Sunday, 29 September 2013

Day 6 - We bloody well did it!

After another morning fettle and packing the suppirt vans for the last time, we set off on the final leg of our epic journey.

We were back up to a full team, moral was high and we couldn't wait to get across the finish line.
The 1st stint was across a section of road before we got onto a fast rocky bridleway. Unfortunately Sarah managed to catch her bike on a rock and was ejected over the bars and landed quite nastily on some rocks. Fortunately there was no damage done to rider or bike so we set off again, avoiding a few horse riders on the way.

We then had another linking road section which took us from the bridleway to the start of a long fireroad climb to take us up to the start of a Sarn Helen section.
The Sarn Helen road was a wet boulder field, the climbs were tough and getting enough grip to keep the wheels moving was difficult.
Eventually the "road" started to point downwards and the guys with the longer travel bikes were able to let off the brakes and cruise along. For those of us with short travel bikes (and especially for Stu who was on his replacement hardtail after bending his other frame the day before) it was a case of slowly picking lines and avoiding the bigger rocks.
We made it to our next downwards section of bridleway which had been cut up by water and filled with boulders.

Not too long after starting, the majority of us were tripoding on the bikes or pushing as there was little grip.
When we reached an adjoining fire road we decided that the best option would be to skirt around the difficult bridleway as an injury now would have been a disaster considering how far we had come.
The next stop was at Resolven Lock where we had a rest and refuel while checking the maps.
Our next section was more road followed by a 12-13mph stint along the canal which took us all the way to Neath.

From Neath we climbed up the road and back towards Afan where we had been picked up by the coach 6 long long days ago.
We climbed up to Bryn Bettws Cottages before continuing onto the last descent of The Wall trail, Zig Zags, which would be our last proper bit of mountain biking.
From the bottom of the trail, it was a 5 mile cycle route down to Port Talbot.

The cycle route eventually turned onto the seafront and the finish line was in sight.
We were greeted with cheers, party poppers and more importantly for us riders, sandwiches and cake!

Its been an absolutely epic week, something I don't think any of us will forget. We had ups and downs, crashes, mechanicals, we got lost, we got re-routed and ended up riding at least another 5 miles every day.
However we stuck together as team and had some great fun and banter.

More importantly,  for such a small group we've had loads of support and donations and have raised a brilliant amount of money for Cancer Research.

I just can't wait to do it again!

No comments:

Post a Comment