I’ve been Vlogging // Youtube

Don’t listen to them.  That’s what I tell myself.

Now is always a good time. That’s another saying I like.

Done is better than perfect. Not one of mine, but I like it and its my new blogging/vlogging moto.

Don’t wait until you have perfected it, just get the content out there and be yourself. Sometimes too polished and fancy can seem fake.  Sure I’m doing some intro’s, adding music etc but you have to make it a little interesting, there’s just no need to spend days making a slick edit, unless thats what people want. Mountain bike videos don’t have to be all from behind the bars or on top of your helmet.

Anyway – i might do a “guide to mountain bike vlogging” post at some point, but for now please head over to my YouTube channel and subscribe.

I’d love the support and encouragement and if you could hit the Like button and leaev comments that would be awesome!

Thanks

Tim

You can at Cannock

You can at Cannock

I’ve been a bit negative about Cannock on Instagram and on Facebook, calling parts of it a little boring and dull. In my video above I even said I hated it for starters. But lets have a think about it for a moment.

I would definitely visit it again if in the area

Its been almost 3 years since my first visit to Cannock Chase and true to my word I came back as I was in the area.

The sun was out and my meeting was literally a 10 min drive away so I couldn’t wait to get on the bike. Within minutes I was, well, underwhelmed.

In 3 years I have come to want more from a trail centre.  Don’t get me wrong the facilities and centre are great with a bike shop and cafe and a Forestry Commission office (where you will pay with a card to park if you don’t have the £6 (yes £6) to pay for parking.

£3 for 2 hours or £6 all day.  I’d have liked to have seen a 4 hour option as 2 is not enough to enjoy the trail and have a coffee – actually 2 is probably not enough to even get around the trail unless you just race it.

The setting is nice and the forest is very picturesque but the trail surface is in most places a sort of sandy cobbled finish which is a bit sketchy and I would have done well to have lowered my tyre pressure I think.

Parts of the trail just don’t flow, and they could do if a single tree here or there were removed or the trails were routed around them.  There are a number of spots where bars wider than 750mm will not fit so you have to slow and weave your way past them.

There is a section called the Devil’s Staircase which features some steps (duh), but the steps are unnecessary in my opinion and spoil a perfectly good steep switchback.

Anyway – enough of that. I did manage to find some flowy bits – Look out for Pot of Gold and Lower Cliff – these are probably the best sections for flow.

The other highlights for me were the technical Black sections and woodwork.

I’ll let the video tell the rest of the story.  Hope you enjoy it!

Would I go back? Have I changed my mind?

Well yes, sort of.  Its not my fave place to ride by a long way, but it has some rewards for your visit.  I also want to return and visit the Stile Cop down hill trails and I’ve had the offer of an off piste guide for some additional fun.

PLEASE subscribe to my YouTube Channel and like the video PLEASE – Or write some comments.  Thanks.

Snowdon 2017

2 years have passed since I went up and down Snowdon with my bike.  Notice I didn’t use the word “ride” or “rode” – there are large portions of the ascent that you simply cannot ride. I was not surprised to find that the climb hadn’t got any easier. Despite all the tourists, they haven’t quite put in an all weather all purpose track. Thank God!

Its brutal.

Going up is exhausting as you are pushing, pedaling or carrying your bike for nearly 2 hours and it was hot last weekend! I wont complain about the weather but it was warm…

Coming down – by the time you have regained your energy at the summit its time to descend and what a descent it is!

Fast, loose and hugely rocky…

Starting at the top of the highest peak out side of the Scottish Highlands with almost 1000m of descending ahead of you feels quite special. By making your way up the mountain under your own steam, you have just earned one of the best and gnarliest descents in the UK.

No trees grow here so you are exposed to the elements (in this case sunshine) all the way down. The surface is hard, rocky and in most places loose under the wheels!

Its a challenge of nerve and skill from top to bottom and I love it.

Go to LLanberis, obey the cycling restrictions and get your bike up the Llanberis Path.

Then enjoy what has recently been voted the best view in the UK and then pick your way down the Rangers Path.

After your ride, count the new scratches on your bike, check for missing teeth (yours or your chain ring) and go grab a beer cos you deserve it!

Go Cafall before Christmas

Vitus Escarpe - Cafall
My Vitus Escarpe VRX

This time of the year my local “trails” are muddy.  I know, so are yours but mine are not very interesting at the best of times so when it gets muddy it simply is no fun at all.

I am not a geologist but I can confidently say we have a heavy clay content in our soil around here so when it gets wet no “mud tyre” or “winter tyre” will cope. So the only  solution if you want a proper ride is to visit a trail centre.

Cafall Trail Cwmcarn

As luck would have it this last weekend a friend (check his blog out here) and I were off to Cardiff to see a great live band called Clutch. Go check them out if you like heavy bluesy rock with a smattering of stoner thrown in. I digress…

As we were going to be in Wales it would be rude not to take in a trail, so we hatched a plan to visit Cwmcarn and ride the Cafall.

Cafall Trail Cwmcarn

I was determined this time to take some photos and with the misty conditions it was certainly moody and picturesque enough for some fine results. Hopefully you will agree.

This ride was great and theres a lot to be said about making the effort to find a trail centre during the winter. They are built to take a battering from riders abusing them and of course the weather, especially in Wales.   A combination of the trees and elevation profile will allow rain to either be drunk by the vegetation or run off down the hillside to join the local rivers out of the way. So save for a few patches we managed to ride around in some damp but not muddy conditions.

Cafall Trail Cwmcarn

Now, there’s not getting away from it, its time to see my face and listen to me talk.  2017 will see me do more video (hopefully much better than this one) so get used to it!

Please subscribe, like, share, comment, laugh and poke fun to your hearts content…

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I had been planning an explore of Collingbourne woods for some time. It seemed like there should be some trails present and some googling and Strava segment searching showed some potential.

Using BikeHike I plotted a route around the forest that should take in the best bits and off I went. The route worked exactly as I had hoped and my time was spent riding rather thant figuring out which way to go!

It was sloppy to say the least but though the NS Bikes Surge is steel it certainly isn’t heavy and the WTB Vigilante/TrailBoss combination actually cope quite well with a certain level of mud.

It never ceases to amaze how parts of the same forest can be dusty in one spot and sloppy in another. However, it makes for a pleasant surprise and keeps you on your toes!

Can’t wait to have another ride of these woods with MB Swindon and also give that gully a few goes!