Riders – Trevor L, Ian W, Louis M, Lee P, Paul E, Nick C, Jonny W, John F, Mark N. Support team- Mark W, Jason K
OK so here goes my first ride write up as Team Captain…….
Saturday 12 Oct 2013 – We all meet 9.15am sharp for some photos at the liberty, then Jonny turned up so more photos. After all that it was finally on the road for the long hall to Aber.
We headed left through enterprise park towards Pontardawe and up through Swansea Valley. At Ponty lights we meet up with Rhys, then headed towards Rhyd-y-fro where Louis had the first mechanical of the day. Broken spoke on the rear wheel, time to call international rescue(support van) to take him home for a spare wheel. The rest of us pushed on up Swansea Valley, at the front the pace picked up with Rhys and Lee powering along. Think every body was feeling it so early in day, through the many villages past 2 groups of people digging holes? Not sure if someone had upset them and they where burying the evidence.
Then left turn before cray up towards Trecastle in to the rain and fog, time for rain jackets. At top met up with Jason and Mark in support van with Louis and his bike all fixed with a rear wheel stolen off his better half’s bike, I’m sure she was shocked to find it missing when she got up to go for a ride on Sunday morning! Down into Trecastle, the rain stopping and onto the main road, then right onto the steep climb up to the MOD range. We all re grouped at the top and headed down towards Tirabad. The pace picked up again and Jonny fell off the back, which is not like him…. I later found out he had had one too many Irish whisky’s the night before.
We then pushed on to Llanwrtyd Wells for a well earned lunch and thanks to the management, a nice warm fire to dry out our kit! During lunch the conversation turned to the ‘Devils Staircase’ some of us had ridden it before, others had not, it was going to be a fun experience for all. With that on our mind and all re-fuelled it was time to get back on the bike and conquer the ‘Devils Staircase’ or as I like to call it the ‘Road to hell!!!’
We had a good steady pace through the Valley, cycling along we passed 3 mountain bikers, Jonny slowed to talk to them, one was the designer of Whyte Bikes. All nine riders made it up to the top of Devils Staircase where we met the support van, we pushed on straight down the decent and headed towards the second of the climbs on our journey, the Gamallt. As we started the climb, out of the overgrowth appeared a screaming Devil, disturbingly wearing a thong, who then proceeded to run up and down between the riders shouting support and encouragement to all, as surreal an experience it was, thanks Jason, it certainly took our minds off the pain for a while and it made my day (Video is soon to be on you tube).
We all made it over the next two climbs of the day safely, then down the dangerous decent heading into Tregaron, where Trevor deciding to try out some off roading, missing the bend veering onto the grass, controlling his bike like a true mountain biker, only to then suffer a puncture, time for Trevor’s turn in the support van. We all met up in Tregaron. Unluckily for Trevor (or lucky, depends which way you look at it) the tyre was blown beyond repair, so it was the support van the rest of the way for him. while Nick was moaning about the pain in his stomach while stuffing a chicken sandwich in his mouth and make strange noise from his rear (NICE). just 25 miles left to go for the remainder of us. On to the B4340 to New Cross where thanks to the power of Louis at the front, the pace picked up to approx. 24MPH and the miles just flew by and soon we were at the final climb of the day up to New Cross. Louis and Lee arrived at the top of the climb first then pushed ahead to sprint for the Aber sign, with Louis just beating Lee at the sign, good race boys! We all re grouped in Aber and after a long day of riding it was straight to the B&B, shower, change then headed for a well deserved beer & curry!
Sunday 13th Oct 2013 – 9am and a cloudy start from Aber, all nine riders (including Trevor, with a new tyre, thanks to Halfords) head onto the beach front for photos, all looking fresh after a good nights sleep. Then back on the road for the shorter trip home. Starting with a nice gentle pace through the town, then out of Aber up the first climb with Trevor ‘the machine’ setting the pace and splitting the group, Trevor pushed on to reach the top of the climb first, setting the standard for the day. Then the rain arrived yet again, and lasted for the rest of the day. The rest of the route home was very up and down with lots of us coming second best to Trevor for most the signs on the way, I lost count in the end, Trevor certainly made up for the 25 miles he missed at the end of Saturday! as Ian kept telling him. But then the Lampeter sign was in our sights, Louis went early, made the gap and that was the end of that, although Trevor and Lee tried, there was no catching him and the sign was his.
Time for a café stop, lots of food consumed and lots of coffee drunk to get us ready for the long drag out of Lampeter and onto the Talley road to Llandeilo. This leg of the journey saw a few mechanical issues with John falling off the pace due to gear shifting problems and Jonny suffering a puncture. Paul E was experiencing other problems involving the rain and some remaining washing powder in his shorts, resulting in some foaming from the rear and amusing us all greatly. After repairing the puncture we pushed onto Llandeilo to meet the support van, with everyone arriving safely. John opted for the van back due to the gear problems and the remainder of us bid a farewell to Mark and Jason in the support van and headed on the final leg of our journey home.
Heading towards Ammanford, there was a short delay due to closed roads at Fairfach, but after Trevor sweet talked the workmen they let us through. The pace soon picked up with four riders breaking away, Mark N, Louis, Trevor and Lee racing for the Ammanford sign. Trevor and Lee powered on and split the group of four, only for a Sunday driver to spoil their fun and slow them down. Lee then made a final sprint, leaving Trevor and taking the sign. We all re grouped in Ammanford and ended with a nice gentle pace the rest of the way home.
All in all it was a good weekend had by all. Good roads, good riding, great company.
Thanks to everyone that came along and a big thank you to Mark and Jason for organising the trip.
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