Mawddach Goldrush – More Preparation Needed

Only one month to go until the Mawddach Goldrush so I thought I’d better get some longer rides in. That was the plan for Saturday, but the surf was going off so I had to go for a surf at Ynyslas first. The surf turned out to be pretty much as good as it gets here, but I still had a ride to do so I was soon out of the sea and heading off for the hills.

The Mawddach Goldrush is a 3 lap race with each lap being about 10 miles in length. According to my GPS readings from last year (where I did a single lap as part of a team) the climb involved in that 10 miles was 1185 feet. So, the total for all 3 laps should be around 30 miles with 3500 or so feet of climbing.

My route today went from the sea along the flat roads across Borth Bog to Tre-Ddol. A nice 4 mile warm up and then straight up the beast of a climb behind Tre-Ddol. It is always a struggle but my legs felt tired today so I was pleased to even make it up without having to get off my bike. It really is quite steep mind you, just take a look at the topography on the graph below and the steepness of that first hill.

Today's Training Ride

After the initial climb I headed off towards Artists Valley and as you can see it leveled off for a while before I had what is essentially a 6 mile climb up through Artist’s Valley. This is always quite a slog and today was no different. The conditions however were perfect, no wind, not too warm, sunny and with great views down the valley to the Dyfi Estuary. I eventually made it to the top and then headed off down the MX trails towards the mines and then along some more MX trails through the forest to the Nant y Moch road. From here I looped back up once again to the high point above Angler’s Retreat before dropping back down into Artists Valley via ‘Al’s Descent ‘ which was riding really well. The bottom part of the descent wasn’t great though as it had been pretty cut up by recent forestry work.

I then carried on down through Artists Valley. With 20 miles under by tyres I was now beginning to feel pretty tired so even the small climbs up through the woods were pretty hard. Thankfully though from here on it was just a matter of two little climbs and then a descent back to the flat roads to the sea. The final 4 miles along the flat were OK, but I was certainly glad that I didn’t have another hill to climb.

The total distance was 28 miles with 3108 feet of climbing. Not quite as far or as much climbing as the Mawddach Goldrush and quite a lot of it was on the road so I’m still going to be struggling this time next month. Hopefully a couple more longish rides will get me in better shape for it though.

Back at home after a bath and some dinner and my legs are pretty tired, my knee hurts and my back is sore. I think I’ll take it easy tomorrow, but with only 1 month left I need to get some training in!

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Alan Cole

Alan is a Freelance Website Designer, Sports & Exercise Science Lab Technician and full time Dad & husband with far too many hobbies: Triathlete, Swimming, Cycling, Running, MTBing, Surfing, Windsurfing, SUPing, Gardening, Photography.... The list goes on.

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