Monday, July 31, 2006

Cwm Carn and Afan

Helloo all and sundry! Well after a very unsuccesful posting which rendered my mac completely useless! - Virus?!, We're back!

Bad week, last week as Chris had his bike stolen by some absolute ****, whislt swimming in the sea. They bolt crimped the lock in broad daylight on a busy seafront in Brighton!

Last weekend saw Rich, Dave (me), Chris and the boy wonder (Daryl) head off to south Wales for a spot of proper trail riding with the loose excuse of 'preparing' for the Alps trip later in the month... It all started as it was set to finish, with Rich having a crash. I rung Chris en route only to find him helping The Posh at the side of the road after a biker undertook him, then brake-tested his Citroen AX in some kind of Kamakaze manouvere! The AX is good, but not that good and Rich created a trike style skid pattern and was pretty lucky not to have seriously injured this **** at 60mph! More on that. After this drama, we were a little late hitting the road and caught all the worst traffic, so were thoroughly imprressed when we rocked up at our campsite to see Daryl, Gem and Amy rocking a proper woodburning fire and brandishing a chilled beer! Daryl was sporting his spangly new Giant Reign which apparently he got for supa-cheap-dolla, having charmed the shop keeper with his soothing tones... Next day we all headed to the Afan valley in the quite torrential rain whilst the girls headed off on one of the forest walks, the real men left the car unlocked, forgot to pay for parking, had a bottom bracket replaced for quite litteraly daylight-robbery prices (Drayl's quote for the day - 'talk to him, get freindly and try and get a discount' was scuppered by the fact that they heard it. Don't bother.) and wheezed and puffed up to the top of the Whytes Level and new 'Downhill' routes. Having arrived at the top, we buggered around trying to get Bob's borrowed RF helmet cam to work (to no avail.) and then headed down the "Downhill" route, which started promissingly with a nice air to berm affair and then turned into flat fireroad. Then wet ladder trail (which, has also been put into the WL trail to grat effect - that boggy section after the fast Forest run half way through is now planked and much better for it!) was good, but very slippery and I had a wheelspin off which caused Daryl to knacker his ankle and cause all sorts of drama. The rest was a little better overall, but the layout for the dirt bassed run was somewhere between great and absolutely appaling. Some of what could have been really good steep sections with little rock drops were awful, with no clean line anywhere and absolutely no flow in the wet (and probably dry, too.) Rich had a bit of a spill, bending his rear brake lever blade into an interesting shape and I showed some boyos the way to do it, airing a double into 90 degree berm and taking no speed into it, thus stopping on the up ramp of the second double in the 90 degree position. Nice, pure flow. WL taril was good too, causing some whoops and an angry Chris on my tail ( he too fast on a full susser) and lots of mud in the eye. We all retuned to find everything in the car (!) and headed back off to dry our kit, by lighting a petrol fuelled wood fire in torrential rain and steaming everything dry against all odds, with beer in hand. You should have seen the faces of the Flanders family that had pitched next to us!

It should be noted at this point never, ever listen to an 'engineer'. Trying to fix Rich's brake blade, someone of the three engineers present (not me, I'm a photographer) decided that the remedy was to put said blade into the fire to 're-shape it'. Ten minutes later we had a completely melted pile of aluminium and a quite pissed off Rich. Next morining, to our almost hysterical laughter, Rich went into the only thing resembling a bike shop in Risca - a chopper and Hrley type place advertising tatooing, net to Risca Indian (!)- wearing a body fitting Helly Hansen and shorts to ask for help. We didn't know how long to leave it before going in to get him, but he eventually came out, surprisingly empty handed. However, we got a BMX lever at a car spares place (only in Wales) and bodged the ultimate BMX bandit Hayes hydraulic bodge! The trail was perfect and dry and very much fun. The downhill looked fun and scary at the same time and we had a great time hiking the last downhill run of the loop a few times, which we were going pretty flat out on. Then on the last run, I binned it (again) and Rich ran past me. I then went hell for leather and caught him up in a pile next to a tree, which he'd hit face first after the bodged lever gave way! Nasty is all I'm going to say. Lots nof blood being spat out and from nose area.

All in all, though a stunning weekend and I can't wait to get back and have a crack at the downhill course with my full face and armour as it looked ace!

1 comment:

Chris said...

Where the pictures then mush? In my defence on the brake lever front it would help if Hayes hadn't cast the part in question from toffee.