So after my visit the other week, we all decided to head back to Penmachno. No brainer for me really as I was stopping at Karen's on the Saturday night and would get a lie in. I was however going to miss the bacon butties. Still, cant have it all.
We all met up at 10.30ish, car park was full so had to park at the bottom of the hill. Good turn out with Me, Toss, Weester, TR, JD & CW all making the effort. I was surprised not to see Pikey there though as I though I had managed to persuade him. Usual piss take ensued and we were soon kitted up and ready to go.
Long steady climb up got our legs warmed up pretty quick, young CW flying up it the twat. Onto the first section of ST and it was flowing pretty well really, the first two sections are just a bit steady allowing us to gain height rather than loads of smiles. Up the long fireroad and we approached the 1st of the 3 section roller coasters. We all dropped in and it was just fucking brilliant, fast as fuck... much faster than the other week, riding in a group really does push you much harder, especially with a young airborne cw right up your trumpet. 1st section over and I waited for the lads to pop out and all to a man were grinning from ear to ear. Next section I told CW to go first and to my surprise I was managing to tag him for most of the run, again stupid grins at the end, with Toss telling us about his back wheel grabbing the track right at the edge of traction. On the last roller, I went first and flew, bike felt wonderful and as usual the surface at Pen giving up loads of grip. Weester arrived shacking, having had a VERY close call with the edge of the track and a tree, he insisted that Toss went before him from now on to regulate his speed, what he didnt account for was that Toss was flying too.
The track here is very narrow and very fast, it really does leave you with no margin for error if you are giving it the beans... just the way we like it.
Switchback climb and the start of loop 2. Told the guys that this was a bit more "pedally" but if you nail it its very rewarding. CW did not find this type of riding at all to his liking. Moaned a little bit but was soon lambasted. On the second section I went into the trees and parked up waiting for the lads to catch up but no sign of them. 15 mins later, they arrived with Andy pushing his bike, having twatted his rear mech and snapped the hanger. To my massive surprise Toss said he had a spare one. At first it wouldnt fit but the chief mechanic (weester) managed to make an admirable bodge and get it working.
The rest of loop 2 soon passed and we were back on the long climb up to the coombe. Soul destroying with a headwind. TR was proper struggling and looked like he was going to fall asleep.
Still, from here on was proper fun. 3 peachy downhills. The first one, Craig Wen (??!!!???) was set about at top speed for all of us, unfortunatly after one little jump my chain wrapped itself round the cranks so I had to stop, just at that point Weester and TR flatted. Toss announced that this was his favorite section of trail "in the world" beaming from ear to ear. Mechanicals over we finished that section and abused CW a bit more.
On the way to the Traverse TR inexplicably fell off and twatted his elbow. Poor bloke was having the shit kicked out of him on this ride, but never once failed to finish a DH section without a big massive grin.
Traverse was nailed, I had a moment on the down after the hairpin, where I overcooked a jump into a corner, tried to pull the back wheel round and got a grab of cramp in my thigh... fuck it hurt but fortunately it happened right at the bottom and I could get off pretty sharp. This section really was "edge of control" brilliant descent.
Final long climb up to the top of the final descent. I knew from the other week just how rocky and bumpy the steep section into the switchbacks had become, but chose to let the lads find out themselves :)
I was shooting down them and round the first hairpin, when I heard toss a bit further back announce mid flight that he was "having a minute". Turns out he was flying and hit the rocks which scared the bejesus out of him, so he grabbed a min to calm down. Fucking great fun this last section, arrived back at the car park beaming as was everyone else.
Toss then broke out his fruit and walnut cake for us all... top way to finish off a top days riding.