Went to Nant Yr Arian on Tuesday with Henk, Ash, James, James and Dad they decided to ride the summit trail, I’ve ridden bridalways in the dark but never a trail centre so this was going to be something new, dad charged our lights up and James picked us up around 5pm and off we went, when we got there Henk was already there so we went and had a play in the skills area, I really wanted to get better at pumping so we had a few spins on the pump track and by the end it was all starting to come together.
By now Ahs & James turned up so off we went, it was twilight and getting darker we managed The Italian job in day light and then over to Hippty Hop by now when you went into the trees it was getting very dark, we carried up and over the moors to the Mark of Zorro it was definitely time to switch the lights on, this was a whole new ball game but fantastic fun with all the tight twists and turns, then the bit I wasn’t looking forward to the drag up the leg burner, but once at the top it was all down hill to the car park, back at the van it was time to head home for tea and toasties.
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.
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 !!