After Trevor’s traditional 9.01 arrival with John F, we headed off and got a taste of the headwind right from the first roundabout! We passed through Morriston and into Ynystawe and Clydach before picking up Carl W and Jeremy at Pontardawe lights. Left turn up the hill to the top of Pontardawe where the wind gave us a tough time heading towards GCG. Dave G, whose legs are coming back to him after his Achilles injury, carried straight on down towards Garnant, whilst we all turned right and towards Brynamman.
After regrouping just before the climb, Trevor and John F turned off at the base of black mountain, heading towards the Swansea valley road. The rest of us tried to work out whether we were going to get a benefit from the strong wind up the Black. At the cattle grid we had a side/tail wind. Unfortunately that quickly turned into a raging headwind through the middle of the climb before we snaked our way back to more of a side/tail towards the top. We passed a number of touring cyclists going up the Black, including one nutcase on a folding bike with the tiny wheels! He seemed pretty happy – it takes all sorts I suppose!
Lee P reached the top first, whilst Phil Rees turned back on the Black, not to be seen again by the group. Ian’s wheels survived the decent to 3 horseshoes where we turned right and onto the road to Talsarn.
A strong tailwind helped us move quickly up the lumps and bumps to the Red Kite café, which was closed. Ian W got excited when a startled sheep got his head stuck in a gate, but there was no stopping for romance. As the sheep looked relieved to escape the gate (and Ian W), we pushed on and after some discussion decided against the Belmont due to the wet conditions. Instead we turned right up through Glasfynydd Forest, with the Sec. reaching the top first.
Intending to stop at the gardens near Dan Yr Ogof, we dropped down to the bottom of Crai. Carl W mentioned pushing straight on home, which was the consensus, so we skipped the café (2 weeks in a row!!) and came into the headwind down the Swansea Valley. Lee P and the secretary had an interesting experience with a wally overtaking us at the Ystradgynlais roundabout, seemingly oblivious to his actions. After that we started to split up through Pontardawe and then Clydach, heading home via Ynystawe and Morriston.
Total approx. 60 miles.
4: Phil G, Ian W, Jeremy, Andy M, Paul E, Kevin W
3: Nic C, Carl W, Andy Clayton, Lee P, John F, Trevor,
2: Dave G, Phil Rees,
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