Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Day 5 Downhill day

Last day and no climbing involved, woohoo, van uplifts all day. Got kitted up at the top, rollers in team colours.

First run was Cobblers and it fair rattled the fillings out of my teeth, it's a path set from very round stones/pebbles, proper bouncy, rattling down behind Marco I was sure I'd flat, twisted and turned down was doing ok till a switchback with a drainage bar just after, clipped the bar and went down. Simon was impressed "nice to see we're all fallible" got to a regroup point, sniff ewe, sommat stinks, got someone to check my back, my clothes were clear but my pack had a smear of dog sh!t, dirty b*st*rds! Fortunately there was a Fuente so I could wash it. Bleurgh. Down to the village and back on the van. Junior joker next dusty fast start snaking down the hill then it got more technical, rocks and turns, seemed to go on a while, my legs were soon pumped. Twisting and turning between tight rocks heard a scrape from my left "brake disk?" (QR actually) then a couple corners later from my right "rear mech?" (Yes, not terminal tho) I caught up with Ian at a regroup, couldn't believe everyone made it down without mechanicals, tho Rob had taken a chunk out of his ankle from a pedal strike. Medic!

Can't remember the name of the next trail but we set off and Marco crashed on the first corner, whoops, didnt help my confidence, felt like I was on borrowed time as it was and that a big crash was imminent. Nearly got one too, front end went a few times on some off camber rock slabs, not as grippy as lakes/peak rock. Tim had an off too and ripped the hose from his reverb, just scuffed himself a little fortunately. Dropped into a village to do Janet street porter well rocky few switchbacks where Simon came a cropper behind me, quick regroup while he straightened himself out the. Woosh Marco took off, properly quick I tried to follow but was worried about what was round the next corner. Turns out the trail is perfect for railing built up corners, little rollers to get air off, almost trail centre-ish as soon as we hit the bottom I said I wanted another go but it was time for lunch, the van was waiting, a nice easy roll down to the river.

Nice chill out by the river munching chorizo and cheese bocadillos, some of the rollers fettling Tim's bike, rest of us sunbathing and chatting. Eventually it was time to pad up again, load the van and get ready for The Funnel of Love, started with the steps and switchbacks of Janet Street Porter, Simon rode the corner that got him without recognising it. We turned off and got into the groove, a long tight twisty gulley that Marco and pals have to groom every year after the winter rain. Nice run but I wasn't really flowing. At the bottom we regrouped and rode the river bed back to the lunch spot, crossing the river a few times (wet feet?! I can get that at home) we loaded up for the last run, the elephants tail. Bit of climbing got us to the top, above the valley Fondales nestles in, we could see the villages we'd been riding through earlier in the week. Group photo time.

Fondales is bottom left, Mecinilla and Mecina above it (start of back of bar to the left side, bottom of back of disco and carlos bar to the right side), the big one upper right is Pitres (back of disco start), I think it's Capileira just visible above that, Ferreirola bottom right.

Me, Mike, Gaz, Dom, Simon, Marco, Tim
We padded up beneath the trees, bit of trepidation due to the "one more run" effect and the lads were implying this was a nasty one. Set off and I tried in vain to keep Ian in sight, wasn't keeping my speed up, got to a point and the trail got vague just as I saw Ian a good way below me, whoops, wrong way turned around to see the corner I had missed, saw Simon approaching and shouted "TURN! THERE!" He said it worked brilliantly one of the best corners he'd done, right up there with the "what the hell are you doing Dave?" one on the first day, Gaz cleaned it too, I tucked in behind them, few more corners then "woah!" Si met some danglers and stopped dead on a switchback Gaz stalled and fell down the inside of the corner, overtaking at any cost, nice work Gaz ;-) Tim behind me nearly stalled/fell too but we got going again, couple of power climbs killed my legs off so was a bit behind Si and Gaz by the bottom, nice couple of drops down to the bridge and chill waiting for the rest, soaking up the final minutes of our time on the trail. A steep push out of the valley upto Fondales, a push to start but then Dom powered up the cobble/concrete section to the house, good work there!

Bikes to be packed and tea then out for a few beers, tho not many due to a very early start. Great holiday, good weather superb riding and the most injury/mechanical free I've been on. Nice work fells, hope I can join the rollers for another ciclo Montana adventure in the future!
stats dunno bit flaky, rough guess of 15miles with 6000ft of descending

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