Author Topic: Elan Sprint 300km  (Read 1493 times)

Elan Sprint 300km
« on: 07 September, 2022, 10:53:19 am »
I'm booked on this, in the organisers words:

"A new event for 2022. A picturesque out & back route through mid Wales, culminating in a circuit of the spectacular Elan valley reservoirs. Suited for late summer cycling. Experienced controls used throughout"

https://audax.uk/event-details/9617-elan_sprint_300

This will be my first 300km. The Elan Valley is a stunning place to cycle.

Will the weather gods be kind?

Re: Elan Sprint 300km
« Reply #1 on: 07 September, 2022, 01:47:55 pm »
I am booked onto this too and am looking forward to riding a new Blacksheep route.

I have not cycled around the Elan Valley reservoirs for a long time so am looking forward to that.

I am sure that Mark will "guarantee" us weather!

alfapete

  • Oh dear
Re: Elan Sprint 300km
« Reply #2 on: 07 September, 2022, 02:23:12 pm »
That does sound like a grand ride. I'm not riding regularly enough to enjoy a 300 at the moment but it sounds like a spectacular route. Wasn't aware of it till you posted (because I filter my searches to exclude anything longer than 200!)
alfapete - that's the Pete that drives the Alfa

Re: Elan Sprint 300km
« Reply #3 on: 07 September, 2022, 08:44:30 pm »
That does sound like a grand ride. I'm not riding regularly enough to enjoy a 300 at the moment but it sounds like a spectacular route. Wasn't aware of it till you posted (because I filter my searches to exclude anything longer than 200!)

I was looking forward to your route the weekend before Pete - but alas, plans changed.

I wasn't planning to do a 300km this year: But the Elan valley is such a draw.

I shall bring my rain cape with me, but hope not to use it!

Re: Elan Sprint 300km
« Reply #4 on: 18 September, 2022, 09:19:54 pm »
https://www.komoot.com/tour/930064562

This was a stunning days ride. We had incredible weather. I can't remember ever travelling through mid-Wales without a drop of rain.
I adore riding at night - the countryside comes alive with the business of the beasts. The surprisingly loud hoot of an owl, hidden in a tree top. And a playful bat dancing in my light beam collecting insects drawn to my beam. Or the crash and rustle of unseen animals returning to hedgerows as I glide past: We both think - what are you?

As the sun rose slowly a tired brain cleared as the Malvern hills appeared quietly in the gloaming. The temperature kept dropping - but even the cold brought a visual gift: The morning mist hung like a blanket over fields, meadows and streams. Always tantalisingly hard to photograph, but the memory is sharper in my mind as a consequence.

The full sunrise painted the sky red with promise. In the distance, the hills increased in number and size. Drawing the rider towards a fine day in the land of hills and song.

The views in mid Wales are astonishing. For the most part our route took us through benign contours with 1000ft steep sided hills either side. And although I took the old A470 and added some miles and climbing for my trouble - the new A470 wasn't as bad as I feared. In fact, I was extremely jealous of the incredibly smooth tarmac.

The crowing jewel of the ride was the Elan Valley. One of my favourite places to ride a motorbike. The drama is the same on a bicycle, but the views much more hard won and more satisfying to behold.

But it isn't all joy and unicorns in the life of a long distance cyclist. This beauty demands its payment. And mine was fatigue thigh cramp for 100km of riding. It's annoying, but manageable and a small price to pay for a dry day, in crisp sunshine in mid Wales.
The final hurrah of the day was a glorious 40km along the Golden Valley, downhill with a tail wind. Which set the mind with enough optimism to cope with the final 50km which I will christen, "When will these bloody hills end!" To which I always answered, "When you finish climbing them grumble-guts". I hoped to get back for last orders (11pm) but I would have missed it by 2 minutes: Which is a fine lesson in the resilience required to complete an Audax.

In closing I send my wholehearted chapeaux to Mark - this is a man with romance in his soul, a creator of amazing experiences who decorates his Audax organising with subtle magic. Yes, they present a fair challenge to the cyclist, but that makes the memories stronger.

Thank you Mark.

P.P.

  • Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey!
    • Paul's blog
Re: Elan Sprint 300km
« Reply #5 on: 19 September, 2022, 10:09:30 am »
Beautiful write up there @Trundle. Reading that just makes me want to get my bike out and ride.

Re: Elan Sprint 300km
« Reply #6 on: 19 September, 2022, 12:20:57 pm »
Thank you P.P. - I loved your write up of LEL. It had a similar impact on me! Albeit a shorter ride than LEL.

Re: Elan Sprint 300km
« Reply #7 on: 17 October, 2022, 10:01:42 pm »
Wonderful ride report Trundle. Sometimes everything just happens, and all the facets fall into place. I think it did on this ride. Bright sunshine for most of the day, idyllic lunch stop in the heart of the Elan Valley, and even a gentle tail wind to usher cyclists along their route home.
where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.