but I soon found out
I didn't know what life was all about
But then I learnt I must confess
That life is like a game of chess
It ain't what you do it's the way that you do it " *
ALANS TEAM VAN . ENROUTE
A FEW SHOTS OF THE MOTO
ME PLAYING ON THE MOTO FOR A MINUTE
TOM ON THE CANNONDALE RUSH
ANDY ON THE CANNONDALE RIZE
ANDY R ON HIS SCOTT
GARETH ON THE CANNONDALE MOTO
PHIL(DAD) AND TOM (LAD)
TOM LATER ON SWAPPED WITH GAZ
IT AINT OVER YET BABY
I could go on and on and on about Tuesdays ride at Llandegla trail centre. But I wont . Suffice to say it was as near a perfect ride as youre ever going to get.
I had the 'team ' van.Set up with 6 seats and space in the back it's ideal for this kind of jolly. Andy came to my house and we drove up to Phil's to meet the rest of the gang.Phil ,his son Tom ,Andy Rudd, and Gareth.
We loaded up no bother ,wheels off and all that ,and away we went. Llandegla is about an hour away just outside Wrexham and well worth a visit.
We met Jon in the carpark at about 9.30. There was a few people there ,busy enough ,but not overly so.
Cannondale Bicycles have loaned us some demo bikes.A 'Moto' freeride bike , a 'Rush ' ,all day marathon xc 4" type ,and a top 5" all-rounder ,the 'Rize'. I have my 'regular' demo , the Commencal Super4.
Andy rides his bikes the same way round as i do ,i.e ,the proper way,rear brake right hand.The Rize is already that way round so he pops for that. The other two'dales are UK way,ie front brake right hand. Gareth gets the big boy Moto and Tom gets the whippet ,the Rush . A bit of fettle and we're off.
Llandegla starts with a bit of a shocking climb. Not good on cold legs . And it is cold. Only just hovering around freezing . Probably the wrong side of freezing ,actually.
I wont go on and on about the trails . It's good ol' Welsh trail centre stuff. Graded for ability/fitness/whatever. It's frozen dry today but even on a bad day it's pretty much all rideable and drains well.Obviously it's up on the welsh moors in a forest so there have been issues with the weather ,but generally speaking it's a bit more do-able most of the time compared to ,say , regular moorland trails.
It's all quite well designed too. A few inevitable 'dead spots' as you climb back up before whooping down again. Jumps here and there are all rideoverable and dont require Knieveling.
It's the kind of place that if you wished you could pootle around ,but with a bit of speed comes alive. I had a near miss on a series of jumps snaking down through the trees. I landed one a bit 'off' ,'dead sailor' style ,and at speed I was heading for a tree. I just pulled it back as my right hand grip missed the tree by about 2". At 20mph or so . So it can be sketchy.
You need to be prepared for the weather too. It can get very cold on some of the more exposed higher areas. Descending at speed the windchill can get you ,as it did us ,our Camelbak hoses freezing up in no time at all.
So that was that. By all accounts everyone had a great ride. Andy liked the Rize.It's in its element on this type of terrain. It goes up and down with equal gusto. Gareth was having fun on the big Moto. It's arguably 'too big' here though. Blatting downhill it's a flier ,but on the inevitable upward undulations it loses momentum. Hell of a thing ,if that's your thing though. Tom was on the lightweight Rush and seemed to be doing ok.It's a super efficient thing. I'm hoping to get it out over the weekend . I'll keep you posted.
Later on Tom and Gaz swapped rides as Gaz cannily realised the ratio of up:down was shifting in the favour of the lighter bike. He remarked how instantly nippy it felt . Well it would after a few hours on the Moto. Tom did the rest of the ride on the Moto and it's fair to say dug deep towards the end. Like I said ,it's not the ideal venue.
Back at the carpark it was now busy busy,so instead of going in the cafe that was rammed we went up the road for a pub lunch ,which was nice.
Actually it was crap . Andy had a chicken curry and got something stuck in his throat . On the way home we diverted to the Countess of Chester Hospital where he stayed for 36 hrs and ended up having surgery to have the offending thing removed .
You just couldnt make that up.
* Bananarama. 'It aint what you do ... '
I'm pretty certain that's a cover version of a very old song,but hey.
It's easy to have a cheap shot at a cheap bike like this but it would be wrong.
I honestly think if you have a bike like this take it out and have some fun .
It'll be OK.
Someone was blatting round Llandegla on this bike.The £:Fun ratio was good I'd wager.
Some of these pics are mine ,but the better ones are by Gareth and Jon,here:
If you were out on the ride and would like to comment on any of the bikes that you rode or whatever ,please do so,it would be good to get some feedback.
Thanks. Top ride.