Welsh Wanderings 6

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Steph Peters, Sep 22, 2004.

  1. Steph Peters

    Steph Peters Guest

    Sunday

    Staying in the same place for two nights means a day out with no luggage,
    hooray. The North Wales CTC DA has some rides on its webpage. I'm on the
    route of this one, so that's the obvious choice for the day:
    http://www.conwyctc.fsnet.co.uk/pages/rte_holyhead.htm

    After a visit to the 24 hour Spar for supplies I started off heading east
    from Valley into Four Mile Bridge, into a strong headwind. As soon as I
    turned off south towards Roscolyn the wind was replaced by uphill gradients,
    not steep but persistent for quite a while. At the dead end turn off to the
    beach I debated whether to bother, as all the hard won height would be
    quickly lost, but went for it in the end. Roscolyn is a very pretty little
    cove, great for a day on the beach. Not so good however on a sunny but cold
    September day with a strong wind. The only other people there were
    motorbikers, who gave me the typical 'that must be hard work' sort of look.
    However there was a tailwind on the way back up from the beach, and the
    ascent back to Four Mile Bay was as easy as riding on the flat. Paused for
    a banana at the top.

    Treaddur Bay had a few watersports people around, so there were a couple of
    ice cream vans and a restaurant open. I opted for a nice hot pot of tea
    indoors, and the opportunity to refresh my suncream - the nose is getting
    quite a colour, probably mainly from the wind.

    After Treaddur Bay the road follows the coastline north, dipping down into
    little coves and up again. Coupled with a strong head wind, this made the
    next section very hard going. Thanks to Helen for the mouth breathing
    advice which helped keep the snot build up manageable. Nevertheless I
    managed the impressive trick of feeling at the same time hungry from the
    hard work but also nauseous from the snot and too much tea on an empty
    stomach. A first (and I hope last) for me, most unpleasant. Stopping for a
    couple of bread rolls and a rest at one of the coves sorted this out.

    As the ride instructions say, the climb up out of the last cove is very
    stiff, and had me off and walking. By now the day was beginning to turn
    rather grey, but I was half way round the route so there wasn't any point in
    trying to cut the route short. At the northern end of Holy Island the road
    turns east and the change from headwind to tailwind was incredible. Didn't
    last long though, as there was the northerly slog up to South Stack to be
    tackled. Loads of blackberries on the way up to keep me going, and the
    thought of the cafe at the top, which I knew was open till the end of
    September. Loads of cars passed me on the way up so the cafe was doing a
    roaring trade, but struggling up by bike obviously counts for something as I
    was given an extra piece of Bara Brith.

    I looked at the lighthouse from the road but decided not to bother actually
    visiting. The descent from South Stack had to be taken moderately as the
    road is very twisty, single track and there were still quite a few vehicles
    coming up that I needed to pass. Once back on the easterly road to Holyhead
    it was downhill with a following wind all the way to the port, on what was
    by now a very dull grey afternoon, with some ominous looking dark clouds.
    Holyhead seemed a grim and gloomy sort of place to match the weather.

    At Holyhead station I called in to make a bike reservation for going back to
    Manchester. The continual gusty strong winds were getting me down, so I
    abandoned plans to see more of Anglesey and got a reservation for Monday.

    Exiting Holyhead involves riding through some rather dreary suburbs to avoid
    the main roads, but then there's a little coastal park which is very
    pleasant. It would be easy to be put off here by loads of private notices;
    the route into the park isn't very obvious. The OS map shows that the park
    is part of some official cycle path, but the notices all refer to footpaths,
    not bridleways. There were lots of walkers out, mostly with dogs, and to my
    surprise all gave me a friendly reception; I was expecting someone to say I
    shouldn't be cycling.

    Round the far side of a small flat headland there was a nice sheltered spot
    and the sun came out for a brief spell, so I stopped for a brew up and more
    food before tackling the open windy embankment on the A5 back to Valley.
    The first drops of rain fell as I turned into the gate of my B&B - couldn't
    have timed it better.

    Total for the day 21 miles, all windy.


    Monday

    Monday was grey and windy, so I didn't regret at all being on my way home.
    The trains that Arriva Wales use have space for 2 cycles with a slot for the
    front wheel and belts to secure the bike upright. This is a pretty good
    storage method. However the train started to fill up once on the mainland.
    The problem is that the carriages do not have enough space for passengers'
    luggage - only overhead racks that won't take full size cases. So the
    luggage inevitably ends up using what is nominally the bike/wheelchair
    space, and on this route a lot of the passengers have cases. When changing
    trains at Chester I had to disembowel the bike from behind half a dozen big
    and heavy cases.

    Back in Manchester the weather was much brighter, but still very windy. Got
    beeped at by a mini cab driver because I dared to occupy a whole lane to
    turn right while he was behind me, and knew life was back to normal.

    After a quick bite of lunch a little lie down seemed in order, but I slept
    for 4 hours till 6pm. Then by 9.30 I was yawning again, so I went to bed 3
    hours earlier than usual. That wind was more wearing than I'd realised.

    Total for the trip 123 miles.
    --
    May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house. George Carlin
    Steph Peters delete invalid from [email protected]lid
    Tatting, lace & stitching page <http://www.sandbenders.demon.co.uk/index.htm>
     
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  2. Good trip, nice report. Thanks Steph, I've enjoyed reading it.

    I really must get round to putting finger to keyboard about the Unfit Family
    World Tour of Bordeaux 2004, but the thought of a flea-infested, cockroach city
    of a gite fills me with dread (and phantom itches...)

    Cheers, helen s



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  3. Steph Peters

    Steph Peters Guest

    [email protected]omcom (dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers) of AOL,
    http://www.aol.co.uk wrote:

    >Good trip, nice report. Thanks Steph, I've enjoyed reading it.
    >
    >I really must get round to putting finger to keyboard about the Unfit Family
    >World Tour of Bordeaux 2004, but the thought of a flea-infested, cockroach city
    >of a gite fills me with dread (and phantom itches...)


    That's why I did it as I went along, it's a lot easier to find the round
    tuits when away from home. The last episode after getting home took rather
    longer to get round to.
    --
    The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the
    power to abolish all forms of human poverty, and all forms of human life.
    John F. Kennedy
    Steph Peters delete invalid from [email protected]lid
    Tatting, lace & stitching page <http://www.sandbenders.demon.co.uk/index.htm>
     
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