Thursday, 26 September 2013

Day 4 - "Tom sounds like a steamboat"

After a superb refuel last night in Devils Bridge and comfy beds, we decided that we could have a bit of a lie in and bike fettle in the morning.
While we had planned to set off at 10, a few bike issues and a good 15 minutes laughing when Richie turned up dressed as a smurf meant we didn't leave until 10:30 putting us well behind schedule.

The start of the day involved a gradual road climb which was ok apart from the driving crosswind.
We eventually made it to the 1st bridleway, which was when the rain really started to come down. On came the jackets and it was heads down to keep the momentum up. We crossed a few undulating fields and through farmyards before making it to the 2nd road section.

We made our way towards Strata Florida, a mad 4x4 greenlaning route (the support vans loved it!).
We had a hard technical climb to start, which wad made worse by driving rain and very cold wind.
We stopped for a puncture repair before heading down to the fun stuff, and happily the rain and wind eased off.
Strata Florida was a combination of rutted 4x4 tracks, river crossings and loose river beds.
As it had beed raining, the rutted tracks were knee deep with water and the rivers were swollen and fast flowing. This lead to possibly the most fun on a bike ever... pedal mashing through rock filled, almost wheel deep water lead to a few close calls and Tom imitating a steam boat pretty accurately *chomp chomp chomp*.

We were planning on doing the lower section of the same road, however we passed another cyclist who advised the way ahead was impassable.
This actually worked out in our favour as unfortunately the rocks of Strata Florida has bent the rear triangle of his frame.

A quick trail fix got his wheels rolling again, but it was now damage limitation mode and we had to get to the next rest stop asap by road.

We covered 73.5km and climbed 1,484m before getting into Llanwrtyd Wells.
Stu is now awaiting his spare frame and we are looking forward to a good nights sleep.

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