We were supposed to be running another of our awesome Cycling trips this weekend, this time to take on Liege-Bastogne-Liege in Belgium, however half of the team were struck down with illness so we decided, instead of waste the weekend, to look for something a bit closer to home instead.
So we headed for Wales to take part in a 140 mile gravel Audax.
For those not familiar, gravel races use road bikes or cycling cross bikes and seek out a mixture or road, cycle path, firetrack, cross country bridleways and anything else that looks like fun.
Starting at 7am in Cardiff we headed out over the Brecon Beacons to Swansea, before refuelling on the waterfront and then attempting the 90 miles back via Brecon, to Cardiff.
It really heated up in the afternoon and while the gravel sections were all but finished, the terrain started rising and falling, meaning a total of just over 9000 feet of climbing in total. One particular climb in the shadow of Pen Y Fan went on for a fair few miles (45 minutes of climbing) and there was zero shade in the hottest part of the day, making it another memorable part of the course.
With fading light, puncture repairs and a diabetic team member with low blood sugar all adding to the ride fun, it made for a tough last 40 miles. But eating 4 tonnes of jelly babies and our body weight in sports drinks just about got us through to the end.
Thanks to Nath and Al for the stupid (I mean brilliant really) idea, and for showing awesome resilience at the end of a monster ride. We all struggled in parts, and being able to help each other made for a fantastic experience.
So, grab some mates, any old bike, a handful of sweets, bottle of water and a bank card (just incase) and head out for an adventure…see where you end up, good or bad it’ll be a great memory, and that after all, is why we do these things 😎🚴