Friday, 29 April 2011

Hill no 10 - 98 Rhigos, Rhondda Cynon Taff

Right - Rhigos, last climb of a big day of hill climbing. This got a 6/10 in the book, but I must admit I was not totally blown away by the initial description: "Start your ascent from the Hirwaun Industrial Estate to begin the straight featureless slog up onto Hirwaun Common". Words to inspire any rider. Especially at the end of a long day of hills. And little food.
I initially rode off down the wrong road too, but found a bunch of cyclists loading up their bikes into cars and they set me off straight (ie the road o/s the estate, NOT the road to Rhigos or the road the other way). Thanks guys.

The first ride was featureless and a bit of a slog - you could just see the hill looming up in front of you. A bike manufacturer has named one of the bikes in their line "Rhigos" and all I could think about was "why"? It was good at going in straight lines if you pushed quite hard?

But then, you got into these amazing hairpin turns, amongst pine trees and everything got properly beautiful.
Despite being a little on the tired side now, with the weak evening sun on my back, I hauled the bike up one final climb
This is what it is all about for me. Beautiful climb, hard on the legs, hard on the mind. Sense of achievement at the top, proper raggy breathing up, lots of time out of the seat, sweat in the eyes, all you want to do is give up and coast down the hill and pushing through it.

Garmin data here: Simon says 19 minutes and if you discount my wrong turn, 19 minutes was pretty spot on.

A long day done and dusted. I had another ice cream.

Amazing photos by Em here:
Video useless I'm afraid - 2 min of me going the wrong way

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