Friday, October 06, 2006

AFAN AFTERTHOUGHTS

Thanks to Farqui for arranging a great weekend for us, weather, trails and company were all good.

Hope you don’t mind if I share some thoughts and observations from the weekend.

“Sicknote” said to me a couple of times, ‘I don’t know how you do it (at your age)!’ well I am not sure I have an answer, it amazed me that I was able to do that climb at ‘the Ponds’ twice in one day. After our trip to Coed y Brenin earlier this year and two days of demanding climbs my hip joint went into spasm and I could hardly walk in the days following, a visit to the doctor brought no comfort and I was told that I might have to reduce or give up the cycling :-(. I had been taking Glucosomine to help keep joints in shape, but decided to review this based a thread I spotted on STW Forum, seems like a combination of supplements work better. So I changed to these and these and although there were twinges this time there were no after-effects. I know people half my age who take similar supplements, so it is obviously not necessarily an age related problem. I have no background in sport and came to mountain biking proper in my fifties, I am fortunate to have time to go out ‘training’ around 3 times a week locally, but this is mostly road riding and relatively flat. My Garmin edge has been a useful aid in trying to improve fitness.

My personal awards for the weekend go to my 5-Spot & Fox suspension, which despite gear problems inspired confidence and felt solid. Also to my new set of tyres (Daahnhilla thought I was mad riding them brand new), these were Kenda combination recommended last year by Singletrack mag in their massive tyre test – Nevegal front, Blue groove on the back, both 2.1 in the dual tread compound version – they just gripped everything well. Also very grippy were my Shimano DX shoes on DX flat pedals – it really was like being clipped in! I know that flats are in the minority here, but both Daahnhilla and myself have tried SPD’s and gone back to flats, one less thing to worry about in my view and no discernable loss in pedal power. Also very pleased with the performance of the XT 4-pot brakes, now 4 years old and still working well on 160 rotors! The gears are another matter and defied most attempts to get them sorted, but in the end they did not stop the fun at least they worked in the bottom range for climbing.

One thought I always get after these weekends is ‘I must do this more often’, a couple of trips a year is not enough to keep my confidence and skills up. Not sure if this will happen, but if I could fit in the occasional one-day trip it might help, whole weekends away are not easy to fit in. It could be done by driving Friday evening, maybe camping B&B overnight, a couple of trails on Saturday and then home Saturday evening?? Penmachno and Marin Trail might be one trip, perhaps a bit ambitious. Also back to Afan for that July trail! Some training might help, (mentioned as a possibility at the end of our trip), and I had even thought of building a small ramp to get those jumps sorted. What do you think??

5 Comments:


Farqui said...

You're more than welcome pal, I'm happy to arrange a big away wkend (or two) a year.

So grandma knew what she was talkin' about with the cod liver oil ! Chipmunk is defo getting benefits from the Gluco-whatsits mix she uses, not just when on the bike either.

That's a pretty neat link you've found to the Penmachmo trail, v.useful.

Agreed, but we should make a greater effort to ride more than our local bridleways. We'll have to try and get more regular single day "expeditions", something like once a month ? Granted not everyone will be able to join in all of the time. Day trips will take less organising too ;) Hopefully, some of the posse will be inspired to get our knobblies rollin'...


dozer said...

Sounds good to me. Need to give it another month or so to get shoulder sorted out. Anyone fancy a day out at Thetford. Not tech compared to Wales, similar to bits of Cannock. I did the black in the summer, some sections were fun (yes it’s flat). There is a red way marked as well, I assume it's the new dawn till dusk?

; http://www.bike-art.com/trails.asp

http://www.thetfordmtbracing.com/d2dcoursemap.html


uphilla said...

Thetford sounds good, probably not too much driving? Despite being flat I know lots of people think it it great fun.


uphilla said...

P.S. Have a look at entry 218 for the dusk 'til dawn this year, ring any bells??


daahnhilla said...

LIES! DIRTY LIES!!! NO XC RACING FOR ME!

*ahem*


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