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PostPosted: Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:54 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
Posts: 8133
Location: new forest
Day 2,

currently pretty pissed, Glentress might be hard tomorrow! :oops:

we hit Gisburn today, for the first time, really liked it, loads of up and down, mostly singletrack, again no rain today :D hardley anyone there :D :D got munchies at the end :D

only downside for me is a lack of bikewash so the ST4 is minging at the moment, hopefully tomorrow we'll beable to get the bikes clean before and after the ride, we like to keep the bikes clean as in conditions like this (wet and muddy) makes a big difference to how the bikes work.

anyway here's a couple of pics :D


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 21, 2013 10:21 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
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Location: new forest
so, day 3 :D

we had too much beer last night, my mate adam is a bad influence on me, we got to Glentress feeling not the best but as we pulled into the car park adam spotted a guy he hadn't seen since his days in Whistler where he was guiding and working as a mechanic, his friend john runs/is 'A' line coaching.

how random is that, bumping into someone in a car park from 4 years ago?! :D

we decided to join his group as they knew the trails, this was our first ever visit here and over all we have been very impressed with the trails. we didn't really know what to expect, the trails are a little overly man made and sanitised in places but that in someways helps because they do have that elusive 'flow' that some places do not. even the climbs which in places were hard were rideable in mid ring first gear but pushing rather than hitting the inside ring and losing grip at the back wheel.

overall we were very happy with the trails :D definitely a return trip in the future

the group itself was a mixed group of about 10 guys and 5 girls and also of mixed ability but we never really felt at any point that we were waiting too long or getting pushed down the next trail, a good sensible speed with a social atmosphere, so John, the leader, got the balance spot on 8) it was also nice to see girls on bikes and even nicer to see that they could ride them well, something which is unfortunately missing where i live! :?

i only got one shot today and that was of Adam and John, friends re-united! :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:41 am 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
Posts: 8133
Location: new forest
Day 4 :D

Kirroughtree, i like it here, the trails have a good flow to them, even on the climbs, we decided to do the black route, i had only previously done the red route so today included the McMoab section, which in all honesty is nothing like Moab! but still a fun little section, the good (and weird) thing about this place is i never feel like i am climbing, i know i am but even though you have to get up the mountain the climbing sections don't feel that long and then you hit a downhill that helps you roll up the next section so it is very well designed.

we go to the Moab section at which point i did dab a foot a couple of times and i knocked my rear mech aswel, checked it and all looked fine, however 10 minutes later at the top of the last "black" climb at the 50% round marker the mech broke off, if hadn't fitted a breakaway bolt in a poncey colour a while ago it would have probably been ok! :facepalm:

so, mech removed and chain shortened a bit i carried on, pedally was a nightmare with nothing to hold the chain in place but i managed to limp it to the next section where luckily it was a few sections on downhill trails that could be "pumped" so even though the bike was driveless it was still rideable. then at about 75% done i saw an escape to the car park, 4km away, so Adam continued on the rest of the loop (sections i have previously done) and i rolled back to the van where i then fixed the bike, spare hanger, spare xt mech etc.

all fixed we hit munchies! :D

even though the i broke the bike i don't feel cheated out of the ride though it was still a good ride and i still got most of the downhill sections, so it goes to show that a mechanical doesn't have to ruin the ride 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 23, 2013 5:57 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
Posts: 8133
Location: new forest
Day 5,

Coed y Brenin


i like it here, we did the MBR trail with an extra climb so that we got the Adams family trails which are great, today i was riding the Patriot, i thought i'd give the ST4 a break after yesterday!

Adam is not as impressed with this place (by comparison with the others) his current favourite from what we have done is Kirroughtree, the reason is he says there is a lack of 'flow' here, i understand what he means but at the same i don't agree, coed y brenin is rocky, probably the rockiest place we have ridden, hence the comments about the trails being 'sanitised' elsewhere, even though this is a trail centre the trails feel quite natural to the area and i think that is the difference, it's quite hard, up or down, although i will agree there are more gravel track climbs than elsewhere that we have done so far.

to be honest we are both feeling a bit tired now, five days of hard riding done is starting to take it's toll! :shock: having finished for the day and the fact that today is the only day with no driving means we are now chilling out in the beer garden of the hotel! :D

anyway here are a couple of pics :)


