Be Prepared....a tale of 24" Wheels in Llandegla Forest

Summer is coming to an end. There is condensation on the car windows in the morning, the wind has a bite to it and the nights are drawing in. Not quite sure what happened to the hot weather. It seemed to come early and leave quickly ( maybe it is employed by the council? Actually no council employees ever come early! ), either way we haven't had the nice evenings which enable after work rip ups on the local bike trails ( though we have still had plenty of fun click here and here ).

Anyway, back to the tale, Wrennie, Darren and I pulled a bit of an early start out of the bag yesterday so we could leave early and get over to Llandegla with plenty of daylight. All was going reasonably w
ell on the climb up out of the car park, Darren was fettling a bit with his new bike ( a rather nice Identiti Mr Hyde ) and I managed to loose a pin from the brake lever on my bike ( Oooops might have been that off-trail incident at the Gasnach ), but it was still all good.

Rode the black sections with gusto ( thou
gh it was pretty hard without a front brake ), styled the jumps and enjoyed the empty forest. For the first time ever I cleaned all the jumps on the Old Black section ( JJ's ) and decided to sit out the next run whilst Wrennie and Darren walked up for another go. 10 or so minutes later Darren rocked up with a big grin and just said "Oh Wrennie has a puncture.".

To be honest I didn't really think anything of it. After all I carry a rucksack with repair kits, spare inner tubes, tools, first aid kit, spare top etc etc ( yes I know a bit overkill, but you never know.. ). Wrennie ' Man of the Woods' on the other hand didn't even have a rucksack on him ( though Darren did and he also had the same kit as me ).

Wrennie 'Man of the Woods'

Darren used to be really silly on a BMX so is a puncture repair king. Took 30 seconds to whip out the inner tube and slap a couple of patches on the snakebite double puncture. Pump up tyre....hmmm that lo
oks weird....and where is the third tyre lever......Ah!

Tyre deflated to find the 3rd tyre lever inside!

Wrennie Applying Pressure...

Pump up tyre again.....phisssshhhhhhhhhhhh.....hmmmm I don't think that patch has held. Whip out inner tube again to realise that the valve is coming away from the tube. This could be a little harder to fix.

Hey why don't we just run a 26" tube in the tyre? Oh this is a special bike for special people and it has a BMX rear bolted hub ( i.e. you need spanners to get the wheel off )...knocked that one on the head then.

So we walk a bit to give the original glue time to set and then out with the inner tube again ( it is dark now ) and Darren starts creating a Blue Peter special repair....which in true childrens television style doesn't work.

The Blue Peter Fix..

And so began the long dark walk out of th
e forest ( I could have left Wrennie to walk out on his own, but I am just too nice ). We met scary horned cows at one point, I almost fell into a ditch at another point and what seemed like an age later ( and after a concerned call from Ben who realised we must still be out there in the dark ) we found the van and could relax and smile about it all.

Llandegla Trail Map ( with puncture marked )

So what can be learned from such an epic...?

1) Always carry stuff to fix your own kit.
2) 24" bikes are for special people only
3) Wrennie may be able to whittle a bowl out of spruce, but doesn't know how a bike works
4) Biking with mates is still fun even when you are walking...

Remember folks... BE PREPARED!

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