Friday, April 25, 2008

Dalby Red - A First Taste

The thought of some en-mass knobbly action in North Yorkshire with our ride buddies tempted some of the posse to make a long wkend of it. So Dozer and I loaded the car to the brim and headed up shortly after rush hour, with Uphilla/Daanhilla and C3PO not too far behind.

Some 3hrs later we were checking out the cabins and deciding on where to ride. As the accommodation wasn't available until later in the afternoon we decided not to wait around and opted to get a decent ride in over at Dalby, map.

After paying the fee to get into the forest (£7 a day, later topped up with £3 to make a handy 7 day pass - tx Uphilla) we assembled our rigs at the well equipped center amidst dappled sunshine.

Heading out from the car park sets the tone of the trail with ample switchback practice throughout the duration of the ride. As usual you initially climb your way up and out of the valley with the trail gradually "contouring" the valleys (or riggs) that flank 3/4's of the forest.

With over 20miles of Red rated trails and plenty of steady pedal-ie sections defo it puts your fitness to the test, but with fresh legs we found ourselves zipping along nicely :) Thankfully Dozer's tight rear brake was steadily freeing itself as we cranked out the miles.

Dalby's Red route is interspersed with optional Black "bits" or complete sections should you fancy something more than a vanilla cross country ride. We past Dixon's Hollow, the play area, and decided to leave it for another day and crack on. As this was our 1st visit, we mainly kept to the Red and easily settled into the obstacles and terrain that typify this trail. Our knobbly's coped with a thin layer of mud, roots, sand, small rocks and numbing crocodile back "pavement" through to a full range of tight, open, fast and slow corners. Only a few climbs are steep enough to cause any headaches and there are plenty of short drops to rapidly pull your speed back. Traction was good throughout with just the later sections being a little sketchy in the dampness.

The last section is a tease as the GPS showed the finish around 1 mile away (as the crow fly's) but the trail zig zags left and right with ample climbing to shred your spirits and legs. Fortunately the final section rewards your efforts with a schweet switchback combo back to the coffee shop.

Our first taste of the area allowed us to dial in our rigs a little better and get ourselves out of our "flatland" routine ;-) I was pleased to find that Dozer getting on well with his new rig and the new spring up front (medium to x-firm) meant he wasn't rapidly blowing through his travel.

Tracklog and pic's.

Posse: Dozer (Canyon), Farqui (5Spot). Uphilla (5Spot), Daaanhilla (Commencal), Rob (Flux), Dom/Zena arrived a little later but we didn't manage to meet up.
Weather: Warm 12c-ish, light breeze, dry to start with drizzle to finish.
Mechanicals: Dozer had a dragging rear brake
(new pads) which sloooowly loosened up.


Rob#2 said...

I was looking forward to reading this with envy! Looks great xcountry Yorkshire terrain...right up my street. Maybe next time...

Oh, nice to see a Canyon in action.


Le Blaireau said...

Sounds like a great place, took a look at the map and its packed!!! The green on my face has now turned luminous;)

dozer said...

I enjoyed the ride and found myself cycling over most things on my new Canyon, with my eyes open for most bits. Trying to keep up with Lee made me attack it more, which was a good thing. R2, it's not XC mate! OK a few miles of it maybe, but the rest is a good mix of everything. Faster, Faster! :-) Sorry we didn't ride with the other Friday crew, but the mobile phone reception up there made contacting each other comical :-) Oh and sorry to the poor squirrel sprawled out squashed, on all fours towards the end of the track, I think I squashed it a little more.

uphilla said...

Heading up early on Friday is going to be my favoured option from now on, made the weekend more relaxed, though I am not sure I am up to 3 days riding :-(
It was good have chance to get a ride in with No.1 son and we opted for a sensible 10 mile blast around the last bit of Dalby Red. Just right and put a smile on our faces - specially the final switchback down to the car park.
Also took this opportunity to try a new toy, a helmet camera, and was pleased with results. Will post some footage once I have edited it down.

Farqui said...

Making a long wkend of these trips is ESSENTIAL and defo takes the pressure off a bit. I still wonder how peeps did 7Stanes last yr with just x1 nights kip.

Your bullet cam setup looked mighty impressive and a brilliant price too. Give us the 'gen' master.