Still feeling somewhat fragile in the arm department, we headed off to Llandegla again. Most of the scabs are pretty much gone, and it’s healed up pretty well – big patches of soft pink skin though! My elbow graze was still oozing however, and the pharmacist recommended that I keep it covered up. I ended up bandaging the entire arm – slightly overkill, but I didn’t want to expose the new skin directly to the sun, but also didn’t want to start irritating it with sun lotion.
After completely running out of energy on the last visit, I decided to make sure I was well-fed beforehand. For the second Saturday in a row, common sense abandoned me and I decided that the best nutrition I could go for was a bacon buttie and chips. To be fair, it is the best bacon buttie in the UK, apparently…
Set off and managed to do the entire 3 mile climb without a break – there was a brief stop for me to raise my saddle, but that was it. Before we started the red/blue route however, I started to feel incredibly ill. Some might deduce that a bacon sarnie and chips followed by a three mile climb in hot weather may have contributed slightly to my nausea. After a couple of minutes I decided to sally forth.
On the plus side, the nausea retreated. On the down side, my arm had sharp pains from the graze – I think it had oozed, made the dressing stick to it, then the vibration of riding the bike was pulling it up and down. I got to the end of the section, tempted to forsake the red and just go down the blue (which I’ve never ridden before). However, I decided to WTFU and carry on with the red, and I’m very glad I did. The following section occassionally had me whimpering as I jarred my arm, but it seemed to sort itself out by the time I got into the trees.
Absolutely flew round the red, a lot faster and smoother than last time, and I had a lot more energy (Thank You, Oh Noble Pig, Provider of Bacon). The route split off into the red and black, and I was sorely, sorely tempted by the black but decided to leave it for next time – with a dodgy arm and Glentress a week away, I didn’t want any more mishaps. Mr Toast however cheerfully sailed down it. “I’ll meet you at the end, it meets up”.
Unfortunately Mr Toast had experienced a bit of a map reading fail. The red and black do meet up again… eventually. However, not knowing where I stood at the bottom of the steep fireroad climb, waiting. And taking pictures.
After chatting to some blokes who said that the black met up further up, I decided to carry on – Llandegla isn’t that big, and we’d both end up in the car park eventually!
I was quite chuffed because at this point last time I’d really run out of energy, but this time I felt great. Carried on flying round, marvelling that yes, Llandegla red is a touch on the easy side (never needing to dismount? WTF?). Does this mean I successfully rode the fabled Not Sure section? Er, no – the start of it has been removed and there’s a bypass. But yeah, if it had been there…*cough*
Rode the table tops this time, still rubbish at getting air though. Towards the end I was trying to keep a close eye for markers, as last time we seemed to leave the trail early and ended up on the carpark. This time around I took the blue back – not sure how you get back onto the red, or even if it’s possible at the moment. Got back to the cafe dying for a drink, ended up also acquiring some flapjacks. Mmm, nutrition!
Highlights: Flying around at speed, not falling off, not fluffing anything on the trail – not even fireroad!
Bad bits: Feeling a bit over-baconed at the start
Post ride food snaffled: Half a flapjack
Good dogs seen: Quite a few – a boxer pup, some strange posh shih-tzu type things, except they weren’t hateful little beasts
Incidentally, the graze is currently crusty, but healing well (I think!).