Monday, August 15, 2005

While Claire is away...

...Dan will play!

Claire spent a long weekend in Sardinia with her bestest buddy Louise, so I was left with lots of free time.
The plan:
Wednesday night - preperation
Thursday night - ride bikes at Gracedieau and blag food at Mike's.
Friday night - drive to Cardiff
Saturday - Ride at Afan
Sunday - Ride at Afan and return home to pick up Claire from the Station.

Wednesday Night
Right I have a lot planned so best get my arse in gear.
New Truvativ Hussefelt cranks to fit. 2 rings and a bashguard, perfect for the woods where you really don't need an outer ring and it ends up catching and bending on stuff when you feck up hopping over rocks and tree trunks.
The cranks go on fine and after a bit of fettling of the front mech, everything is fine and indeed dandy.
I then go into an organisational whirlwind, Food is bought, washing/washing up is done and kit is arranged in box and bag for the trip down on Friday night as I suspect I'll be in no fit state to sort it out on Thursday and the plan is to leave straight from work on Friday.

I then sit down in front of the telly and knock back 1/2 a bottle of wine (it needed drinking up and there was no beer in the fridge.)

Thursday Night
I'm at Mike's by 6pm and we pretty quickly load his bike on to the new Fiamma bike rack on the back of the camper, one bike is easy, two bikes make life a little harder but to be honest its pretty easy.
We get to Fisky's on time for once and head to Gracedieau woods for a couple of hours of singletrack fun.
Social beer at Fisky's renders us 20 minutes late getting back to Mike's so we are greeted with cold pizza and a slightly chilly reception from Jude. Pizza hit the spot though.

Friday Night
Straight from work I was heading South West, no big jams just a bit busy around Monmouth and Newport. Result.
Journey Fuelled by:
Jay-Z Vs Linkin Park:Collision Course

Spent the rest of the evening chilling with the younger brother, watching DVD's, drinking beer. Lloydy showed up in his own particularly late style at 10:45.


Today, myself, Lloydy, Pat and Jess rode White's Levels. It was drizzling when we rolled out of the carpark but by 2/3rds of the way up the first climb it was rain of biblical proportions that was being thrown on us. The trail resembled more of a stream than a trail. We continued around the trail enjoying the singletrack and splashing though the puddles.
About 1/2 way down the final descent I came across pat standing by his bike at the side of the trail. He's not sure what happened but his rear mech had exploded, senting his chain into the spokes and bringing him to a sudden halt. Luckily he wasn't hurt, I'm not sure he even crashed. After 5 minutes sripping and bodging bike in to a rollable state, he was able to roll down the trail and get a tow back to the cars.
After making ourselves vaguely clean we headed home, on the motorway, Dave and I were happily driving along in the van when BANG!, I immediately look back and the bikes were still there, then I notice the passenger side winscreem wiper blade had come off, luckily were could come off the motorway 30 seconds later and the garage we stopped in just off the motorway had exactly what we needed. Lucky.
After checking the bikes over back at Pats, I noticed that the pad on my rear disk brake was down to the pad backing metal, no wonder they felt a bit wierd. And those pads were brand new and had only been ridden on 3 rides! So lesson learnt there, Shimano organic Pads do not like mud.
The rest of the day was spent chilling in front of the Athletics until it was Curry o'clock and myself and Dave headed to the Bay Leaf in Llandaf for some fine Bangladeshi food.

Due Pat's mechanicals, he was a no show today so it was just Dave and myself heading back to Afan to see what the Skyline trail was like.
A quick trip to Skyline Cycles for some new brake pads and a quick faff and we were off.
The skyline shares the first climb with White's Levels and it was interesting to see how well it had dried out.
Dave and I made our way around the trail at a comfy pace, the trail mixes more fireroad in with the singletrack but the sweetness of the singletrack makes up for the fireroads. The final descent is a belter with switchbacks, rock drops, whoops and loads more funstuff. We ended up cutting the ride short due to time contraints but looking at the map we only missed 2 singletrack sections.
After riding and getting sorted out, we headed into the Drop Off Cafe for a late lunch/early dinner, 4 quid got us the biggest pile of Curry and Rice seen by me ever. Well tasty and I scoffed the lot to the amazemant of the chef.
Back on the road it was another long drive back to Leicester with the added bonus of a nice long queue on the M42.
Journey Fuelled by:
Smash Mouth
No Doubt
Costa Coffee Ice Blended Frappacino type beverages
Curry - parp.

On the drive home news was filtering through that Claire had landed but her bag had not, and she had missed the Luton to Leicester Train, so she had to go back to London then get the train back to Leicester. Oh well it was nice to see her at 2240 on the platform of Leicester Station.

Carnage Count:
4 Spokes
1 XT Rear Mech
1 Chain
1 Set Saint Brake Pads
1 Windscreen Wiper Blade
4 Curries
1 Bruised Hand/Finger

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