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Wales Trip 2015

The date was set and announced for the annual trip to Wales. It soon became apparent that this year was going to be larger than normal. Within a few days we had 16 confirmed riders which was already impressive, but to then have 18 all wanting to join in the fun was outstanding!

With this record number of riders we managed to fill 3 B&B’s all within walking distance to Dolgellau so it was shaping up to be a great four days of riding and socialising.

The early 5am alarm clock was soon forgotten as we all climbed in to our vans and headed west to the valleys. 

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Once again, James’ sun dance had paid off and the weather gods had blessed us with 4 days of sunshine, warmth and no rain! (from what I remember).

Day 1 Penmachno:

As tradition, we all met at the Conway Falls café and we were soon at the start of trail ready for the long climb and the trails ahead. (We even saw the shocking appearance of sun cream this early in the year!!) 

With all the dry weather the trail wasn’t as wet as in previous years making for a great first days’ ride. Jon C wasn’t happy with all the dryness so decided to throw himself off the woodwork into a bog just to cool off and get a good covering of mud…

Some new sections had been added with big berms and nice jumps. The first days ride finished with only one small spill and one puncture.

Evening: Everybody hungry and a little tired from the long day,  we had a cheese, meat and wine banquet in our room with a great spread of food all laid out on the floor with time to swap stories of first day antics.

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Day 2 Nant-yr-Arian:  

Quick Spar shopping stop to stock up on trail snacks ready for the full on Nant-yr-Arian ride. With perfect timing Simon arrived with his crew ready for another sunny day.

Riding conditions couldn’t have been more perfect as we set out in to the wilds of the Welsh valleys with dry trails and a slight breeze. 

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After the lunch stop and the climb of doom we reached the new Son of Zorro trail. Big jumpy fun had by all with some impressive Strava times. (so I hear!) No ride is complete without a coffee and a bit of cake and maybe even a sneaky beer ;) Amazingly again no injuries just the one puncture!

Friday night we all headed into town for a good pub meal and to drink away the aches and pains from the day in anticipation of doing it all again tomorrow!!

Day 3 Coed-y-Brenin :  

Not so sunny, but who cares? It was dry! we all knew what lay ahead and couldn't wait to get moving. The place is the same every year with awesome riding, mixing up technical climbs, fast flowing single track and some scary tight downs to put that smile on your face. With the extra runs on the BMX section there was plenty of fun had.

Half way cafe followed by another climb of doom. That out of the way, ti was then fun, fun, fun, all the way back. Rick did some foliage inspection on the False Teeth and walked away without a scratch while I came off going up hill!!! (Just have to be awkward)

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Despite this, again another awesome day and everyone and the bikes still in one piece.

As tradition dictates, we headed out to the George III on the riverside. As the invention of taxis have not yet reached this part of the world we had to create our own unique mode of transport for moving 12 of us. It’s amazing how sitting on a tool box can be so comfy.

Plenty of beer and banter over some great food was had by all 18 of us round a table made for 12!!! Maybe that was a subtle hint for next year's trip?

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Many thanks for Tommy T and his bus driving skills allowing us all to get back into town as the night was still young. Somehow, despite going to the same town for the fourth year in a row, we have only just discovered the nice bar in town! Well now we know for next time…

Day 4 Coed llandegla :  

Some tired legs, some sore heads, some just sore! We prepared for the final day. Gale force head winds were not what we ordered for the day making the Heart Attack climb 10 times harder than it needed to be even blowing a few of us off our bikes.

Day four legs are never great but soon came back to us for a dry yet very windy ride. Some off-piste action mid-way down on some overzealous logging and back on to the B line. On the very last section of the very last day the rain finally came. May be Wales was just sad to see us go?

Again all bikes and riders in one piece!!! This is unheard of and with such a big group. Was it because we are all such amazing riders? Our bikes cost far too much money or just pure luck? Whatever it was I will take that.

I hope everyone had an awesome time, whether it was your first trip and had a rude awakening, or whether you go every year for more punishment and some brilliant trials.

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I thought we had a great group this year with every one getting along and fully getting in to the spirit of a biking trip to make it a great 4 days. Thank you.

2016 I think will be around the 7th April. Might mix things up a little next year so watch this space!

Martyn

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