Welcome fellow Mountain Biker to a Bristol and South West based blog containing local routes, rides and reviews. Brought to you by locals to the area with additional publishings from further afoot. Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Mendip Mayhem


Shot over to the mendips today cos it had been a while. There was a descent that I had come up before that I wanted do bomb down and because I wanted to take my lovely bike for a spin and use the 36 vanilla RC2's some more as I had just stuck a heavier spring in. You know, see what it's like.
Usual procedure. Go up Link Lane, park at the top and take the lefthand route to the top. Quite a slog, but a great view. Once at the top there's a chute like trail that runs almost along the spinelike peak of the hill (below left). It's red in colour and usually dry. Not today. It was a red, icy cake mix. And within minuites my wheels and frame (including all gaps and tyre clearance)and legs were caked in this cake mix. After a slog I made it to the point and took 5 to admire the view and the quite. Couldn't find a damn stick anywhere to de-cake my bike, so bouncing the back wheel on the ground and prodding with a tyre lever.





Did I mention how nice the weather was. No. Well it was nice. After all was taken care of I had a quick natter with an some old dudes that were strolling along. They said that it was slick (slippery) at the bottom and an ex-local who mentioned a couple of new routes to me, but my mind was made up and said I'd do them next time, but thanks anyway. I got on my bike and buggered off down the hill which was dry but my eyes weren't. Trying to fly off drops and negotiate rocks at speed with watery balls (eye) can be fun. Not a bad run, but done better up here. The forks felt alot stiffer, thus the ride was bumpier. I'll try them at Still woods tomorrow before I decide what spring to use in them.
I quickly decided to take a left and head towards the car, thinking that I should have a look at some trails which the ex-local mentioed over the road. Those old dudes speak no lies. It was like black ice. You could cycle easily but there would be no warning and the bike would slide away from under you. This happened about three times before getting back to the car. Once on foot. Here are some shots of the formentioned area.

Even the easiest looking of trails were watched by the devil himself. Waiting to kick your tyres out from under at any time. All good fun though.

After putting the bike on the car and having a fag, I jouneyed down Link Lane and up the combe to the layby which was full of horse boxes and horses and horse and horse box owners. No messing around as I was already warmed up and dressed for the occasion. I entered the trail. Much to my suprise it was as effing slippery as the other side of the combe. Did a bit of a downhill, slipped off. Laughed for about 4 seconds and took a route to a frozen pond. Looked at that for a bit and decided to head back to the car and curse the ex-local for his suggestion. WHO'S THE FOOL EH!. When I'd had enough of not being on an actual path and peeling myself off of thorn bushes, I found a trail which seemed to lead over to some rocky mound in the distance which was sparkling in the afternoon sun. Of course a couple of near slips came about before I had found myself on the edge of the combe. WOW. I had thought about riding down the side a couple of times, and had thought this from the bottom. Now at the top the idea didn't enter my mind at all. Jesus. That's some slope.

I admired the view for a while in awe. Then continued down a path which occasionally had you right on the edge of a steeper drop. Easy govenor. Photo's never do the drops or slopes any justice. That looks tame from here.

After getting lost and caught on thorny bushes again I reached the rocky mound. Sat and watched the world for around 40 minuites, looking in the distance at all of the ground I had covered and took many photo's (below). Rode what I could of the mound and followed the paths back to the car.

I love the mendips because they are local and if the weather and surface conditions are good then you are never dissapointed. The routes that I took today were a variation to my normal rides up there and although they were not as rewarding as the forest runs and downhills that I usually stick to, they were fun. Fun because I fell off loads and that teaches me more about how to attack such a trail and how to fall off. Fun because it's refreshing to get lost and think no, I wont turn back, what's round that corner down there. Fantastic scenery too and the people I bump into are always red faced and friendly. Here's the rest of what I saw. Peace.














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