a quick post with more words than pictures because i’m tired…
this weekend mike and i dipped our toe* into an event called the welsh ride thing. it is organised by a bloke called stuart who runs forest freeride in pennant, mid-wales.
what happens is that you pay some cash to the welsh air ambulance charity and send him an email. a month before the event, he sends you a list of 13 grid references.
your task is to visit as many of these as you can between 2pm on saturday afternoon and 2pm on bank holiday monday. you are encouraged to be self-sufficient, carrying bivvying kit, food, water etc on the bike. cunningly, each checkpoint lurks at the end of a decent bit of trail or a nice downhill. you pretty much can’t fail to put together a decent ride between them.
*we dipped our toe because we both had commitments on bank holiday monday and so could only do one night.
as usual, my work/life/riding balance meant that i did very little preparation for the event. mike however, put all of this mountain leadership skills into action and came up with a fantastic ride, cutting out the thigh deep bogs and the worst of the river crossings (as it happened, saturday was so wet that river crossings and bogs would have made little difference).
it rained all the way to wales. and it rained all the way to the bothy on saturday night. the bothy was a real experience with some drunken mountain bothy association men getting a little over-friendly with us as we decided whether we should stay and brave their company or go and sleep outside in the rain. it was a close call…
we were quietly very grateful when some fellow riders turned up later on.
sunday was much better apart from a problem with my bike that i won’t go into. we ended up covering 6 checkpoints and 100km in just less than 24 hours. people who were there for the duration covered over 200km and visited all checkpoints – chapeau to them!
it is a great event. the best thing about it being that you get out of it what you put in. stuart and dee were lovely people and i wish them luck with whatever they have planned next.