This weekends adventure took me to Lynn Brenning in Wales. It was a long ride, with lots of hills and some great company.
I knew it was going to be a long ride for me, especially having to ride 15 miles to and from the start/finish. Still, it didn’t occur to me to fuel properly the night before. After a night out on Friday, my Saturday was spent hungover and sleeping. The only food I had on the Saturday was a (two) McDonalds’ breakfasts at 10:30am and the rest was spent sleeping.
I left my house at around half 7 on the Sunday and the first part was flat so I was able to take it easy. I could tell straight away the legs were in the shed though! I stopped off at a shop on the way and picked up some flapjacks which would see me to the cafe, but they didn’t really last long.
On the first steep hill my chain snapped too, I think that was the “I’m done with my bike today” point but
we Ken sorted this out in record time and we were good to go.
After this section of hills I still felt pretty bad and I also had to be home early afternoon that day so I was happy to call it quits and head to a cafe nearby and go home, which still would have been 60 miles for the day.
With some quick thinking from the group we tailored the route back to cut some out which would help to get home on time, I was kind of gutted because I did just want to go home!
Further afield we got to the segment called “Road to Hell” which is 7 miles long, uphill. It is only a 3% average but there’s a pretty horrible section of 20% + for a few hundred meters, maxing it 27% according to Strava. I got to the start of the steep section and I just thought “fuck this”. I didn’t have the mental strength to suffer today to see how much of it I could last, so I just walked it.
As soon as that steep section was done I was back on the bike to finish the segment off, there was still a few miles left. We got to the top and we were then only a few miles from the Cafe luckily.
I’ve been to Lynn brenig before once but only in the middle of winter when it was all snow covered but I knew the cafe was good. The lake on a summers day is amazing though and well worth the trip!
I made the most of this cafe stop and got plenty of food on board for the way home. After all I still have 50 miles to go!
We stayed at the cafe for about an hour enjoying the sunshine and scenery and we then head off.
I didn’t really think about how I was feeling once we left but when we were climbing I didn’t feel that bad and I think I was smiling for second time of the day, the first being when my food arrived!
From Brenig to Ruthin is pretty up and down, nothing major but some fun descents I was definitely feeling better and raring to go so there was a bit of contrast to a couple of hours prior to this!
I didn’t really know the exact route we were going home but I had a rough idea, what I didn’t expect is Penbarras, which takes you up Moel Famou.
It’s a stunning part of the word and the views are great but it’s a very hard climb. Apparently we went this way as it’s a shortcut but I’m not so sure. But we were able to get some drinks at the top and there’s a good descent to follow so it wasn’t all bad. I also knew that after this point the way home is either flat or downhill which was good because I’m not sure my legs had much in them.
I thought I needed to be back for 6 so I was due to get a lift home so I could make it home on time but after a quick ring home I now had a later time to be back so I was able to ride all the way home, cutting it fine for time mind.
We said our goodbyes for the day and I carried on pedaling home and had to get a bit of a shift on to make it home but that took my mind of the pain.
I went to most direct way home and it was pretty flat so I could keep a solid pace. So much so I opened a 10 minute gap, I used this 10 minutes wisely and went to the chippy and ate it whilst waiting for my family to arrive where we had agreed to meet.
All in all it was a great day with great people! I love getting big miles in, it’s what I enjoy most about cycling and I like to be out all day, none of this “home by 12” shit, which is perfectly fine if you have other things on but that’s a no from me. I like to be out as long as possible.
I knew I’d done 104 miles but I was surprised by the 7000ft elevation!