After four years of slumber, the Dragon was awoken. Will Stephenson’s Ride the Dragon Freeride, Race and Taster Day stirred up a weekend of spills and thrills and a fair amount of gnar. Continue reading “The Return of the Dragon”
With the brianne collective crew announcing Tregaron Freeride a few weeks ago we thought we would catch up with with them and learn a little bit more about the freeride.
For the brave men and women who do not fear the cold, wet, muddy, windy, sloshy, gooey, moist and treacherous English winters. We salute you. Photo's by Will Edgecombe and words by Ben Stainer.
Tregaron Freeride in Wales went down a bomb, amazing photos from Will Edgecombe, A dissertation of culinary experience by Phil Wood and an amazing video by Andy Thackery!
T R E G A R O N F R E E R I D E
Video by Andy Thackery
Tregaron Freeride went down last weekend and it will almost certainly be the biggest and best closed road event of UKDH 2015 with over 70 riders attending. Hosted in the deepest darkest Wales, home of downhill in the UK, lack of signal and big supermarkets may come as a shock to some. The hill, like any Welsh hill, contained 2 hairpins and had speeds of up to 40mph on the straights. The fresh surfacing made for a smooth and grippy ride with no bad pavement from push to shutdown. The only real issue encountered throughout the weekend was the rate the bottom dried compared to the rest of the hill after wet weather.
The weekends skating was constantly alternating between wet and dry at several hour intervals, making for a diverse but not too miserable skate. With the two uplift vans working flat out both days riders were able to achieve over 15 runs a day! Uplifts became slightly faster after switching the direction of the uplift route late on day 1, keeping van time low and skate time high.
The end of day one's riding was marked by heading down the the pub – Y Talbot – for food and drink, to really shed light on this establishment we asked the well versed food critic Skateboard Phil for his opinion:
Now, whilst consensus will conclude that Tregaron Freeride was a great event (it was a cool track and the villagers were very welcoming to us) I have been tasked with evaluating the various sources of food available during the weekend. This puts me in an interesting position. My expertise (and the high regard to which I am held within the culinary world) lies in reviewing chip shops. There’s nothing I don’t know about chips and I can certainly tell good fish and chips apart from the average. However, Chinese takeaways food and pub grub are confidently outside of my comfort zone and this review is going to prove my greatest challenge yet.
After arriving at the event on Friday evening, myself and UKSketch’s very own super Grom Johnny PB headed for the ‘Dan I Sang’ Chinese takeaway. A little different from the usual grotty shop front tucked into a row of terrace houses, the Dan I Sang was a stand alone stone building 100 yards from the Skateboarders campsite. Venturing inside, and the waiting/reception area was very spacious and pleasantly (if minimally) decorated. There were two large leather settees for us to sit and relax whilst we waited for our food. I ordered the king prawn curry and chips, Johnny PB ordered the chicken chow mein. I set my watch and expected the traditional long wait, however, we were pleasantly surprised when our food arrived in a little over 5 minutes. I have to say portion sizes were very large and made up for the seemingly expensive price we paid for our meals. The king prawns in the curry were comfortably the largest prawns I have ever seen, I’ve had smaller Langoustines. I don’t know where they are getting their prawns from but these m’thafkas were huge. Now, sometimes prawns lose the intensity of their flavour the bigger they get. Not these beauties. The flavour was a taste sensation, perfectly complimented by the delicious (if a little generic) curry sauce and the addition of a plentiful addition of mushrooms, peas and onions. The generic curry sauce was very good, not too salty or swimming in oil. It made a delicious “dip” for my chips. The chips were also lovely. Again, a little generic in flavour for a Chinese takeaway, but good quality. I enjoyed the meal very much and couldn’t finish all of it as my portion as it was a little too large. (ooh err ladies).
Johnny enjoyed his chicken chow mien, stating that the quality was above average and he couldn’t finish his either due to portion size. We were joined by fellow UK Sketch team rider Dan Gibbs who had bought a special meal deal, including rice, sweet and sour sauce, prawn balls and stuff. This was a good start to the weekend.
