Exams were over, and the excitement of finally being unchained from the IC was in the air. Definitely prime time for a UOSCC trip to one of the UK’s steepest tracks- perfect training for Varsity!
Llangollen, if you didn’t know, is regarded as one of the hardest tracks on the British Circuit. Built on a steep open hillside, 4 different tracks wind down the hill- The British Downhill Series Track- steep, loose, and generally a bit out of control. Then theres ‘Easy Track’- about as easy as you’re going to get on this hill, pretty tough going at the best of times. Over in the woods there’s the old National Points Series Tracks- possibly the hardest track, steep, rooty and technical. The newest incarnation though, is a fresh track called ‘Squirrel Run’ named as such because it’s nuts.
We picked the perfect day to go to this venue, as it was possibly one of the iciest days ever at the track- a ice rink on a hill. The farmer greeted us with ‘I didn’t think you were going to come, you’ve got to be mental to ride that track today’. It didn’t seem too bad at the bottom, but at the top arctic conditions met us.
First run down’s were hairy to say the least. A long traverse across the hill at the top was icier than thatchers stare, never mind the turn off down the BDS track.
As the day went on, the thaw line came further and further up the hill, turning icy tracks into a slick mudbath. I’ve never seen mud like it. Goggles rendered useless after 30 seconds of riding, and many visors broken in crashes- I think the total was 5 or 6 visors? This definitely pushed the riding skills of everyone on the hill, everyone fighting to keep bikes under control on this super steep track.
Over the day though, everyone gave every track a bash, even the people who hadn’t ridden a lot of downhill before gave the Squirrel Run a go, and that was definitely the hardest thing I have ridden, or will ever ride I imagine!
Just to say thanks to everyone for coming, especially for Dobson driving the van. Here’s to the next trip!