For the last few years, the WRT has shared a date with the Dyfi Enduro. On occasion, when the WRT circus rolls west, it also shares a few trails. This year, the Welsh Ride Thing went in search of the seaside and ice cream. If you chose the most obvious route towards sea-level, then chances are, you rode your loaded bike through Machynlleth before heading for the golden sands of Aberdovey, Barmouth or Harlech … or perhaps, just the infamous Golden Sands chippy in Tywyn.
|Contrary to popular belief, there is a new black and it’s obviously red.|
Upon returning, many riders had stories that involved the Enduro … some found themselves ‘on course’ from time to time while others took advantage of what the town had laid on for the influx of visiting riders. These were good stories, it was nice to hear that the bikepackers were mixing it up with the enduro riders and that the enduro riders seemed genuinely interested in finding out more about the ins and outs of life as a two wheeled vagrant … but a few days later and the internet ‘fall-out’ from both camps seems very different.
|A rather unusual section of downhill for the WRT Lonely Hearts Club.|
The internet makes moaning easy, so easy that some people seem to have lost the ability to express any view other than a grieving, handwringing moan. It appears that some glasses are less than half full … someone was faster than me, someone was slower than me, somebody overtook me, I overtook somebody. It was too hilly, it was too flat, it was too hard, it wasn’t hard enough. Perhaps it’s self imposed competitiveness or the nagging tick of a virtual clock that pushes some people this way or maybe it’s simply a way of dealing with the realisation that … they’re not as fit or fast as they thought?
I’m so glad the WRT doesn’t induce these feelings within people. Luckily, in most instances, it actually has the opposite effect … that track was great, what a fantastic view, someone let me sleep in their garden, a stranger bought me a drink, I can’t wait to get out again, people are so friendly. It’s a stark contrast considering both groups are simply riding bikes in the same place, on the same day but there’s obviously a difference and I believe that difference is YOU, the riders. So, thank you for making the Welsh Ride Thing what it is … decidedly Unduro.
|Cake, it’s the WRT, there’s always cake.|
Something the WRT does produce, is great stories. Each year tales emerge featuring a wide and varied cast, there’s stories of chance meetings, unusual accommodation, unimaginable luck and of friendships formed. A couple that stood out in my mind this year were firstly, that of 8 year old Dillon and his dad, Steve and secondly that of Jo … First, I’ll let Steve tell you about his WRT shared with his son.