At the beginning of December it was decided that we would have our first group ride on the 4 January 2015 and Gareth posted a route on Strava that we would ride. The ride was about 37 mile and would take us from Cardiff through Caerphilly, Machen, Bassaleg, St Bride’s Wentlooge and back to Cardiff.
We were to meet up at the Pettigrew Tea Rooms in Bute Park at 10:00 and we all arrived in plenty of time. After having a quick discussion about the route and checking out everyone else’s bikes we were all set to go but not before having our first group photo (see picture on previous blog).
The group is made up of a mixture of riders from the more seasoned to the complete novice so the route was going to be a challenging one. We set out as a group and we were going to finish as a group no matter what so we wouldn’t be dropping anyone along the way.
The first part of the route was quite straight forward with not too many hills. Once we got to Tongwynlais we had to climb Caerphilly Mountain. We would be passing some local landmarks (see pic) along the way but we wouldn’t have time for any sightseeing, it was going to be a hard slog.
We all managed to get up the climb although we did have to stop on the way up as we encountered our first puncture by the time we fixed the puncture and finally got to the top we were all a bit cold and had a pit stop at the café.
Coming off Caerphilly Mountain was an experience, with some of the group flying down and others being very tentative, a couple of us also lost the remainder of the group at this stage and after a few frantic phone calls and members of the group searching for each other we were all set to go again.
The rest of the ride was uneventful apart from the introduction of a tractor coming back along the coast road to Cardiff. It made for good drafting but it was also a little bit of a pain as it couldn’t overtake us all in one go and it did split the group up a bit.
Amazingly we all made it back in one piece and a big thank you must go out to Gareth for sorting out the route for us and also a really really big congratulations to Katie who made it all the way on her first ride which is some achievement.
The adventure will continue in the next blog …………………