Even in The Familiar There can be Surprise and Wonder

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No two years of a Dyfi Enduro are the same. This was my sixth entry and although there is similarity between the dry and the wet years, I still approached the weekend with zeal, knowing full well that it would be different in some way.

I have ridden single speed each time but a  different bike/set up for the last 3 years. In the begining, a big group of us would enter. Now, an individual experience, I travel up on my own, bump into some old friends at some point and head back home on the same weekend, ready for work the next day. Trains, pains and lots of mud!

Ride back - 2015 Enduro

Ride back – 2015 Enduro

This year was different. A very welcome bank holiday the following day, no rush back and Kerry came along…pleasingly, it felt very much like a holiday. We were very fortunate with our neighbours camping next to us; a very welcoming (and fun!) family from North Wales, who I think will be visited in the summer for some technical off road miles.

I’m on to my 2nd year with my Mukluk and it is proving to be extremely versatile, whilst remaining stupidly fun off road. There have been a few major changes from last year. I have switched back to a conventional handlebar from the Jones Loop bar because I found that although extremely comfortable it wasn’t as fun to ride with for the likes of the Dyfi. I also built up a new wheelset, saving 3kg over the stock wheels and tyres. Last but not least, the M675 brakes have been swapped out for m820’s.

Post-2015 Dyfi.

Post-2015 Dyfi.

As per usual, it piqued curiosity with many people and it was satisfying to challenge some preconceptions about the bike having limitations which make the riding experience less fun or able. Far more befitting is to realise that the tires come alive when rocky terrain lay underfoot…but with some delay, much like the latent sensation of pungency from chilli on the tongue. I suppose that this is the nature of this type of ‘passive suspension’ as opposed to a plush suspension fork. Of course, as many would think, the bike is fun to ride but I can’t help to think that at times, it is somewhat brusque.  And for the uninitiated, the sounds produced by the tyres range from surprisingly loud to what I can only describe as threatening to local wildlife.

I had a leaky RHS master cylinder so had to do a last minute front brake swap first thing in the morning and I had geared the bike to high (32/16) but I was otherwise quite pleased with how the day panned out. I didn’t get my 03:30hr target since riding the fatty but wasn’t far off with 03:41hr, achieving 4th in the SS category.

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With many things that were different, what was the same this year? I left feeling happy and also wanting a van, to avoid the dreaded train journey.

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