Antur Stiniog – Yeah baby!

This time last week I wont deny I was a little nervous. I’d seen the centre before and it looked scary, it looked bare and it looked like it was going to hurt.

I’m not a fast rider but I do like riding steep trails – Antur Stiniog was going to deliver the steep side and the speed like it or not!

First thing to notice was how under dressed we all felt. This is a purely gravity assisted bike park and 75% of the riders were on full DH rigs and wearing as much body armour as they could. What were we doing?

The Blue run was a belter and enough for some of the group. Recalibrate your trail grading here as this is a Blue DH run not a Blue XC trail.

The Wild Cart (Red) trail was a blast and treats you to some steep chutes, good sized drops  and plenty of steep turns and jumps. Gary and I coped well so we stepped up to Black Powder and buckled in for our first go on the Black! And we survived!

Basically it was an amazing day and its a spot that will push your riding to another level. However I would also add that its not as scary as I thought it would be.

Take your pads and a full face helmet, take your time and you will have an awesome day.

The uplift is pretty slick and smooth as it takes you up tarmac roads rather than bumpy fire road. And the food in the cafe is great too, but it small and gets busy at lunch time so get in early.

The uplift stops for lunch and there’s no push up track, but there is a small gravity fed pump track for you to practice on.

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I’d thoroughly recommend a day at Antur Stiniog – so go and book yourself on the uplift now!

http://www.anturstiniog.com/DownhillTrails/DownhillTrailsWales/

 

Sunny Sunday Morning Ride

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After a late night boozing and eating large quantities of Indian food I had to get up and get out this morning; while my wife and kids were suffering from the very late night for the kids and the usual I’m never going to drink again comments from my wife.

The sun was shining and I had no hesitation after breakfast of getting kitted up and breaking out the Rockhopper. I have a saddle bag on the Rockhopper with a few bike specific parts in – the correct 9 speed power links and a 29″ inner tube (among other things) so I decided to pack my smaller camelbak today and rode a bit lighter and with the bare minimum of tools and accessories.

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A 14 mile loop took in one or two regular trails and also one or two diversions I had heard about but never been too. I also topped about 35 mph on a stretch of road coming back which always raises the heart rate a little bit.

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I sought out a large bomb hole which I had heard about but never ridden to, and was not disappointed by the sheer size of it. There were some jumps and the opportunity to drop in among some trees on a steep bank. It’s fair to say I killed some time having a few goes.

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The highlight of the ride was a cheeky bit of single track at the far end of the loop that I have only ridden once before. It twists through a wooded area on the side of a pretty steep hill, culminating in a nice descent which is only really passable at certain times of the year as it gets really over grown.

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I was out for about 2 and a half hours in the beautiful morning sun and during the toughest climb the temperature hit 20 degrees C. As you can see took some great pics with my iPhone, I also took some video with my GoPro which I will share with you tomorrow.

After lunch we took the kids to a local farm / petting zoo. We have been there a few times but today was real fun and we saw some baby rabbits. Not sure i have ever seen a week old bunny before – melts the toughest of hearts I can tell you.

So to man up a little I removed and degreased my cassette and chain when we got back – grrrr!

Down Hill Mountain Biking in Wiltshire

Let me start by stating that I am a novice at this down hill mountain biking. I have been to a few trail centres in the UK and have done Les Gets and Morzine in the French Alps – but I am by no means any good at this!

This video was taken at the end of last summer and the reason for uploading today is that I plan on going to this location tomorrow to do some filming and picture taking of some friends.

I will take my bike of course but the main goal tomorrow is to take some pictures.