Author Topic: Gospel  (Read 1435 times)

Wycombewheeler

  • PBP-2019 LEL-2022
Gospel
« on: 20 February, 2023, 10:29:19 am »
Lovely ride on Saturday.

Breakfast at the premier inn, just round the corner, should be possible before the event starts at 07:30, apparently not, arrived at 07:37, two other riders just about to depart and organiser about to leave. Just in time, sorry.

faffed about getting bike ready and departed at 07:45 (without pump, without power bank, both left in the car). Fairly quiet ride to the first control, couldn't see the M4 bridge from the M48 bridge (a first) passed a couple of riders and then the long drag into the wind to Newport and on to the first control for a quick refuel. After that some amazing peaceful lane with lovely views of south Wales, no traffic noise no air traffic noise, just the wheels, the wind and the birds, like riding in spring 2020. Lovely. Found a small bikeshop near the second info control and bought a pocket pump since chancing another 120km would be foolish, and on through some more quiet lanes, cross a tiny stone bridge, and then a nice view of a lake at Llangors. More quiet rolling lanes and then suddenly into Hay. 112km in 4:50. Feeling like the objective of getting back before sunset is looking very likely. Google the cafe location and find all the bikes outside when I had to stop at the zebra crossing.

On to the Gospel Pass and the reason I travelled and stayed at the premier inn rather than riding near home. Lovely climb and the first time I had seen multiple riders on the road at the same time. Surprisingly busy with traffic coming down considering the closed road status. Views at the stop only slightly hindered by the weather, but the overcast look is quite fitting for such wild places. Definitely worth ignoring the detour.

On to the descent and watch the small hump just before the cattle grid, wheels locking up as the bike almost lifts. And then possibly the worst piece of tarmac I have seen in Wales, looked like someone had taken a typical buckinghamshire lane (gravel, potholes) transported it onto a steep hill and then given a liberal coating of mud for good measure. At least the landslip had been cleared and there was some semblance of tarmac all the way down. Such a contrast the climb was divine and the descent was filth. So glad I washed my bike on Friday night.   :facepalm:

Reached LLanthony and the road surface improved to something more typical of Wales and then Abergavenny came up quite quickly after the last control. Into the petrol station for my staple ice cream (yes I was warm enough), crisps (for the salt) and drink. Now a relatively easy run back to Chepstow, sun almost came out to play, but not quite.

Reached the Swan just before 17:30, comfortably quicker than my February 200 BRM from 2019, giving me confidence about my form going into PBP, even though I am not confident in my weight, which did tell in the final punchy climb.

Overall an awesome 200km with mild February weather, with mist bordering on drizzle the worst to contend with. Quiet roads, great views, quality climbing. Maybe my favourite 200. :thumbsup: Moving to Bristol gets more appealing every time I go on an audax club Bristol ride.

Eddington  127miles, 170km

Re: Gospel
« Reply #1 on: 20 February, 2023, 04:15:10 pm »
Yes a great event, thanks Peter.  I was a lot slower than you, Wycombewheeler at 11hrs 50!  As I live near Hay, Gospel is a frequent local ride and you may be surprised to learn that the worst potholes on the descent to Capel Y Ffin appear to me to have been filled in with tarmac patches in the last couple of weeks - i.e. it's been worse recently :)  (the patches won't last long though and there are still plenty of other holes!)

Wycombewheeler

  • PBP-2019 LEL-2022
Re: Gospel
« Reply #2 on: 20 February, 2023, 04:27:25 pm »
Yes a great event, thanks Peter.  I was a lot slower than you, Wycombewheeler at 11hrs 50!  As I live near Hay, Gospel is a frequent local ride and you may be surprised to learn that the worst potholes on the descent to Capel Y Ffin appear to me to have been filled in with tarmac patches in the last couple of weeks - i.e. it's been worse recently :)  (the patches won't last long though and there are still plenty of other holes!)

My stopped time between all controls was an hour, with more daylight I might have lingered longer in controls.

I didn't see any patches under the dirt going to Capel Y Ffin. I do know the surface is a lot worse than when I last rode it in summer 2020, as that time I was able to observe the bird flying just in front of me (<1m) for a little while and didn't require extreme focus on the surface.

Eddington  127miles, 170km

Re: Gospel
« Reply #3 on: 27 February, 2023, 11:05:59 am »
Yes a great event, thanks Peter.  I was a lot slower than you, Wycombewheeler at 11hrs 50!  As I live near Hay, Gospel is a frequent local ride and you may be surprised to learn that the worst potholes on the descent to Capel Y Ffin appear to me to have been filled in with tarmac patches in the last couple of weeks - i.e. it's been worse recently :)  (the patches won't last long though and there are still plenty of other holes!)

Neil, that is really helpful as I was actually going to drop you a line asking about the latest state of play.
Organiser of Droitwich Cycling Club audaxes.  https://www.droitwichcyclingclub.co.uk/audax/

Re: Gospel
« Reply #4 on: 27 February, 2023, 10:04:41 pm »
Hi Phillip,

I wouldn't want to give the wrong impression, the road is still dreadful, it's just that as I rode it on the Efengyl ride I  thought 'where's that massive hole that was there last week' and then noticed some fresh tarmac patches.  It still needs a great deal of care and line picking.  I can recce it for you and send photos if you want near the time of your event ?


Re: Gospel
« Reply #5 on: 28 February, 2023, 10:58:00 am »
Hi Phillip,

I wouldn't want to give the wrong impression, the road is still dreadful, it's just that as I rode it on the Efengyl ride I  thought 'where's that massive hole that was there last week' and then noticed some fresh tarmac patches.  It still needs a great deal of care and line picking.  I can recce it for you and send photos if you want near the time of your event ?

Many thanks, Neil.

Many thanks for the offer. If you are up that way then I would be grateful though don't go out of your way.  Reading between the lines, it sounds as dreadful as last year but that also means I can dish out the same words of warning to riders and give them the option of Crasswall instead for a smoother ride.

Regards

Philip
Organiser of Droitwich Cycling Club audaxes.  https://www.droitwichcyclingclub.co.uk/audax/

Re: Gospel
« Reply #6 on: 28 February, 2023, 12:47:19 pm »
Hi Phillip,

I wouldn't want to give the wrong impression, the road is still dreadful, it's just that as I rode it on the Efengyl ride I  thought 'where's that massive hole that was there last week' and then noticed some fresh tarmac patches.  It still needs a great deal of care and line picking.  I can recce it for you and send photos if you want near the time of your event ?

Many thanks, Neil.

Many thanks for the offer. If you are up that way then I would be grateful though don't go out of your way.  Reading between the lines, it sounds as dreadful as last year but that also means I can dish out the same words of warning to riders and give them the option of Crasswall instead for a smoother ride.

Regards

Philip

The surface was in pretty good condition in October when I rode the pass. Admittedly I was ascending from Abergavenny and descending to Hay.  Ascent being somewhat different to descent of a road. But nothing of real note then.  I’d also be interested to see any pictures you can get when next there.

Re: Gospel
« Reply #7 on: 02 March, 2023, 08:49:32 pm »
ok - I might pop over there tomorrow.