Sunday, 9 May 2010

Welcome to Wales....its wet!

Well the longest ride I have ever done as a training ride was a success. Lengendary in fact. I set off on Thursday morning for Capel Curig from Birmingham along the A458 and onto the A5. The biggest hils are not in Wales! they're in Shropshire around Much Wenlock and Bridgnorth. Wales was a doddle in comparison.

I had been doing around 18mph average upto about 50 miles when the battery went in my Timex GPS receiver. I had been rained on a little but the gilet did its job and I didnt need the full wet proof jacket. As soon as I passed the Welcome to Wales sign I was into a downpour so a quickstop at the McDonalds for a sweet chili chicken sandwich meal with coffee and an apple pie was in order for lunch - 70 miles down, 41 to go.

The next section from the Halton r'about was easy. Rolling hills with plenty of rest on the descents but more rain! I was soaked. I played cat and mouse with a tractor for about 20miles, never managing to get more than 200metres ahead before he would catch me at traffic lights then i'd nail it again. I was feeling great though and knowing that the last leg should only take just over 2hrs was encouraging. After a long drag up hill and into wind the tractor caught me so I sat in for a draft for about 5miles before he pulled in with 12 to go.

I stopped in Betws y Coed for a cup of tea and some rasberry and coconut cake to wait for the guys in the wagons with my change of clothes. I spoke to a few local cyclists who were interested in my ride and the RAAM. They were doing a 50miler but nearly choked when I said i'd come from Birmingham. Total ride time to Betwsy was 5hrs:35min. The next bit to the training center was mostly up hill but easy considering i'd done most of the work and only took 10 mins.

so to summarise

0 punctures

1 man

1 Boardman road bike(without tribars)

1 mission

1 Mcdonalds meal with coffee and apple pie

1 rasberry/cocnut slice

2 cups of tea

2 countries

2 bottles of Be-well Fuel

5hrs 45 mins

19.3 mph average

111.2 miles

Feeling good for the RAAM now!! :-)
Today (Sunday) I met with Paul Breeze to do a 40 mile ride around Snowdon. Great ride in glorious sunshine! Starting in Llanberis I rode to meet Paul coming from Capel Curig. We went to Bedgellert then up the mountain towards Capel before leaving Paul to head up to Pen Y Pass and down to Llanberis again. Wales didnt get better weather than today!


Cavegirl said...

Good riding buddy, bad nutrition LOL!

I too did three long rides over the weekend totally 219, didn't stop for restaurant breaks though!

What protocol are you riding when doing the RAAM? Is it four alterating riders with one person always riding, how long are the 'turns'?


Sags said...

great effort mate! That's a fine average speed too! Guess the bike legs are well and truly back now!

Mat Stephenson said...

thanks Kelda and Mark

this weekend will tell if I can do without some sleep and ride!!

limbangmogul said...

Hi Guys & Gals just stumbled upon your chat by accident really.

I was lucky enough to take part in th RAAM last year and the same team are entering next year as we are soldiers so therefore not available this year. we did the 8's and it was one of the best experiences our lives. Hard bt satisfying. we were split Into two fours 12 hrs dayand night and yes non stop over lapping change overs with no assistance during the race. its some terrain out there we did a few Jonh O groats - Lands End and then back again etc as build up but the mountains were something else out there, I clocked 10000 ft + one day on my forerunner. Alas we were amateurs compared to some teams but came a respectable 4th out of 8 teams almost 3rd boohoo...... We are all devoted cyclists after this life changing event so I wish all who enter and succeed or try the very best of luck and health.

Shine on Stay safe our rock out in Annapolis!!!