Friday, September 28, 2007

The Wall

After a quick explore and warm up at Brechfa, I met the Rob's back at the cabins who were both chomping at the bit to get their knobblies dirty. As the cabins back onto The Wall trail we didn't have far to crank before hitting the single track.

This was R2's first dose of technical riding and he also had to contend with the experience on a relatively new rig. Unfortunately our newbie was plunged in at the deep end with as he follow us down "the wall". Both Rob and I stopped halfway down to reset our suspension as we were both struggling with the lumpy terrain. With our bikes adjusted R2 still hadn't caught up and a passing riders commented that he was riding "up" the trail - impressive for a DH section ! Eventually R2 caught up with us, looked a little pale and was as confused as us to were he'd gone wrong. Anyhow we twiddled his rig into "all mountain" mode and continued downwards.

Completing his first section R2 was surprised at how technical the riding was but was starting to feel a little more confident now his rig was more stable underneath him. We cranked steadily along the valley bottom bridleway back to the trail head proper and took in an short'n'twisty first section where our newb got his first taste of switchbacks. Fortunately he managed to calm down as we began the long, long crank back along the valley bridleway. Thankfully the height gain is gradual and your reward is plenty of single track high atop the valley.

The next sections had a little of everything with the odd switchback, plenty of rocks, twistin thru' threes, roots, climbing, descending, fast, slow, etc - BIG FUN. To end our ride we had to survive the Graveyard and I'm yet to tackle this on legs that can cope with monster roots (that caught R2 out) and navigating the boulders. So I'll have to "clean" this another day.

If you want a ride that'll give you a bit of everything and leave you satisfied with your efforts then this has gotta be near the top of your "to do" list. We were a bit naughty starting R2 on such a technical trail but he's a fit'n'strong rider who deserved putting back in his place after trouncing us both around his local patch :p Only kiddin, he's a top bloke who was more than capable of of taking up the challenge and at the end his smiles said it that may have just been because he knew it was the end of the ride :lol

Route: Tracklog
Posse: Farqui (5Spot), Rob (Flux), R2 (Canyon XC)
Mechanicals: Rob - puncture early on
Weather: overcast but dry and a comfortable temp


Rob said...

It was in at the deep end for the bloke on the pogo for sure but some tweakin thankfully stemmed the rising terror and put the fun back in.

This was a nice ride to start with, a few miles covered warm the legs nicely and none of it too risky for the rusty.

R2 proved a fast learner that's for sure and pays testament to the fact that well chosen kit and good fitness go a long way.

On the other hand nothing makes you feel more alive than surviving a 4inch drop off on a headshok!! Did that say fatty ultra or faulty ultra.....

Rob#2 said...

Hell of a baptism! Little old XC me...So shocked by the terrain I failed to notice the direction markers!! or the true gradient of the wall. I'll be better prepared next time I ride this route but can't say I'll be any more confident about dealing with the grave yard.

So much thanks to my riding partners for the front shock set up. I'd have gone home if I'd have had to stick with my pogo xc settings!

Tom Greensmith said...

The Wall is the perfect trail for a newbie. I hadn't even ridden a bike in over 10 years when I bought a hardtail and thought I'd have a crack at MTBing. So i took my new wheels up to see what Afan was made of, and decided on the Wall as my first ever MTB ride. Only came off once, was impressed with myself that i reached 32mph on the final zig zag descent. Off to do the Marin and Penmachno next weekend, wish me luck!

James said...

Hi. Great write-ups on your site. I tried to upload your Tracklogs route of "The Wall" but get a "file not recognised" error. I mention it in case others have the same problem. The Penhydd gps route uploaded fine. Cheers, James

Farqui said...

James, tx. Both downloads work fine for me, perhaps you experienced a momentary glitch ?

Email me (sidebar) if you're still having trouble.

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