One Day It’s Bone Dry The Next It’s As Wet As An Otters Pocket !!

Dan Llangollen

The Saturday was cloudy and dry, as always things seemed to start quite slowly nobody in a rush to get sorted and get the track live, nobody was in a rush but I was ready and raring to go, the up lift started at 10 am and I was on the first one up the hill the track was mint if a little dusty, Martin the track owner had altered some jumps for the better.

19396921_1916517478620660_1084041871213291818_n

All day it looked like rain but came to nothing at all the track was fast and a little sketchy in places but great fun, I think One Giant Leap Llangollen is one of my favourite tracks and Martin had done a really good job of preparing it for the race, I think I had done around 5-6 runs by dinner time without any problems, so I had a drink and a quick bite to eat before round two.

19260641_1916265411979200_3920199437359757513_n

Quite few local people were riding this weekend on Saturday Rhys, Brad, Matty, Jamie and Jack were here and James and Thomas are riding on Sunday, I rode to around 3.30pm with just one small slide off, so it was home for dinner and dad could prep the bike for Sunday, up again early on Sunday and back to Llangollen, the Met Office said on Saturday that Sunday would be the best day of the weekend, but guess what it’s raining yet again on race day.

Dad was a bit worried that the rain would make the track slippery but there was plenty of grip, it seemed better than Saturday to be honest, the rain and low cloud on top of the hill kept coming and going all morning I did around 4-5 runs and then it was time to get on the uplift for my first race run and guess what the heaven opened and cloud came rolling in, fantastic.

I was first rider down which is something I always hate, the count down beeps started and off I went, the track was like a river in places and I slid off in 2 places but got straight back on and went for it, I was gutted to slide off but was amazed that on the first run I was 8th out of 16 and not that far behind the leader the bike was covered in mud, so dad washed it ready for the next run we had two hours to wait.

The rain kept coming and it was nearly time for round two everyone coming down kept saying it was like riding on ice so we thought we would change to a spike in the front, so quick change of front wheel and here we go, the tyre gripped well with no offs but my gears kept jumping every time I pedalled for a jump I cased every double going across the top section, I gave it everything I could and bugger it was 3 seconds slower than the first run I was gutted and that put me down to 12th.

DSC_0001

Dad washed the bike at Llangollen and it was still filthy so we washed it again and get it ready for the next outing, time to get more practise and try to get faster.

Roots & Rain Results

 

 

Great Day

DSC_0154

Cracking day at One Giant Leap Llangollen, I managed to get onto the up lift before my Borderline race on the 24th & 25th of June, the track was spot on after all the rain my Kaiser had plenty of grip and were running fast, the track the race will be on is Son Of Squirrel so that’s the one I needed to practice.

DSC_0035

First run down was more of a sighting run so I took my time to see what it was like, a little wet and slippy in places but mainly good and steep, towards the end of the track before the finish in the field is a big step down drop, to start with I took the slightly lower side.

DSC_0090

Before we stopped for lunch I think I had done 4-5 runs and was really liking the track, fair play to Martin the owner of the place he put on a good bit of food for us all to have for lunch, as we all got ready for round two dad said I should try the higher drop which is quite high, so I told him if he wants to take a picture to go there now as I’m going to do it on my next run.

DSC_0154

The run down to the drop went well and now it was time to give it a go, it all went well on take off the landing went a little wrong but I stayed on, to be fair when you come to the top of the drop it looks really high but I had done it, on the next run I tried it again and it went a lot better so I was well pleased, all in all it was a fantastic day.

DSC_0164

Dry & Dusty

20170601_200251

That makes a change, no rain and just dry dusty runs, I went to Henblas up lift again today I rode the freeride track quite a few times and it seems really good fun, then the Welsh a few times and then onto NPS I haven’t been able to do the first gap jump at the top, in the past I have just rolled through the gap which for a race run would add quite a lot of time, so I talked to James about it and he said I could do it no problem but to me it looked quite wide and on the far side the track builders had laid a log across the down hill ramp which looked like if you came up short and cased it, it would go wrong in a big way, James told me not to worry I could do it easy, so I had a look and thought lets do it I rode up to it but chickened out and hit the brakes, I turned around and tried again and hit the brakes again, I was so annoyed with myself I rode down the NPS and had a drink and loads of advise, as I went back up on the up lift tractor I kept telling myself  I can do it and this time I came up to it and just hit it, Yes, Yes, Yes I did it.

20170601_190948_013_01

20170601_190948_014_01

20170601_190948_015_01

 

Conquer The Cliff 2017

FB_IMG_1495914687300

Well that’s Conquer The Cliff done again, it started off a little stress full the gravel on the tracks was like riding on ball bearings, my brand new Mountain Kings seemed to have no grip at all and then to make it even worse as I was coming off the tram at the top of the hill my front tyre hit something on the steeps and blew a hole straight through the side wall, sealant went everywhere and I had to push the bike all the way back down the hill, dad got the remaining fluid out popped a tube in and off I went back to the top, I managed another two practise runs and then it was race time.

When I arrived at the top for my race run you could see the rain rolling up cardigan bay, oh no last year when it rained a few of the corners became skating rings, I think I was lucky as I got to the bottom without any problems the rain got heavier but didn’t affect my run and I was 10 seconds faster than last year, I had another hour and a half to wait until my next run so time for a chat and a chill, by the time my next run came the track had dried out but still had a little moisture which seemed to help with grip and knocked another second and half off my time which left me in seventh in my class, not to bad with the class of rider that was in it.

FB_IMG_1495914694681

Two Weekends Of Fun

received_284572155335557

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.

20170518_182926

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.

20170518_183001

All the bearings have been replaced with new stainless ones and some white marine grease to  keep the water out, well fingers crossed.

20170518_183035

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 )

More Set Up Work

20170511_194106

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 !!

20170511_194022

It Was Hot

20170507_124029

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.

20170507_123840