I didn't believe the forecasts for wind. I certainly wasn't going to temp fate by heading down to WSM again. Having just had my bike's shock returned to me for a follow-up service following problems on its recent service, I wanted to try it out on the trail. Just fitting it didn't give me a good feeling that it was working properly.
So - off to Cwmcarn.
I guess the rain started when crossing the Severn bridge. That particularly wet form of drizzly stuff. By the time I got to Cwmcarn - about 08:30 - it was well settled-in.
Not only that, but - on the trail - it was obvious that the rain gods had been putting in some serious overtime. It wasn't muddy, but it certainly was wet. So my chainset started playing up about 1/2 way up the climb - severe chainsuck every time I put the power down. Pretty frustrating when you're struggling to get up over some obstacle or other.
At the top - by the freeride section, not only was pretty cold, wet & breezy, it was pretty foggy, too. Worse still, it was clear that the shock was buggered. I don't know what they've done to it, but if the rebound is set fairly slow - as I like it - it seems to lock the shock out altogether. Though the good news is that it wasn't rattling any more (the reason why I'd returned it).
Going downhill provided a stark reminder - as if I needed one - that I'd forgotten to bring my riding glasses. My eyes can testify to the unsatisfyingly gritty quality of what was being flung into them. I'm still digging grit out of them tonight.
Chainsuck struck again at the bottom of the very steep concrete slope right by Twmbarlwm, putting paid to all thoughts of riding up it. Pushing up it, it was so bloody wet, my foot slipped and smacked my knee into the only rock showing through the concrete.
The piece de resistance was; on getting back to the car, caked in blood & grit, and dripping rainwater everywhere, I discovered I'd brought neither change of clothes nor towel.
Guess what? Crossing the Severn bridge going home, it stopped raining. It had quite clearly not rained at all at home. Sunny side, my arse!
Ok - Windsurfing it isn't. This is the mountain bikers splinter group for when the wind don't blow!
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It was sunny and hot on the Tourmalet I did pass a couple of guys on MTBs part way up who looked a little puzzled as to why 10,000 roadies were going by them in a hurry perhaps they were on a cross country trail. They looked as hot as we were and I suspect would have liked to be in the rain at Cwmcarn
Onwards and upwards