My Greatest Cycling Challenge

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.

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6 thoughts on “My Greatest Cycling Challenge

  1. Gwersi pwysig a dwi wir yn meddwl mai’r unig ffordd o’u dysgu nhw’n iawn ydi pan maen nhw’n digwydd i ti. Pob dymuniad da iti fory, ti ‘di dod yn dy flaen gymaint efo’r seiclo ac yn llais difyr sydd yn siwr o annog genod eraill i roi cynnig arni hefyd. Amdani fory! X


  2. You only just had your first fall?! I’ve had 3 falls from clip issues (user not the cleats being faulty) First one at temp traffic lights at Bristol Airport , went to go, hesitated to check again a junction was clear and tried to put clipped foot down on kerb. Over I went in front of a gang of Welsh workmen. No laughter, they came rushing over, ever so concerned and really thought I shouldn’t carry on. Passing (male) cyclists also stopped, didn’t laugh and insisted on putting my chain back on (I can do that!) What lovely guys!

    As for the bonk, I agree was slang for something else back in the day too! I had that last weekend, night put for a 50th on Saturday, Somerset cider and G &Ts…didn’t want much breakfast and trying to keep up. Was horrible. Repeated ride yesterday, far more civilised after porridge and no alcohol!

    Have fun today

    Fiona x


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