Monday, 29 April 2013


Trying to decide what to ride at weekend, I remembered snowdon ban was almost upon us and the webcam the very top was covered in cloud but it looked free of snow, awesome, choice made. Si drove us up, started a little later than we wanted (8:45ish) and there was a worrying amount of white on the hills, oh dear have we made a big mistake? Climbed up the zigzags ok and pushed up to maesgwm, was a bit boggy and my knee gave me gyp but we got on to the top and flew down the other side, nice and fast and hoppable water bars, nice. Rode/pushed over to the hebron station and onto llanberis path, oooh busy. Got climbing and was going well, felt strong, wasn't cleaning everything obviously but was making good progress. Few sheeple meandering about the trail oblivious to our approach but nothing to worry about. Got to the pitched section picked up my bike, singing along to myself like a loon, started seeing walkers heading down, a few "morning"s and "nice day for it", what a bunch of grumps! Loads of walkers blanking us, those on the way up we passed seemed more the usual cheery sorts but lotsa people blanking us.

Got to clogwyn and had a quick rest then started the hard bit, snow started almost as soon as we went through the tunnel, a light covering that made walking in bike shoes hard work, got riding again after a while but plenty of slippy snow and a bit of ice, oh dear, not good for the run down. Got near the top and broke onto the trainline and took that to the top which was heaving. Quick trip to the top then back down sharpish. Snow wasn't bad, mostly cleared by all the traffic, very busy tho. Kept stopping at the entrance to tricky/narrow sections walkers were coming up, wait for them, people behind would see us waiting (a section we could clear in a few seconds) and carry on anyway, yeah thanks, wait a bit longer for some kindly souls to wave us through. One section we approached 4 people stopped having a chat, they look up and see us and start to move, nice one, I set off get into the section, slow speed thrutchy stuff, and see a lady hasn't moved, still stood in the middle of the trail, oh dear. So I brake and come to a halt infront of her with my front wheel at the bottom of a step, back wheel at the top, nowhere to put my foot so I fall over sideways, slowly and messily. She started swearing, felt like saying "calm down I've stopped, I'm just concentrating on not hurting myself here" she was not a happy bunny, didn't think it was worth arguing the point. Back onto trail some nicer walkers urging us on and 1 guy saying "I'd normally be on my bike, good going" cheered us up. Over the train line and onto rangers, snow was a little slippery to start but soon petered out and it got all loose and interesting. Saying Hi to everyone I passed, trying to radiate good will and bonhomie, a few grumps here too but I was having too much fun to care too much. There were a few bits where I wasn't 100% confident of clearing but made it ok and I refused a couple of the stepped sections lower down. Was feeling pretty funky after the steep stuff, ripped along the level bit then into the bottom section and whoosh, clear trails so speed increased, flew down, (no walkers near any of the gates I noted) Got to the final zig zags just 1 group of walkers with traffic cone hats, waited for Si so we could pass them at the same time (see being chilled and patient) and then after we'd passed flew down. Kept speed up to clear a water bar then realised I had about 5' to brake before the 180 corner and only 3' behind that a dry stone wall to punish erros, oops, got round ok on the next one same setup, water bar/corner/wall got on the brakes a bit early and managed to lock the front wheel in mid air and skidded it on landing, woah! Got to the bottom absolutely buzzing. Great ride despite the grumps, 4hours not bad going, 30mins down the rangers, Si recorded it on a go pro so I've had a look and relived it, brilliant. Will see if he edits/publishes it.

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