Dan Cartwright enjoyed his very first downhill race at “Conquer The Cliff” at Aberystwyth. He even managed 2nd in Rippers category which was great for his first race and he got a lovely trophy. He was the very first rider to start of the whole event and the first run was a dry run and he was just 5 seconds behind the first place rider but as there were thunderstorms rain and lightening just before his second run he didn’t manage to improve on his time. The first place rider in his category fell off hard on his second run so didn’t complete the lap. A lot of riders took part in the event and Caersws had a good representation on the day with 3 x 2nd place in categories and one 4th place, not bad for a small village in Wales (boys pictured above). Dan saw his hero Rachel Atherton who was also riding but was a bit quicker than him on the day ! An enjoyable event to start his downhill racing career off and a great first result.
A race weekend at Antur Stiniog, when we arrived it was raining and the forecast said it would rain until 2pm and rain it did, thinking about it now I think it might have been better to wait it out but I was on the first up lift and away up the hill, the top of the track which I’ve ridden before was no problem, but the new part on Bendy G track was horrendous wet, sloppy, snotty and like a skating ring, there was zero grip people were coming off every where including me, I had my Conti Kaiser’s on and I couldn’t stay upright, so dad put my Conti Mud King on the front which did help a lot I managed a few complete runs, then some offs again, people were complaining every where, but as dad kept saying “it’s the same for everybody ” the pic below is after one run.
It did stop raining around 2pm and things did start to dry a little but by now it was time to head for home and get the bike prepped for the race day, all evening at home it stayed dry, we got up a 6am and looking out the window it looked like it hadn’t rained, but as we got to Antur it was black and cloudy, talking to the people who stayed the night it had bucketed down most of the night, bugger.
I had a walk of the track with dad and it was a sticky, slimy mess oh no here we go again, practise wasn’t the best coming off on nearly every run the Mud King didn’t seem to be helping as much as yesterday, I did my first race run with the Mud King on and I came off twice, as soon as I came off I picked the bike up and got back on so I didn’t hold anyone up, I was very disappointed in my time but thought I would have to try harder on the second run, my second run would be at 3pm so around two hours to wait the sun was out and the wind was drying the track, so I asked dad to put my Kaiser back on to see if it would make a difference to my times, I was a little nerves on the grip front, on the top sections the wind was blowing very strongly but the Kaiser seemed to be rolling faster and then it was the super slippy section and I managed to sail straight through it and knocked 30 seconds off my first run.
Ride.io Race Report
Well two weekends of fun and racing, at Antur this weekend on the beast my first Borderline Events race so I hope all goes well, been there a couple of times with James and Richard so I will hopefully know where I’m going and have a lot of fun.
The weekend after it’s Conquer The Cliff at Aberystwyth I’m going to ride my Stance there as it’s not a full on downhill course, so this week dad has fitted New tyres ( thanks Continental) new chain, new stainless steel suspension bearings and given it a good going over, mind I think it needed it and to be fair it feels like new bike now.
Not sure how long chains should last, but I’m really light and the chain has been on around a year and it was quite shocking that it had stretched half a link in that time, so new KMC X9 .93 chain was put on.
All the bearings have been replaced with new stainless ones and some white marine grease to keep the water out, well fingers crossed.
My new tyres are Continental Mountain King II’s not ridden on them yet but been very impressed with everything I have tried of Conti so far so these shouldn’t disappoint, they do come up slightly narrower for a 2.2 than the old Trail Kings but hopefully roll faster ( well faster than everyone else in the race )
Playing up Henblas tonight, since fitting the lighter shock spring when hitting the ramp of a jump hard the rear tyre would buzz on the saddle, so dad had a fettle with the bottom out control to ramp the shock up a bit on the final part of the stroke, which helped a lot but I could feel the rear kick up as I left the lip of the ramp, so more fiddling backed off the LS 3 clicks and increased the rebound 3 clicks harder and all seemed good no buzz, no kick back and the ride felt smooth.
As we aren’t suspension experts I hope we are heading in the right direction !!
Went for a ride up at Hopton Castle today, the sun was out and it was HOT, hot and sweaty, quite a few riders up there but once out on the trails you hardly saw a soul, the trails were bone dry and very dusty.
I’ve seen the castle a few times as we drove by and from the trails on the lower side of the woods so we thought we would have a look to see what it’s like.
Well tried the Saracen Myst out at Antur and it’s amazing even with the wrong spring on the back, the bike is so smooth compared to my Mega and the weight difference isn’t that noticeable which is good as well.
James and Richard came along as well to make for a perfect day, well almost the wind on the top and open areas was horrible, but still didn’t spoil my day, one strange thing I’ve done Black Powder quite a few times and thought the Double black route called “The Black” would be really hard but I found it easier than the Black Powder, mind it was a lot less windy.
Dad got some of these Uber finned brake pads for the Saracen, they are a lot cheaper than Shimano genuine pads and the brake pad can be replaces as it’s not fixed to the finned back plate so should hopefully save some money ( keep dad happy )
When it came to fitting them it seemed a little fiddly to start trying to hold 5 separate bits and fit them all at the same time, but it didn’t take to long to get it sorted, hopefully the bike is now all sorted for Antur on Sunday.
What Uber Bike Components say about there pads.
Well I have to admit that I’ve been waiting for this moment to come for sometime, I’ve been riding Antor, Rev’s, One Giant Leap and raced at the FOD on my Mega and enjoyed it a lot, but I’ve always wanted a full on DH bike and now the beast is here.
Fox 40’s, Fox DHX 4RC rear shock, Team Issue Frame, Saint cranks, Saint brakes and my favorite Conti Kaisers, the fella we got it off said that all new bearings have been fitted, new freehub and luckily he had a soft spring for the front forks, so we just need to get a softer spring for the rear.
One spot of luck is I’m off to Antor with James and Richard this Sunday for some practise for my race there the end of May so hopefully the bike will fit me like a glove and everything will fall into place, fingers crossed.