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.
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 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.
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.
Went to Revs again with James on good Friday, it was quite windy, cool but dry, we did a run on freeride and then a couple of goes on Ghetto, then James said shall we have a go at The Far Side, this track is graded purple and for pro’s only but what the hell lets give it a go it’s steep full of roots and drops but I have to admit one of the best tracks I have ever ridden so we rode it over and over again, suspension was getting hot with all the work and the brakes even hotter, back brake need the fluid changing after a full day of riding the far side will have to give 50 : 01 a go next time.
I also managed to do a few things that I didn’t manage to do the last time, I also had another go at the big gap jump got over it but not as good as I would have liked, that’s one for next time.
Dry and dusty at Caersws today but great fun tracks all running fast, I rode Welsh, English and NPS, NPS is my favourite of all the tracks, first time trying the Conti Kaisers in the dry and dusty conditions and as always they worked perfect.
Great day if a little of an early start 4am out of bed to go to the Onza Mini Downhill series in the Forest Of Dean, we did get there a little early but it made parking easy and could chill before the races.
Dad went and signed on for me at 8am and then we pushed up to the start of the course but still had to hang about for a short while as the first aid people hadn’t turned up yet so I had a bit of a walk of the track, eventually we could start to ride the track, it was a bit of a shame as we only had one and three quarters of an hour to practise which by the time you had pushed back up amounted to two full runs so not a huge amount of time to session the track.
Racing was supposed to start at 11am and my first race run at 11.42am but some more delays and some sitting around at the top but eventually I was away the top section was quite pedaly with some jumps, then down a bank onto a fire road and into a lot rougher/techie/rooty section, then into a slippy turn down to the finish, this turn had caught quite a few people out and gone straight through the tapes, the run went well if a little slow I had a 1min 16sec run I was slightly disappointed but thought I would try harder next run.
Time for a chill and something to eat back down at the car, they said my next run should be at around 1.30pm so we pushed back up to the top a little early so I could have a blow before my run but yet again some more delays and I think it was around 2.30pm before it was game on, this run seemed a little smoother and I managed to knock off another 2 seconds which put me in 23rd out of 26 riders in my class, not as good as I would have liked but it could have been worse and I did beat 25 other riders in all the other catorgries, it was quite an eye opener how fast some of the riders are in juvenile mind give me something to aim for.