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World’s end and the Horseshoe pass

By  April 10, 2017

This Saturday meant it’s only 3 weeks until we set of to Mallorca meaning hills are on the agenda every week. With it being so close, and my training being somewhat non-existent – I’m trying to make the most of my weekends to boost my confidence so I feel ready for Mallorca.

The past couple weeks my ‘training’ has been hindered by tonsillitis which has subsided to man flu which hasn’t shifted. I think my body just wants to rest but in my head I feel as though I can’t afford to with Mallorca. It just one vicious circle! To get as much rest in as possible I’ve been trying to ride big on the weekend and then ride as little in the week with just commuting so I’m putting some miles in.

On this ride I could tell quite early my body didn’t want to ride. Probably because it was 6:45 as I left the house, it was cold and just far too early. But i’m out and I’m staying out.
My plan of action was to just get the miles and elevation and not caring too much about pushing myself and taking it as easy as possible on the climbs.

Layers are key 

Dressing for the ride was tricky! Before 7am it was 4 degrees but set to rise to about 20 degrees when out. I went with a base layer and arm warmers so I could take the warmers off and also the base layer if needed but I thought I wouldn’t need to.
I was a bit cold to start off with but nothing too bad, I knew that braving it for a short while in the morning will pay off when the sun comes out.
On the way home I need to get rid of the base layer as I was too warm and constantly thirsty so I went road side and took it off and threw in my jersey pocket. This made a huge difference instantly!

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There was one climb I hadn’t done on the day and it’s called World’s End, located near Llandegla.
I was told it starts off quite steep but then eases off after and isn’t bad after that. I guess that was pretty accurate, however I didn’t expect it to go on for as long as it did!
The steep part wasn’t too bad, just grind it out and then once done it does turn into a nice climb with some cracking views.
It does ease off but also kicks up again in some parts, the gradient seemed to vary all the time but it’s a great climb to do.

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The descent of World’s End was somewhat unusual. There’s a part of the road which seems to have a stream going over it and with the constant flow of water there is moss on it making it slippy. You’d be daft to try and cycle over it but it’s not like you can use the pavement either, as there bloody isn’t any. You’re greeted with stepping stones basically and you need to haul your bike accross too just to make it that more difficult. I gave my bike to Ken to carry as he seemed to be the expert and even still I managed to lose my footing and end up with my foot in the water. I blame walking in cleats.

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After another descent into Llangollen we had the joys of the Horseshoe Pass. I’ve done this a few times and it’s a bit of a drag but nothing too bad.
I think I was on the wrong climb because this was so much longer and tougher than I remembered! Probably something to do with fitness levels at this time of the year but still this was tough.
It’s a few miles, 3 I think with an average of 5% but reaching 20% in parts. Straight after the 20% section it flattens off and you start to come back on yourself so you can see what you have just climbed and look back on it but also with the nicer gradient you don’t have the pain in your legs and can enjoy the view. Better still the Ponderosa cafe is at the top which is where we were stopping so that was nice to stop after 50 miles and have some food in the sun.

I finished on 87 miles with 5500ft of climbing which I was happy with. If it was closer to 90 miles I’d probably have to go and make it 100 which I didn’t fancy doing when the roads were busy with everyone going out to enjoy the sun!