Monday, July 05, 2010

The Alps - Day 3

After a good ride yesterday on the 'little bikes', we headed up Pleney on the 'big bikes'.

Given the changes we've seen year to year, we figured we'd take it easy first run down as it's been 2 years since we last rode here. I soon found myself forgetting this idea and just letting go of the brakes.

Last time I was out here, I was on my C'dale Judge, and despite it being typically well made Cannodale a utilising a great suspension system, I could never get on with it. It just felt too big, cumbersome and didn't fit me at all. This time however, I'm out with my new Iron Horse Sunday and I couldn't love it more. Whereas before I was lagging behind Alex I found myself pulling ahead and going faster and faster.

My bubble burst a bit when Alex lead us down some off piste trail off Le Pleney aptly named 'up your arse'. Mainly because this is where your back tyre ends up! I had a complete crisis of confidence down here, and after a few falls/fails, I struggled to get back on in the steep conditions and came back to the chalet to collect my thoughts.

After some lunch and cup of tea, one of the other guys in the chalet came out with us and we did another run of le pleney to sort our heads out and head down crepery, a steep trail down a gully with plenty of roots, rocks and tight turns to keep you amused! Next we headed up and road another off piste trail, named 'yeah boy!' after I discovered that the cause of the creaking was a result of the bolts having fallen out of my direct mount stem!!! After tightening the remaining bolts we headed off down yeah boy, which features tr steepest chute I've ever ridden. I managed to clean it this time, increasing my success to fail ratio and made it most of the way down without any dabs. We somehow missed the turn for the second section and instead rejoined crepery, after which our new riding companion left to check on his girlfriend who'd stacked it earlier.

Feeling confident again, we decided to have another bash at up your arse. We made it most of the way down, only crashing twice each, making it to the bottom without serious injury.

Another ace day with the added bonus of if being dry.

Posse: Alex (Intense Socom), David (Iron Horse Sunday) and joined later by Matt (Lapierre DH 920).
Mechanicals: Alex started the day without much of a front brake and found loose pinch bolts on his shimano cranks. I found a missing and a loose bolt on my direct mount stem (the stem bolts directly to the top crown on my triple clamp forks), leaving them held on by the stem top cap and a prayer!

Plans for this evening are to eat a good steak and chill in the hot tub.


Farqui said...

Yikes you were lucky with that stem. Those brakin'g bumps take their toll - if the bike survives then your eyes start rattlin' around their sockets!

Yeah, on a bad day I found those steep slopes can play havoc with your mojo :p

PS: I know that I've been away from the MTB scene for a while but when'd the Iron Horse arriver?

Farqui said...

Glad the weather stayed dry for ya's

toons said...

[i]PS: I know that I've been away from the MTB scene[/i]

Lee did\have you stopped riding?

Farqui said...

Kinda - been wrapped up in several DIY projects this year. Oh and work gets in the way quite a bit :( O-hum.

Dangerous Dave said...

Oh these were steep beyond steep! You wouldn't have found these unless you knew where they were! Vertical is probably a better word for it!

The Iron Horse arrived late last year, I think. Some scally wags broke into my shed and stole a bunch of random crap, such as fork lowers, and a drawer full of brake spares. The insurance company were about to replace them with some 2009 marzocchis so I said no thanks and took the £1500. I'd not been getting on with the judge for quite some time and I'd always fancied and Iron Horse. One in good nick popped up at the right time and I've not looked back since! Here is a picture of it a few months. note the super wide 785mm bars!!!

Willy said...

Sounds like you went down one of the trails we went on by accident when we were there last year. Totally unrideable - I'm amazed you got down in one piece - we walked it...I could have named it but I think the censors would catch it.
Photos would be good - what's an i-phone in comparison to the happiness of your followers at home?

Dangerous Dave said...

It was nearly unrideable! I think I can clean it on my next attempt. Both had steep chutes for the start so you'll know if you rode these!

If I can pad the phone out, I might try to take it to the Swiss National and Morgins tomorrow!!

dozer said...

I am very jealous, maybe it is a good thing there are no pics? :-) My guess is when Dangerous says steep; us mortals wouldn’t even be able to walk down the slope.
We did have a bit of excitement on our local trails on Sunday, cycled over to Chicksands woods, then through the base (the side gate was open?) and ended up on the firing range. I collected a couple of empty casings as souvenirs before getting out of there quickly.

dozer said...

Be careful, it rains a lot in Morgin!!!!

Dangerous Dave said...

Blimey! Getting shot at is a bit extreme!

uphilla said...

Steep chutes? Sounds like that quarry at Upper Sundon! Unrideable is why you go to the Alps, isn't it? :-)

Share This...