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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:58 pm 
BoTM Winner / Gold Trader / Rider
BoTM Winner / Gold Trader / Rider
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Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:00 am
Posts: 1737
Location: Cumbria
Great day out, enjoyed the trails, especially the "Black".
Cheers to Dave for guiding us round.

A few (very poor) pictures. Mr K almost going too fast to photograph :lol: and Paul looking posively possessed whilst heading over the whoops :twisted:

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:09 pm 
North Wales AEC / OWMTBC 2010 Champion
North Wales AEC / OWMTBC 2010 Champion
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 10:13 pm
Posts: 6066
Location: Chester
We had a top day, great to meet up with you guys again. First time on the black run and i have to say I was a little apprehensive on my rigid Parkpre after seeing all the 8" full suss and full face helmets and body armour I was expecting some big drop offs and loose boulderey decends, the reality was quite different and good fun!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:50 am 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
Part one uploaded.

Part two due for completion this evening. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 11:19 am 
North Wales Deputy AEC
North Wales Deputy AEC
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Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:50 am
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Serialisation... you're such a hack! ;-)


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:31 pm 
North Wales AEC / OWMTBC 2010 Champion
North Wales AEC / OWMTBC 2010 Champion
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 10:13 pm
Posts: 6066
Location: Chester
drystonepaul wrote:
Part one uploaded.

Part two due for completion this evening. :D


Your building up the suspense, teasing us with words like "uploaded"... yes but where? :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:30 pm 
North West Deputy AEC
North West Deputy AEC
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Joined: Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:32 pm
Posts: 1026
Location: Idle hill
looks like another good day out , i would have joined in but if i want to keep all my bike's i had to make my appointment with my fiancee to get wed, sorry to be a let down chaps :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 6:50 pm 
North West Deputy AEC
North West Deputy AEC
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:10 pm
Posts: 1459
Location: Lancashire
Really good to see everyone again on a good day out out, and I was really surprised to ge the bike of the ride, having knocked up my bike during the week without even getting chance to give it any kind of test ride, but the smooth shifting of the almost nos M900 was soon apparent as was the braking ability. If only I had got the rear tyre pressure right as the 50 psi some how didnt work for me.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:13 pm 
National & North West AEC
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
Posts: 8146
Location: Macclesfield Forest
Part Two: Downhill all the way

With all bolts tightened and tyre pressure calibrated with a prod of the thumb, it was time to consult the caution notices and commit to the gravity assisted singletrack.

The first whoops made it difficult to keep both wheels on the ground. Tremendous fun in a sanitised and somewhat unnatural way. The undulating trail continued down the hillside punctuated by bermed switchback turns and small rolling crests.
Again great fun, especially on a fully rigid bike and especially when catching and passing riders an modern bouncy bikes.

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Woody storms his Blizzard down the hillside.

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All smiles from Kiran.

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Fluorescent pink and blue sky colour clash alert!

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Sidewinder going through his blue period.

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Sarah steers some sinuous singletrack.

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The hills are alive with the sound of creaking.

As the trail levelled and widened, we again re-grouped before heading back into the trees for more smooth, groomed and fast single-track.
On the edge of the forest the trail took in another hairpin and a view across towards Moel Famua, scene of a great retro ride earlier in the year.
The purpose built trails at Llandegla seem a million miles away from the sensational natural routes in the near distance.

The viewpoint and hairpin was also the point at which a choice had to be made. There were several other riders also pondering this decision too it seemed.
The choice was to continue on the red route, or take in the more tricky and daunting black graded sections. The cautionary sign boards predicted certain death for all but the most skilful and experienced riders.
This was clearly 'gnar to the power of rad'. Apparently that level of 'gnarlitude' requires a full face helmet, body armour and a personal escort, not to mention 8 inches of highly tuned suspension, front and rear.

However, with a couple of centuries of riding experience between us, we laughed in the face of danger, and stuck it to the man.

