A Wet Ride in the Hills

Saturday was a pretty miserable day here. It was also the first of the winter rides with the Triathlon Club and seeing as people in the club seem to think I’m a little mad and the sort of person who is up for anything, whatever the weather, I thought I’d better show willing. I don’t know quite where they get that impression from though! I was keen to get out on my bike though.

We met at Talybont and I was pleased to see a good turnout. The usual suspects that I knew would be there were indeed there, namely Graham, Sharon and Pete, but were were also joined by Karen, Martyn, Alex, Alison and Elwyn. Considering the weather that was a good showing.

The plan was to ride up to Bont Goch, down into Penrhyncoch, then back along the main road to Talybont ready to do a second lap. We all headed off at a steady pace but with such a range of abilities we were soon strung out all along the climb to Bont Goch. Alison and Elwyn were only ever going to do one lap so the rest of us left them. I was hanging back for a few people trying to be sociable as Graham and Sharon headed off ahead. Karen came off on a slippery bend but was OK and a few of us re-grouped at the bottom of the hill. We’d lost Graham who had headed off on his own at the front. Pete had gone back to look for Karen but regrouped with us at the bottom of the hill. Karen then took the wrong turn but met us in Bow Street and then we all got a bit split up.

The weather conditions were pretty horrible up over the top mind you and no one really wanted to hang about for too long. In the end Sharon and I headed back to Talybont to try to find Graham and the others made their own way back too. Graham wasn’t there, and had headed off for a second lap on his own! Sharon and I waited for the others and managed to convince Alex and Pete to go around again. It wasn’t any drier this time around but we had a good ride. The climb was nice, the descent was OK although the rain stung your face as you rode into it.

I waited for Alex coming out of Penrhycoch whilst Sharon, Pete and Graham headed off up the road. Alex didn’t seem to want to get on my wheel though so in the end I set off in pursuit of the others. I soon caught Sharon and had a little chat then headed off to chase Pete and Graham down. I could see them up the road with Graham out in front and Pete sat on his wheel, so I had to push quite hard up the hill out of Bow Street to catch them. I did just manage to catch them on the descent into Talybont though. Graham had now got a bit of a lead and Pete was pushing hard to reel him back in. Pete didn’t know I was there but I latched onto his wheel for a bit to take a breather as he caught Graham back up. I didn’t want him to know I was there as I was planning to pounce and make a dash for Talybont as we got closer. I even went so far as to only change gear when Pete did so that he wouldn’t hear me behind him.

As Pete caught up with Graham and sat up slightly I took my chance, changed up a few gears and kicked hard, sprinting away from them at top speed. They didn’t know I was there, didn’t see me coming and didn’t have a chance! I saw the surprised look on their faces as I flew past but by then it was too late I was already up the road and gone. I didn’t look back as it was still half a mile or so to Talybont so I had to keep pushing hard otherwise they may have caught me, but I was giggling to myself as I went.

It was never supposed to be a race of course, but I’m sure they wouldn’t have let me go if they could have helped it, and I found it funny.

All in all a good ride in disgusting conditions. I met Anna and Morgan (with dry clothes for me) and then it was off to the pub in Talybont where we all had hot chocolates, lunch and a quick club meeting.

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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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