|NEWS||26th Apr 2011|
It would appear that cycling the length of Wales is possible however trying to follow the published Sarn Helen trail proved difficult at times...
After a 5 hour drive the boys got their bikes out of the van in the shadow of Conwy Castle and started the journey south. Andy started with Rich and it wasn't long before they realised this was going to be a hard challenge as the first climb was extremely steep (25%) for over a mile. They were soon off road and battling with rocks, rocks and more rocks which made some sections unrideable. After lunch Rich was joined by Pete and following another leg busting climb they found themselves knee deep in a peat bog - which lead to very slow progress and much frustration. Back on a fire trail Rich had a very lucky escape - riding at high speed he lost control and slid sideways into a ditch - luckily without injury.
Rich left the campsite ahead of the team to take on a lung busting 600m climb. To start with this was pleasant but towards the end it became unrideable. The van was a welcome sight at the top and Rich was then joined by Andy for a trudge through a beautiful valley - the trail was at times nonexistent and often unrideable meaning that bikes had to be carried through a marsh and across a river.
Riding through the boggy wet valley both Rich and Andy went over the handlebars - Andy's resulting in a good amount of blood albeit from a small cut. The afternoon was much faster with good trails and some lovely scenic tracks. Riding fast downhill Rich had a blow out which meant Pete could spring into action and fix a puncture. The route then disappeared and the boys decided to follow a longer off road. Into a headwind this made for a tough end to a tough day - the final count being 96km ridden and 2200 metres climbed.
After a good night's sleep at a B&B and a hearty breakfast, Andy & Rich once again headed South saying goodbye to Rhyadaer. Having crossed a bouncy narrow bridge the ride followed the Sustrans R8 route before turning off road through a series of sheep fields which meant more gate opening and closing. After a relatively modest start the climbing became relentless. One section after crossing a ford was extremely steep and the surface loose however the view from the high sheep country was spectacular. The boys then headed into some forestry before a very welcome lunch break at which Andy was more than happy to hand the baton over to Pete.
Pete led Rich on a gentle coast towards Brecon where Rich headed off road over yet another steep bridleway. The descent into Brecon was fast rocky and loose which resulted in another blow out. After meeting up with Pete decision was made to replace the rear tyre. Leaving Brecon the boys climbed and climbed back into the hills.
Andy was on hand in the van for some welcome cake and refreshments before the final push - this time up a rock garden climb which Rich was determined to make. Unfortunately this was too much of a challenge and walking became the only option. After more fire trails, a technical descent and crossing through some farmland the team arrived at their B&B near Ystradfeilte for a much deserved lasagne feast. After dinner they took a walk to the nearby beautiful waterways before heading off for another early night.
After four full on days the team were looking forward to a relatively easy run in to the South Coast. The ride was very much a tale of two halves. As normal Andy & Rich started off and bumped and bounced their way along the original Sarn Helen Roman Road for 30 kms. The path was very rough and the boys had to stop to give their hands some time to recover on the downhill. The sight of the sea looming proved to be very inspiring and leaving the forest and quarries behind they plunged down towards Neath for a final handover to Pete, who rode the final flat few kms; riding along the Neath canal over road bridges, past a golf course and then finally along the beautiful Swansea beachfront. Seeing Andy with the van to collect the team for the final time was a welcome sight as it meant the end of a gruelling but very enjoyable trip through all the beauty that Wales has to offer. The weather had been perfect and the team didn't even encounter a single drop of legendary Welsh rain.
Sat: 60kms (1600 metres)
Sun: 80 (1700 metres)
Mon: 96 (2146 metres)
Tues: 86 (2038 metres)
Weds: 46 (648 metres)
Total: 368kms or 230 miles
Climbing: 8132 metres (24,400 feet)
Sorry this campaign (RichPeteAndy2011) is now closed
Total raised so far
Donors & messages of support
|Well done you! Lou|
From R E GROOME
|Congratulations, excellent achievement. Them hills just look utterly painful ....|
|Fantastic effort, glad I wasn't there.|
From Mr M J Spittles
|Hope you made it in tie for the street parties. Well done.
Linda & Martin T.|
From Mr Martin Thornton
|Good luck and keep pedaling, take care Mum, Rich and Nanny P|
From Mrs L Groome
|You're a mentalist - hope the ride goes well and the bike holds up to the punishment|
From Matt Thornton
From C j chambers
|Sounds a ridiculous thing to do ... gotta be worth a few quid of anyones money. Well done!|
From C L Archer-Thomas
|You are off the scale barking!!! Loving your work, especially with the time element. Good luck! Mike|
From Mr MT Brown