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The WRT will be four years old in 2012. The first WRT was a kind of happy accident … a post on Singletrack world asking whether anyone had considered using the Pennine Bridlway as a route for a mini TD style race was the spark. That post drew a little bit of attention and a few people said that if an event along the lines of the one outlined existed, then they’d do it … for some still unknown reason I stuck my hand up. The name Welsh Ride Thing was also something of an accident. I’d said in that stw post that whatever was held couldn’t be classed as a race, I’d also said it would be held in Wales. I asked people to express an interest by sending me an email, one of those emails had the title … Welsh Ride Thing!

WRT … the first year.

The first year was so below the radar that the only people who knew it was happening were those who’d read the original stw post. The ‘event’ format had been formulated to place the emphasis squarely on enjoying yourself, it would be non competitive but would involve putting some effort in both before and during the ‘event’.

Seven riders turned up to start the first WRT with another coming to complete it the following week. The weather all weekend was fantastic, clear blue skies and warm temperatures … which I’m sure helped boost everyones enthusiasm for a second WRT the following year. I must have been feeling very generous that first year too, as I stuck my hand in my personal pocket for some WRT T shirts … only 10 were made and I don’t have one, they must be a collectors item by now!

A little surprisingly Singletrack ran an article about the first WRT so when the wheels slowly started to turn on the second one there was already some interest. The decision was taken that if it was to become some sort of annual event then we may as well try and raise some money for a good cause. An entry fee was introduced for the second year and everything raised would be donated to the Wales Air Ambulance … the entry fee would also cover the cost of the T shirts rather than me doing it ;o). To maximise how much we could raise, we also contacted companies within the cycling world and asked them to donate raffle prizes … the response was surprising but not always for the right reasons.

Around 50 people entered in 2010 and something like 45 set off on a rather dismal May morning … 48 hours later the riders were back. The sun was shining, people were drinking tea and eating cake and the WRT had just become something people really wanted to do.

Pain and satisfaction all rolled into one.

The behind the scenes build up to the 2011 WRT started sometime in Jan, entries opened at the start of Feb and the wheels on the WRT blog kept spinning almost daily right up until the start. Entry numbers doubled from the previous year but the weather decided not to help out, rain, wind and cold were the consistent companions of everyone riding … as were some rather large hills standing between them and the finish. The sun did choose to make an appearance at the end, sometime around Mon lunch which made the tea drinking and cake eating much more fun.

The weather hasn’t always been kind.

Let’s see what happens next year.

One Comment

  1. MrA says:

    I can still remember landing on that bench in a heap when we got back to the farm. Never done anything like it and went home grinning like the proverbial moggy!

Comments are closed.

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