The route for this years Wild Wales has been out out for some time and I hadn’t given it much thought. I sat down a couple of nights before the ride and tried to enter it. It’s written in handlebar shorthand and needs to be viewed with an OS map. Three hours later I was done, briefly put anything with double chevrons on an OS map was in the ride.
It’s two years since the last Wild Wales which ended in torrid conditions with a ride of 20 miles back through sheep slurry. This year a crud catcher went on the back. I also lost my dad the week after. In fact the funerals of father and father in law were within 24 hours of each other.
Then it hits me I haven’t been out in this neck of the woods for two year. I’m getting up the small 10% stuff in the middle ring but haven’t tested myself on the really steep stuff.
First test of the day was trying to get money into the temperamental parking meter. Then I discovered I’d come out with 2 righthand gloves so no gloves on the ride.
A large queue was forming at the start but the new swipe in system meant you were in and out in seconds.
Setting out on the ride I tagged on the back of a group with Janet and Lowrie in it. We seemed to be following a chap on a mountain bike so I moved up near to the front, where Geof Dutton AKA “The Dog” jumps on my wheel. Geoff never misses a wheel that’s why he is know as the dog.
Wild Wales 2011 by frankkinlan at Garmin Connect – Details
Had to stop to take a picture of the Llama,s they were really curious about what was going on, running up to the fence to see a group of riders go by.
Stopped before this steep descent as the valley looked really sharp and detailed, it hasn’t come out in the picture, must be the new Oakley,s.
What goes down must come up and the first climb had the rear wheel spinning out. The next stretch looked even worse.
Dave Newby the front Northender still on the bike.
Got a bit lumpy after this turn, opted to walk the steepest section getting back on the bike when a septagerarium/octagenarium came past me.
More nasty short sharp climbs had riders falling on them. On those I opted to walk there were guys hardly advancing on me at 2 mph in Keo,s.
Ros,s fella went down on a particullary bad descent and had to take the road back to the start.
A chap on a Planet X went down and broke his bike and another of the Sunlight went down twice, falling on the same turn.
It was about 1:3 in places and you could feel the high spots in the rim as you tried to make it to the bottom in one piece.
Got caught out by the route, saw a sign saying 20% so got 30 yards up it and bailed off. Couldn’t see what was beyond the bend and the Garmin hadn’t told me I was off Course. Two guys went past, one of them saying “No shame in walking” only to see them at the next control as I was leaving.
Chris (who was riding to the routesheet) called me back as I had missed one of the fluorescent arrows.
Later part of the ride, there was a couple offering drinks by one of the reservoirs but most were just flying by. It was one of those parts where you just had to make the most of the road. It doesn’t get much better than this.
It was easy to make a mistake in the final section of the ride, even on the gated road section which featured in the previous ride.
Following a Bala sign had me off Course and retracing my steps had me meet up with a chap that had rode the Etape. Chatted about Audaxes and such as another group went by and took the wrong turning through a farm. God knows where that led to but it wasn’t Bala.