Wednesday, July 23, 2008

White's Level, Afan, Glyncorrwg.

It is some weeks now, but I finally got to do the day trip to Afan I have had in mind for a while. The idea was to drive most of the way Friday night, stay in a YHA overnight and then start riding early Saturday am. This is much less of a commitment than a whole weekend and easier to fit in, so will be doing it again before too long if anyone is interested.

My companion this time was a young friend from the midlands who is a very able and keen cyclist just about to start University. It was tempting to do the July trail at Glyncorrwg as the final descent one of the best, but I decided to start with White’s level as I had not ridden this for some years and had heard about a new section.

Overnight stay was at YHA just south of Brecon, so we were also given a hint of how good it would be to ride some natural stuff in this area. The drive down was over the hills, so very scenic.

All the trails at Glyncorrwg have that long initial climb; it is a slog, but perfectly fine. We opted to do the optional black section running from the top of this climb and both managed to clear this. Francis got a pinch flat, so I was glad of some time to catch my breath and watched other riders picking their way through the ‘Black’.

I had no memory of White’s Level, so it was like riding a new trail. The great thing is that after that long initial climb the rest is mostly downhill and real single-track blast! We soon came the new Energy Section which is a sign of how trails are going with jumps berms and ‘north shore’ – all roll-able, but actually hard to keep your wheels on the ground at times. Great Fun! Further down more North-shore has been installed, probably some of the trickiest I have tried for a while – certainly needs full concentration. The rest is just fast downhill single-track with switchbacks and optional jumps. Highly recommended

We did lunch at the Drop-Off cafĂ© that was as good as always, then off to Afan Forest Park to do the Penhydd trail. Nothing different here, and it did not disappoint. It was Francis’s first visit to a trail centre and he was always way ahead of me, totally unfazed by the terrain, a great intro.

As we finished a little rain started to fall, the rest of the day had been warm and fine. Great new feature at this centre is a shower block, very welcome after our day in the saddle before heading home. We both suffered in days after with midge bites, it seems they have moved south :-(

Next time Penmachno or Black Mountains?

Posse: Uphilla; 5-Spot; Francis: Gary Fischer Marlin HT

Weather: Warm, sunny.

Mechanicals: Both suffered pinch flats

Monday, July 21, 2008

HELP!! Headset and forks

Thanks to you guys, I have ordered and now received new headset plus RS Reba Team forks. Whilst they look very pretty, I still have to get them fitted. Rob#2 went pale went I suggested knocking out the old headset cups with a hammer and screwdriver, and knocking in the new ones with a hammer and block of wood, so wondered if anyone would help one evening or weekend. Probably best if I travel (I live in Bucks) as you may have guessed, my toolkit somewhat rudimentary.


PS think I also have dodgy BB so help there appreciated.....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Proper 5 Spot

*ducks the incoming abuse*

Just spotted this and thought those with the 5spots might be interested to see what happens when you through lightweight out of the window....

*Found on SDH,163105.0.html

Friday, July 18, 2008

1 World 2 Wheels - Go By Bike Challenge

Ok so it's an American site but the concept is sound, quotes...

For your health, for the world, for our future, for 2 miles or less. With the world facing skyrocketing obesity rates, escalating traffic congestion and the concerns of global climate change, the bicycle is an underutilized solution.

For Your Health

The average person loses 13 lbs. their first year of commuting by bike.

Just 3 hours of bicycling per week can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by 50%.

A 140-pound cyclist burns 508 calories while pedaling 14 miles in an hour.

For the world

The U.S. could save 462 million gallons of gasoline a year by increasing cycling from 1% to 1.5% of all trips.

Each U.S. rush-hour auto commuter spends an average of 50 hours a year stuck in traffic.

In 2003, cars idling in traffic wasted 5 billion gallons of fuel.

For our future

In 1964 50% of kids rode to school and the obesity rate was 12%…in 2004, 3% rode to school and the obesity rate was 45%.

Between 1960 and today the average weight of a 6-11 year old has increased 11 pounds.
For 2 miles or less

60% of the pollution created by automobile emissions happens in the first few minutes of operation, before pollution control devices can work effectively.

24% of all trips are made within a mile of the home, 40% of all trips are made within two miles of the home, and 50% of the working population commutes five miles or less to work.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Builth Wells MTB Marathon Sun 6th July

I am planning to do this event on Sunday probably the 75K. There are various routes are from 30K to 90K. Is anybody else considering taking part?