Eeek. That’d be another week that’s flown by then. Well last Saturday went as planned. I dropped the frame off at C&G, went riding around Llandegla and popped in to see Tim at Sideways. We had a good chat about life, bikes and everything, including and then to catch up with everyone at Harry Hall’s. Simon had managed to get hold of a copy of the new Specialized 25 years of Stumpjumper book.
Llandegla was a bit weird. For a start it’s not signposted when you get to Llandegla village, so it took a bit of driving around looking for the entrance to the forest park, but once there the site facilities were pretty good, except for the fact that there are no bins. Well that’s not strictly true – there’s one in the log-cabin building. I thought that was a bit weird that as loads of bikers have energy bar wrappers and stuff that they use at rides and invariably endup with wrappers and empties. If they want you to take your rubbish home they should at least put up signs to that effect.
The riding was a bit odd too. The first bits of Singletrack from the start were closed for no apparent reason. I think I ended up getting fireroad blindness, became bored and just hoiked the bike over the tape and rode it anyway. Some of the best bits of the entire day were ‘off-limits’ and after driving for 3 hours to get there I wasn’t going to miss them easily. In fact all the riding on the red route is a bit unusual.
There are one or two good rhythm sections, but there are too many bits that just don’t flow. Jumps into corners without berms. Massive two metre berms where you have no speed to carry into them. Jumps on slow and uphill bits. Fast swoopy downhill bits without jumps – when if they were there you’d think, ‘Ooh that was nice’. There were a lot of wet muddy bits that need to be armoured and aren’t and then there are some really nice bits, even a few technical sections that make you think twice. On the whole just when you’re really enjoying the riding, it’s all over and before you know it you’re back at the start. I’ll be returning, but the first impression wasn’t that ‘I can’t wait to go back’ buzz that Betws-y-Coed and Coed-y-Brenin induced.
Tyrrell is replacing Chris on the Trans-Wales adventure at the end of next month. He’ll be picking his new shiny Stumpjumper up from Harry’s tomorrow morning. He’s so excited about it he’s been bouncing off the walls all week at work. It’s going to be an ace trip and I’m really looking forward to it. I guess I should probably order some maps for it about now and start thinking about the route. I’m hoping that our ride won’t involve anything as spectacular as this.
Finally this is the webpage of One Odd Dude. There’s some call photography and stuff on there. Check it out.