After two summers of missed opportunities due to wet weather and foreign jaunts, the Wheelers finally made it to North Wales to take up the Delyn Challenge
One of the Classic rides, the Delyn Challenge began back in the early 90’s as the mountain bike was starting to catch on amongst the cycling fraternity and quickly became a seasonal favourite as something quirky and different.
Starting and finishing in Mold, it takes in 50 miles of stunning North Wales countryside, the vast majority of which is off road. Gnarly, gravelly, muddy, twisty , grassy, boardwalks, fords, streams , grindingly slow, breathtakingly fast, fire tracks, bridle paths – I think it pretty much has something of everything to test rider and machine to the limit.
As ever, estimated time to do the ride was massively optimistic, yeah we’ll be home for 6 – erm we didn’t get back to the cars until 6:30 so… what happened in the middle? 10 Wheelers ( or was it 11, became 13 became 17 became 10…) saddled up in glorious sunshine at 8:30 and hit the road.
For the next 10 hours, we rode, laughed, fixed punctures, took wrong turns, laughed some more, ate – but not at the burger van cos it wasn’t there!! We used every gear on the bikes, learned that mountain bikers don’t stay out this long and that tubeless tyres don’t puncture, fixed punctures, fell off – well Nathan did, went to the pub, lost expensive Garmin’s, ate some more, went to another pub, fixed more punctures and in the gaps in between we all rode like demons up and down.
Numbers for the day, 10 sets of tan lines to die for, damage to one rear mech, 9 punctures, one lost Garmin, one miserable pub landlord plus one delighted to see us, 7500 feet of climbing, 50 odd miles in the bag, one hell of a day.