Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dalby Red - Round Two

With relatively clear sky's the posse snaked it's way from the car park and up into the switchback loveliness of the woods.

With the snake of riders following it wasn't long before the fitter / rested riders were heading the queue and chasing tyre's up down and around the first few km's of the Red route.

As Rob and I cranked past Dixon's Hollow (where the others stopped for a play) we soon found ourselves waiting around and getting cold. So with Rob gaining in confidence (after his leg op) we dived down a short Black graded gully and had a nice challenging slime covered rock climb back up to the Red. We didn't take every additional challenge around the Red, however we did select what turned out to be a beltin' north shore section towards the end of the northern Black bits. It wasn't just long (thankfully not too tall or narrow) but had plenty of steep drops, rises and cross camber woodwork to negotiate. This was rapidly followed by a long, algae covered, narrow rocky canyon which twisted and turned it's way to a mighty difficult climb. Rob gave it a good shot and I'm thankful that my suddenly skipping gears gave me the perfect excuse to hike a bike ;-) It transpires that my inner cassette sprocket now had a substantial "ding" effectively wiping out the bottom gears. Rob pushed and grunted it straight enough to not give any further problems, a top fix mister.

Instead of myself pulling Dozer along (as per loop#1) the tables were turned as Rob hammered on and on with my now wobbly legs in steady pursuit. With just a section or two to go he even suggested I could take a bail out option back to the start and in return he got abuse and a knobbly to chew :)

On the final descent I summoned my remaining reserves and whooped my way back to a thoroughly well earned coffee, panni-whats-it and moosive slice of cake: thumbu After a quick re-charge t'was time for me to source a replacement cassette from the lbs.

With some 65km's cranked, I did wonder if my pins would be up for the 100km challenge I'd set myself for wkend...


Posse: yup, loads of 'em
Weather: Dry, warm with a light breeze.
Mechanicals: Roger had skipping gears rectified by removing the plastic sprocket guard. Jenni's crank arm kept parting company with her crankset. My buckled cassette.
Injuries; Paul acquired himself a bloody leg and I'd be surprised if a few of the others didn't have a few xtra lumps at the finish ;-)


toons said...

Thanks to Geoff and Dave for sorting out Saturday's ride.

dozer said...

Well after some very late arrivals Friday night (apologies to the other people staying in the cabins at Keldy, the two peeping toms where policemen, honest!), a good nights sleep :-) and our postie arrival early Saturday I was already for round 2. I was a little nervous about how R3 would get on with my sons Giant XTC, did I mention that UK bikes have the brakes the other way round :-) Oh and I had told Paul that the tracks would not be too technical! The ride was slower and with a lot more stopping than the first day, but that allowed me to have a little play in the 'play park'. It was nice to see smiles on faces most of the time and all the crashes etc were soon forgotten Saturday night after lots of food and booze. NB Some of the bike maintenance was not up to scratch chaps, I think there are some adverts out there for new mechanics, ones that like Shimano? There's more to these cycling weekends than just riding.

dozer said...
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uphilla said...

I love Dalby! It is just so much fun, though I am still wondering if I rode the same course as others because I can't remember any serious hills ;-)
Despite having ridden here before I found I could not remember much of the red route up to and immediately after Dixon's Hollow, the surface seems to have held up well and provided plenty of challenge.
A few took the chance to try the bike park at the Hollow. Not difficult to ride slowly, not so easy to ride flat out! It would be a good place to practice getting airborne as there are some nice little jumps with predictable landings, in fact the rest of the Red is a great place for novices to practice small jumps without too much risk.
Although most of the group are reasonably fit, the distance of this route did take it toll on some - of course last time at Afan we typically did one 12 mile route per day, (Apart from our resident super heroes :-) ), so 22 miles of up and down is "testing".
Turner once again worked well, it just seems to cope with anything I will ever tackle.
Pleased to see Toons and Mark, thanks for making the journey down to join us.