It’s a beautiful warm sunny summer’s day in Porthmadog and I am contemplating my biggest cycling challenge yet – the Etape Eryri Canol. 76 miles around Snowdonia, I am nervous with anticipation as this is the longest I have ever cycled and there are some really challenging climbs. I think I will be able to do it ‘slow and steady’. Of course, I have a huge advantage as it’s my home territory . I have cycled the roads and lanes of Snowdonia many times over the last six months – although not all in one go.
The last few weeks of cycling have bought a couple of firsts – my first fall and my first bike bonk!
The Fall – was fine, I didn’t hurt myself at all, I was clipped in and toppled over in slow motion after stopping to take a picture of this cute fella in Drws a Coed in Snowdonia. Thank goodness the little calf was the only witness to my humiliation and he was kind enough not to laugh.
The Bonk – I remember the days when this meant something a lot more exciting than it does nowadays as a cyclist! A bonk is when you ‘hit the wall’and you can’t carry on anymore – basically physical and mental exhaustion – here’s a great link on how to beat the bonk. This happened to me a couple of weeks ago – I got up early on a Saturday morning to a gorgeous sunny day and decided to get up and get out on my bike before the rain came or I got embroiled with the housework, kids etc. No time for breakfast, just a quick coffee. Oh.. and I had a slight hangover for the Friday night too – I was asking for trouble.
Still off I went full steam ahead for 18 miles, before I absolutely bonked! My legs felt like jelly – my head was all mushy – I just wanted to curl at the side of the road and sleep for a hundred years. I was so badly prepared I hadn’t taken enough water, I had no food, no cafe nearby and no mobile coverage – totally stupid – I know and actually more embarrassing to admit than falling over. I had to phone my husband (when I finally got a signal on my phone) and he drove the get me. Humiliating and stupid – but lesson learnt and thank you Ian.
So a couple of cycling “rights of passage” this month and I am getting to understand more and more of the jargon. I am beginning to really feel part of this great cycling community and despite the fall and the bonk I am still loving cycling as much as ever. So roll on Sunday and Etape Eryri – I am ready for you…..
(I think, fingers crossed).
As usual a few pics from this months rides.