Coed Y Brenin Enduro – 29th September

Chris waits for the start

So five days after getting an unwanted entry off a bloke in Telford I loaded my bike and kit into Rob’s van and the threeof us headed to the usual bunkhouse in Machynlleth. Fortunately we were the only ones staying so we had the place to ourselves…. well apart from the bunkhouse cat, that we found out isn’t a stray, is owned by Tegid the bunkhouse owner, is called Oscar, and is allowed in. So no more shooing him off when we’re moving stuff in and out!

Finding the Winnstay Arms Pizzeria was shut for staff holidays screwed up our plans for friday evening, but a Chinese takeaway was a reasonable substitute. Shame, as I was really looking forward to having leeks as a pizza topping again!

Race day dawned bright, with the forecast looking good…. Sorry, it’s not a race… really it’s not…. honest…..

An early start to get a decent parking spot saw us arrive at the Forestry Commision Centre at Coed Y Brenin around 8:30, giving us plenty of time to sign in and chat to Fraz one of the guys we know who helps out at this event, and organises the Dyfi Enduro in May.

For info on the Coed Y Brenin visitors centre click this -> http://www.forestry.gov.uk/coedybrenin

At 10:20 we gathered at the start line, and Rob had to go for one last wee in the bushes…. much to the amusement of the assembled masses, helped along by me and Chris shouting words of encouragement!

10:30, and Tegid led the field off the start line on his KTM Adventure, the next 60 kilometres would have been a lot easier with a 990cc bike rather than pedal power! The route climbed up the fireroads at the back of the trail centre and over the top with stunning views of Llyn Trawsfynydd. The route then snaked around the mountains on a fantastic mixture of natural bridleways, forest fireroads and trail centre singletrack.  

All was going well, till energing from a nice downhill section I hit the button on the bars that raises and lowers the saddle and it stayed down…. ah, that’s not good. I stopped to try and fix it but couldn’t work out what was wrong. I worked out that by pulling the seatpost out of the frame to it’s maximum mark I could get the saddle pretty much where it should be, so that’s what I did. Not perfect, but it would do.

The course dropped down through the trail centre car park, and then under the A470 road bridge, it now pretty much followed the route of the original Tarw mountain biking trail. Soon on the descents I was noticing my rear brake lever was starting to pull almost to the bars… I couldn’t work it out, why would this happen? Then it dawned on me, I’d been dragging the rear brake on most of the decents. The two offs I’d had, the ribs and the arm, seemed to have knocked my confidence and I couldn’t seem to let go of the rear brake lever.

I’d probably boiled the fluid, and glazed the pads. Now on every descent I was very aware of my hand on the lever and had to make a concious effort to leave it alone. Don’t get me wrong I was still flying down the descents, but slightly slower than I’d like! In the whole event I only remember being overtaken on descents twice, and they were riders on full suspension bikes who left me for dead, so I can’t of been doing much wrong.

All too soon, the course dropped down towards the road, did a twisty loamy section through some woods, then popped out into a clearing where there was a large FINISH banner. The times haven’t been posted on their website yet, but I think I did it in about 5 hours 30 minutes, which I’m quite happy with.

So the Coed Y Brenin Enduro…… I’ll be back next year! This time aiming for under 5 hours…..

Ride – #158     Bike – ’12 Trek Superfly Al Elite

Miles – 42.8     Total 2012 miles – 3604.0

Strava – http://app.strava.com/rides/23473726

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