Friday 11th May saw the ride out to the ‘Frodsham Wheelers Snowdonia Weekender’ – Day 1
6 Wheelers elected to ride from Twelve50 Towers to Beddgelert, whilst the remainder of the group opted to drive out and add ‘Bonus rides’ aplenty. Chester ‘Race Day’ prompted the first of various route changes, all of which came good.
…enabling us to fly along at 30+mph
Just one puncture for Chris Fowler interrupted super progress the group catching the odd mega taily enabling us to fly along at 30+mph. Luckily as the group entered Llanwrst ‘La Barrica proprietress‘ and friend of the club Lyndsey decided that there was enough pressure in the pipes to supply refreshments and the group rolled on to Betwys Y Coed and Capel Curig under darkening skies and sure enough just 30 mins short of digs the heavens opened.
Chris Fowler by this stage was having multiple bouts of cramp and made some shapes at the side of the road puzzling onlooking drivers and the group rolled into Nant Gwynant slightly tardy but in time for a hearty meal at The Saracen’s Head in Beddgelert where we were very well looked after and the group ate and quaffed.
losing his heart to a charming waitress
It’s here that Nathan Morgan-Astle took centre stage, firstly, losing his heart to a charming waitress and secondly falling foul of a classic Roy Forster prank resulting in him powdering his nose.
Arrangements were made for a 9am start for The Big Ride and bang on time the peloton rolled into a sunny Beddgelert to meet club giants David Arundale and yours truly who opted for the luxury of a proper bed “you’re a great room mate Dave – but next time a post ride massage would be appreciated 🙂 “.
the sun shone almost all day long
The forecast for the day was early sun, to be replaced by cloud 12°C, but this was proved to be quaff and the sun shone almost all day long. After being buzzed by a lunatic fish van the group road through Criccieth and after a quick detour inland for gratuitous hills, Pwllheli, Abersoch, stopping occasionally for gasps of amazement and photos at the beautiful Llŷn Peninsula scenery.
After a trademark Stevo detour to a dead end, local expert Baz James got the group back on track to Aberdaron, via the first killer hill at Y Rhew but the group 19 strong rolled into a sun baked Aberdaron for lunch and ice creams, Rob McGregor having elected to cut short due to a knee protection strategy.
After lunch it was request time and Brigid Wilde suggested we take the military road to the Bardsey Island viewpoint. B, we all owe you a debt of thanks. It was a classic Wheelers moment as we milled around, marvelled at the beauty of nature, many pictures were taken, some danced a jig and we eventually decided that we have a ride to complete so rolled smashed on towards Nefyn and down beautifully quiet lanes to Lithfaen where our second café stop awaited.
the main group stopped at the pub for a bevvy whilst the front bunch waited patiently
Unfortunately due to miscommunication and some of the group being in Race Mode the turn off was missed, so the main group stopped at the pub for a bevvy whilst the front bunch waited patiently. Here joined the main road towards Caernarfon where Fowler pulled the group along at a fine 25-26mph prior to a second Stevo wrong turn humble pie was eaten and the group pulled into a bizarre kiddies theme park for refreshments.
Nathan Morgan-Astle lost his heart again
It was here that the proprietress fell for the Wheelers and Nathan Morgan-Astle lost his heart again, but Danny Emmett claimed President’s duties for the club hug and we rolled onto Llanberis, our final climb of the day. Whilst part of the group elected to play Space Invaders at the cashpoint, others elected to roll on up the Llanberis Pass as the clouds loomed and inevitably the wind started to blow and some stuff fell from the sky.
All Wheelers employed Rule #5 and dug deep to hit the summit but Roy Forster had a comedy bout of cramp and the Brigid led the cheers for the final finishers. Climbing the Llanberis Pass is quite a feat after a hilly 100 miles but all 18 were successful and began the freezing decent to digs.
The group was triumphant and many bevvies were quaffed. The team at Saracen’s Head once again provided great service, quite right – we spent a grand! Apart from the misunderstanding, when the manager thought we were going to set off the smoke alarm of course it wasn’t smoke, it was talcum powder blowing in the face of club Prezz Danny Emmett who didn’t prove to be up to the Roy Forster challenge and after many further attempts by Dianne Turner and Nathan Morgan-Astle the air was thick and the Wheelers cried with laughter before promptly falling asleep, although Wheelers voices were heard outside of our B&B window at midnight, hmm.
Sunday morning and it was time for farewells. A hardy bunch of 8 opted for the gooch burning ride back to Frodders whilst others made alternative bike related plans. Following the opening 850ft climb to the summit at Llyn Pen Y Gwrd the 8 hit a massive tailly and rolled at 30mph+ to Capel Curig and down into Betwys.
Having elected to catch the A5 to make quick time we arrived at Cerrigydrudion silly early, so opted for a Llyn Brenig Café Stop, too early for proper food, was the unanimous decision so after drinks and the odd chocky bar we rode on into the wilds of the Denbigh Moors. This is a really scenic area but very gravelly and on the descent into Ruthin, Gary Hartley and Chris Fowler both suffered punctures, both rears thankfully, but Chris’ Cosmic suffered possibly serious damage.
Well, feeling my second wind coming and sensing weakness I opted to dish out the pain on the new Bwlch and Loggerheads caff was voted an appropriate pause before the final push home.
All 8 Wheelers arrived back at headquarters ahead of schedule (this rider was greeted by Danny Emmett and David Arundale sunbathing in a not very cycling fashion… hmm … dedication boys??
Thanks to all for your great efforts, everyone played their part to make this such an enjoyable event. My ‘Tale of the tape’… 502km and 5990m of ascent over 3 very tough days.
Cycling Weekend Photo Gallery
The Riders Roll of Honour
Rob Cowell, Baz James very welcome Saturday guest!, Brigid Wilde, Kevin Sales, Gary Hartley, Stephen Wright, Chris Fowler, Brian Boyle, Martin Sam Geer, Roy Forster, Alan Orme, Rob Duckett, Stuart Lloyd, Rob McGregor, Danny Emmett, Dianne Turner, Gaz Minnis, Nathan Morgan-Astle and David Arundale.
Thanks all for supporting this event