The Bluestone Brewery Company is an eco-friendly family run brewery nestled into the foothills of the Preseli Mountains. We drove there through thick fog and heavy rain to arrive at Cilgwyn for 8am Saturday morning. 30+ riders had braved the weather and sacrificed watching the Wales vs Australia world cup game to take part in the event. One of the organisers gave us a few pointers on the route, we took care of the last of our pre ride preparations and set off. Within minutes we were sodden, doing our best to spot the ride markers pedalling through narrow undulating lanes strewn with debris being washed across our path by torrents of rain water.
We settled into a good enough pace to keep us warm and distracted from the rain that was unrelenting and sideways. The first long decent was a welcome relief until we reached the bottom which was flooded and had already claimed one of the riders. We pulled over to try and help her out of a ditch, she had obviously endured a spectacular crash losing water bottles and go-pro in the process. Archie whipped out the tools and set about straightening handlebars and digging dirt out of shifters. I found the go-pro and in what seemed like minutes we were back on the road.
We arrived at the food stop in a state of high spirit, low energy delirium. To our disbelief dreams and jokes about coffee and pizza were made reality. We took the opportunity to refuel and chat to the organisers, other riders and livestock that were resident or passing through the outbuilding/workshop we were taking shelter in.
Back on the road we knew we were facing some brutal accents, we dug deep and chased patches of strained sunlight through the winding hills for the next few hours. The older members of our team (me) were feeling the burn as we approached what we estimated were the final miles of the ride. Archie opted to do the ride on his brakeless fixie, to watch him grind up 20% climbs was inspiring enough to keep the wheels turning on the rest of our bikes.
Ross turned left ahead of me and let out a shriek, to my great satisfaction it was out of joy not pain, he had spotted the first sign giving directions back to the Brewery and finish. We stopped at the carpark to satisfyingly peel off wet socks before crossing the line. A bowl of veggie chilli and a pint of ale were awarded to us for our efforts.
The ride was epic, organised brilliantly by the great people of the Preseli Pirates Cycling Club, Bluestone Brewing Company, Pizzatipi and PWNC, we hope more events follow, rain or shine we will be there.