On Saturday we skated all day in rain and sunshine. We were taken directly from the hill straight to the function room of the Y Talbot hotel for our evening meal. All sweaty and damp from our exertions, we left our soggy pads and skateboards in the corner and made our way to the table. There was with a hot buffet of pasta with a tomato and basil sauce. Only the only choice on offer which was a little disappointing, but completely reasonable considering the whole thing was done on a budget. My chums at the table (amongst others who have asked not to be named for confidentiality reasons) were Speed Ace Tiago Fanha (one of the hot favourites to win the event), Cameraman and freeride wizard Will Edgecombe and Slalom legend Mike Stride. Although the pasta dish was a relatively simple meal, it certainly hit the spot. The tomato and basil sauce was nice. The basil was fresh and the tomato sauce was rich, tangy and had an air of sophistication. At least 3 of us at the table went up for second helpings. The pasta had a reasonable texture, it’s very easy to get pasta wrong when it’s served in this way. It often ends up gloopy and stodgy. This dish wasn’t stodgy at all. It tasted pretty “fresh out of the kitchen” and although rich, the sauce was fresh tasting with a “delicateness” which is sometimes difficult to achieve. The fresh basil was a nice touch, and illustrated the attention to detail. We were then offered chocolate brownies for dessert which again, were very nice. They too had an air of “richness” and quality about them. I was looking forward to my breakfast on Sunday morning.
Breakfast was served again in the function room of the Y Talbot hotel (which was very posh incidentally) and consisted of Bacon cobs and cereal. Now I don’t eat bacon so couldn’t personally comment on it but reports suggest it was nice. I opted for cereal and was staggered by the choice on offer, Coco pops or Frosties!!! I guess maybe the hotel thought we were all aged between 7 and 15, being skateboarders. I chose the slightly more “adult” choice of Frosties and accompanied it with fruit juice and cafetiere coffee. Now, coffee is another of my special interests. I love a nice cup of coffee. Unfortunately this coffee tasted like someone had wrung out Andy Thackray’s vest. It was as bitter as a cyclist. So overall, breakfast for me was disappointing, however if I was an 11 year old carnivore who didn’t drink coffee maybe it would have been great.
The hospitality from the hotel and pub was great though, the staff were very friendly and welcoming, and the venue was lovely.
Now, on our way home, following a further day spent skateboard frolicking, we decided to look for a chippy. Dan did some googling in the back of the car (I had to give him a stern warning as I was sure that this was still illegal in Wales) and he found a likely chippy in Newtown called Genies. They had a customer car park (I love a chippy with a customer car park) and they had a “restaurant” attached for us to sit down and enjoy our meal. I had mini cod, chips and mushy peas, which tends to be my standard choice for review comparison purposes. Dan had a battered sausage (the Saturday night party was hectic), curry sauce and chips. Cuthbert (name changed by request) had a battered sausage (too much googling) mini fish and chips. I also had a Latte whilst the boys had fizzy drinks. Now this was much more like it. The food was very reasonably priced, mine with the coffee was £5.50, the portions weren’t the biggest there has ever been, but the food was lovely. Not up to “Riverside” standards, but certainly very good. Nice bit of fish and great chips. Nice to have a proper coffee in a chippy as well. The staff were very friendly and the restaurant was spacious and clean with nice tables. This was a lovely way to round off the weekend. I would give Genies chippy a green rating. Next time I’m in Wales I’m gonna aim for it on the way home.
BACK TO THE EVENT
Timmy Peters then put on a late night impromptu dance/flatland jam in the car park, with the Greenwich Groms skating hard and claiming the top prizes of Sugar and Pocket Money. Everyone hung around, skating the public toilet in a loop in packs (which got awfully fast and competitive towards the end). Beer, fireworks and balance boards kept everyone entertained until bed sounded better than a dark and cold mid Wales car park.
