SWCC club run to Scotch Pine, Sunday 20th March, 2016

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Law of Sod, number 332, sub-section 3453, appendix 1B: ‘The sun will emerge when the ride is just about to finish.’

And so it came to pass. Thirteen riders started the club run at The liberty under a steel grey sky and it never really got above 8 degrees all day

. But at least it didn’t rain. First time guest rider Rob assured us he’d done plenty of distance riding, but his rather large rucksack didn’t reassure us.  After photos we set off up through Morriston (where Jeremy R turned off), Clydach and then Craig-cefn-parc and the long drag up the back of Scotch Pine. Nic C, fearing a long day in the saddle, decided to press on ahead and left us for dust.

It was chilly but with a spectacular view over the barren landscape. Rob, who shall now be known as Rob the Rucksack, was struggling a bit under his heavy load, so the Trevinator – keen to add further punishment to the climb – valiantly offered to carry it for him. Paul E asked Rob what was in his sack, so to speak, and he revealed dozens of spare tunes and an impressive tool kit. No wonder Trev looked so knackered at the top! John F turned back here at some point.

Once down the sketchy decent to Pontaman, Rob decided that he’d head home via GCG. I think he was reluctant to take the rucksack back off Trev, though.

The rest of us headed over to Llandybie and then Fairfach at a fair old pace.  We decided not to go to Llandeilo and not risk the cafes being closed, making the decision to head to the caff in County Cycles again. Mike Bs eyes lit up at this point cos last time we were there his coffee coast £5K (that’ll teach him to impulse buy a Cervelo!). From Fairfach it was up to Carmel, with young Sam falling off the pace, to be towed back by Simon H  –  who it turns out is older than Sam’s great-grandfather!

Once in Cross Hands we stopped at County Cycles for a much needed coffee and some grub. There was plenty of eye-candy on show and the bikes weren’t bad looking either. Some riders form Bynea cycling club turned up and gave Mike B the evil eye (as he defected to the Wheelers a while back). Back out and into what felt like sub-zero temperatures, we soon warmed up going up the hill to Llannon. Then all hell broke loose as there was a mad dash down the rollercoaster road with Trev, Paul E and Mark N leading the way. And that’s how it finished at the sign. We regrouped at Hendy and made our way up through Pontarddulais. Trev, Mark N and Sam headed on towards Swansea while the rest of us headed over to Gorseinon and Gowerton led by Simon H who putting the hammer down. The decision was made to add some punishment to already tired legs by going up the Wern. Paul E suffered like a dog up here due to lack of calories in the caff.  At the top we headed through Three Crosses and made our separate ways home.

A great ride with most rider clocking 50 to 60+ miles and 4 to 5,000+ feet of climbing.

Club Captain Ian W wasn’t out on the club run as he was MTB racing in Pembrey. Hope it went well cap’n.  Andy M was spotted coming back to Mumbles at 9am, saying he felt ill and was going home. Jibber.

Today’s motley crew:

4 points: Mark Noall

3 points: Paul E, Trev L, Mike B, Simon H, Bob H

2 Points: Mark K, Sam, John F, Nic C

Guests: Tim the Viking, Rob the Rucksack and someone called Jeremy Rees

 

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Next week, 27th March: was going to be Bob’s ambitious Vale of Glamorgan ride. But so many people are either away or have other plans for Easter Sunday that the decision has been made to shorten the club run. The route will be decided on the day – according to the weather. See you at 9.30 at The Liberty.

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SWCC club run to Scotch Pine, Sunday 20th March, 2016

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