2017 started at midnight of December 31st on the summit of Pen y Fan in the Brecon Beacons, singing Auld Lang Syne in the wind and rain with 50+ other hikers who had also made the journey up. Start the New Year as we mean to go on was our motto. The adventure wasn’t without it’s challenges, as when we took the route back down in the pitch black and overcast night, we went a little off piste so to speak. With only our head torches to guide us in 5m visibility, we found another couple to follow back onto the correct path. In that short space of time, we’d hit a ridge which was renowned for high wind speeds that took my hat and head torch clean off my head, never to be seen again. We had to shout to each other to be heard, the wind was that strong. As we joined the path back over the other side, the wind dropped and we were able to navigate down safely. The mountain had done its job in reminding us that it can expose vulnerabilities very quickly, even if you think you’re well prepared! A new goal for 2017 is to take an advanced map reading skills course so we can navigate much better in poor weather.
That was an adventurous way to start 2017 but now it’s back to bike adventures….
It didn’t take long to plan another bike challenge, and attending the 2016 Women’s Adventure Expo in October was the nudge that was needed to put more plans into place. The ‘Expo-effect’ has worked it’s magic again and the old Alpinestars will be dusted off for a new adventure around Wales!
Here’s the plan for “Wales22Cymru” which will kick off at the end of March —>
It’s a ride through all 22 local authorities of Wales, starting from our doorstep in Rhondda Cynon Taf and finishing in Wrexham. It will be about 450 miles through some stunning landscape, no doubt with a few brutal hills along the way. The difference this time, compared to my last bike adventure, is that the whole household is coming too; Amy will be joining me on her bike, and our dog Dizzy is coming along for the adventure in her own bike trailer. Dizzy loves a good adventure and was a great support vehicle companion on the trip to Chamonix. We’ve just come back from an 8.5 mile training ride and Dizzy was happy to jump in and out of her personal carriage.
We’ll be camping out along the way and taking everything we need with us so we need to be mindful of the weight we’re carrying.
I’ve only come across one guy who’s travelled with bike and dog so if you’ve got any top tips about bike adventure with animals, or any recommendations for places to camp along our route it would be great to hear from you!
Here’s to the Expo-effect and more doorstep adventures for 2017!