I’ve been a bit absent from the site but I do still ride a bike every now and then, and this Saturday, at the start of May, was the day for me to do my first 300km ride.
Forecast was good, but starting at 5:30am meant it was chilly, so the 10 of us that rolled out were all well wrapped up. The first 50kms flew under our wheels as we rode in good order up through the Valleys and to the foothills of the Brecon Beacons. A trip across Penderyn Moor followed, and a nice descent down the other side to Llandovery for breakfast.
What followed the rest stop was 50ksm of the most breathtaking roads and scenery I’ve ridden, in any country in the world. It was simply stunning, although the riding was tough, but with the backdrop of Llyn Brianne and some incredible flowing descents it was totally worthwhile.
The next section started with a bit of flat where we again made good progress, but as it’s Wales it soon got bumpy again and the group fractured for the first time as we climbed up into the hills and then descended through the Elan Valley. If you’ve ever been you’ll know this is a pretty special place. If you haven’t been, go.
A decent stop followed, but when set off again the weather forecast was defied and it rained. Hard. For a long time. We struggled along the A470 to Built Wells, all in our own little bubble of misery, desperately hoping for the rain to stop.
After a while, it did, and we all gradually dried out and cheered up as the end now felt in sight. We fitted in a quick pub stop to raise the spirits at Talybont-On-Usk before tackling the hardest climb of the day; through the Brecon Beacons via Torpantau. Most of us needed a bit of a lie down at the top of this.
But, from there it was more or less downhill all the way back to Cardiff, through Merthyr and Pontypridd, and the first group of 5 of us got back to the start about 8:20pm.
This ride should be on everyone’s to-do list; it’s spectacular.