Today was one of the hardest rides I have done. 86 miles with 6096ft of climbing in temperatures up to 31c.
Those of you familiar with the blog will know how much I dislike hills! But yet again I sign up to these rides expecting it to be easier than the last one. It is true that once completed and after a good nights sleep, the pain seems to recede and the euphoria of completing a challenging ride takes over.
There was a good turn out of the lads today. As this was such a tough ride I think there needs to be a roll call!!
Badders, Ken, Tim, Simon, Paul B, Paul H, Pete and Paul I! (too many Paul's!)
I drove to the School in Chester, and picked up Ken on the way, he had ridden through the tunnel. We registered, picked up our complimentary gells and food, and got the bikes ready.
The car park soon filled up and at 9 o' clock we were assembled for a pre ride briefing.
There were 230 riders taking part today. Not bad considering the route and the predicted heat!
We set off and headed out to Rossett. The pace was quite good as we spun in the sun! The first 30 miles were at an average pace of 18mph.
After a stop at St Martins it wasn't long until we reached the first of today's challenges, Pontfadog! This is a 2 mile climb at an average of 8.7%. I had to walk for about half a mile, in the middle as I literally ran out of puff! once the hill was crested we were treated to a rather spectacular view across the hills.
The descent was not much fun either! There were some scary drops with 90degree turns at the bottom. Whilst we waited at the end of the descent to regroup the heat coming off the rims of my wheels was quite something!!
When we were all back together we faced the next challenge. The Horseshoe Pass! this is a 3.9 mile 1000ft climb. It was so hot by this time, I needed to stop and rest under a tree 3/4 of the way up! I felt like I was going to pass out!! It is time to invest in some Summer riding gear. Up to now I have been able to get by with what I have, but today showed me once again how important the right gear is.
At the top is the Famous Ponderosa Cafe and lots and lots of motorbikes.
And some mad cyclists who decided to ride up hills on a sunny day!!
|On top of the Horseshoe Pass|
The next bit was my favourite of the day! The descent to Ruthin. If Strava is to be believed I hit 47mph! It was a great respite to the previous hour and a half climbing!!
When we reached Ruthin we were treated to beans on toast, which we all enjoyed.
|All Fed and watered|
What we were not expecting, even though we all checked the route before leaving, was the final sting in the tail of the ride, The old Bwlch! This is a 2.5 mile climb raising 900ft to the car park on Moel Famau!! The views were spectacular, and my cleat's got more worn out as I had to walk a little way again!!
|Resting at the top of the Old Bwlch|
The last 25 miles were not pleasant. Another steep climb and lots of sun meant a slow tired pace, even the downhill sections were slower! But working together we made it back to the School, Eventually!!
|Badders could smell the pasta!|
The next challenge is the Patisserie Cyclisme/ Polocini Jubilee Cake ride on the 5th of June.
Today's Ride Details