Moist Bala and Cloudy Bangor-On-Dee
Friday 30th July was the first time
that I have seen "real" sunshine since the previous
Friday when I arrived at Bala. The rally was based at the rugby
football ground with reasonable ablution facilities. We also had
the benefit of a mobile "meals on wheels" whose owner
appreciated the needs of hungry cyclists both at breakfast and
evening meal times.
There were about 300 participants---in tents and caravans.
Saturday's excursion was to Llyn Brenig, beside B4501, north of Cerrigydrudion on the A5. It is a delightful man-made reservoir with a visitor centre with catering, a sailing club, trout fishing, and a trout farm on site. There is a road of sorts around the lake and will attract many visitors when the weather is kinder. Regrettably the temperature was only 14ºC, the sky was grey and the breeze "moderate". Fortunately I had packed my "descenders" jacket which kept my chest warm ! The head-wind back to base was a torment.
Sunday, for me, was a washout. The rain started at 09.30, just after the Audax stalwarts had departed for their 100kms. I had opted for a 50miler. The rain and drizzle continued for the next 12 hours. I walked into town a couple of times to buy some groceries and relieve the boredom.
We had entertainment on three evenings in a marquee. A slide show of a CTC "challenging" Pete. Crofts 3-week tour in northern India, bordering on Tibet and Kashmir. The "contestants" had to contend with landslides and floods. Some accommodation appeared to be minus-three star !! One tourist had his bike destroyed when it was being carried on the roof of the back-up bus. It was crushed by an overhanging cliff. He bought a single-gear "sit-up-and-beg", of doubtful quality, locally and was able to continue. All their baggage was carried in the bus.
We were then treated to "Belleville
Rendezvous", an animated (cartoon) film of a fictitious Tour
de France where the villains kidnap the three leaders and take
them to New York. There they are obliged to aid a gambling syndicate---I
will not mention any more in case you have the opportunity to
see it yourself. I noticed that BBC Bristol were involved in the
Finally we had another slideshow of a lady's trip to Peru, without bicycle. Again, good entertainment.
I departed last Monday (26th) in
drizzle and fortunately the roads were dry after Llangollen. Bangor-on-Dee
site is beside the racecourse. I asked to "park" on
hard-standing, which was in front of the restaurants and betting
parlours. Convenient for the washing facilities, etc., which could
have been better.
I had dry, warmish but sunless, outings each day--- northwards to Farndon/Holt then south-east to Malpas; Whitchurch, the "pretty way", where I had great difficulty finding National Cycle Route 31---not a signpost in sight!!---; Chirk aqueduct and railway viaduct on the same site, and Pont Cysyllte Aqueduct over the Dee. Plenty of canal activity.
Everyone had to "break camp" Thursday (29th) morning as there was a race meeting the following afternoon. I could have transferred to the rally field for two nights, but decided to return home yesterday---it is only 35 miles away.
Meanwhile, Ann and her mother were roasting in the south-east!!