Cwmcarn Day 02 (south wales)

10 in the tent and the little one said…”are you awake?”
Well, it wasn’t quite a water bed we were on but the ground definitely squelched under our floor/bed! I didn’t get much sleep and neither did a couple of others, thanks to the snorers, rain, wind, waterfalls near by and the rivers forming through our tent. Morning was welcomed with open arms, only to reveal much of the same for the whole day…FANTASTIC.

The day started with a usual faffing around with bikes not quite fit for the day ahead, and thats even with lucas not riding! (he has a reputation for turning up with flat tyres etc) I discovered that the gritty dirt from the short ride on the friday had reduced my pads from minimal…to nothing…and did I have spares….of course not…down to PS Cycles it was (sponsors of the Cwmdown service). Fortunately Grave, fellow rider, had a spare Hope Mono M4 set of pads for my front brake so I only had to fork out for one set. I arrive at the bike shop, the friendly gentleman in the shop shows me what I need, then heads back to the till…I wander and then walk out the shop £45 lighter…also carrying a shiny new pair of Oakley biking goggles with tear off’s! Now I feel like a pro!

Fit pads, ride down, catch uplift, 1 place left for 2 people…”never leave a man behind” runs through my head, so me and Ian start to walk up the trail (he also couldnt get on the uplift due to it being fully booked).
Half way up the trail, 2 local boys, Spud and Richard catch up with us with 2 lovely looking bikes. I have started feeling slightly inadequate around people who are really good as I feel I will never get to them kind of standards due to lack of guts, but these two were really encouraging and full of useful hints and tips about the trail and surrounding areas. Cheers lads.

So this is my first real attempt at a downhill trail, after walking up I had a good idea of what was to come, but nothing quite prepared me for the amount of fun I was about to have! We did a few descents and the only thing I didn’t hit was the double at the bottom, I never thought that this kind of riding would be as tiring as it was…my fingers were cramping up, my legs were struggling to keep me upright and my arms were so pumped that they felt like super hardened bricks soaked in Yorkshire water!

Ian was well and truly an inspiration to me on this trail, and started to remind me of what the bikes are about, he hit everything with guts and got straight back up after every fall, he had never ridden a proper trail before today…let alone a DH track…on a 15 inch hardtail! I had an awesome time playing catch up with him and expect great things of him in the future.
Hitting the road drop was a hard one at first as it looked quite technical, but after hitting it and getting it right, it becomes easier every time, its just like dropping off a kerb except you cant see your landing til late on.
Rock drops, roots, table tops, berms, doubles, off camber corners and super tight technical sections make this trail into an amazing track. It is a massive rush and a good trail for all levels.
Apparently the pro times are 3 minutes or something (rumour not fact) and we managed it in 5…acceptable? …and it was still pouring with rain…and there was grit on everything…and i forgot to mention…them lovely shiny Oakley…still not worn…they got covered in water and grit and I had no dry/clean bit of me to make it right 🙁

Sessioning the road drop was my best decision of the day…we all love action photos of ourselves…especially if we are mid fall. Napper and Coley provided some fantastic entertainment in this realm! Keep it up lads!
Back to the wet tents, wash the bikes, sort out soggy clothing, curry then bed…Pretty good day with a freshening mind with regards to the bikes, but something still doesn’t sit quite right.
SIDENOTE: the downhill track was ridden on a pair or Marzocchi 55ATAs….yes….still broken and clunking on every drop…write up following very soon!

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