So a plan was made to go riding on Sunday. QE Country Park was discussed as they’ve just re-done the trails and I used to ride there loads when I was at Uni in Portsmouth. Thetford was also discussed. But then I said to Matt, fuck it, lets got to Cwmcarn.
So yeah it’s kind of a long way away but why not? Get up early, get going and ride some amazing trails. I tried to think of it as only a little bit further than you’d go to go to Swinley as the hard bit is getting out of London. But in reality it is a long way to go just for a day. Swinley was a total swamp the last time I was there on New Years eve and Matt and I can always find things to talk about on a long drive – mainly how bad his arse smells.
So we got there, got the kettle on, fettled, ummmed and ahhed and finally jumped on our bikes up the technical climb. The trails were really nice and bedded in compared to what I was expecting. Matt and I both hacked and coughed our way up until we got to the foggy start of the black run at the top.
The first time down I couldn’t see a thing as all the moisture in the air was condensing on and around my eyes. I also managed to un-clip mid table top jump which felt pretty awesome indeed.
We rode back to the top and second time around it was much faster and flowed a bit better. The more natural sections following seemed to be more enjoyable though and again in tip top condition. Yeah I know the following shot is blurry but this was such a nice bit of trail.
Now at the end of this section is a funny bit. You crest the hill and climb a steep concreted section to get to the next bit of trail. We met a large group of walkers and exchanged the usual pleasantries. One of them saying “I want to see you riding” the UK equivalent of allez no doubt. Nice words of encouragement. This section is usually hard to get the saddle height right, too high for the first rocky section and you come up on some nasty little obstacles, too low and you’re faced with a slog the other side. Either we got it bang on or it just seemed to flow really well today.
Funnily enough as we came round the last corner to ride the awesome last descent it didn’t feel as good as usual. The smooth bermed section at the end was rutted and neither of us could get a decent flow. Still it was great fun and well worth the drive.
Back at the van we packed up chatted about which bits we liked and headed back to London. Every time I use that van I think I love it more.
On the drive back as we discussed the day I realised that I had been riding here since 2002 at least. Ten years ago! In those days I looked a bit different.
The great thing about it was that we could get there after work from Bath. Picture below from left to right is myself, Lee and Ian. Good times!
Now, just have to plan where and what to ride next weekend.