annual pilgrimage

I did my annual ride over to Anglesey yesterday on the road bike. For most of the first 100 miles I had to put up with a fairly brisk headwind as most of the route is quite exposed and straight-as-a-die in an east-west direction. Despite this I rode my quickest-ever century and arrived at the walls of Conwy castle 5 and a quarter hours ride time later (I had 20 minutes in a coffee shop in Rhyl on the way).

Aching a bit after spending long periods of time in the drops to minimise the effect of the wind, I ate all of my remaining food at that point aside from an emergency gel then set off through the centre of Conwy for the climb over Sycnant Pass. 100 miles of relatively flat (but often undulating) roads followed by a steep climb up a rather large hillside? Ideal.

Following the 45mph descent down the other side, I then followed the newly-completed Sustrans route from Llanfairfechan to Bangor which crosses the A55 a few times via some impressive bridges (which were incomplete the last time I did this ride) then continues along a minor and very narrow and twisty road to the Menai Straits. The minor road has recently been resurfaced along its entire length –  last year this was a gravelly farm track completely unsuitable to Michelin 23’s. Sustrans have done a great job of this route and it’s obvious that it’s cost a lot of money.

The route is now longer too – I arrived 127 miles later – 10 or so miles longer than last year (unless my computer is knackered). More big rides planned for the remainder of this week, then a bit of an ‘experimental short taper’ next week then blow me down, another 24 hour race…..