Here’s Bob’s Blog from day 7 of #BobsThreePeaksChallenge for #DeafblindAwarenessWeek:
Well that was a day and a half! 74 miles, 4000ft of climbing, and discovering Fred’s penchant for swerving round hair pin bends in the Betsy Coed descent later, here we are.
It started with a disappointment as the first “Ferry across the Mersey” doesn’t go till 10am on sundays, so that was a non starter and then we were told cyclists can’t use the tunnel either.
After a quick pose with the tandem in front of John Lennon’s replica piano in the Hotel lobby we put it “up on the roof” and headed down the Mersey tunnel with our support manager. It was a long tunnel with significant gradients at both of ends so I can see why the police don’t allow cyclists access.
Meantime Louise offloaded us close to the tunnel entrance and we made our way across the Wirral peninsula in warm sunshine with little traffic. That changed after we crossed the welsh border and we ventured out on the A494. It was pretty scary having cars bombing past on both sides at the entry lanes. It was very busy and so many lorries too. Fred mentioned that in France lorries can only use motorways on a Sunday, which sounds eminently sensible to me. After that baptism of fire we abandoned the longer coastal route and headed south on the quieter roads to Corwen.
After stopping for a coffee to find the cafe not yet open, we continued on our way with a 15mile climb to the Crown Inn at almost the highest point. The niggle I’d been experiencing in my Achilles’ tendon had became pretty painful though luckily my knees were now both ok.
Like Bothel on Wednesday things now got better. We had a fast 10 mile descent into Corwen with lovely views marred only by the latest addition to my grumpy old man list, namely motor bikes. Why do they insist on riding in packs and with souped up exhausts beats me. We either saw every motorbike in the North West or it was the same 30 or so riding round in circles! They’re so loud the riders must all be as deaf as me!
Meantime we found a pub for lunch, ordered food which had run out and was told we’d have to leave their beer garden if we didn’t order something else. We think she might have been a welsh Panama supporter so we headed up the road till Louise scouted a lovely place in Ty Nan where we refuelled for the 15 mile stretch to Betsy Coed where I went often as a boy. It was a great ride with long gentle ascents and descents which lifted the spirit and the ibuprofen cream did the rest on my Achilles.
We were side tracked by the Conwy Falls, another milkshake for me and a surprise meet with Alison who will be joining us on Snowdon before finally heading into Betsy Cowd which was pretty well as I remember it.
The last leg up to Pen Y Pas was hard though spectacular climbing and we had several sightings of the summit before we finally pulled up in front of the Miners track at 6.30 with Ben Nevis to Snowdon on the Tandem sorted!!
Fred had decided that as much as he had enjoyed the challenge long distance cycling is not going to feature too heavily in future so was very happy to finish. The view back down the valley was spectacular as was the route we had cycled. I met one of the motor cyclists in the car park who said he had been following us all day(?) and I was too polite to ask him why he didn’t get a decent exhaust!
After packing up the bike we headed out to Caernarfon for a much needed shower at our hotel, a walk round the marina to see the castle and then a dinner. Fred of course met some Norwegians who live 500 metres from him back in Stavanger.. but then this is Wales.
Massive thanks to Fred who was good company all day even when I was a bit grumpy about my Achilles. So far it seems ok for walking so should be fine for Snowdon. Thanks to Louise again for being such a great support and lifting our spirits every time we saw her pop out of a lay-by.
By the way, did anyone notice our shiny new go-faster Shell cycle helmets? Fred brought them over with him from Norske Shell. They certainly look the part and add at least 0.27 kms per hour!!
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