Launching our old bikes into the void turned out to be not nearly as scary as the 'black run' hype would have you believe. It was just more of the same smooth flowing singletrack, only narrower and with bigger berms and more opportunities to get airborne.
Grin inducing; yes. Death defying; hardly. Although the loud clunk from Woody's forks reportedly may have slowed him down just a little.

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elPedro666 rails another radical-sick-to-the-max-core berm dude!.

There was talk of avoiding the raised woodwork sections, purely on the principal that they are just a bit of nonsense. Admittedly it was me who started the rumours of 20ft high platforms and the refusal to go anywhere near them. We all rode them of course without even flinching and railed around more left-right-left combination berms. All the trail centre variations on the theme park were present, only much smoother and faster at this Llandegla version.
It's easy to see why these trails are so popular; they flatter any riders skills and make you feel like you're riding on rails with the precision of a laser guided missile.

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Mr Kawapoweringaroundtheberms.

After the long descents of course came the climbs, punctuated by the usual crowned switchbacks and made slightly tricky by slow speed queuing sections behind big fat men pushing big phat bikes.

Emerging back onto the fire roads we paused to work out whereabouts we were due to meet up with Sidewinder and his fellow red run riders.
Marker post 117 was mentioned by elPedro as the likely rendevous.
We were all set to find our absent ride leader, when we got into a conversation with a trio of riders drawn in by our collection of retro metal.
A nostalgic chat ensued for the next ten minutes, with tales of mint Bontragers stowed away in the loft and the warm feeling brought on by a set of thumbshifters.

By the time we eventually moved on, Sidewinder and a few of the group were clearly losing faith in us ever returning. They were waiting in the sunshine at marker post 98 or twelvty or something or other.

It was time for Mr K and Sidewinder to decide the 'NWA Bike of the Ride' award. After serious deliberation, HarryCrumb was summoned forward with his beautiful XTR and Pace equipped Orange Clockwork to receive the coveted sticker.
A well deserved award.

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Everyone loves stickers.

The final sections saw more passing new bikes on the ups and downs and a fun fast race back to the cafe around some of the biggest berms imaginable.
Plenty of food was then consumed along with the the usual serious and not so serious discussions. The manufacturing process behind the burgers involving a pair of old tights, centrifugal force and a shed in the woods was a real departure into the surreal.

After food and a full bike wash and service for elPedro's bikes, most of the 15 riders said their farewells and set off on their journeys home.

Woody, Sinnett, mr_ship and I decided that a quick lap of the blue route would be in order before our long return trips.
We set off a quite a pace up the first climb and then rolled quickly into the blue sections. These much less groomed trails were arguably trickier than much of the red route and some of the black. The rougher stony surface and flat turns instead of berms made for some more challenging cornering and plenty of arm pump from pulling on canti brakes and being pummelled by the surface. With all four of us riding bikes of a similar early 90's vintage there was none of the comfort offered by suspension, disc brakes and modern tyres. Or even flex-stems, V-brakes and Z-maxs.

All good.

As the sun was lowering in the sky it was time to leave. The car was loaded up with a couple of bikes for our return home. Somehow an extra pair of rims, more pedals, a BB, a chainset and yet another frameset found there ways into the vehicle too...

It never ends.

See you all next time.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:07 pm 
Deputy National AEC
Deputy National AEC
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Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:43 pm
Posts: 5169
Location: Cumbria, England.
Great write up once more Paul, some excellent pictures too.

I must agree the blue route was probably as challenging as the red.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:57 pm 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Joined: Sat Sep 05, 2009 11:53 am
Posts: 1198
Location: Cheshire
Fantastic write up again drystonekid ! These reports do make me chuckle lad ! Can't add much else to what everyone has already said. Brilliant days riding with the good folk of NW & NW area.

I'll post up what few pic's i have soon. Cheers to sidewinder and his team. 8)


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