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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

 

Conquer The Cliff 2017

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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.

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Wet, Muddy & Loads Of Fun

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Great day up Henblas with Rhys, Brad and Jack it was super wet and slippery but my new Conti Der Kaisers performed spot on, we sessioned  loads of bits of the track and I was really pleased my jumping on the Nukeproof was getting better managed to clear the table top, can’t wait to start doing my races ( hope I do well )

Day At Degla

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Day at Llandegla with Dad weather was a little cool and moist on the climb to the trails, but once in the woods it was good and quite warm on the move and no rain, when we’ve been with friends there is usually a lot of chatting,hanging about and takes us around 3 – 3 1/2 hours to do the black route but as we were on our own we pushed on and did it in 1  hour 27  minutes a real nice spin round.

When we got home talking to other people about their rides they were all saying how it was a horrible day and they had got soaked to the skin, so for a change we had made the right decision on where to go for a ride, that doesn’t happen to often.

A Foggy Day At Antur

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Great day at Antur Stiniog with James and Richard weather was a little foggy, well a lot foggy to be honest, we got there by 9.30am and the up lifts started promptly at 10am, Richard and James were running late so I went up on my own and came down the blue while I was waiting, normally when I have ridden a blue route at a trail centre they are very easy, well they aren’t here quite a lot of rock and I also found it a little confusing as the tracks mingled into one and another in the fog, but down to the bottom and the others had turned up so it was straight back on the truck back to the top, this time we did a red route which is a bit harder again to the blue route more rock and bigger drops.

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After doing the red run it was time for what I had come to practise the Black Powder run which I will hopefully be racing on in the Borderline Events race series, this is a lot rougher than any trail centre black I have ever done, big rock drops, really rough rock sections and more rock, first run was a bit of a sighting lap to see what the run was like, it didn’t disappoint quite techie and rough, I did a few more runs and things were getting better but there was one section that kept playing on my mind and couldn’t get it quite right, so James stopped and showed me a few ideas on lines/what to try. The up lift at Antur is fantastic as soon as your down your loading up and on your way back up in minutes which was good so I could get my head around the one tough section I was struggling with.

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Dad isn’t the fastest on his bike and even slower with his mobile phone, he tried to take a pic of me talking to him out of the van window only he wasn’t quick enough ( better luck next time sucker)

I think I had around 20 runs in all and the last one was the best even if I was really tired, everything fell into place and I had a nice clean quick run, by now my whole body was aching so dad said it was time to go.

 

That Was A Damp One

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Me and dad, Sam and his dad went for a 20k ride tonight it hadn’t been a bad day, but when we left at 6.30pm it started to rain and rained the whole way round our loop, but it was great and dirty fun if a little hard on some of the bridleways, really make the legs scream at times.

Just as we got back to a tarmac road a car came screaming up to us with Mr Trow a local farmer in it, shouting at us “what are you doing here” to which dad replied “riding our bikes along the bridle way” which was rather obvious as four people were sitting on mountain bikes ! Once he realised he knew us he calmed down and said when he saw our lights he thought we were sheep rustlers good job were not in the USA he might of shot us.

As soon as we got back it was clothes in the washing machine, us in the shower, we don’t know what happened to Sam as his face and all of his gear was plastered in mud, not that the rest of us was spotless.