Day two's riding was much much faster, with mostly dry weather and everyone looking far more comfortable on the hill. This meant better lines and bigger crashes, the medic left his post three times that day; once for Dale Goodwin, once for Alan Bajalan and most importantly for Mo Mohamed. Mo took a simple but painful crash on the luge and bust his leg. Heal fast buddy !!
Racing was fierce, with lots of keen racers on the hill it led to some great heats and ambitious skating. Racing was of a seeded format, with three heats generating a 64 man knockout competition. A few unexpected results saw some great racers knocked out early on and a few fairly new faces getting 1st/2nd throughout. Being the first race of the BDSL league people were keen to rack up some points.
S t a n d u p
1st Cam Deegan
2nd Ras Sarunas
3rd Alex Clark
4th Ruben Loosmore
L u g e
1st Ben Bewley
2nd Jamie "Winnie" Winn
3rd Ian Martland
4th Martin hull
One of the people most stoked to get into the final was Ruben Loosmore so we had a little chat to him;
4th Place ? Happy or horrified ?
Happy as hell to be honest! It was so tight and I ended up crashing out from second to last but I am still happy to have made it so far and race with the top UK guys!
What previous racing had you done ?
Just hog and return of fumble
What's next ? A podium at Kozakov 2016 ?
I wish! But yeah I might be hitting up Euro tour next year and try and do as well as I can, but I doubt I'll get that far, it is a whole different level of riding!
Overall, everyone seemed to have a rad time. Lots of runs, a smooth operation and happy faces all round. With happy locals too, I'm very keen to see this event happen again. Good work Brianne Collective for all the hard work and organising that goes into running an event of this scale.
Special thank you to the marshals, Especially thoses who couldn't skate!
Special thank you to the medic, for standing about and helping on his weekend!
Remember when driving in Wales to keep your car on the road, otherwise you mind find yourself in a ditch, on a 2 mile skate and hitchhike to the nearest town!
Thank you Ryan, Phil, Will and Ruben for contributing to this article.
Congratulation to Cam Deegan taking 1st place!
And thank you to all you skate legends who travelled great distances to be with your community!
These photo will be on our facebook soon for tagging!
The event info for the last Tregaron Freeride.
29th -30th of August
Full weekend ticket – £65
- Camping Friday and Saturday Night
- Food : A Saturday evening meal and a Sunday morning breakfast provided by the Y Talbot hotel.
- Freeriding the whole time the hill is open. With loop uplifts and a safe fast course there will hopefully be tons and tons of runs crammed into the weekend.
- Racing if you so wish
(For spectators/lurkers/photographers/friends/parents) Camping Only – £10
Need more convincing? Read below for more hype and logistical information.
Situated at the entrance to Gnarnia, overshadowed by the fearsome ‘Gates’ that lead into the darkest depths of Wales, Tergaron is the last settlement that is passed by those who venture out to the wilderness in their pilgrimage to attain Welsh gnar. This year’s freeride hill used to be a pot-hole disaster, but it has recently been resurfaced with smooth tarmac and the hill snakes its way through two hairpins that overlook some incredible welsh countryside. This hill is definitely worth the trip, not only for it's picturesque location, but for the challenging corners and exciting straightaways that allow you to develop your downhill and freeriding skills regardless of how good (or bad) you think you are. This hill gets an unconditional seal of approval from Thrill Magazine HQ because it was initially discovered by us many, many years ago and has been drawing us back to this region of Wales for over 5 years. If the hill isn’t all you want, the ‘Y Talbot Inn’ that is providing the dinner at the freeride has culinary awards spewing out of every pot and pan. If you want to eat well and have amazing fun on a skateboard this month (with uplifts), get to this freeride! It will be the single best downhill skateboarding event in the UK in 2015!!
All are welcome not just skaters. We need paparazzi and marshals too.
- Are you currently out of skateboarding on injury or want to take part in the event but don't feel you are ready yet to skate ?
- We need dedicated and alert marshals to help us run the event throughout the weekend, you will be fed and camped for free and given some sort of compensation for helping us run the event.
- There will be a marshals meeting on Friday evening so that we can tell you what exactly it is that you need to do, and go over some basic safety measures, including your own.
