Well here we are home a fraction earlier than anticipated. Wales took the brunt of the wild winds and torrential rain that arrived in the UK this week. Our timing for self-indulgent masochistic pleasure could not have been better planned. Luke and I had waited our whole lives to be able to cycle in such conditions. Although our planned routes were circular, it appeared that the wind, that was capable of tearing branches from leaf laden trees, was rarely behind us, choosing to either confront us head on causing us to vainly shelter behind the handlebars, or to try to rip us off our saddles from the side as we passed gaps in field hedges. Two secluded usually gently flowing summer streams were near impassable torrents of water. The roads beneath trees were covered with debris and camouflaged fallen branches waiting to ambush us.
Luke had put together what was expected to be six fantastic days of cycling in different parts of Wales. He had devised routes to incorporate some classic climbs such as The Devil’s Staircase, The Tumble and the beautiful Dragon Ride. These rides were to range in length from 113km to 163km and with elevations between 1,775 and 2,921 metres. However the weather took it’s toll and with only a short respite from the rain on the fourth day and still no let-up in the wind, the forecast was a return to more heavy rain and continuing high wind for the fifth day and only a short window of drier weather on the sixth day, there seemed little point in prolonging our ecstatic pleasure of riding in such joyous conditions. We had still climbed around 7,000m of elevation over 350km consuming 1,000 calories every hour.
As I write this on what would have been our fifth day, with the rain lashing at the window, I have slight regrets at not continuing, because today Luke and I would have been cycling in the beautiful hills around Snowdonia and still being buffeted and soaked.
To my good friend Luke, my thanks for your hard work in planning this trip. Yes, the weather was extraordinary, but in a strange way, (a very strange way) the challenging conditions have made sure we will remember this trip for many years.
There are some photos that have been posted in the ‘gallery’ section of the website. As with all good advertisements, they depict the best of the weather, primarily because when the weather was really bad, I was too cold, too fed-up and my uncontrollable shivering body was incapable of holding the camera still.