Posted by: audaxing | April 10, 2016

Two rides, snow and sunshine

Last weekend, “The Valley of the Rocks” 200km in Devon. This weekend “Yr Elenydd” 300km in Wales
Lots of quality riding and more weather than you’d like!

On both rides I was on my Specialized Roubaix with a 30-40-50 x 12-30, Michelin Endurance 25mm and a Luxo hub powered light

Valley of the Rocks

This ride goes via the Blackdown Hills and Exmoor to the striking “Valley of the Rocks” above Lynton on the North Devon Coast. The return to Honiton is via South Molton and Crediton
Left home at 6:45am. rode to the start at Honiton. Lower back playing up all the way round. Weather looked “threatening” especially when on the top of Exmoor. Did not manage to climb the feared Lynmouth to Lynton without walking. By later on as we got to the North Devon coast the sun came out. Worked with a small group against the head wind as we went south again. Finished with a time of almost 13h but this was better than last year. Rode home, back before 11pm

Winsford Hill

Winsford Hill on the way to the Valley of the Rocks

Yr Elenydd

This ride goes to Shobdon Airfield,Builth Wells, Tregaron via a mountain, back to Rhydader via another mountain road and returning to Shropshire over the Long Myndd
Left work the night before on a train. Camped over night in the field next to the start at Upton Magma near Shrewsbury. It rained overnight but was clear in the morning. Set off with the 3rd group. Made a steady pace to Shobdon. Great coffee at Shobdon. Steady again to Builth. Another great coffee. Snow on the start of the mountain road before the checkpoint at Abergwesyn but bizarrely it then cleared to show blue sky over the Devils Staircase

snow on the mountain road near Abergwesyn

snow on the mountain road near Abergwesyn

Blue sky over the Devils StaircaseBlue sky over the Devils Staircase

Blue sky over the Devils Staircase

Richard peaks the Devil's Staircase

Richard peaks the Devil’s Staircase

To end the mountain road to Tregaron there is a marvellous descent which had been resurfaced. I didn’t take it at max speed as the road was damp but : most exhilarating.
Just before reaching the control at Tregaron bowls club the skies dumped down a lot of hail

A lot of hail

A lot of hail

Fortunately the hail didn’t stick to the road and we carried on back to Rhyader via another sun lit mountain road! It was so warm I took my heavy commuting coat off for the first time that day!
Had a bad patch on the final hills getting back to Shrewsbury and finally finished just after midnight. Much slower than last year
Overnight in the tent it was very cold. The tent was already covered in droplets of ice when I went to sleep.
The morning after

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