You know me @Stefanie there’s always a story to be told
Bike Chester might start and finish in Chester (a beautiful town in the North West of England) but 78 miles of the 83 mile route were actually in rural Wales! Wales is a stunning country but full of hills and mountains… and as I discovered on Sunday, also full of remote very rural ‘roads’ that are actually what any normal person would refer to as a farm track covered in cow muck, pot holes and loose gravel. There were times when I was fearful for my safety, especially when descending a steep hill on one of these tracks only to come around a corner at speed and find myself facing a large tractor with only inches of space at the side of the track for me to pass. This happened 4 times (I’m sure it wasn’t the same farmer or tractor every time - I don’t think they are the stalking type) and the last incident the farmer was clearly not a cycling fan as he forced me off the road and into a hedge.
There is a hill/mountain in the area of Wales we cycled called Moel Famau - beautiful views from the top but a brutal climb up… and the route took us up both sides! The ride down from the first ascent was fun though (aside from the cattle grids), a good road surface and long swooping turns - I slowed down when my Garmin told me I was doing 40 mph but the sheer joy and exhilaration were amazing. Apparently one poor woman’s rim brakes gave out half way down and she ended up in a ditch; another Woman was forced off the road by a motorcycle but thankfully neither were seriously injured.
Today my legs are a little sore but not too bad. My upper body however is a different story - my neck, shoulders, elbows and wrists are letting me know they do not appreciate me taking my road bike on what was effectively an off-road ride… only smooth tarmac in future (I’m not letting on we have a 3 day MTB Adventure to look forward to next month - but I’m sure my full suspension MTB will soften the blows somewhat better than my carbon road bike).