NPS #3 – Ticknock
4th of June 2017, Ticknock
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The start/finish is in the same location as 2016, so it’s a sprint off the line to thin the bunch then into a quick decent followed by a short fire road climb through the feed/tech zone.
Make a sharp right into Tom’s trail for a short breather before you start the climb up towards Kilmashogue.
Up the fire road to the next trail centre section (Eurosceptic). Detour onto an old double-track to break up the single-track before re-joining the smooth climb. Keep climbing up to the junction where you exit the forest out onto the rugged open mountain. Don’t be distracted by the stunner of a view down to Dublin bay, your attention is needed ahead to negotiate the rocky trail as you climb at a mellow grade towards the highest point of the day at the Fairy Castle walking trail crossing.
Across the junction, you’re onto a challenger of a decent, a heather-lined trail over granite boulders and outcrops. For any chance at maintaining your speed, line choice is critical – the obvious line isn’t always the fastest! As the forest looms in your sightline, get ready for a fast, bermed transition from descending into climbing – a brief climb is followed by a short, fast descent. Brake hard for a right turn off the main trail, down a couple of machine tracks and into the start of a single-track climb. Sharp right, back into descent mode, fast huck over the rock – you did put a couple extra psi into your tyres, didn’t you?
Leaving the open mountain behind you for this lap, you’re back into the forest, down the machine track, over the hump entrance into the fall-line trail. Roll the slab-to-root – it’s the
faster line! Tight turns through the trees (XC-width bars are recommended!), negotiate the gnarliest root on the mountain, then drop out onto the end of the Euroskeptic trail.
Sharp left at the exit then get gobbled-up by the Trench of Terror and unceremoniously spat out onto the Kilmashogue fire road then off down the King’s Highway. Keep it lit all the way along the top of the bank – stay focused as you carve your way down and into the forest. Watch for the straight-but-techy line into this section, or take the rooty option to the right. Manoeuvre your way through the trees, tight turns, a sharp descent, followed by dropping out onto Goober’s Heart Attack for a short, sharp climb. Sharp left back into the forest, which opens out into another passing opportunity – pay attention – this may be your last chance to pass before the fire road sprint finish!
Surf the bus stops and humps before dropping down into the Start/Finish straight. Nice job, you just beat the mountain. But the mountain hates being trumped, and isn’t finished with you yet.
Deep breath, go fight another lap, or two, or three….
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