Author Topic: Cambrian Nocturnal 200k  (Read 5183 times)

Cambrian Nocturnal 200k
« on: 11 April, 2020, 12:05:43 pm »
Thought that it was about time that I shared this with others out there.  This ride was in July 2019 and when we had a short heatwave where the daytime temperatures exceeded 30c.

I had been waiting for a day like this for a while after plotting out the route for this ride several months earlier.  I was waiting for a very warm night (around 20c) the sort of night where you cant sleep very well!  Suddenly and without much warning from the weather forecasters, here it was.

I cycled from my home in Wolverhampton to the train station and took the train to Aberystwyth arriving at around 9.30pm.  I then went straight into Wetherspoons right next door and had a full meal and drinks.  This took me until almost 11pm. It was still very warm outside and many people were enjoying a late evening walk along the seafront and so I sat on a bench and watched while enjoying a nice cold drink.

At 12.01am I obtained an ATM receipt and began my journey back home to Wolverhampton.  This was the start of a 200k DIY Audax ride.  As I headed East on the A44, I soon left Aberystwyth behind and gradually climbed for the next hour or so.  As I climbed, the road became very quiet with just the occasional vehicle probably wondering where on earth I was going at this time of the night.  There was no wind about and it was still warm enough for bibshorts and a s/s jersey.  All I could hear were the sound of my tyres on the smooth tarmac road and my breathing which all felt so very peaceful.

I eventually made it to the summit and stopped for a drink from my water bottle.  I was sweating quite profusely and this was at about 1.30am.  I then began the long descent to Llangurig and then bypassing Llanidloes on my way to Newtown and the first control point at the 24hr Mc'Donalds with 69kms covered.  The staff were somewhat perplexed to see a cyclist at this time of the morning although this establishment has been used many times before as a control point for Audax events including during the night.

It was just 3am when I left Mc'Donalds heading North on the A483 towards Welshpool and still warm enough for bibshorts and my s/s jersey.  The road was deserted with very little traffic and I crept past a sleeping Welshpool just as daylight was beginning to break. I followed the main and deserted A483 on to Oswestry and the second control point at the 24hr services at the junction with the A5. 114kms now covered at 4.45am.  I did not feel at all tired but still decided to have a large coffee to keep the dozies away. 

One mile along the A5 which was starting to show some heavy goods vehicles and then onto some very quiet and peaceful little lanes through West Felton, Stanwardine and on to Harmer Hill.  The sun was now out and warming up rapidly as I made my way East  on more familiar roads through High Ercall to the next control point in Newport with 168kms covered.  It was now approaching 7am and I made my way to the Beefeater Restaurant next door to the Premier Inn that would be open for breakfast.  After paying my £8.95 and using the receipt as my proof of passage I was able to help myself to as much as I could eat.

I ended up eating too much and it took quite a while before my legs recovered sufficiently for the final 40kms back home again.  The roads were also beginning to get busier and the last few miles were very busy indeed.  However, the ride had been truly fantastic with the vast majority of the route on quiet and almost deserted main roads.  It had been warm enough to wear shorts and a s/s jersey throughout the night and been a great experience to the point that I would highly recommend a ride like this in mid-summer as being something different.

I had been hoping to do the ride again this year but the current restrictions around Coronavirus may mean I have to wait until next year.