Ben Hardisty writes…
A course change from last year took this year’s event initially South to the pretty coastline via St Brides, Ogmore and then through Porthcawl before heading north up to Port Talbot.
A very strong northerly wind and threatening dark skies meant that riding/sheltering in groups was highly preferable to going solo. After Port Talbot we headed up the long long climb of the beautiful Afan valley.
I was feeling brilliant up until this point and really enjoying the ride. However over the next few miles, despite a gentle gradient, a combination of foot cramp / knee pain / lack of sleep / and feeling a bit low really knocked me sideways.
At the top of the Afan valley – also known as the Rhigos climb – there was a decision to be made. Turn left to carry on towards Hirwaun and the Bwlch climb or turn left and head back to HQ. My thoughts were “its a no brainer” and I headed back to HQ, not even stopping at the feed station at the top of the mountain.
As I was packing up the car, the heavy rain arrived, which I avoided at least and I had the added bonus of arriving home in time for tea.
According to my Garmin, 70.37miles in 4h04m with 4,367ft of climbing – which I suppose is better than nothing – but a bit disappointed.