A weekend Diary
Up early, off to the Y to collect minibus, passengers Francis, Rosemary, Alison and Sally ready to go.
In Wales by 2.30 changed and ready to ride with 13 takers. We rode to Barmouth in the sun to find the usual cafe closed, found another one on the point of closing a short distance away who rapidly reopened with the promise of trebling his takings for the month. Donuts (sic) were on offer and those that bought them should have waited as the proprietor came out with a trayfull for the bin and offered them to us instead ( Richard's earlier decision not to indulge evaporated on the instant)
A short cycle took us to Barmouth foot/rail bridge where yours truly managed to convince the Benny Hill look alike that we were on a charity run thus being excused the £1-50 per head toll.
Over the bridge and left to Arthog for the climb of the day, over 1.4 mlles the ascent was about 750 feet (perhaps someone can work out the average gradient) We were helped along on the ride by our support vehicle driven by Ian who was suffering a little from a bug or two.
From the tops an exhilarating dash down to Dolgellau ( I clocked 39 mph) and it might have been faster without the odd sheep or three.
This was going to be the big one with a bit of culture thrown in, once again to Barmouth and then a right turn up the coast road against the wind to Harlech Castle, the castle is well worth a visit but our eager cyclists were keen to push on to Port Meirion and the Italienette village, where we had lunch and joined the coach trippers for a look around the Prisoner film location. The road back was looking increasingly unappealing and it was decided to take a shorter route home, after a false start corrected by the ever reliable Alison ( she looks at maps, I just scan them) we headed for home, the wind had turned and it became a bit of a slog with the road so straight you could see a mile ahead, but all arrived back in good time. Alison and I popped in to pay a visit to the campers and check out Phil Clarke's camper, and to see if Dave Cullern had completed his mammoth five day ride from Redhill. In the evening the hotel laid on a splendid meal for forty persons or thereabouts.
PS Life seems VERY quiet without messrs Taylor and Christie in the room.
Dawned grey and wet with words of doom from the weather forecasters and our genial Host Alan alike.
So, quick look at the map, forget about cycling round mountains, let's do something more agreeable, there is a cycle path down the west side of the Mawddach estuary of about ten miles so we did that, brilliant decision, after a couple of miles the sun was out ,all eleven riders were humming along and admiring the splendid views ( I have never seen the estuary full of water before) Once again over the Barmouth Bridge into Barmouth for tea and cakes in the sun before riding the ten mlies or so back to base.
Lastly I'd like to thank Alison for help with navigation, Ian and Keith for their lively conversation, and all the rest who rode with me over the three days and making this such a great weekend. Thanks must also go to Gareth for the LARGE
amount of work he has put into all this and I regret I was unable to speak to all the members there especially the newer people.
Link to Wales pics here.
If you have any to add please send to me. Frank