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 10:09 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
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Location: new forest
day 6! :D

well, today we woke up with hangovers! :facepalm:

knowing that we were heading to llandegla to meet up with the "ice road trucker" himself aka DrystonePaul it was a schoolboy error, cos any that have ridden with Paul will know he's pretty handy, meaning that an already good day riding would be made harder :facepalm:

luckily after stuffing our faces at breakfast will a huge amount of food we didn't feel too bad! we headed to Llandegla, Adam decided to Demo an Orange 5 650b, he hasn't been impressed with his new Marin and felt something different is the way forward, within about 5 miutes it was obvious he liked the bike, i see a purchase in his near future :mrgreen:

those that have ridden llandegla will know how much fun it is, there is nothing really hard as such but it's all fun trails, i have said it before and i'll say it again, it's about "flow", if the trails (natural or manmade) flow then they are gonna be a success.

we knocked out the red+black route pretty quickly so headed for the cafe, OnePlanetBikes/Cafe, it's a great little place, really nice bikes and components and a really good cafe, mmm . . . . burger+chips :D

that was then pretty much it for the day, Adam gave the bike back, Paul headed home to walk the dog, we headed in the direction of Merthyr Tydfil ready for Bike Park Wales tomorrow.

i have a few pics but the camera is in the van so here's a pic of Adams demo bike

:D


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 11:10 pm 
National & North West AEC
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Joined: Mon Nov 03, 2008 12:43 am
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Location: Macclesfield Forest
Great little road trip of my own to meet up with Jon and Adam. Fantastic weather for it too, if a bit too hot on the first long climb.

I should really have taken the opportunity to have a quick go of the 27.5" wheel Orange. I suspect that it may have been difficult to wrestle it away from Adam though.
Besides which I was too preoccupied with a slowly deflating rear tyre. Eventually it went properly towards the end of the ride necessitating a quick tube change.

I should also advise any readers that a McDonald's breakfast eaten three hours before riding is not sufficient sustenance for a quick lap of Llandegla.

Glad to have finally been a part of one of JB's epic road trips. He really is a lucky boy isn't he...?

Oh, and I only came home with one more bike...


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 25, 2013 10:15 pm 
Section Moderator & South West AEC
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Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 3:33 pm
Posts: 8133
Location: new forest
day 7, the last day :(

Bike Park Wales

this was a complete unknown, we had seen the videos online, it looked good so we decided that this would be a good last day.

extra rider today aswel, another mate, called Ben, he drove up for this one day because of the vids online so we were hoping for a good ride.

so i'll give you a little review:-


cafe=excellent,
shop=top chaps, mainly because they offered to look after my spare bike as there have been van break ins in the car park,
trails= good and bad,

we climbed to the top, wasn't horrendous but it was a hard climb especially after 6 hard days riding, then the trails are very much downhill orientated, don't get me wrong, they are good but basically they feel like a downhill race course as opposed to a trail centre downhill, and all trails lead to the cafe if you go to the bottom, as we couldn't get an up lift we decided to stay high on the mountain, meaning ride to the top, do a section then ride back to the top, this meant we were only ever climbing half the mountain at a time but this meant most climbing was fire roads, easy but dull, we also felt that the blue runs were better than the reds, the reds are more technical but the blues have more of the elusive 'flow' and tend to be longer, I don't consider myself a downhiller as such so I didn't do the black runs. My feeling is that they have miss advertised the place, it IS a downhill bike park but they are trying to market it to everyone and until they design in something more like an actual route as opposed to runs then it doesn't work unless you pay for the uplift. Both Adam and Ben were a bit disappointed, basically you decide to do another downhill run based on whether you can be bothered to climb the mountain again.

All the downhill trails start in one place and finish in one place which can mean constantly doing the same climb over and over again

So basically, it's worth the trip if you get the uplift or you have super climbing legs after every downhill and you don't mind the same climb each time!

also, FYI, the uplift is booked so far in advance that the next available booking is in late october :facepalm:

so there you have it, 7 days, 7 trail centres, overall, an awesome trip


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 05, 2011 10:53 pm
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Location: Single Speeding in the Capital of the FoD,UK
Living the dream Jon, quite jealous! and a great read.

Paul, if you want to try a 27.5 Orange, I'll bring mine along Saturday, really is quite awesome


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