Le Tour de Plynlimon (Abandoned) – 29th March
So, the plan was to ride the mountain road to Llandiloes, then the main road to Aberystwyth and finally the coast road back to Machynlleth.
Fraz a mate from Mach, had suggested that it probably wasn’t the best route, and when we got to the bike shop in town, Jonny Pickles the local bike guru suggested we forget the idea….
So, with local knowledge saying forget it, we went for it anyway!
All was well for the first 5-6 miles, then the gritter must have stopped… we pressed on. Soon we were trudging through snow….. a snow plough had continued on after the gritter had stopped, but had left a patchy ice all the way up. We stopped for photos, and realised that we were only halfway up.
The ‘tour’ was still on, but we decided to head back to Mach, and ride the main roads towards Llandiloes and then cut off on a B road past Llyn Clywedog. The cold wind had been right into our face all ride and getting to the Lake we decided that trying to complete the lap of Plynlimon would be too much.
Instead, we’d head up over the mountain road back to Mach. We’d passed the end of it earlier, and the sign had showed 11 miles. We’d already ridden nearly 6 miles from the other direction before turning back. So we decided to keep track of our mileage from the junction and see just how far we could get before the snow stopped us riding. If the distance of ‘hike a bike’ was reasonable, we’d go for it.
Soon we were riding sections that were tarmac, and then pushing over snow.
Soon we reached the end of the road….. we worked out we were about 2 to 1.5 miles from were we’d got to. Testing the snow, we found it could support our weight…. so we went for it! The next 2 miles were a mixture of push, scoot and riding the bikes, spotting abandoned cars as we went!
Soon we were descending, but the mix of snowdrift, and tarmac carried on. We even bumped into three roadies pushing in the opposite direction! They seemed as suprised to see us as we did them…. we told them what to expect and they carried on. Fingers crossed there won’t be an item on the news tomorrow about three cyclists from Bangor University freezing to death in Mid Wales!
We suddenly crested a rise and there was proper tarmac, and the point we’d got to several hours earlier! Now just a easy roll back down to Machynlleth and a warm shower!
We may not have managed to do the ‘Tour’, but we’d had a hell of an adventure anyway!