Monday, 31 August 2009

Bank Holiday Madness Part 3 (Llandegla Research Trip 31st August)

When we have a group ride to another trail center we like to call it a research trip. We take photos, make notes, examine construction techniques, oh, and have fun riding our bikes! We hadn't put much planning into this and decided to make the short trip to Coed Llandegla just across the Welsh border. I met Ian at Birches Valley where we stocked up on supplies and loaded the bikes. As we approached Llandegla 90s pop band Hansen come on the radio and would stick in our heads all day. When we arrived (on time) Jez, Dave, Petra, Charlotte and Jessica were already there and tucking into the BBQ.

I'll let Jessica, aged 9, pick up the story here;
Today Ian Rob Jezz Dave Petra Charlotte and me were at coed Llandegla and we were riding the red section pretty tiring and we loved it. It had beautiful views but the worst thing was the hills we had to do a 3 mile hill and later a double climb which was really steep, BUT IT STRENGTHENED MY LEGS! Me Petra and Charlotte were doing the red section and had to miss out the black section because the black section was the 15 foot high board walk. Dave Jezz Rob and Ian went on that board walk Dave jumped past Rob.

The berms were great and also the down hills were awesome. IAN AND ROB WERE VERY FAST ! I DID THE BOARDWALKS FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER ! THE JUMPS WERE WICKED AND I LOVED THE STONE BRIDGE BLACK SECTION JUMPS and so did Rob he rode over them twice just so that he could do the climb back up again. I have to say that the biggest berm has to be the one by the swamp it was a long fast berm I want to do the pump course and skills section when they open! We had a look at them and thought ooooooooooooh!
Ride over we headed to bike friendly cafe and sat outside and set about replacing all those lost calories. I went for the 'Llandegla Ranch Burger', Charlotte and Jessica went for cake followed by chips!

After lunch we has the opportunity to chat with Ian, director of Oneplanet Adventure who run all the facilities at Llandegla. It is always good to find out how other centers operate and to share experiences. Despite Llandegla being a private forest and run by Oneplanet it was remarkable just how similar our experiences were. It was great of Ian to take the time to spend time chatting with us and hopefully we'll keep it touch and continue to share ideas with each other in the future.

Before heading home we went for another look at the skills loop (due to open soon). It looked pretty good and maybe something for us to think about in the future. We'll have to come back and do more 'research' when it is open.

Despite the bank holiday traffic the journey home wasn't too bad helped by Radio 1s eclectic playlist. I think this is the first time I've ever made it back form Wales without falling asleep. Um bop...

Jessica (aged 9) & Rob (aged ???)

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