Tuesday, 21 August 2012
Donk airways flight 20812
Final call for boarding. We went back to llandegla yesterday, first time for a while and I probably spent more time in the air yesterday than the last 12months combined riding (admittedly only about an inch off the ground). The day did not start well, lots and lots of rain and lots and lots of traffic, took us ages to get there but atleast the rain had stopped by the time we parked up. Quick run up to the practice section, did the drop off line, we regrouped at the top and I suggested another run, this time without the girly screams. Better. Onto the (little) jump line which we rode and failed to get any proper air on but did get our wheels off the ground. I followed johnnie up the boardwalk, he stopped when he saw the proper tight corner unfortunately a bad place to stop with me 3feet from his back wheel, stalled couldn't unclip fell off the boardwalk, just managed to unclip and land on my feet. Nice start. Burk then did the boardwalk the other way round, bricked it on the entry slowed down too much and his back wheel slipped down the berm but he made it round, phew. Nice start. Went over to the freeride section, did a slow run to scope it out, some table tops with rocks/logs on the top to "incentivise" you to jump them but still rollable. Burk was in lead and surprisingly took the northshore line, some twisty turny boardwalk, round rocks, over fallen trees lovely, just 2 sharp turns where you weren't sure if the rear tyre would stay on, on the right hander I hopped the back end round ok, on the left hander I didn't feel confident enough so just held my breath/shut my eyes and hoped - squeaky bum time. Couple of blind crests on the last bit so we limped back to the start - nothing to stress about will go for it next time. 15minutes in and we were already hyped up on adrenaline and we'd all had a few scares each. The red route out is still a trek but it's an ok warm up I guess, the rollercoaster kicks off the singletrack and the yellow pine jumps but the rest is a bit mleh until you get to snowdon view, now we're talking. Wiggly bits then over to parallel universe, jumps for people who can't jump, brilliant, step ups, step downs,. table tops, very shallow double, love it. Headed back up the fire road to snowdon view and did big jim's this time, swoopy singletrack and some rollers and berms, nice. Drop shore then my favourite bit "dave the fox" nice a flowy hardly have to pedal or brake, enough rollers to pump and berms to keep your speed, weeeeeee. Up badgers then yep back to snowdon view and did it all again. Spot of lunch then on we go, JJs jumps were fun, I remembered there was a double jump I had trouble with last time so put it in a decent gear and pedalled like mad saw a double or table top lined up for the double as I got close I realised they were BIG doubles, too late to change line hit and hope, woosh, got a bit out of shape in the air but landed ok. Next up was B line, brand new to us, 2 (out of 3) points for difficulty and described as "large", hmm. Drop/roll onto boardwalk quite wide and you can pick up speed got some air off the lip and roller then jumped off the end, this is fun, jump jump berm, woohoo, then loads more jumps like parallel universe with a rock frosting penalty if you don't make the jump. Brilliant stuff, I was firing ito stuff pretty fast then a forum quote came to mind something about people who can't jump riding the new stuff blind and crashing their brains out, oops, I reigned it in a little but sure enough most of it was fairly consequence free, one step up was a bit hairy, as it drops away pretty steeply on the far side, if you over do it on the launch you could end up a long way from the ground. Ha dot go back for another go, faster this time, nearly hit the tree on the drop off the boardwalk but managed to do the rest with a big grin slapped on my mush. Down some more, one section before the fire road there was a quick succession of tabletops, I got to the fireroad and could hear behind me "OooohshhhhT!" "OooohshhhhT!" "OooohshhhhT!" "OooohshhhhT!" as Johnnie hit each one :-) Bit more down then a lot of up/down trails. The new red route to the cafe has changed a lot, some tough steep climbs and some nice singletrack, was wishing for a dropper seatpost along there and was getting very tired. Again some red/black confusion, after tear arsing round the black runs on massive berms no problem you then get onto the red which you can pick up and hold speed quite easily then you get to a wiggly section with no berms and nearly crash. No berms so keeping on course is harder than riding the black, bit strange. Anyway keep the speed down a bit and it's a nice trail, the red would make a great XC blast. Bit of confusion near the end, needs a couple more signposts really but got back only to find the cafe shut! Gutted. There were a couple of section we didn't do, the twins/triplets, double drop rock and one of the freeride lines but we were knackered so another time. The new stuff is really good and if you take the fire road shortcuts you can do a lot of the fun wiggly jumpy stuff without pedalling far. I suggest you give it a go.