Home Forums Weekday Rides As wet as an otters pocket – lets offroad!

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    Careful not to display club colours and speaking in hushed tones, the ND Heretics Group assembled at the Bloomfield Car Park under leaden skies. The courage of the convictions of several members of this emerging sect failed them at the last minute so we were just five, Slinky, Sweaty, Clundurban and Mr and Mrs ValleyMan.

    As we approached Carmarthen the heavens opened. We speculated if this was a sign of displeasure from some higher power (had Butcherboy been investing in cloud seeding?) but to the east a bright light shone on the peaks rising above the Cothi Valley and strengthened our resolve.

    We arrived at the Brecfa Forest Car Park at around mid day and with some trepidation the ‘Brecfa Virgins’ amongst us mounted our steeds. Slinky and Clunurban pondered on an appropriate choice of route having quizzed us closely on our mountain biking experience. The results of this extensive survey were promptly ignored as it was decided that after a gentle warm up we would take in part of the black route.

    The cardinal rules of mountain biking were recited before the off, however, it was obvious that Rule No.1, no visible lycra, was being violated by several members of the party who were clearly refugees from the ‘other way’.

    At our first regroup Slinky noted a slight hissing noise which was traced to the rear wheel of ValleyGirl’s bike which, like some scene from the Omen, was oozing a green slime. Tube replaced and we were off again. The terrain was challenging with most climbs on very narrow trails in the bottom 2 to 3 geasr of the triple groupset.

    Sudden stops of the bike in front at low speed leave little time to unclip and several close shaves occurred, on in Sweaty’s case, a bit beyond a close shave. At the top of a long climb we took a short detour onto part of a black trail. The despite helpful advice such as ‘don’t use your brake’s and ‘keep your weight to the rear’, discretion became the better part of valour for several of us and we did a Roger on the downhill sections.

    It was then a long decent back to the car park (with a few more climbs…) involving fast flowing undulating tracks through the pine forest. Once the mortal fear of a head on collision with a tree, or flying off the side of track into the ether had passed, this was exhilarating, if surprisingly tiring.

    We arrived back at the cars caked in wet mud. It was at this point that the lack of experience showed as the logistics of getting into some semblance of clean and/or dry clothes had not been fully planned in advance. This resulted in a slight ‘costume malfunction’ that I am hoping was not captured for posterity (pun intended).

    Slinky and Clunburban headed back to Narberth to watch the ‘Game’ whereas the ValleyRoad Crew and Sweaty retired to the Black Lion for a well earned pint (or two) and a very agreeable lunch.

    All in all a very enjoyable outing and one to be repeated.

    Ride Statistics:

    Offs: Sweaty 3, ValleyMan 1

    Distance: 10.1 m

    Climbing: 1,323ft

    Average Speed: 7.1 mph

    PS If anyone has access to the Chairman’s Xmas list, perhaps this could be sabotaged with the addition of ‘Mountain Bike’.

    Sweaty Eds

    It was a great day.

    It was a real eye opener with regard to the little differences between mountain bikers and proper cyclists. Of course there was the lycra thing and the lack of pointing out of obstacles but the main difference was the terminology. It may have been of benefit for me to have studied my mountain bike slang dictionary a little more thoroughly before we set off. For instance the term ‘One last little climb and it’s all downhill from there’ actually means the polar opposite and ‘Spongey’ as in ‘The back brake on the bike I’m loaning you is a little spongey’ actually means ‘The back brake on the bike I’m loaning you will lull you into a false sense of security by working normally for ten minutes or so, before, at the top of the black run downhill section, ceasing having any slowing effect whatsoever.’

    Thanks to our two mentors for their technical advice, encouragement and patience.


    An accurate report Valleyman. Just a small pointer – The purpose of the ‘no lycra’ rule is to present a ‘we just get on with it’ attitude and an attempt to distance ourselves (as mountain bikers) from the geeky ‘all the gear’ reputation that road bikers have. I was therefore disappointed to see some useful ‘stats’ at the end of that report Valleyman. Nevermind, a few more black runs and we’ll have scared the road biker out of you.

    I hope for the sake of the club Sweats didn’t get any photos of ‘the carpark incident’. A photo of ‘what happened’ would ruin us for good. It will be spoken of in the same way as ‘the fishing trip’ on Gavin and Stacy.

    I spoke to butcherboy yesterday evening,I mentioned we’d be going again soon and asked if he would join us… his response was astounding as he didn’t say no immediately. A bit more peer pressure and he’ll be with us next time.

    (Valleyman, can you private message me your number? I’d like to retrieve my mountain bike before you put some slicks and drop handlebars on it).

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