Friday, February 25, 2011

XC trip to Nant-yr-arian and Cwmcarn

Mid Friday afternoon saw the braver of XC members of the club journey to the frozen north of Wales. The five hour slog was mainly clear with some light patches of traffic and reasonably heavy fog on the mountain pass which lead to the accommodation. Those lucky enough to be driven by Dave Mills car broke up the monotony of the journey with a stop at the delightful Seven Seas fish and chip shop in Ross-on-Wye. We got to the (superb) accomodation about 11pm packed down a few beers and headed to bed.

An early start took us over Devils bridge up to the Nant-yr-arian trail center. After a brief interlude for some Jack helmet forgetting faff we hit the steep fire road climb to the top of the trail. Most of us bashed out an opening lap of the blue trail (10miles) with exception of Pete who felt the need to subject himself to the 26 mile orange trail.  Nant-yr-arian is a fairly smooth man made trial which has some nice single track and also some fairly rough double track descents with excellent views of the surrounding country side. All trails end with the gruesome "Leg Burner" climb into long single track descent.

We ate lunch in the cafe while we waited for Pete and then did a second lap. It should be noted that how ever unpleasant that Leg Burner climb is on the first assent it is significantly worse on a second outing. Exhausted we returned back to the (superb) accommodation for a well earned bolognese, biking DVDs and as much beer as we could get down before we fell asleep.

Sunday morning we headed out to Cwmcarn. It was clear that everyone was feeling the after affects of the previous days double Leg Burner and the pace was significantly slower with only Pete and Chode showing any real signs of enthusiasm for the climbs. Many admitted defeat outright and took the road climb to the summit. From there the trail was plain (savagely rocky) descending. Some of what are usually rolling trails were a bit sticky with mud but its fair to say good times were had all round. We settled for just the one lap of Cwmcarn mainly due to exhaustion and spent the afternoon in the cafe and headed home early. All in all a fun and exhausting weekend to get the XC guys in shape for the coming weekends Varsity XC race against Pompy.

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