We made our first pilgrimage of the year to the holy land of Wales last weekend. The group took a trip over to Llandegla in sunny Denbigshire to blast around the red route, mess about on B-line and harness some kinetic energy.

The Llandegla red is always fun and it’s the easiest way tick off the compulsory winter wales trip. A great way to spend a few hours. The trails are always well maintained and you can ride it in any weather. It’s always busy but I do really like the place.

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Did you know that 50% of all Welsh Black Grouse are within 1 mile of Llandegla Forest?

One great example of the Oneplanet Adventure spade wielders shovel success is the B line trail. Having ridden A line in Whistler I can honestly say that this trail… is nothing like Whistler. However, using the hills available to them the trail builders have done a great job. It’s fast, fun and lines are open to interpretation. It feels like you are riding on a rollercoaster.

Look, they are practically identical!

 

 

One other similarity I found between B line and something that isn’t B line was the north shore and it’s resemblance to Rainbow Road. For those of you who don’t know what Rainbow Road is, shame on you. Rainbow Road is a digital realisation of human anxiety and fear of our own mortality brought to us by Mario and his Kart.

If you’ve ever played Mario Kart you’ll be able to appreciate the feeling of uncontrolled, limitless joy and confidence experienced through 95% of the game. Whizzing around the tracks in with a sense of unimpeachable recklessness makes you feel invincible. No matter how fast you go you or how much you overshoot the corner you know it the barriers will save you and it will all be fine. This is also similar to well sculpted trail centres. You know you can recklessly fly round a corner in the confidence that there will be a smooth and predictable berm exit to fling you along the path to glory. Or if you slide of the edge of the trail you will no doubt be able to ride it out and rejoin without consequence.

However, if you’ve taken Mario’s Kart for a spin on the shiny road in the sky (sounds like a drug metaphor but it’s not) then you will have experienced the other 5%. The dark 5%. Unenjoyable, anxiety inducing and terrifying. Riding the Rainbow Road track make you vividly aware of fine line between life and death. Or more accurately, the fine line between being on the road and plummeting into the limitless depths of outer space. You have to be on the ball at all times. You have to reign in any care-free kart behaviour, put the limiter on and drive well within your ability. It’s scary.

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The same feeling of the Mario Kart 5% can be found in mountain biking when your ride suddenly shift from dirt to north shore. Just like the beginning of B line. Again, you’ve got to reign in your reckless riding and start playing it safe. Ride within your limits and wait for the slippery timber hell to be over. If you push it too far here you’re not going to slide into a lovely sculpted berm pocket, you’re going to plummet to your inevitable demise. Even chicken wire wont save you now! Let’s hope the Welsh Black Grouse can somehow operate fishing rods and fly on clouds.

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