Let's try...the Tour of Pembrokeshire
If you think it’s all blue skies, a warm breeze on your back and beautiful scenery, think again.
These 50, 75 and 100-mile routes take in massive elevation gains, grueling mountain and valley climbs, over a thousand other contenders and those notorious peninsula cross winds. The Tour of Pembrokeshire was back with a vengeance for 2016 and it was quite the spectacular event.
The Adventurers: First time Tour of Pembrokeshire riders, Mari Williams and Martin Solomon from Broadhaven.
The Challenge: To complete the 75 mile route from Crug Glas near St Davids, down into the Gwaun Valley and up the sharp bend in Llanychaer to the hills at Puncheston, and back through Solva, St Davids and up to Crug Glas again - a total of 7303 feet elevation.
Setting off just after 8am, Mari and Martin both leave the start line smiling - we’ll see what they look like in 6 hours time! Beforehand we had a little chat about how they got cycling in the first place and why they chose the to complete the Tour of Pembrokeshire.
“I started cycling to work, then realised how much I liked it, and started doing it on the weekends too. We decided on the Tour in October or November last year. It’s good to challenge yourself and stay training over the winter - something we could aim for.
I think the Tour is really good for Pembrokeshire - the scenery is stunning for the riders but it’s good for local businesses, it brings people to Pembrokeshire at a time when the season is still fairly quiet.
We’ve trained a bit, just trying to build up miles on the weekend. We did the Daffodill ride in Pendine earlier in the year and that was 43 miles.”
We wave them off up the slight rise towards Trefin and hop in the car to see if we can catch a glimpse of them as they make their way round.
Surprisingly upbeat, Martin rides in after just over 5 hours, and Mari follows just an hour later. Apart from eating his weight in Welsh cakes (a Tour of Pembs staple) at the various feed stations, they both look unscathed! So how was it?
“It was good. The food stations split it up into manageable chunks. The hills were tough, leaving the Gwaun Valley and climbing up the steep hill on the way to Newport was the hardest! That or the headwind at the end coming up from St Davids, when you’re already tired. The atmosphere was amazing though, and the weather being so sunny made it really enjoyable.”
So, cycling to work on Monday? “Maybe not this week, but probably the next!”
The Logistics: Fancy the challenge? Keep an eye on the Tour of Pembrokeshire website for the release dates and registration for the 2017 race. With details of training, a gallery of the route and testimonials from riders, it’s definitely worth a look. Or you can keep up with the goings on from this year on Facebook.
If you think you’ve got an adventurous spirit why not give some of the other activites on offer in our 'Let's try..' series a go. You can dangle from a rope trying indoor climbing or chew on some creepy crawlies in our Let's try.. adventurous eating
However you #FindYourEpic in Pembrokeshire, have fun and don't forget to tag us in your photos, on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Good luck!