03/05/09: Hubba hubba hub…oh

Today we went to Llandegla.  Before I avail you with tales of my awesomeness, spare a moment for Mr Toast.

Remember last week’s tale, of Mr Toast’s rear wheel woes?  How he had to sit around aimlessly as he couldn’t ride his Zaskar?  Remember his comment, “XT hubs are rubbish, I’ve got 2 bikes worth of evidence on the subject!”

Well, he’s not feeling anymore charitable towards XT hubs today.  We arrived at Llandegla today, got our bikes off the rack – and his rear wheel had completely seized.  Bear in mind that today he was riding the Meta, not the Zaskar, and that it’s a completely different XT rear hub, and that it was fine going around the Chase yesterday.  Not only that, but it’s died in a different way to the rear hub of the Zaskar.

So I, rather uncharitably, left Mr Toast at the Llandegla cafe whilst I sallied forth around the red route.  Poor Mr Toast. 🙁

I’d forgotten quite how much climbing there was, particularly at the start.  I can tell my fitness has come on leaps and bounds though, as I only stopped once on the initial climb to the start of the red.  This was to take the obligatory “Professor on Location” shot, and to do up my shoe laces.  They’d come undone, and were threatening to kill me.  True story.

We need to form a barrier between us and the grouses

I did Llandegla pretty speedily, certainly miles faster than last year.  The huge downhill berms put a massive grin on my face, although there were times when I thought they flew by all too quickly compared to the amount of uphill slog. It’s bizarre, because I still find it a lot easier than FtD – it just seems to be easier to pick up speed. I think the fact that it’s a longer trail helped a lot as well – although the car park was utterly rammed, it was very rare I saw anyone else riding, so there was no leaping into the bracken every three minutes to let faster people by.

The trail was fairly damp and muddy in places, but never really churned up.  I was chuffed with how comfortably I could float over the rocky sections that really slowed me down last time.  I did the first bit of northshore (the smooth timber one), but walked over the second nobbly one.  It had somehow achieved the rare feat of being worse than I remembered it being!  I think I can honestly say I would have attempted it if I could have had my saddle a bit lower, although I can honestly say that I have no idea how successful I would have been…

The final steep hill of the trail which caused me to freeze up last year I rode without a second thought.  Woot!

Pulled into the visitor centre area, where Mr Toast was sitting glumly.  Not even cherry cake and a cup of tea could ease his rear hub woes.


The two and a half hour journey home was frequently punctuated with expletive-laden diatribes against XT hubs…and quite frankly, who can blame him? Two different sets spontaneously self-destructing over the space of two weeks.

Ride: Coed Llandegla

Trail: Llandegla – full red

Highlights: Bermy bermy descents

Bad bits: Mr Toast’s rear hub.  Groups of riders blocking the entire trail midway through a section to have a chat.

Post ride food snaffled: Cherry cake and a cup of tea.

Good dogs seen: Bit short on the dog front today, there was a chocolate coloured labrador and a spaniel.  That’s about it really…

2 thoughts on “03/05/09: Hubba hubba hub…oh

  1. Just found your site from Bike Radar. Very nice, looking forward to reading more of your postings. I’ve just ridden at Llandegla on Sunday. Great place to visit, very scenic and some great trails…did find the lads in the bike shop had a “I’m not really interested unless you are actually giving me cash or a plastic card to pay for something and then please get out of my face so I can talk to my friend” attitude…I may be wrong, or have slightly misinterpreted it but I think I got it bang on without being too specific. It didn’t spoil an otherwise great centre though and some of the other staff were a good crack over coffee and cakes.

  2. Cheers for the kind words!

    I think it’s actually obligatory for shop staff to try and pay as little attention to the customer as possible. If you think it’s bad in bike shops, try women’s clothes shopping.

    It’s quite staggering how they can take an item, scan it, bag it, and operate the till without taking their eyes off their friend as they intently yap about how many bacardi and cokes they had over the weekend. Bloody youth of today!

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