Monday, 12 June 2017

Dragon Ride - June 2017

A very well organised ride by the Tour de France people, attracting over 3,500 riders for the final day of three Sportives.
The downside was that it started from near Port Talbot, not the most attractive of areas, but the people who looked after us at the Premier Inn there were great.

Jan and Heyddie looking far too confident before the start
The team on the first day, with candidate Niall about to be tested on his suitability for GRAC membership...
We first rode the Saturday sportive, a ride into the Black Mountains north of Neath, a planned ride of 114 km which we truncated to 95 km due to absolutely filthy weather: strong winds and heavy rain, which conspired to deny us any views and fill our eyes with water instead.

Niall, pretending to enjoy the view
Club president Fabian and Niall, about to get a well-earned massage at the end of the first day
We were joined by a new rider, Niall, who has yet to be properly christened in the usual Golden Rule fashion, but he has earned his wings, having already paid homage to the club HQ in Ambleside. He has qualified to join the Junior team, having ridden and completed the 230 km Gran Frondo with 3600m of ascent on the final day of the Dragon event in spite of further shocking weather, notably the violent gusty wind that scared the living daylights out of the Club President.
The senior team completed two big climbs on the final day, at a suitably sedate pace, before common sense and a heavy burst of rain persuaded them to take a shortened route back to the finish: 100km completed rather than the intended 153km, but still with over 1600m of ascent in the saddle.
A hard sportive this one, and at least three of us all the wiser for doing it.

The Senior Team about to start the Medio Frondo from Margam Park near Port Talbot

The clouds were ominous all day...

Jan about to enjoy the first big descent...before the wind gusts nearly toppled us all!
The second biggest descent...even the Prez exceeded 67km/h on this one! The others, of course, went well over 70km/h...
Heyddie, putting a brave face on the prospect of another 100km
The fools on the hill.....until the three wise men decided to do the shorter route for a beer (or four)
Editors note: the longest Sunday ride is known, quite rightfully, as 'The Devil,' 300km in total with brutal climbs throughout. The fastest rider, a 'junior' from Macclesfield Wheelers, completed it in 10h32m, at an average speed of 28.9km/h. Chapeau!!

No comments:

Post a Comment