After the first group ride it was decide that we would do a flatter but longer ride for our next group ride. Unfortunately Katie was unable to make this one so it would be just the 5 of us.
During the week the weather had not been great with rain and a lot of wind but the forecast for Sunday was much better rain wise anyway. The group were looking forward to the ride but as the week progressed Andy and Lara came down with the bug that had been going around and were not feeling good at all (more about this in the next blog).
It was decided that we would meet up at Llandaff Station at 9.45 as most of us lived that way and would head out from there. I (Mike) was up and about early on the Sunday morning as the wind had woken me, when I received a text from Lara saying she was not well at all and wouldn’t be able to make the ride.
There had been talk in the week that we may try and ride 100 km this week as we use Strava to measure our rides and they have a 100 km challenge every month. I decided that I would go for this and added about 12 mile onto the ride before meeting the others.
We set off from Llandaff Station in the general direction of St Fagans and our first challenge was going to be Andy’s favourite climb Gwern-y-Steeple. Andy was also under the weather and was struggling from the off, Gareth, Paul and myself were all ok and looking forward to the ride. We hadn’t been going long and Andy was already struggling. We all carried on and rode through St Brides-super-Ely and onto Peterston-super-Ely before tackling Gwern-y-Steeple. We stopped before we tackled Gwern-y-Steeple and Andy who was really wheezy had decided he was going to head back after the climb.
Gareth, Paul and myself did the climb, which wasn’t as bad as we all thought and really enjoyed it. We stopped at the of the A48 and waited for Andy. After about 7-8 minutes another cyclist came along and asked us if we were waiting for somebody, we said we were and she said that Andy was walking up the hill but was sill going. We waited another few minutes and Andy finally made it, he was struggling and decided to head back home.
We were now down to 3 and we headed off towards Cowbridge and Llantwit Major. I would like to say that this next part of the ride was uneventful and it was relatively apart from the wind. We were riding right into the teeth of the wind and I was struggling to keep up with Gareth and Paul and wasn’t really enjoying it. We slowed a couple of times to let make sure we stayed as a group but it was very hard work. We got just outside Llantwit Major and decided to head out towards Wick to add a few miles on but we were still going against the wind. I was dropped and was really struggling and my bum had also gone numb which wasn’t helping. We stopped in Wick for refreshments and then turned round and headed towards the Airport and Barry then home.
With the wind behind us I thought it would be a good ride home but no I just couldn’t keep up with Gareth and Paul who were hammering out a real good pace. We had another stop at the Airport and I had something to eat and got off the bike to stretch my legs. This seemed to work and I felt much better after this. The ride was uneventful after this and we headed through Barry, Wenvoe, Dinas Powys and down to Penarth and across the Barrage. Gareth went for a quick sprint across the Barrage followed by Paul but I was just glad to be nearing home.
We still had the 100 km challenge on our minds and decided that we would do a couple of laps of Roath Lake to make up the distance. It was now really hard work, the wind was still blowing and it also started raining. Luckily the rain didn’t last and after a couple of laps I did the 100 km and headed home. Gareth and Paul did another lap and then also headed home. It had been a hard day, the wind was unbelievable but we had all ridden 100 km, things are looking good for the Velothon.
Maybe I have spoken to soon as you will see from the next blog …………..