Ride Clwyd recon

Lets go 100

Been out reconnoitering a new addition to the Ride Clwyd sportive - a 100 mile route option.  This would come after Denbigh and means riders will get to "enjoy" the full version of the Road to Hell - all 6 miles of it.

Road to Hell starts with a hairpin

80 mile riders will do half the "Road" then turn left and head to Ruthin.  The 100 mile riders will carry on towards the wind farm:

Second half of the "Road"

The top comes with a wide view of the desolate landscape around Lyn Brenig - this is half way around the whole 100 mile route:

Lyn Brenig

There's a long descent after this and then a sharp left turn - the start of coming back.  

The route will divert off this to take in a new climb for Ride Clwyd - Melin-y-Wig.  This is a tough one - just under a mile long and consistently steep for a total of 300ft of gain:

Over the bridge and up the hill - Melin-y-Wig

A very twisty climb on good quality tarmac
After this challenge 100ers will head over towards Ruthin - rejoining the 80 and 70 milers.

Roads were in great condition, hardly any gravel or muck and usually on super-smooth tarmac.

Total climbing is just in excess of 8,000ft so this is a tough one...

Ride Clwyd will open for entries in December.

Evans Ride It Cannock 2018

Good weather forecast for Sunday turned sour on Saturday night - this was going to be wet, wet, wet.

Packed the car in the rain.  Drove an hour in the rain.  Assembled the bike and registered in the rain.  Set off in the rain.  Rode all the way around in the rain.  Finished in the rain. 

Got home, rain stopped.

The organisers had already cut out the Long Route option - 80miles+ in rain just wouldn't be fun.  I switched to the 30 mile Short option to keep my exposure down to a couple of hours.

Event HQ was in a forest, down a track which meant the first/last 200metres of the course was on forest gravel track.  Well jacketed up I had a brief briefing and then sent on my way  - just about the last one to leave but caught up various soggy participants pretty soon.

Have I mentioned the rain?  Not cold, not windy but after a while it got to me - you kind of shrivel up inside your rain jacket and "cope".  Unfortunately that means you aren't going very fast and that means you start to get cold. 

Luckily the food stop arrived just in time (about an hour in) and re-energised with jelly beans I resolved to "push on" in an attempt to generate some internal warmth, and finish the event off as quickly as possible.

Another soggy rider completes
 Managed to pass quite a few pairs of riders on this more determined leg of my ride and found a single easy climb back up on to the Chase to give me confidence that I was nearing the end.  One disturbing thing I noticed - my leggings were oozing soap.  Clearly the last washing machine rinse had been less effective than the current "rinsing" I was getting on the ride.   

I'd have got less wet inside a washing machine.

Pretty low key end was fine and Evans had set up a rough changing room so it was possible to get dry.  Immediately on finishing I experienced the only pleasure such a ride affords - the pleasure of it being over - "I'm glad that's over" and then once changed the intense pleasure of having dry socks and a hot cup of coffee - life made simple, forget your worries, you've got dry socks and that's enough for now.

Big climbs in France and Italy

Here's a round up of blog posts from climbs I've done:


This big Italian one - be prepared for the village at the top - link


You may not have heard of this one but it's 2,000m+ of climbing so how could I resist?

Maratonna climbs

I did 'em all so here's a series of posts on this spectacular area: