....finally went to erm....attack (ha ha) the trails at Stainburn....here's a run down of the day (sorry if I gon on a bit):
- meet mate at McD's just outside Doncaster, grab brekkie and then continue up to Stainburn.
- Park up and only one or two cars in car park......get kit ready, have a nervous laugh about falling off and breaking body parts before trundling off down the red route as advised for a warm up....
The red route was a great little trail (although shorter for some reason than I thought it was going to be). Couldn't get round that root/stump/rock tight corner a little way round. While trying to decide how to best attempt it a chap comes along on a HT, tells us he never knows how to get round it, then proceeds to endo and swing the back round before carrying on his merry way....nice work.....we suspect some people ride up and over the rock, but weren't really up for trying that so early on in the day (hmmm). The rock garden was great as I always struggle through them, but a few practice goes and a bit of pace had it despatched.
After a couple of laps we decided to do the descent line and halted at the drop-off, tried to decide whether to roll it or not and then decided to take the easier chicken run option, which was still a bit jiggy to be honest. Rolling the drop didn't look too bad apart from the transition back to the trail - it looked like it had the potential to chuck you over the bars.
We ended up on the black run, which was absolutely fantastic - just what we were after. Challenging sections, that made you really think and committ. Lots of sections we weren't happy about doing, but lots that we were. What impressed me was the climbs that were as equally challenging as the descent bits. There were some sections I was sure I wouldn't do on approach, but then just rolled through with some great satisfaction. We hovered around the Cole Chute (I think it was called that) with the grippy North Short entry and minced about deciding whether to have a go. I rode the wooden bit a couple of times, but couldn't committ to the rock section - perhaps next time!
We met a guy with a shovel, a young lad and a black dog who chatted to us for a while. We didn't get his name, but he was obviously a big part of the construction/plans for the place and it was nice to speak to someone about it all - we had inadvertently taken a wrong line around an obstacle that was mentioned on here a while ago as being a problem. People mince round things (like we were doing) and in doing so cause that 'path' to be the obvious one, then the more people use it the more it gets 'obvious'.
My only accident of the day was on the climb back up the hill....about 2/3 of the way up there's a rock you have to ride over. Just on the other side of it, there's a smaller rock and my front wheel decided to stop dead on it. I slow-moed through the air and rotated about my front wheel. Ended up with goolie-stem contact and quite alot of expletives. Also mangled wrists trying to avoid face/rock interafce. What a tit!
From there we went to Lee Quarry.....it was cloudy, dank, windy and quite foreboding. By this point we were pretty tired and I wasn't feeling too keen on giving it the beans. A lot of the technical sections on the black are quite precarious and so I kinda tottered around. It was quite a detour for not a lot of riding, but I can see it being a good venue if you are close to the area.