Off-Road ADV Ride & Llanidoles

Last Friday i went on the Yamaha off-road experience http://www.yamaha-offroad-experience.co.uk/ check it out. I did the Tenere experience, seeing as i have a Tenere!

This is in Wales just outside a village called Llanidoles, this is the Village where the River Severn starts, nice little place too. I went down on the Friday, it took around 5 – 6 hours i think to get there, around 150 miles. Didn’t touch the motorway and passed some awesome scenery and through some cool little villages on the back route. Had a few pit stops as i proper fucked up with the packing on the way down. My back and legs were killing me, school boy error, which i corrected on the way back, much more enjoyable ride.

This is what i basically took, the Wolfman tank bag, and the waterproof held bag. Thats the tackle i put in it, normal shit, tent, sleeping bag, roll mat, stool, pillow bag, stove, cup, food/drink, mobile charger, gaffer tape, tool roll, torch etc. You can see the way i packed the bag, basically boxed me in so i couldn’t move.

the ADR off-road riding started around half 10, i did it on mu own bike, a few other guys used the places bike. I bought my bike to be used for off-road, green-laning and riding, and i wanted to give it ago. The trails where in a woods and old shale quarry, it was 10,000 acres with 100s of miles of trials in it. There were mud tracks and shale tracks, i managed to do good no major offs. Its a lot more scary than i thought going 40 – 50 mph around shale tracks and the back sliding round corners but you get used to it. We were shown how to ride off-road, the cornering, and standing up on the bike. We covered around 100 miles in the day around different, with about 80% of that off-road, the day was overall around 8 hours long, about 6 hours riding.

Pics of the bike at the campsite, on the trails, and when i’ve washed it at home. If you have a Yamaha XT660Z or 1200 i would absolutely recommend this trip, people come from all over to do it, i mean like there was a guy from France and another guy from Switzerland there.

 

This is Lianidoles, small little village but pretty cool to walk round for a few days, some nice pubs which i had a few pints in and a few meals. Worth looking up if your in the area.

 

Last night on the campsite, laid on the bike with a cup of red wine before the journey home, up at 6:30, packed up and set off for 7:30. Packed the bike up a different way and was a awesome journey home with no aches or pains. Last pic is obviously the clocks, 413 miles covered. Didn’t have much chance to take photos of the actually day, but fuck it, i’ll do it again, and take more next time.

 

 

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Fan Dance Race Summer 2016

Saturday 9th was the Fan Dance Race, this is a 24km race Pan Y Fan and back. I opted for the Load bearing Race which means i have to do it with a backpack on, with 35lbs of useful equipment in it, with water and food being extra. The bag is weighed before and after the race.

I set off Friday to Wales, took around 4 hours, i’d opted to camp, as on the website they said this would give it a more authentic feel, as this is what the SAS/SBS do before they complete this race. Camping was OK, had a decent nights kip, until the rain storm started at 5:30, ever the fucking optimist, i though this would clear up by 8:30, and decent weather conditions would ensure a good day for the race. How fucking wrong was I.

The race starts at the old red phone box at 8:30. 111

The weather was shocking, i’d expect a lot better for July, but then again it is the UK and in Wales. We were warned the winds were 50mph plus, the rain never stopped, and thanks o the wind the rain was relentlessly smashing us sideways! I was waterproofed up the fucking eyeballs, which lasted a whole 10mins.

The start is pretty good, you climb up to the top of Pen Y Fan, down Jacobs ladder and then to the half way point. The whole Pen Y Fan to the bottom of Jacobs ladder is maybe 5km, its then a steady decline round to the half way point another 7km away. It seemed to be going good! You get to the half way point turn and turn round for the home stretch. That steady decline is now a steady incline, and Jacobs Ladder, what seems like a slight inconvenience when coming down is now a fucking killer. You start at the bottom, and my first thoughts were ‘this isn’t too bad’, the rock steps/path is making it slightly easier, then you get further up, and holy shit, its hard work. I mean like thigh burning, calf burning, hamstring smashing 10 steps at a time fucking bad.

The full picture of Jacobs Ladder is pulled of the internet. The other one is the visibility i had yesterday! It was so hard to determine how far off the top you were, you always wanted it to be the end but it just kept coming, son-of-a-bitch! Then you made it, having to scramble up the last few ladders, which turn from steps to 3 – 4 foot scrambles apart, with the rain coming down them. At the top there was zero visibility, taking a photo was fucking pointless, i could have been anywhere in the world in fog, plus we got told not to due to the 60mph winds and the 880m drop if we got blown off, makes sense. After the climb there is around 4km of downhill, i hated the downhills in boots, my socks and feet were wet through, every downward step meant my feet slipped in my boots, smashing my toes to the front of the boot, my toes have blisters on the end of them. Boots are wank.

You know that you are need the end, but due to the visibility can not see the red phone box until maybe 50 metres away, the first sign i had was the noise of cars passing on the road, then you know you are close, i bet i did the last 1km with the biggest smile on my face ever. You get to the bottom, they re-weight the rucksack, 42lbs it weighed without my food and water, the rain had added 6lbs to the horrible cunting thing.

Then you get the badge, all ready to be sown on. I had this idea in my head that i could do this, and while doing have some good thoughts about life, what event i do next, job, my motorbike and future trips, non of this transpired, for nearly 6 hours all i thought about was the shear fucking hatred i had for my rucksack, how much it hurt, how uncomfortable it was, and i just wanted it off, and why o why did i do the loaded and not the clean.

Next year, Summer 2017 i’ll do it again, but clean and running, hopefully in decent conditions, with some awesome photos of the awesome scenery. Never again will i do it loaded.

For anyone who reads this, get off your arse and fucking do it, it is hard, but so worth it, you only live once, and ‘who dares wins’ as they say.

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Peak District – Training

Yesterday i went stomping around the peak district as the last weekend before the Fan Dance in Wales. Started off near the Yorkshire Bridge near Ladybower Res. Went to the top of Win Hill, which is a climb of 300meters in 1.2km, pretty steep climb. The record to get to the top is like 15 mins, so in comparison running a 1.km normally is like 4mins 30 secs.

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Thats the top of Win Hill.

This was mainly walking and some running on the flats, downhills, and a few inclines. The other week i did 19km in 2hours 30mins, this was 22km and took 4hours 50mins. Big difference! It is an absolute spectacular place.

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Something a little bit like that, i actually don’t feel to bad today. My legs ache and i need a good stretch. I had a back pack on, around 30 – 35lbs. The weather was very hit and miss, sunny, windy, showers then full on rain and sleet, then back to sunny! made for an interesting time though. Saw plenty of kids doing the DofE too.

These are from the polar heart monitor, and fuck me does that drain the battery on my phone having this thing on all the time. From setting off with 100%, as soon as i got in my car the battery was dead. I have a portable charger, which i’ll have to remember to take next time, and on the Fan Dance too!

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That is a view of the hill we walked up from Win Hill then down the valley through Edale back up and around back to Win Hill and down to Ladybower Res.