TUESDAY, MARCH 1

More fun

In the last 2 weeks I've ridden my bike all around England and Wales.

One day I rode from Croydon to Kent and back. The next was from Dudley to Bridgnorth via Wolverhampton and back; and then the Peak District. I've also ridden The Monkey Trail, Follow The Dog, The Red route at Sherwood Pines (a recovery ride)and then a long day at Coed-y-Brenin.

Hang on, I'm not finished yet.

Then it was back to South Wales to ride a new 5hr loop (to me) in the Rhondda, which was superb; followed by an assault on the newly flattened Gap ride in the Brecon Beacons (twice).

The Gap ride got me thinking...

...The WC2C was originally going to be a 24hr (ish) route, and I was concerned that I might not be able to complete it in under 30hrs. So, I went for the firetrack option to try and make sure it stuck as a good solo ride.

But, now that Rich has done it in just over 20hrs, and even faster riders are now planning on doing it, I wondered if we might be able to improve it, whilst making it slightly tougher/slower/longer. We had to change a bit of it around the Epynt, and this has improved the route quality, so perhaps we should do a bit more?

I asked Rich Holmes, and Mike Hall (who is planning an attempt in March) if they felt that my idea was appropriate. I was worried that it was too close to the attempt date for Mike, but it turned out that he hadn't recce'd the area in question yet.

Both guys were well up for the change and keen to make sure that the WC2C is the best 24hr(ish) solo route, and that it remains fully immersing for those that do the four day ride. It'll still go for sub 19:30 in the summer at some point.

Well, it's done.

Mike will be the Pioneer of the new version of the WC2C. The new Epynt re-route should take around the same time, and the tramway ascent up the side of the Tal-y-Bont reservoir and down into Dol-y-Gaer might be about 20minutes longer. It cuts out about 6km of road and replaces it with scenic bridleway, with rocks that require true mountain bike skills to negotiate when you're tired.

Take a look at Maps 21 and 22 on the WC2C Gallery page on the website.

Come on Mike! Do us proud!

I'll probably end up giving it a go next year, but will wait and see. It's quality, so would be a shame to miss it out. Maybe I could do the first solo, unsupported, naked ride on a fixie whilst wearing roller skates and boxing gloves? That's appropriate, surely?
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