Following on from this thread:-
I went and rode all three loops at Whinlatter today. My first big mistake was only to go on the hardtail. I know it’s a trail centre, so I should have had my 15” All Mountain rig, but it’s currently being resprayed in camo flou orange. The powder coaters seem to be having a problem and wonder if it could be better dealt with by the local gas pipe repair shop. Where do I get new decals from?
I rushed out and forgot to inflate/deflate my tyres, or to even think about changing them for something more suitable. So, I used a Rampage on the rear and a Nevegal on the front. Both 2.35 and both inflated to 38.45 psi, or thereabouts. Sorry, don’t know the tyre compound, maybe that was the problem.
I soon realised that I should have set off on the Nobby Nic/Racing Ralph combo. By the time I came to the road crossing on the blue loop I just knew I should have been using my Fat Alberts. At the crossing I could see that there was almost ¼ mile of tarmac to come. No way my tyres would handle that, so I rang KMB. I was looking for some fast rolling and not too grippy hybrid type tyres. Unfortunately they are out of stock till Monday. It appears that there is a great demand for such tyres for this section, and with half term arriving they cannot meet all requests.
I heard a rumour about this dangerous section. If true, there will soon be a tyre swap point at the blue/road interface. Riders will be able to exchange their tyres for the tarmac stretch to come. Their own tyres will be carried across for them, and they can replace them once the tarmac section ends. I think this could be a really thriving business opportunity for someone.
But, I persevered and soon realised that I had been wrong all along. The perfect tyres would have been my Fire XC pros, apart from the little bit that needed Trailrakers.
By the time I got back to VC after the south loop I was a complete nervous wreck. I sensed every other rider pointing at me and commenting on my tyre choice. There was a beginner’s course in progress, and I was made to feel as if I should have been riding with them on the fire roads. Maybe I should!
Undeterred I pressed on to the north loop, wishing I’d had my Swampthings with me. I came across another rider who was having similar concerns, and he virtually forced me to swap for his Advantages. These were great for the next 25 yards or so, but then I came across a tree root, and couldn’t work out a line of approach that the tyre would like. Would High Rollers have been better? Would Mountain Kings have helped on that tricky bit, just where the sign offering tuition has been placed? The remainder of the ride passed in a blur but the switchbacks near the end cried out for a pair of Small Block 8s.
I realised that somewhere on the ride I must have been fatally afflicted. Using the wrong tyres on a ride like Whinlatter is a mortal sin that no number of Hail Marys can expunge. One very curious phenomenon occurred presumably after I’d passed on to the other place. I noticed that my Rampage/Nevegal combination (Described as “shite”) managed to handle the wet, slippy, smooth, polished slate sections perfectly. Maybe dying with the wrong tyres on is the answer!!
I think I’ve now worked out the ideal tyre choice for Whinlatter, and other trail centres that have rocks, roots, tarmac, fire-road, mud, water or any other unnatural feature that can cause trouble for unwary riders.
What should be used is a pair of UST inner tubes, with Presta cores in Shraeder outers using a Yummyyummy adaptor. Cores must be removable to allow the insertion of 32.18 ml of Carnation Wheel Milk as a help to lower rolling resistance and increase puncture protection.
These should be mounted directly onto the rim of your choice using what Blue Peter would call “double sided sticky tape”, or what roadies of a certain vintage would refer to as “tub tape”. Once you done this (videos on U tube if needed) you will never have to worry about your grip anywhere in the forest again.