Well what a weekend Pearce Cycle DH race at Brindgewood Nr Ludlow, we left home around 4pm on Friday in the rain, got to the amazing well organised camping area around 5pm and it was still raining so coats on and get on with it, gazebo up and all the stuff out of the van sorted and time for dinner by now James had also turned up so we got both vans sorted out and the pits were sorted ( according to the Met Office the rain was going to stop at 7pm) I wanted to have a track walk before we settled in for the night but the rain wasn’t going to stop so I thought I would wait for the morning.
Saturday morning arrived and it was looking rather soggy out there and still it was raining on and off, sign on started at 8 am so me and dad walked up to get signed on and got my number board, I thought I wouldn’t rush to get on the up lift as it would be super slimy, James and me head up the hill around 10.30 to see what the track was like, well it was very slimy and super sticky mud after around 5 runs I think my bike weighed twice as much as it should, dad put a Conti Mud King on the front and a Der Kaiser on the back but grip wasn’t brilliant, so I thought I would try a Mud King in the rear as well, the grip was a lot better but the rolling resistance slowed the runs too much, so I put the Kaiser back in around 3pm I had enough so dad washed and prepped the bike for the race tomorrow.
Saturday evening turned out cracking so we all had a BBQ and chilled in the sun, the forecast was awful but I thought they might have had it wrong how nice it was, oh no they hadn’t in the idle of the night the thunder started and the rain was biblical, when we got up the stuff in the gazebos were soaking, the up lift started at 8am so we had to get a move on I only wanted to do two runs just to see what all this rain had done to the track, to my surprise there was quite a bit more grip than yesterday so back to the van so dad could prep the bike for my first race run at 11.01am.
My race run didn’t start of to well as I couldn’t clip in, I got clipped in and I was off the run went well and I was well pleased but I came un clipped again but my foot went straight back in and I pedaled for the line my time was 2.11 which wasn’t to bad, I came 18th out of 27, by now the thunder and lightning had come back and the race organisers said they would have to cancel the race all together, the rain that came just before we started home was torrential the field had a mini tidal wave start running down it so bike in the van and it was time to get the hell out of here.
Day at Caersws DH Park for the first uplift of the year, nice to get the beast rolling again and get some practise in for this years race season, bike performed well, new Conti Der Kaiser on the front.
The going was good the track was quite dry but the wind was absolutely freezing, I think I did around 10-12 runs and got some good practise in, I was riding mainly with Glyn and he showed me some good lines down the big drop in the root section which I felt a lot more confident about by the finish.
Big thank you to Lucie Burn Photography for the above photos.
Cracking ride with the boys today even though it as cold and hard work in the snow, nearly 900 mtr of climbing and over 30km in all, when we did get onto tarmac roads in the odd place it still didn’t make life easy as they were covered in ice, but by the end I was feeling quite tired and my hand were freezing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 )
Cold damp day today and I wanted to play on my BMX so I went to Newtown skate park to see if I could improve some of my ridding , I’ve only been to the skate park a few times and would like to get better at some of the obstacles, so I tried riding up some of the ramps and up around the love seat the concrete was supper slippy so wasn’t sure how well it would go, when I tried to ride up around the love seat for the first time I took it easy which was a mistake as the tyres just slipped and let go and down in a heap I went, second attempt and lets just go for it, people keep saying the faster you go the easier it is ( not 100% sure about that ) this time more speed and it seemed easy even if my legs were shaking a little and once you’ve done it you wonder what all the fuss was about.
Then I tried riding up some of the ramps and jumping off the top of them, had a look to see if anything was going to grind out and thinking speed is your friend and just hit it, easy no problem at all.