Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Yorkshire's answer to Joshua Tree

It was great catching up with Huw and Jo last weekend, but I admit to being quite envious that Huw is actually being paid to go to Joshua Tree in California to climb (not fair)!

If we can get it started we don't have to walk up to the crag

Beautiful blue skies
However I didn't need to worry, as I spent today at Twistleton Scars in the Yorkshire Dales and it was pretty good. Sunny, and at times pretty hot all day, fantastic views, and miles of limestone climbing (well maybe a mile!). Sadly no Joshua Trees, but some beautiful ancient yew tree's, buzzards and the ever present view across to Ingleborough one of Yorkshires 3 peaks.

Although small in height a lot of limestone

It was a fun family affair today with Ben, Jane and Isaac and I think we got in 6 climbs from VD to VS. Weirdly, or probably not for people who have been here before the first route we did (VD), was actually the hardest, in fact VD's felt like VS, Severes felt like VS, Hard Severes felt like VS, and VS's, well you get the idea. This is all due to the amazingly glassy polish on the foot and hand holds.

?struggling on the VD!

Ben made this hand jamming crag look hard by not hand jamming!

Beautiful spot

Monday, 6 October 2014

Coed y Brenin Enduro

Ages ago Jo (mt bike oracle of mid Wales) managed to persuade us to enter the Coed y Brenin Enduro. In the end quite a few friends old and new had also entered, so it was going to be a fun and social affair.

The squidgy field camp at sunset
It's basically an 'event', similar to a road sportive where you ride a set/marked course and they feed you part way round! Not officially a race even though you get timed, and I'm sure many treat it as such.

Lovely early morning light (Dave snoring in the tent)
Abi is far more competitive than me, and had an interesting game plan, which was to start at the very back of the field and come home as last competitor! I was sure this wasn't possible, but boy did we get close! The reasoning behind this strategy is the fact that although competitive she can't stand being pestered (hounded) by bikers chasing around behind her trying to over take (sounds reasonable).

Off we go.....
We headed over on Saturday to meet everyone and camped at the idyllic Cae Gwyn Farm campsite - amazing views. Quite a busy camp spot so we opted for the spongy field unsure if we'd get the car/van off it again. Dave erected his antique tent and he started the serious preparation of drinking beer.

Jostling for places

Rachael, Alexy and Jess were AWOL biking further North. I thought they'd got lost in the woods, but really they lost themselves in hard liquor and loose........ well, they went to the pub.

The beautiful 'high' section of the course

The next morning dawned fair and started off being very relaxed, as Ann passed out endless rounds of toast from the van, however the price we paid for this generosity was that we were a tiny bit behind schedule and I do have to admit that I got a little stressed as registration for the event closed at 9.30am and we didn't get to the carpark until after this!!! We just managed to register as they were packing everything away, missed the pre-race safety briefing, and we were off........... As we were starting Abi asked "have you got any money for the feed station" (its free!!)!!

Rach going strong
The ride/route was really good and took us on some great high tracks with fantastic views. I stretched my legs for a while and left them chatting at the back, waiting in a wood to snap some pictures.

Abi in the spooky (slippy) woods

Dave the seasoned pro making it look easy
When we got to the feed station half way round the marshals thought that due to our sluggish arrival that we we were already on the longer route and nearly sent us the wrong way thinking we had nearly finished. Only managed to fit in 8 sausage rolls here (my goal was 10 - maybe next time).

concentrate Abi...

Like a pro....
We trundled on pretty much on our own for the last 10km, only seeing a couple of other people (including Christian and his friend). I got into the concept of being at the back because it just felt like we were on a ride with friends and not in an event at all.

Adele shredding

Wow never seen Abi move this fast (maybe she needed the loo...)
The last few km were in lovely, enclosed, dark rich green forests. Sadly we passed an accident with lots of medical 'bods', think it was a dislocated shoulder, before looping back to the finish and our 'finishers' mug.

The finish

what I came for....... my mug (or am I the 'mug')!

Abi sort of achieved her goal, out of 237 competitors she came 235th! A fantastic result Abi.... It was great to catch up with Huw (don't work too hard in Joshua Tree - grrr), Jo, Rachael, Alexy and Jess on the finish line. Jo had done very well in her class (2nd), but suspect her intimate knowledge of the forest helps immensely (joking!!). Fantastic weekend with friends old and new, see you all at the next one - that has finishers mugs ;-)

Not actually at the finish, part way round, but our band of merry bikers