian
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sat 14th/Sun 15th

Post by Adrian » Fri Feb 13, 2009 13:25

Anyone playing over the weekend?

I fancy Afan on Sunday but could be tempted onto the Ridgeway on Saturday but that would be a mega mudfest so is not my preference.

It is ages since I did Penhydd so a Penydd/Wall combo from the old centre would be good.

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MartinF
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Post by MartinF » Fri Feb 13, 2009 13:28

Definitely fancy Afan on Sunday (can't do Sat).

I've never done W2W, so that would be my preferred choice, but I don't mind which - as long as I can get out of doors!!
It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

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Post by Adrian » Fri Feb 13, 2009 17:42

Sunday it is - I will wait for some more replies before setting the time/start point but start will eithyer be 10.00 for 10.30 or 10.30 for 11.00

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Post by MartinF » Mon Feb 16, 2009 23:21

Adrian, Nigel & I sallied forth to the old Afan centre: Grand plans to do W2W got (wisely) scaled back to The Wall + (possibly - if we still felt up to it) Penhydd.

In the several weeks since I was last on my mtb, and with the additional lard I seem to be carrying, climbs were even worse than I recall, and the climbing up to the wall, although almost all on firetrack, just goes on and on (and up).

We'd all forgotten how to dress for riding in elevated temperatures: with the mercury hovering around a balmy 8 degrees and us having dressed for freezing conditions, getting cold was never an option.

We blasted(!!?) round in 2 1/2 hrs, although we stopped for several attempts at clearing Graveyard, a feat only eventually achieved by Adrian.

Back at the centre, we made the big mistake of calling in the shop, and I made the bigger mistake of asking about sticking pistons on Avid Juicy calipers. So whilst we had a snack in the caff, the shop set about my brakes. Significantly later than expected, and £15 the poorer, I set set off on Penhydd with Adrian, leaving Nigel to read the paper in peace and guard the van. When I say I set off with Adrian, what I really mean is that Adrian shot off leaving me panting in his wake.

It being somewhat later than planned, and hours of daylight being shorter than desirable, continual good progress would be a good thing in order to avoid a potential repeat of our predicament 3 years earlier. Half way up the climb, I ran through the checklist with Adrian: Lights? - No. Map? - no. Compass? - no. GPS? - no. Whistle? - possibly. So - well-prepared, then! Fortunately, there was never any danger of snow.

In fact, the 2nd greatest danger was not snow, but sun: Lots of it, and very low down. Making the trail very hard to see at times. The trail conditions were amazing - almost dy and dusty in parts, and a bit muddy and wet in others. Considering all the snow that's melted over the last week, it was excellent. Sidewinder was the particularly dry one. Fantastic.

Oh, did I mention Sidewinder? As normal, Adrian had shot off ahead: My excuse being that it has a few small, uphill, pedally bits to it, so obviously, anyone would pull away from me in those circumstances. So there I was, in a world of my own, focussing on pumping through the turns when I became vaguely aware of a blue arm sticking vertically out of the gorse as I passed by. Upon closer inspection, the rest of Adrian seemed to be attached to the arm, and his bike seemed to be intricately woven around his legs. Fortunately, no real damage was done other than a few scratches from the gorse (which had managed to remove one of his shin guards).

Spookily, this was only a couple of hundred metres further on from where I had got very intimate with brambles on my previous visit. This, then, makes Sidewinder no1 in the greatest danger category. Far more dangerous than the sheer-sided, off-camber traverses on the Wall and the narrow, muddy drops on Happy Valley on Penhydd. The thing is, Sidewinder is totally benign and nice and flowy (apart from the uphill pedally bits - see earlier paragraph). How can it claim 2 victims like that (ok, my dismount was due to a flat front tyre)?

It was still daylight when we got back! Just. Total distance was 35km, and my HRM claims I burned 3800 calories. Today, I feel stiff and still lardy.

Thanks to Adrian for doing the driving, and to both for the company. A great day.
It's an ill wind that never blows at all.

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Post by NigelP » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:36

I can endorse half of Martin's posting. The bit about The Wall.

Unfortunately being seriously unfit meant that I felt as though I had hit the wall instead of going around it.

I kept telling myself I would feel better the day after. But, with the benefit of hindsight, I am not convinced. It is just going to be a long painful climb back, to what I once thought of as being fit (that is, staying a few feet ahead of Martin on the climb :lol: ).

The story I was told differed slightly from Martin's write up :o . The original went along the lines "We ran through the checklist : Lights? - No. Map? - no. Compass? - no. GPS? - no. Nigel? - no,...... so we thought we might as well go back while there's still some light."

It is good to be back out and about (I think). I am looking forward to reclaiming my life back now.
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Post by Adrian » Wed Feb 18, 2009 13:58

A great days riding in the warm sunny conditions. Sidewinder was fantastic - dusty dry and very fast so a small loss of concentration gave me a quick exit onto the thankfully soft albeit prickly gorse :oops: With one leg stuck through the bike so no leverage possible from the legs and with the gose holding on and making wriggling free both difficult and uncomfortable I took the easy option of putting my arm up to await Martin's assistance. I quite enjoyed the suprised sound he made but not as much as I enjoyed his assistance in getting the bike off which seemed quite difficult even with two :!: I feel a bit sore today but no real damage done aprt from a broken spoke.

No real danger of a Skyline repeat but it was well past 5.00 when we got back :lol:

Thanks for the company and the help :!: :!:

Adrian

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