What a weekend at round 3 of the Pearce cycles DH series, when we arrived on Friday the pit seemed really quite but by 10pm it had really filled up, we got our selves sorted out and had some dinner, then I went for a track walk to see what I could expect it was quite a long track and very dry and dusty.
Saturday morning dawned and the weather was fantastic again so I had some breakfast and went with dad to sign on, it’s always really easy and well sorted at Pearce cycles events so all done and time to get my kit on and get on the up lift, to the get to the up lift it was a short ride down a narrow back road to where the landrovers picked us up and took to the top of the hill, the track was mint if a little dusty I did around 9 practise runs looking at different lines.
After practise dad washed and prepped the bike ready for race day and then we went to llangynog for dinner in the pub and then a stroll back in the sunshine for a chill in the sunshine, I went off with some of the other rider for a bit of a muck about but my foot slipped off a friends flat pedal and really gashed my shin so it was off to the medical centre tent and we finally went to bed around 11pm and it was still almost light.
To my surprise on Sunday morning my leg didn’t hurt I thought it would be really painful, the up lift started at 8.30am so I thought I would get 3 quick runs before it got to hot and then chill out until my race runs, practise went well the track was still mint and the bike was spot on, my first race run was at just after 11am so it was time to get kitted up again and head up the hill, as I started off the line I felt really good and was flying, as I came to the first fire road crossing my back tyre let go and that run was over I was gutted, I managed to get a lift back down on one of the up lift trailers and dad was waiting for me at the bottom and pushed the bike back to the pits and sort it out, I was gutted that the tyre let go but I would have to give it my all in my second run.
It was time for my second run and this time I was first man down, the deeps started and I was off, in the back of my mind I was worried about a dnf again , but all was going well and when I passed the place my tyre went the first time I relaxed a little and got into a rhythm and I crossed the line with a 3.40 and I was in 10th place and to my surprise when every one of the juveniles came over the line I was still in 10th which I was quite impressed with as I only had one full race run, so all in all I was stoked.
Great weekend at Llangollen racing Gravity Events DH race at One Giant Leap fantastic weather, dry and dusty tracks that were a little slick but very fast, Saturday practise went well with a good few runs and no problems, we played around with tyre pressures to see if we could get more grip but with all the dust and rocks it made little to no difference.
Race day dawned and it was still looking really good on the weather front, up lifts were supposed to start at 9am but what a complete and utter nightmare, the coaches that were supposed to take us to the top of the hill hadn’t turned up, one turned u at 10am and the other two came just as the practice had finished, I only got two practise runs and I fell off on the first one, again chaos race runs were supposed to start at 12.15, so I went to the uplift and up the hill around 11.55am, then there was a delay and we spent around 1 1/2 hours baking in the sun waiting to go, first race run went well to start with as I was in third place then people were moaning about their runs so some people had re runs and then I was fifth still not to bad.
Now for the second run, I thought I had to give it everything and go for it, it was going really well and I came into a berm with good speed then the berm jut blew out and I went down big time, no damage to me or the bike but I had blown that run which was a shame but the results said I was still fifth on the day, but when the result came out on Monday I was 6th ??
It doesn’t always go to plan
First time to Moelfre today and for a change this year it was quite warm with blue skies, the up lift is run by MTB Uplifts.co.uk as we approached the car park area I thought the track was going to be a little on the muddy side as the track to where you parked was a bit of a mess, we parked up and signed on then wandered over to where the tractor was waiting to take us up to the top of the hill.
It took around 15 to 20 minutes to get to the top of the hill, the track at the top was a sort of open field the middle section was fast loose and steep. the bottom section was fast rolling and shaley the speed was emence, I think I had 9-10 runs it was quite nice that they didn’t stop for dinner so I could get in as much practise as I could, I think I might of missed a couple of runs while I had a drink and a snack.
Had a ride up around the Dyfi with James and dad, I must admit the couple of times I’ve ridden there I wasn’t impressed as a lot of the trails are up hill and there is a lot of up hill to get to them, but James said he would show us some of the better tracks, so we headed up the enduro climb which was long but not to steep, I can’t remember the names of the trails but they were brill, steep some rocky and some loamy but great fun.
Shouldn’t moan about nice weather but it was really hot and sweaty we did around 25km and over 800m of climbing, when we got back to the van James said we would go and have a look at Dyfi Bike Park which isn’t open to the public yet, so we drove to the bottom and walked up to the top, we came across Ollie Davey doing some work on one of the bridges, we asked if it was OK to have a nose about which he said would be alright if we kept out of the way, as we walked back down we looked up some of the trails they had built, Ollie said there would be a few graded black and one red, well there certainly not trail centre blacks and reds, they make every DH centre I’ve been to look like a walk in the park.
Huge jumps massive step downs and also mega steep, no good looking for a line you can roll on this track, don’t know if the other ones would be as techie, James was very excited by the track, the picture below really doesn’t show how steep it is the top was around 10 foot rough rocky near vertical slab, it was that steep you couldn’t walk down it.
Went for an uplift day at Revs again today with the man who is James Corbett and Ash Stockton, lovely weather, warm sunshine, no wind and bone dry, the tracks were running fast with plenty of grip.
I had a couple of things I really wanted to get dialled so it was time to give them a try, first was the gap jump at the bottom which leads on to a step up jump, James had been telling me I could do it no problem but it was playing on my mind a little, all I needed was speed around the berm to get me over it.
Keep the speed up was on my mind all the way down the run and yes I did it and without even thinking did the step up jump straight after it and guess what all the James told me was right it was quite easy and I did it every run afterwards, so I was buzzing now and we did loads of runs and also did loads of different tracks it was a fantastic Saturday with a Henblas uplift on the Sunday to look forward to as well.
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.