Mountain Bike Shenanigans mountain bike shenanigans. I think I might run with that for a bit until something better comes along.

Finally swapped the controls on the FSR over, it’s taken an age to get the kit together. Gone shorter, but higher rise and I’m pretty pleased with results. The bike is more chuckable, the steering more responsive and it’s still comfy for all day rides. I’m sure that the rapid steering response saved me from at least two nasty skin/dirt & rock interfaces on yesterday’s rides.

Headed over to North Wales and headed for Betws-Y-Coed. Didn’t really look at the (crap) directions I downloaded of the mbwales site, so ended up driving around looking for something which wasn’t there for half an hour. Eventually parked up and popped into the bike hire centre in the Tourist information centre to get some directions – thanks again for the help.

Rode up and out of BYC up to waymarker 59. That’s one hell of a warm up. Must be 1:4 in places. Hooked onto the trail and was soon laying the hammer down. Trying to keep up with some guy on a fully sprung Marin at one point led to near miss number one, two wheel slide to nothing saved only by a quick foot plant and a stroke of luck. The section down to the trail head where the Marin demo was taking place was probably the best bit of loop, some nice rollers which launched you nicely of you hit them right.

Managed to take a wrong turn and ended riding pointlessly up the tarmacked road from the carpark for far too far before I realised my mistake. Then had to turn around and traipse all the way back down. Soon back on track and nailing some good lines on technical sections. The whole thing was over far too soon and I seemed to be back where I started in no time at all. The choice was to stay and ride the loop again or head off to Coed-Y-Brenin.

As there was unfinished business at the latter it was decided to leave BYC for the day and head south. Just over an hour later, full of home cooked cakes, I set off on the MBR route. This was good because I’m not a great fan of the Karrimor/Red Bull long fireroad climb up and I knew I’d be doing that bad boy later anyway.

Enjoyed the MBR, quite a lot of technical singletrack climbing, which is something that none of the other routes I’ve ridden have tended to have. All was going well until about just over half way round where you are contouring round a wooded hill section and enter a really thickly wooded section that plunges you into darkness. About 20 metres in with my eyes still adjusting to the light I just make out something.

Turns out to be a small conifer that has been laid right across the trail. Seems CYB has it’s own stickman. Surely there’s no need. That really annoyed me. Climbing up the bridleway section not long after I had to stop and cool down, it was just too damn hot out there yesterday.

After another slice of cake, a can of Red Bull and a bit of a breather it was time to slog up the hill for the Red Bull run. Those rock garden sections of singletrack you hit after the climb are pretty testing. Rode around the rest of loop, only to have near miss number 2 on a relatively straight, fast section. Not exactly sure what happened, but the front wheel just washed out, and I only just caught the bastard. The top section of the last descend down to the carpark had me off and walking a bit for the first time all day. Just didn’t feel strong or alert enough to try and ride it but regretted it as soon as I was back to the car. Next time. So that’s BYC and CYB dusted so far this year. Machynlleth is next and I’m going to have to combine that with a trip to the Centre for Alternative Technology.

This is pretty interesting reading, I’m hoping that IMBA UK will have the same good effect here too. Chilly has been busy and has a new site that I didn’t know about until Saturday night, the sneaky bugger.

Nice new road wheels from Mavic, but not many of them. An epic Oregon bike adventure. About time some one pointed out the obvious and a comment from someone who should know better.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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