- We will be holding a marshals briefing before and after each day in order to maximise the safety of the riders.
- As an Event marshal you are responsible for:
- Policing a corner or straight of the event making sure any riders that fall over are not hit by riders behind them.
- With the help of our medical team we will work together to ensure riders are safe at all times.
- You will need to be alert at all times and not under the influence of anything.
BASIC PLAN ???
A weekend of skating with loop road uplifts at Pencefn Drysgol lane in Tregaron. Which means that there will be continuous runs, less time waiting for buses, less time waiting to do a run and ultimately more runs! A similar format to what Vandem Freeride in Exeter has been in the past.
The road is perfectly surfaced with 2 hairpins and fast straights, ideal for beginners and pro riders alike. You can try to grip and rip the whole track, get you pre drifts down or even do some no hands down runs, its up to you!
We are hoping to run some races on Sunday, including the Welsh Championships. But if you do not wish to race, the track will be open for freeride, after the heats have gone down (this means the number of runs will be slightly lower).
There will be toilets located at both the camp site and track.
09:00 – Track opens for AMRAYS (as many runs as you survive) all day.
13:00 – 14:00 – Lunch brake (its more for our lovely marshals and uplift drivers than riders)
18:00 – Function Room of the Y talbot for Dinner and Pints.
20:00 – Race registration and riders meeting
There will be 4 person heats for every category, which will be Open, Womens, Juniors, Ludge and Welsh Championships.
All your voting and support paid off! Joe has managed to get through to the last ten people in his category for 'Endurance' int he Jack Wills Extrodinary Young Brits competition. If he is successful he will be able to fund UK longboarding events and subsidise logistical costs for UK riders who are seeking to develop their longboarding skills through travel and adveture. Fingers crossed!
See his profile here:
"I hope to expand the reach of Thrill Magazine and size of the British scene through the development of my skills with social media, photo-journalism and videography. I aim to spend my time organising British events that allow the longboarding scene to develop its skills. I want to facilitate travel and race entry for upcoming British riders through the success of Thrill Magazine. I will be organising international excursions to events in Europe for those without the means to do so themselves. I will have been to Canada and the USA to network, ride with the best professionals in the world and learn even more about the global longboarding industry. The zenith of my 5-year dream would be to establish the first gravity sports facility in the world here in Britain, a facility where annual races can be held, a place where anyone can practice longboarding or similar sports in a safe environment and where we can establish a base for the future governing body of the sport in Britain."
"What I would do with the £5000 prize money:
£1000 to fund longboarding events in Britain.
£1500 towards equipment that Thrill Magazine requires to enhance its media output quality and frequency.
£1000 supporting upcoming riders through sponsorship of their travel
£1500 to fund my 2015 travel and/or race entry fee's to international competitions"
Keep up-to-date with the events, new product releases and media projects of the global longboarding community with Push Culture News.
Are you female? Do you ride longboards? Do you want to skate with other women in a closed-road environment? Do you want to progress your skills and have an awesome time riding with amazing new people? Well, www.womenlongboardcamp.com have just the thing for you!!
Here is a message they sent us about the services that they offer.
The board sports enthusiasts at WLC have carved out a niche organising events specifically for women. Last year saw the first event of this kind, a five-day longboarding event in sunny Slovenia, dedicated to the practice of skateboarding, from downhill to sliding to dancing. The camp was a tremendous success and sparked interest all around the world– a sign that there’s plenty of women keen to get on board out there. The WLC crew aim to create a relaxed, non-competitive and non-judgemental atmosphere, giving participants the opportunity to explore their limits in a safe environment under experienced, hands-on guidance. The complete package caters for anybody from total beginner to the more seasoned rider and includes a daily yoga practice to round off a well-designed event schedule. Due to high demand, two camps will take place in 2013, this time in the beautiful surroundings of Alsace, France. The events will take place from May 12-17 and May 19-24 respectively. For further information and to sign up, please visit www.womenlongboardcamp.com“