It might have been the thunder. Perhaps it was the torrential rain. Or maybe it was the warnings about the road closure. Whatever though, I didn’t predict a great turnout for the inaugral Garneddwen Ten time trial.
As it happened though, there were twice as many riders as I’d expected. Two. Me and Andy Braund – the MTB Ranger from Coed y Brenin. So, instead of sitting in the rain, marking down the times, I decided to join Andy for a steady ride of the route.
It’s a bad one. You climb straight from the start, 250m height gain over 3 and half miles of winding, narrow country lane. It flattens briefly at the top before plummetting downhill to the turning point at the Cwmllecoediog cattle grid.
Here we stopped to collect a marker stone – proof that you’ve made it to the turn – before turning round and heading back up to the top. If the first climb was tough, the climb back is worse – 250m upwards over one and a half miles with an average gradient of 20%. Nice.
The final descent though is awesome, fast and twisty back to Garneddwen. The particular highlight on this ride though was the road closure; the highways agents had positioned their diggers and dumpers to create an low arch and a tricky chicane to ride through. A nice feature to end the ride.
We made it back to Garneddwen just as it began to get dark, and so headed to the Dwynant Tavern at Ceinws to dry off, warm up, and enjoy the rejuvenating pleasure of a well-earned post-ride pint.
So, given the glorious weather, the impending winter, and the current state of the route, I think we’ll leave the second time-trial till next spring!