Llandegla again

Phil, Budge, Michael and me had an early start over at Llandegla this morning as we’d decided that Hebden Bridge in a hurricane might have been pushing our luck.

It wasn’t as scary this time around, given that the last time I was here it was dark. The car park was getting packed at around 9am with the usual mix of skinny XC-type whippets and old blokes on DH bikes with pisspot helmets. By the time we got back to the van there was no parking! That caff must be raking it in.

Here’s Michael on the surprise wooden bridge…

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And me, looking nowhere near as cool and even more out of focus…

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The water in the visitor’s centre is brown as it’s rainwater. Poo coloured water falls from the sky in Wales, it seems. Do the Welsh all stink of poo? Only the ones that forgot their brolly.

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More wildlife issues

We had a great ride yesterday, me, Dave and Simon. Starting in Staveley we followed a route that took us through some of the finest boggy marshland the Lakes has to offer, before a lovely hike up a massive rocky hill with an overbuilt mountain bike and super-stiff soled shoes on….

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Then the downhill from the top of the Garburn made the journey all worthwhile. Certainly one of the rockest downhills I’ve ridden, and a bit worrying given the number of rocks clouting the downtube of the bike. Anyway, it’s stuff like this that suspension bikes were invented for. You could do it on a rigid, but not at 30-plus mph.

The last time I rode the Garburn Pass was with Garry several years ago. We did it the other way around last time and I remember being a bit scared by the scale of it all. We encountered a group of riders yesterday, some of whom looked like they were absolutely petrified whilst locking both wheels on the way down the steep slopes and rock steps. One of them said it was her “first ride”. Hmmm. Baptism by fire. Hopefully they made it.

As a finale, I was bitten by a Shetland Pony. Little bastard.

 Go over to http://www.industrialfellbiking.co.uk for bollocks and more photos from this ride.

Macc Forest cheeky

Up to Macc Forest for my usual pre-“Grannie’s for tea” ride. The weather was pants so I deceided to do a smaller loop, but do it twice. This meant that I got to ride Charity Lane twice…this pic doesn’t really do it justice but it’s one of the most brutal downhills in the White Peak. In my opinion of course.

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Then I found a mile-long section of cheeky singletrack to round the whole ride off nicely. Rooty and twisty, quite different from the rest of the riding on offer in the area.

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On the way back to the car, I almost crashed head on into a BMW. The driver was a good lad though, he made a beeline for the bushes on the opposite side of the narrow road to let me past. Eeeh, if you’d seen the look on my face….

 I returned to the car some hours later with minutes of daylight left, with no feeling left in my fingers. Winter’s finally arrived.

Boxing Day ride

Went out for a couple of hours on the now-finished Surly 1×1. Now it’s got some “real” brakes on it it’s just a lot more rideable. Well, stop-able. Some big fat tyres on now, providing a whole inch (maybe half an inch) of suspension.

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I did the local loop, taking in Giants Seat (including the giant bomb hole slope of death and pain) and Philip’s Park.

Saw loads of blokes on very shiny new full sussers.

blowing a hoolie

Went for a longish ride last night – the usual “ride to Ramsbottom, do a loop then ride back” routine. It was dead windy last night and whilst it gave me a helping hand on the way there, coming back was a pain in the arse.

We were blown off our bikes on more than a couple of occasions and I reckon there were 70mph gusts on the tops of the moors.

We went down the cheeky trails in the “two valleys”, except we only did one valley due to the slow progress.

I almost bonked! The first time in yonks, I must be getting a bit blasé about feeding and ensuring I’ve enough in the tank to complete the ride. Thank God for mince pies. Glad I took a geared bike.