Sunday is Trail Building day. I loaded the car and headed off to Birches Valley to meet up with everyone to go make trails. As i approached the motorway roundabout, some EeeJit cut me up, pushing me onto the motorway... yeah cheers mate - where did you buy your licence? EBay Mongolia?
Now heading the wrong way on the wrong road and in a wrong frame of mind, i was overtaken by a tatty looking camper van. On the back were several mountain bikes flapping around. 'Where are they going?' i thought. I then realised that i hadn't been any where else on my own other than The Chase recently and maybe i should go somewhere different, somewhere i hadn't been before. I had a full tank of fuel, a bag full of chocolate, my bike and all my riding kit - what was stopping me going where i wanted? Feeling very guilty for not going trail building, i carried on. It's illegal to use a mobile phone while driving - no, it really is illegal - so i couldn't phone the guys to let them know. By the time i did stop they would know i wasn't coming along anyway - sorry guys for not letting you know.
So where did i go? I went to the original British Trail Centre at Coed y Brenin.
I've never ridden there before and heard so much about it. When i got there, i was spoilt for choice! How lovely to be able to choose from 5 different Black or Red trails! ... on closer inspection most were variations of a theme but that didn't matter. Maybe thats the beauty of Coed y Brenin, variations to suit you, i like it. Judging the time i had to ride and the journey back, i opted for the mbr trail. I was guessing that it would be proper black, not Llandegla Black (sorry Llandegla), and i wasn't disappointed! I was very tempted by the Beast and Tarw, but i didn't know how much time i would have as i didn't really know what to expect ... other than rocks.
Rocks. More rocks, and then more rocks... I'd left my pads at home (i was supposed to be at the chase remember and you don't need them there) so started a little cautiously on some of the rocky sections, wondering if my hardtail and i could cope. After a while, i started to gain my confidence and then noticed that if i thought about the rocks i had a really hard time, so started blatting them.
Wearing the Chase Trails riding shirt keeps me connected to the Chase and trail building wherever i am, and is regularly a conversation starter. Talking to other riders about the Chase and the trails is a great way to spread the word and get them intrigued to come and visit and help trail building! Nearing the end, someone on a (heavily) spec'd Orange 5 stopped me and asked if i was from the Chase. I'd discovered the three guys were from Stoke and regulars to the Chase but hadn't yet been trail building. It didn't take much convincing that Phase II was going to be awesome.
Still caning the rocks, I hooked up the back wheel a couple of times and nearly came a cropper but didn't. By the last section, i was getting air off of and over the rocks and really enjoying what i would not have attempted at the speed i was now. I'd even started cornering harder without thinking about it, one of my riding weak points.
By the time i was back at the car, i felt that my riding had just jumped up a level. I reckon i might be able to tackle the new rocks on The Monkey now! I'd had an awesome ride and wanted to ride more, but time was pressing and i had a long drive back on the numpty infested A5. Feeling very pleased with myself, i closed the door on the car and set off. The thought in my head was about that ****** idiot in the Silver 58 plated BMW 130 ... 'Cheers Mate'. No really, cheers!
Coed y Brenin on mbwales.com