Great days riding today with the usual high levels of fun with a great bunch of people.
mrkawasaki : Sarah : Woody : drystonepaul : Pogo : Sidewinder : mr_ship : sinnett177 : elPedro666 : HarryCrumb : Easy_Rider : stewlewis : andybag : Jim : Kiran (taking photo)
Ride Report: Part One
Arriving at Llandegla on a Sunday is a bit like turning up at a golf club. It's full of expensive cars, full of expensive gear with plenty of conversations about how much the latest gadget cost.
Even at 9:15am it was getting difficult to find a space amongst all the carbon fibre Giantrekialized overkill full suspension adorned BMWs.
Fortunately there was an antidote to all this modern nonsense dispensed straight out of 1992 in the form of the Retrobike NW&NWA retrogrouch all stars.
Besides which it was our first birthday and the NW&NWA are all about the party.
While studying a colourful trail map, we discussed the 'gnarly' but 'do-able' black runs over breakfast baps and coffee.
The retro bike rack was gradually filled up with the now usual high standard of rusty old bikes, polished to within an inch of their braze ons.
Count 'em in, Rack 'em up, ride 'em out, Rawhide!
There were a few appreciative nods from passers by wheeling some admittedly nice looking but ultimately modern bikes. That yellow Santa Cruz had really been murdered with orange ano though, but I digress.
By this point Mr K's 'I can't believe I'm actually riding at a trail centre' attitude was really rubbing off on me, and I even considered packing up and going home in protest at the prospect of sharing the Scalextric trails with a bunch of wheezing soft tails, but as we'd all come all this way...
mr_ship casts his eye over the fine selection of bikes.
With everyone itching to get riding, Sidewinder stepped forward to give a rousing welcoming speech. Mr K stood alongside to translate the incoherent parts for his audience and, suitably inspired, we were soon on our way.
The men in yellow at the helm of the good ship NWA.
We'd carefully consulted the information board and decided that the 'intermediate level red trail' was within everyone's ability, and it gave us the option to tackle the 'expert level black graded sections' which came part way through the ride. For now though, it was all about the 2.5 mile opening climb.
HarryCrumb speeds up the climb on the Clockwork he'd built up the night before.
Andybag completes his NWA retro hatrick on a borrowed Grisley
Another last minute assembly. elPedro666 on his Dyna Tech followed by Sinnett177 on his titanium rust magnet.
Keeping up with the Jones'. Mr K selects a full suss Intense Uzzi from his underground bike bunker for today's trail centre mission
The incline was indeed a good warm up and quickly saw layers being shed, revealing in some cases, more layers of horrendous early nineties lycra.
As the group re-gathered at the top of the climb, Mr K noticed his saddle wasn't straight a set about his back pack in search of an allen key.
The first official mechanical of the ride was of course graciously supported by fellow riders, especially as Mr K's multi-tool appeared to consist of nothing more than a bunch of yellow zip ties...
The importance of being earnest. A photo documentary.
Words of encouragement from the rest of the riders. In the foreground Sidewinders bike was still not broken
After handing over an allen key the problem was rectified and we remounted to roll on towards the start of the descents...
Part two coming soon.