Author Archives: Sheldon

About Sheldon

Ride bikes, have fun.

Dyfi Enduro

Wales, UK is normally wet, muddy and mountainous the 2014 Dyfi Enduro was all of those except it didn’t rain! The Howies Dyfi Endurois a 60km (including the ride out and back from the campsite) off road enduro that’s got around 1600m of climbing on fire road and some techy singletrack climbs, the descending is tough on slate, rocky outcrops and some very slippery muddy sections. There’s a bar serving free beer with a disco near the end too which always a welcome sight. It’s a non competitive (cough) event but the red mist normally takes over and we have to let rip once in a while. This year Mandi chose to ride her Independent Fabrication 29er and I thought my Salsa Mukluk FatBike would be perfect 🙂 Enjoy the video!

 

http://youtu.be/BYrlrqjXKrQ

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Real Ale Wobble

This event rocks! Its our 7th year now so cant be bad. In short, it’s a mountain bike ride/enduro and beer festival with beer at the feed station. The event is held mid November every year, which ties up nicely with my birthday and even better this year being my 40th.
Myself and Mandi arrived on Friday morning, we tend to ride on the Friday just because we can and the area in so beautiful it’d be rude not to, however with Mandi’s elbow still healing she saved her energy until Saturdays event. I headed out with my friends to ride the 25mile, (40km) course, after 3 miles I headed back after my rear tyre blew off the rim 3 times splitting the bead. After it was fixed myself and Mandi hit the pub for mid day until about 01:30am!! That was the training!
Saturday morning, event day, we rode to the start ready and looking forward the great Welsh mountains, mud and a few cheeky beers enroute. I was riding my Jones SS and Mandi on her Singular Swift. We headed out straight into a small climb, Mandi’s chain broke, not having spares with her due to not wearing her pack as to keep the weight off her elbow no one else had a spare chain or link so she headed back to the b&b not happy. I wasn’t aware of the issues behind so I carried on in the mud ploughing away to get to the beer stop. A few mates met me there and told me about Mandi, which wasn’t the news I was hoping for, she was so looking forward to getting back on the MTB. We carried on through the quagmire, not sure if many of you know what Wales is like but it’s really wet and muddy this time of year and not a lot better in the summer but its great. A few friends didn’t recognise me as a 4inch front tyre without a crud catcher flings a fair amount of mud up! The course is pretty tame with ‘special’ sections off of the main route for the more experienced riders, no need to say we rode them. Some of the puddles were over the wheels and the mud in places was 6inches deep. With around a mile to go there was a river crossing so it was rude not to hit it hard and see if I could clean the bike up, it did a good job. We were missing a friend so we hung around here waiting when a friend suggested riding the bike off of the grassy bank dropping onto the river, this was so much fun!
I’ll be back next year for sure.
Go Pro video on board the Jones
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Knog Muddy Hell Nightime CX race @ London’s Herne Hill Velodrome

Last Christmas may wife was very good to me and bought me a Singular Kite CX frame and fork, so it needed building up and riding hard. Over Christmas and into early January I built it and rode it with road wheels for a week or so to ‘test’ it. I then slapped a pair of cx tyres on it and decided to give it a go off road! Well, it’s a great bike for fire roads and gentle xc but when I took it down my favourite downhill run and hit some small doubles cleaning the down and landing to flat it dawned on me that I may have the wrong idea about what a cx bike can do. I scared myself to death on it! Time went by and road tyres back on for the Wednesday night chain gangs and before I know it summer has been and gone. I receive an invite to race Knog Muddy Hell, I’ve been asked down to this event for a few years but always declined as I’ve never had the correct tool for the job. This year however, I decided what the Hell there won’t be anything as scary as my local DH run!
Arriving in London to drizzle and 3°C I was having 2nd thoughts, a quick catch up with Casper the owner of Rollapaluza and race organiser I checked out the course. #%}{|€¥>; it had Woops, steep drops, big man made bridge and a tabletop jump! Ah well if the rain carries on the landing will be soft! Like a fool I entered the seniors race under instructions from a mate who races cx a fair bit, on reflection Novice seemed a little more suited to my cx skill set! I watched a few races before darkness fell, seniors were due off at 20:20 a good 2 hours after it was dark, it was now 1°C and wearing my BWR Europe uniform I emerged from the car freezing cold and thinking why am I doing this? Practise lap under way the course was a quagmire but so much fun, I even was starting to look forward to the race. Lining up at the start everyone who had bothered to do a warm up lap was plastered in mud, everyone was shivering though. And we’re off, crikey some of those boys are quick! I soon got into my rhythm and was keeping up with a group behind the leading pack, I hit the woops and cleared them all whilst the field in front and behind crashed or jumped off their bikes and took to their feet. After the woops came the wall ride, then the bridge, the bridge was so steep a dismount was needed. I remounted at the top and looked up to see a load of people with cameras waiting by the table top at the bottom to catch any poor sod who thought they could get air on a cx bike crashing. All sorts of thoughts were in my head, I’ve no idea what took over but I just launched myself off, down the bridge and into the air with a nice little cross up, landed sweet to a cheer. I was on cloud 9! Not sure what happened over the rest of the race because every lap I just wanted to get air! And every lap I managed it albeit the amount was getting smaller as I was getting fatigued. I was lapped by the winner twice during the 50minute ordeal race but none the less finished with a smile. There were a lot of riders that didn’t make the finish due to rear mechs wrapped around their wheels due to the excessive mud.
Not sure I’ll be a regular cx rider but I’ll be back to Muddy Hell next year for sure.

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