This year is the first time I have turned up to a Bearbones event on a drop bar skinny wheeled bike and everyone let me know about it, although I did nearly win the weigh in for having the lightest bike (smug face). Fully loaded with with two bottles full of water and my camera kit, it came in at a mere 15.8kg. That is with out a doubt the lightest bike set up I have ever taken to one of Stuarts events.
Once again I was only able to do the one night out but thats better than nothing, right?! I had been chatting to a couple of guys on the old social media and decided to tag along with them for the Saturday and then ride back to the car on my own on Sunday. I have been a bit of a loner lately so some real person social interaction was needed to make sure I don’t become a complete recluse.
After a few years of participating in BearBones events you start to leave on the same tracks which for me isn’t a bad thing, it’s starting to feel like the area surrounding Stuarts is becoming home-like. There’s something quite nice about riding over familiar ground, it gives you a sense of personal history and also the added satisfaction of not having to look at the GPS from the word go.
Many will have already noticed from my images we took absolutely no notice of Stuarts grid references and headed North, the route South would have sent me pretty much to my front door which if I had been prepared and arranged a lift could have been a great option, the down side of that though would have been no cake!!
We made our way on a mixture or roads, tracks and bridleways to Machynllyth and then the same to Dolgellau.
All of a sudden on this huge beastly road climb my bike was making complete sense and although I was at times standing on the pedals due to the 1×11 set up I whizzed up the newly named “For F**ks sake valley ” with relative ease.
After a little stop in Dolgellau to fill up with supplies for the night we rode around to the Mawddach trail and on to the GeorgeIII hotel for a beer and food.
I had been thinking about my lost friend Mike Hall a lot up to this point as he mentioned recently that he would like to come along to a BearBones event with me one day. How he would have coped with a sedate 150/200km ride with plenty of stops I don’t know but I am sure the lure of chocolate milkshakes and pies would have kept him happy.
As we stood at the bar with a pint in hand I smiled gently as four of us ordered a pie dinner and without me saying anything everyone mention “Pie For Mike”
The evening light was stunning and as we swung our legs back over the bikes to carry on the sky exploded with crepuscular rays and I felt the nod from Mike that he would have enjoyed tonight very much.
I have ridden the Mawddach trail a few times now and have really come to love it, it’s easy to switch off and just let the wheels roll as you take in the stunning surroundings. Time this as the sun sets and you will almost certainly be in for a visual treat.
Then at the end of the trail you get to ride over the bridge in to Barmouth which is always a quiet pleasure in my books.
After a lovely ride along the seafront we then headed out towards Harlech to camp in some woodland near Llanddwywe Tal-Y-Bont. This turned out to be an absolutely cracking spot, with a bluebell covered floor and a good sized river running through the middle.
After a night under the stars I parted ways with the crew and made my way back to base, a mixture of bridleways and back roads brought me back to the BearBones towers for cake, chat and some comfy pants.
Once again a huge thanks to Stuart and Dee plus all the sponsors for the prizes.