So on our drive down to Llandeilo, we just happened to notice that Hill no 93 - the Devil's Staircase was "on the way", so it had to be picked up. Again, it was a good 9/10 hill (gulp) and I knew from yesterday that it was important to get my legs warmed up a little before hitting the hill. Our drive down went through some beautiful scenery and we stopped for lunch in a little dirt trail/walking place in the forest just to the North of Beulah. Afterwards, I hopped on the bike, Hobbs looked very disapproving as he was levered back into the car and we set off. The roads were pretty narrow:
But the scenery was incredibly beautiful:
Simon Warren says of the Devil's Staircase: "There seems little reason to build a road out here, never mind one this steep". Again, Simon talks of 25% gradients and I was a little nervous. As I took off, I saw Em driving up the slope (in 1st gear!) which didn't bode well. I immediately got into my bottom gear and out of the saddle. It was a bloody hard slog - with sweeping hair pin bends going left and right. The pine forest around on both sides took some of the heat of the sun, but it was still very hard going.
My garmin data is here: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/81149536 - it was a toughy!!! Youtube (complete with raggy breathing) here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EX3ralKsxkI - relatively short so you get sound.
Afterwards, I went on for another bit of a ride - I must say around here was probably THE most gorgeous place I have ever ridden - it was spectacular ride in gorgeous weather and I LOVED it. This photo doesn't do it justice.
Hopefully Em's photos will do it justice http://www.flickr.com/photos/100hillsforgeorge/sets/72157626630492896/
Oh - and if you're interested, here is some old footage of the pros doing the Devil's Staircase: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-qCNTlFTGM