Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Coed Llandegla Chapters 2 and 3 (Sat and Mon)

Anna and I enjoyed the trails so much last time that we decided it was worth going again, in what we hoped would be dryer conditions...

Saturday: We set off pretty early but still got bogged down in the Bank Holiday crowd (whoops - forgot about that). Got to about JCT 14 of the M6, and thought, "SHIT! HAVE I SHUT THE FRONT DOOR?" No amount of racking my brains and trying to remember convinced me I had, and I started to panic, and feel pretty sick... our house is at the end of a terrace and the wall is usually infested with "chav's"... wouldn't be too long till one of them noticed an open door. What if my DH bike was stolen... Did I lock the inside door? Would they be able to get into the rest of the house and raid it/hurt our cats? It seemed like an eternity later when we managed to get to JCT 15 to pull off and turn round – everyone we called was busy or unavailable to check, and we couldn’t carry on… charged back home at 1XXmph practically all the way to find it wasn’t open, but DOUBLE LOCKED! A waste of a day and £35. At least we finished the day off with a nice Barbie!

We decided to give it another go – we were both looking forward to it and determined to ride there again!

This time, we opted for the black run; I remember there being much more on there, but still not to the point that Anna wouldn’t be able to ride it.
It starts of in the same place in the red, and after a few descents on the red, it branches off and is effectively a large diversion that then rejoins the red at the end. The black consists of more north shore, more table tops, and steeper/tighter berms. Had a lot of “blind drops” between trees: you’d come up to them not being able to see the landing on the other side, how high or anything, but most were rollable, with just a gently sloping down ramp that would keep you on the ground if you’re not in the mood for collecting more air miles.

I had one sketchy moment; got really into a trail and started charging down at full speed, came round a corner and couldn’t quite make the next (lefthand) one, but I saw tyre marks going up onto the bank on the right… “Great, a runoff, go up here”. So I followed this random bit on the side, and then realised the trail was kinda dropping away from me while this “diversion” was remaining at the same level: not good. I could see ahead where I’d rejoin the trail and it looked like there was a run off back onto the trail…. Nope! Just as I approached I realised there was a 4ft drop, and a 3ft wide hole… CRAP. Not what I’d bargined for, and I really wasn’t up for having my first crash in SPD’s…. so I put in a pedal stroke (all I had time for) and hoofed off it hoping I’d clear it.


Tyres possibly bottomed out and I certainly felt my wheels/tyres flex under the load, but it was surprisingly a smooth landing, and no doubt my feet stayed on because of the SPD’s…

After that I felt pretty much invincible and just ripped the rest up.

At this point I must congratulate my poor suffereing wife who did really, really well… she rode everything but the steepest berms and the northshore, riding over those blind drops and coping very well with the longer distance. I thought the trail was a lot easier and smoother, perhaps because when I rode the black last time, it was on the Gemini?

All in all a great day, and once again loving the place – well worth a visit if you just want good flowing trails, that will occasionally scare you when you get more air than you bargained for!


Posse: Anna (Chameleon) Dangerous (Chameleon)
Weather: Perfect! Not too hot, dry and sunny!
Mechanicals: Anna had some issues with the front mech dropping the chain, but was quickly tweaked.
After thoughts: Anna did very, very well. I need to work on jumping and cornering in SPD’s still. A trip to the secret trails in Badby is in order, I think!


Farqui said...

What planet were you guys on pal ?! Attempt#1 sounds awful.

Otherwise, it sounds like you had a great time and it's defo on my "to do" list.

SPD's rock ! :p

dahnhilla said...

Heh, it was just one of those things were you can't remember doing it, and the more you think about it, the more convinced you become you hadn't done it.

Pics to come later when I sort through them all.

dahnhilla said...

Pictures added...

Farqui said...

I'm glad that high boardwalk thingy is as wide as it is :O

The berms look like fun.