Saturday, 4 November 2017

Blue Skies in Cwmcarn

By Jim Jones
Friday, November 10, 2017 - 18:20
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Having suggested we try  a few Saturday rides further afield, I was starting to regret it as the garage door went up and I was met with a wall of rain. So a day trip to Wales seemed like a good idea, did it? My wife assured me that the weather would be different up there and how right she was.

Passing Castle Combe the rain just stopped to my amazement. This was starting to look better. Google led me towards a carpark in a valley at the Cwmcarn visitors centre where I found Gwyn and Gill  waiting for the riders to arrive. Having traveled down the night before, they had the advantage on us. Before long there was a group of nine of us dressed and ready to go. Saying bye to Gill, who was going for a hike, Lee led the nine of us of in an upwards direction. Suddenly we all remembered how steep the valleys of Wales are and turned our attention to Gareth, happily riding his E bike up the trail with effortless grace. After what felt like hours, we reached the top and suddenly, with spirits lifting, we could see how much height we had achieved and the thought of the downhills to come.

Lee led us in to the first trail of the day and instantly we all forgot all the climbing just done, and marvelled at how quickly you gained speed on what could only be described as an “awesome trail”. Finding ourselves half way down the trail for a breather, Lee assured us the next bit of the trail down to the centre was his favourite trail in Cwmcarn. It did not disappoint, hurling us down the hill quicker than most of us had been in a while. Even Nic looked quick on the one seated tandem he had brought with him.

Going into tea we all agreed what a great place to come this was, with dry fast trails and a good tea stop in the middle. It couldn’t get any better! Well it did - the sun came out! 

Riding up to the top after tea, you could have been mistaken for thinking we were going into summer not having left it months ago.  Deciding to drop on the same trail as the morning, we found ourselves  back in the car park before long, where some of us agreed to take the uplift to the top of the DH track and try our chances. Waiting for the bus up seemed like a good idea at the time but gradually we found ourselves surrounded by riders on Big Hit DH bikes and full body armour - some of us started to feel a bit out of our depth, but in true RCC spirit we soldiered on. 

Letting the DH boys go, we prepared ourselves for what was to come. We needn’t have worried as dropping in within minutes we were catching some of the big bikes. The new DH trail was so fast, and you had to keep your wits about you on some of the sections, but we all made it to the bottom safe and sound.

As we all had a long drive home we collectively agreed it was time to call it a day and make our way home. A great day was had by all, so thanks to Lee for leading and thanks to everyone who came. Looking forward to the next one!