Sunday, May 30, 2010

Brechfa - Derwen - rash

Last Sunday I showed Roger and his lad (noobie alert, aged 11) around Brechfa's gentle green/blue graded route, the Derwen.  After a hearty Nonni Barn breakfast we drove over the moor and took in some breath taking views before plunging into the valley and to the busy trail head.  While the gals ambled off for a gentle woodland walk our small posse cranked up the fireroad and Ryan soon began to wonder if all this effort would be worth it - after all, his guides had already been labelled "bike freaks" - charming little chap ;)

Eventually the trail swings into the woods with some more gentle climbing that cleverly undulates and doesn't feel as bad as a continually upward fireroad stomp.  The tracks are wide and well scrubbed in with loose slate at the edges, so our little charmer was eased in gently soon started to smile.  Kids are such fast learners and without any fuss we soon completed the short green loop.

Taking a breather at the green/blue intersection the noobie was keen to push on with the slightly harder blue rather than head back on the easy green - what a trooper.  Unfortunately the blue winds it's way upwards on a steeper gradient than the little chap could handle but he did a sterling job, digging in and winching his way upwards wherever he could.

At the top some well deserved snacks were gulped down and the energy lift soon had our legs cranking into the woods for some big time downhill action.  The gradient was again a little steeper and more challenging but it didn't phase our v-braked buddy and even the switchbacks didn't slow him down too much.

Riding from the front I didn't get an opportunity to directly see his progress but I figured that he wasn't too far back so seemed to be doing well.  His pah meanwhile kept an eye on the youngerster who only needed a gentle reminder now and again.

The final few sections are a swoop fest of corner after corner and 'yump' after 'yump' - brilliant they are and we were soon back at the trailhead to meet the rest of our adventurers.  We then hit the new Drop Off cafe bus (operators formerly ran Afan's excellent Drop Off cafe) and I can see why the trail head was so busy.  Their munchies and coffee are as good as ever :)

Food is a great motivator and before packing up the bikes we decided to pop back up the fireroad and re-ride the very last section again.  With pah up front our lickle 'borrower' didn't need any encouragement to dart off downhill while I kept a close watch behind.  I don't thnk it'll be long before this little chap is going to be giving us 'old timers' a run for their money 'cos he's non too shoddy behind the bars.  Ripping between the trees (aka Star Wars 'speeders') it didn't take long before we rolled past the bus roof top and into the last few turns.

Then someone hit the slow-mo we turned into the last few gentle switchbacks our noobie opted to shoulder a tree on the exit which sloooowly lofted him off his rig and into a superman dive down the trail.  At one point I was sure he'd beat dad to the fnish but alas gravity was stronger - the gravel bit into his left side and to top it off the bike landed on top of him!  Ouch.  Now pinned to the ground he needed assistance to unravel limbs from bike and considering how painful gravel rash can be he did well to stop yellin' as soon as he did.  With no serious injuries he was soon showing off his busted knee.  Oh and Ryan, next time you decide to drop-it can you pick a spot out of sight of your mum!

Well done Ryan, you're now officially one of the 'bike freaks', complete with scars :p

Appologies for no pic's, I forgot my camera.

Posse: Roger (Spesh FSR), Ryan (24" wheeled iron horse), Farqui (5Spot)
Mechanicals: None
Weather: sunny with a light cool breeze
Injuries: Ryan shoulder a tree - ouch, gravel rash - double ouch