#WalesDURO19

James Craven
Jul 9 · 3 min read

As I found out a few weeks ago on TINAT… riding gravel is fun. Especially in Wales. I originally planed to do a long road ride but I couldn’t resist riding some more dirt on the Racing Collective WalesDURO.

The route is just over 300km long with 6,500m of ascent and a fair bit of off-road, to be ridden in two days. There are 5 timed segments each day ‘designed to test riders’ strength, bike handling, and determination on a variety of surfaces over mixed terrain.

I wanted to enjoy the weekend with other riders but ride hard on the segments. I’ve been riding quite a bit this year so I wanted to test the legs. Unfortunately I punctured on the first segment so was never in the running but I still gave the others a go. I bagged KOMs on segments 6,7 and 8 and was quickest rider on the day through 4 and 5! Segments 2 and 3 were only a few seconds in it. All in all very happy with the result!

On the way back into Cardiff I stopped for an ice cream and opened my frame back to find the bottle of sealant I bought on the ride had exploded within my bag. Wales certainly gave the bike a good shaking! At least maybe now my frame bag might be waterproof…

Segment 1 — Sliding down the slate quarry in drizzle and mist. The slate slashed my tubeless tyres halfway through the segment putting me out of the running. My plugs failed to seal so I had to use my only tube. Segment 1 took a few casualties!
Had some fun with Allan racing on segment 5.
Shoes off for the crossing. Smart.
Delyth took care of us at the farm. Welsh cawl with a block of cheddar and crumble swimming in custard.
Sunset over Tymawr Farm where we all stopped for the night.
Alex and Lee fighting up segment 8. More of a hill run than a ride.
Alex dead. Lee chilling.
Final segment — ‘The Gap’. A brutal 400m climb that was barely ridable. I struggled to stay standing on the accent and struggled to hold the handlebars on the decent.

I’m on Strava (day 1 and day 2) and Instagram.

Riding with Pedla