Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Monday, 30 December 2013

Cross border raid.....

The plan was simple, to get in another days biking before going back to work, and I really fancied North Wales. I've ridden lots of the manufactured trails like Mach 3, the Marin Trail, the Karrimor Trail and the Dyfi Cli-machx (nice name), but never much natural stuff in the Park.

My bike is great, but I was conscious that the shocks hadn't had any attention for 2 years, the back wheel had a wobble, and some gears were unachieveable. Luckily Ben at mobile bike repairs managed to squeeze it in and service/fix all of the 'niggles' over the Christmas period. Massive thanks Ben - its now running like a dream....

So finally after what felt like ages of bad weather it looked like Sunday was going to be a calm day between two storms. So we headed over the border to Wales early on the Sunday morning.

A dusting of snow on Tryfan
It was a nice drive over and I'd forgotten how close it is as I tend to go to the Lakes due to its proximity to us. We passed the stunning Bodelwyddan Cathedral on the drive over and Abi admitted to being confirmed here. Being ill-educated and non religious I didn't really know what this meant, I imagined that Abi was taken in and they declared "yep, I can confirm she's a girl, next......"! I'm sure I was confirmed at hospital, but each to there own.....

I also have a terrible confession, for the first time in about 3 years I had a McDonalds on the drive over! Terrible behaviour I know, but it seemed so right on this fun day trip, and the breakfast McMuffin was good....

We got to Betws-y-Coed before the Sunday tourists and set of into the forest on the bikes. It was fairly fresh, and despite lots of layers I couldn't feel my feet or hands, but luckily the first long forest road climb soon warmed us up (slightly). We were following a route called 'Elin's Fancy' from an old BikeFax guide.

Abi looks shocked, but I guess I shouldn't jump out of the tree's with the camera so much!

deep lush forest tracks

It was a great route, with lots of quiet forest fire road (climbs!) and forest singletrack, I'd deliberatly picked this route to stay lower and hopefully warmer in the forest, but hadn't appreciated that when the sun was out, we didn't feel its benefit. I do love these forests though, at times it was very dark and lush and felt like you were in another land far far away (and I don't mean Wales!)..

here I come.....
We also cycled on a section of Sarn Helen the course of an old Roman Road from Aberconwy to Carmarthen. This was similar to the Lakes, and w bumped into some off roaders, who'd blown a gasket on their 4x4. Worth while coming back to explore this area, and trail further, maybe even complete the whole of the 270 mile Sarn Helen mounain bike route!

Abi in 2nd place at the water jump
With cold feet we returned to a very busy Betws, and loaded up the damp kit before heading to the cafe for a well deserved pit stop. We finished the day at the Moel Siabod cafe which was a petrol station last time I was here! Must return to North Wales again soon.....

a very happy chappy... cake and hot chocolate

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Wild weather on the winter solstice

Another bike day - yay.....

The weather forecast for the shortest day of the year (the hump!) was pretty wild, but if the BBC were to believed then it looked like an okay window between 10am - 3pm! I nearly aborted on the drive over when at 10 am the skies blackened and apocalyptic weather suddenly appeared. It went incredibly dark and the heavy rain and flooded roads made me start to think about Noah, and then tsunami's!!

Planning, unloading, sun on Coniston Fells and don't land hot air balloons here!

Luckily I kept faith and just as I met Steve at Grizedale the skies started to clear and the sun even broke free sending amazing light onto the Coniston Fells.

I love Grizedale, it's just so unique for England. We basically warmed up on some fire roads (no idea where), jumping onto sections of the 'North Face' trail when they appeared. The North Face trail isn't that great, but if you link up parts of it with fire road, bridle ways and other tracks in the area then its awesome.

Trolls live under this bridge!

Lush forest, fast trails

Could easily be BC (watch for bears!)
After the warm up we headed on a great loop getting deeper and deeper into the forest before popping out at Satterthwaite and crossing over into the Eastern forest. Again brilliant single track lead us on a blinding descent towards Esthwaite Water (recently sold on ebay I believe!).

Home again, time to dry the feet and drink tea....

With very wet feet/legs we had one final section to do, passing Foxy (Steve loved Foxy!), before finally arriving back at the cars, tired but grinning. What a great ride, no rain and we didn't see another biker all day!

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Nice 'wee' video's

Make yourself a nice cup of tea, turn off the TV and watch this mountain bike video.... It may make you want to get up to Scotland with your bike....

Also.... a nice time lapse video of  Everest and A life well lived

Monday, 2 December 2013

Happy, sad times

I went back to Derbyshire for a funeral at the weekend, so decided to get a day out on the grit the day before. It was amazing weather, pretty warm in the morning as I bouldered firstly at Higgar Tor, then as the sun swung round on Burbage North. It was fairly busy (to be expected), but by being weak and sticking to the B1 - B4 stuff I avoided the crowds. Interesting tying to get selfie pictures with a camera on a rock, 10 sec timer, running back to the problem etc! Sam joined me for the last couple of hours before dusk and shredded some blocs too......

Higgar - easy but the top was very slimy (should have looked prior)!

Claude on the brilliant Cleo's Edge B3
Burbage North - hat on to avoid the sunburn!

Rest in peace Constance Jean Seals