Monday, September 25, 2006

Cwm Carn Monday morning

Trail; Cwmcarn XC course

Roger had ridden the XC route the year before with Ben and as DDave had brought along his mighty DH rig we were keen to try the "freeride" routes. The normal uplift service doesn't run on Monday/Tuesday and they're now stopping Joe public uplifting themselves! Apparently some dodgy characters have been abusing the system e.g. using tow ropes to uplift their buddies. Poor DDave was seriously bum'd as reverted to plan B and a loop of the XC orientated trail.

The initial climb is a serious affair with lots of steep and very technical bits where line a good line choice is essential. We reckon that the lower section would be near on impossible to clear if it were damp as the roots and moss covered rocks were a handful in the dry. It's much more difficult than climb at the start of the Whites Level and we were all relieved to ride some fireroad over the last couple of k's!

The first couple of DH sections contained a number of jumps and table tops that kept DDave amused. Three wooden ramps allowed the only jumper amongst us to get some air and when Farqui gave the smallest a try with the smallest of air and then lost it on the following roller :rolleyes the rest of the posse sensibly sneaked around the drops.

The remainder of the route typically consisted of very fast and narrow DH's with lots of cheeky roots with the odd lower branch to keep you even more focused. The trail has lots of fabulous berms to help you rail the turns and maintain your momentum. Roger in particular was grinning from ear to ear as he began using less brake and more berm.

The end of each of these fabulous techy DH's was often followed by a gentle singletrack climb to regain a few feet but nothing too leg sapping or technical, unlike the first few km's.

Towards the end our XC route crossed the full monty DH course and the size of the berms and drops just has to be seen to be believed. We were all happy to continue down our tamer route ;)

This happened to be the last section down to the car park and has some of the fastest and most awesome berms and chutes that I've ever ridden. The trail was zipping by so fast that I was now looking 3-4 turns ahead, my rig was heaving in the compression of the berms and when I could I gently stroked the brakes a little to reign back the pace. Turn after turn, s bend after s, rock after rock all flew by. Then all hell let loose. . .it seemed that once you released the brakes you were immediately back at warp speed and I couldn't find any traction to prevent us hurtling down the mountain. The trail sneaked right and then left but my brakes had me pulling a right hand tack. No probs, there's a run off with three rocks (upright!) spaced out and if I clear them then I'll rejoin the trail. Initially I thought made the gap but in hind sight I think I glanced one with my front wheel. Which then ripped the bike out from under me and although it appeared that I'd cleared 'em. . .I was now without bike ! The next thing I recall was slamming into the dirt, HARD :O The side of the trail grabbed my left arm and shoulder, a mighty pain ripped across my chest as the rest of my body continued down the mtn. I stood up and tried to lift myself and bike out of the way but my left arm was limp and dangling at my side. "Is that my arm :huh" The posse rolled around the bend (at a more sensible speed), checked me over and figured nothing was broken. Although I was dazed I thought I'd be able to ride to the car park which was within sight but my left arm couldn't grip the bar so I wobbled clumsily down the rest of the trail whilst coming to grips with my tumble. Loading up the bikes saw some mobility return but my injured arm couldn't lift anything or press inwards (using your chest muscles) without lots of pain but I still had plenty of outward strength (using your back muscles). The drive home was a struggle with 5th gear taking some serious gurn'in to acquire. Later that evening my left bicep had become swollen, very bruised and dis-coloured.

Over the course of this fabulous wkend I've been lovin' the trails and have been hammerin down 'em on my rig so it's no surprise that my luck ran out. At least now I know my limits :D

This is a mighty trail and one that I'd love to ride again, albeit with a little more in reserve ;)

Posse; DDave (Cameleon), Farqui (5Spot), Roger (FSR), Mark (XTC)
Route; Tracklog
Weather; Overcast but sunny, warm and humid
Mechanicals; Farqui snapped his chain shortly after starting
Inuries; Roger mis-timed a series of jumps and jarred his wrist a little. Farqui had a spill after the wooden jumps - minor cuts and grazes. On the final mighty fast downhill section within yards of the car park, Farqui failed to reign back his momentum and stacked big time - slamming his shoulder and arm into the ground. Fortunately nothing was broken and movement gradually returned after coasting down. Inward strength with his left arm is now minimal and the 200mile drive home was mighty painful when selecting 5th/6th gears.


uphilla said...

OUCH! Sorry to hear about your 'Stack', but pleased nothing is broken - otherwise you would not be allowed out to play for a while either ;-)
Got the impression you were trying harder this weekend and hope this will not put you off. I know that Dahnhilla will confirm that you have to keep on practising, he makes it all look so easy, but I know there have been quite a few 'spills' on the way. The only thing is that the it seems the older you get the less you bounce :-)
Cwm Carn sounds challenging for us mere mortals, was more than entertained by the trails at Afan, realise that some of the newer trails are upping the stakes and may be beyond me :-(

daahnhilla said...

Have to say the look on everyones faces when I pointed out the back end of the DH course was priceless!

This was definatly a weekend that was much better over all than Coedy. Thanks Farqui

Farqui said...

I don't think Mondays antics will put me off, as you say, it's all part of learning. A pic of the nasty can be found here.

Agreed DDave, the accom, the weather and more importantly the trails were much better this time around.

Where next folks ?

Farqui said...

Clicky here for all the pics I snap'd over the wkend. Not as many as I'd hoped, but then the riding was so good I didn't fancy stopping too often.

Does anyone have any more ?

toons said...


That’s look a bit nasty, get well soon and I hope it heals quickly.

daahnhilla said...

Sweet pics Farq!!!!! Too right, riding was too

daahnhilla said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Farqui said...

Clicky for more pic's of the Twrch Trail (XC course) at Cwmcarn.

Rob said...

Mighty fine blogging there old boy. Get that arm sorted, I'm on the mood for some more Fluxing in Woburn. 4 inches good.

Mucho thanks to you for thankless organising tasks, did all monies pan out ok?

Superb trip, excellent accomodation and very lucky with the weather. Cabins were perfect. Next one you can count me in now, where do I send the's on its way honest....!

Sad I missed Sat PM, in future I will wrap Dozer head to toe in bubble wrap. Happy to hear he's on the mend though, silly old Hector.

Pt Talbot & Neath A&E was an experience, trying to guess what the old woman was saying was funny. Dave seemed to get it right away, apparently chuckling in all the right places. Later on he admitted not getting a word! Fuel of Brrittan isn't it!

I thought all the trails were brilliant, the stumps on the outside exit kept you awake and the dousing of water actually increased grip and gave a "second bite" for the clumsy like me. I prefered the damp conditions.

Mark, that breakfast was fabuous! You're invited to all trips from now on just bring your pan.