Ouch. I DNFed out of the Dyfi Enduro this year after binning it half-way around, at the top of the ‘World Cup’ descent, landing on some especially pointy slate, which cut clean through my gloves and deep into the palm of my right hand. It wasn’t entirely my fault for once, my unscheduled lie-down was precipitated by a rider in front of me choosing a very creative line almost perpendicular to my own path, forcing me to brake on slippery off-camber rocks, with the inevitable result that I parted company with my bike and got closely acquainted with the sharp edges of some Ordovician geology. It could have been a lot worse though: I had scrubbed a lot of speed before hitting the ground, and after my hands took the impact they were just badly cut and bruised, nothing broken. The one deep gash was quickly patched up by the excellent paramedics from St John’s Ambulance, called up by the nearby marshall. I didn’t feel up to completing the rest of the route on hands that could barely grip the bars, though, so I rolled down the road for a few miles before being picked up by a helpful course sweeper in a van who was ferrying a broken collarbone and another unspecified injury back to the start.
The weekend wasn’t a washout by any means, in spite of my latest foray into minor injury acquisition. I had enjoyed two days’ worth of excellent riding at Coed Y Brenin and the Climachx trail, along with a little more beer than was entirely sensible afterwards with various bike-riding friends. Dry, pleasant weather made a pleasing contrast to last year’s damp proceedings, and I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the course, and, this time, the spectacular views. You could even see the top of Cadair Idris. It did rain a little later on in the afternoon, but by that point I’d already decided to head for home before any post-injury stiffening made driving more difficult. Hopefully I shall be able to revisit the Dyfi Enduro next year, and I’d certainly like to head back to the area for more riding in general -perhaps with some tougher gloves, just in case.