The C word has put a downer on many things this year and sadly has caused pain and heartache to many. So this years Global Fat Bike Day ride was going to be a little different for many. You could say it went back to how it was in the early days, by folk riding their fat bikes out on their own. And that’s exactly what I did.
The usual small crowd who venture out with me played it safe and stuck to the rules for their area by not travelling to other counties. I have always liked making the weekend of the GFBD so a night out usually happens. Again due to ‘regulations’ in place, overnight stays with people not from your own household are not permitted. Hence this solo trip.
I got dropped off at my starting point which was at the top of the Crimea Pass which is at 400 metres. The day before saw the first drop of snow on the Welsh hills but milder overnight temperatures saw the low lying snow melt. This meant the tracks were going to be a continuous ride through running water.
The ride was a 25 miler which was all offroad to the mountain cottage at the Eigiau valley where I stayed for last years GFBD ride. The first few miles were on an old drovers track which snaked its way down the mountainside and passed many old dwellings and a church along the way. These were probably built when the nearby railway tunnel was constructed during the 1870’s.
After a very brief pedal on a paved lane, I then made my way along an ancient track which skirted past the impressive Dolwyddelan castle which was built in the early 13th century!
These were all familiar tracks which I’ve pedaled on many times before but this was the first time I’d linked them together with the destination in mind. I followed the double tracks past swollen rivers and through misty forests when the snow topped mountains of Snowdonia came into view.
As I took my time with stopping for pictures and to carry out the filming I was conscious that I would be finishing the ride in the dark which wasn’t to be an issue as I was equipped with a fine light up front. The late afternoon sun lit up the mountains which made them look even more impressive.
As the sun set, I had to tackle the 2 miles of rough singletrack alongside the shores of Llyn (Lake) Cowlyd. The going was tough with plenty of cold water running underfoot, this was a place not to have a mechanical or a mishap. I dismounted where I thought there was a risk which added time to the ride but it also made me think of how warm I’d be once I got the fire going in the cottage.
The lights lit up the track in front of me and helped me on my way. I caught a glimpse of a mountain fox which soon darted off when my light caught his eyes. The last couple of miles were good going which raised my spirits and before I knew it the cottage came into view.
Within an hour the fire was warming up the inside nicely and the beers I hid the week before where picked up and were greatly enjoyed as a reward for my tough Global Fat Bike Day ride.
After a warms nights sleep and several coffees later I packed up and headed north for the 18 miles home. Now that was a weekend enjoying what fat bikes can give you…..
So how was your Global Fat Bike Day?