This was the start of a mini-adventure by bike through the heart of Wales. On day 1, I joined The Balti Bike Club at the Castle Car Park, Stafford for a 127 mile cycle challenge to Llandudno.
Cycling in Staffordshire is not like Devon. There are hardly any hills. We sped along at an average speed I am not used to for the first 60 miles. We passed through Newport and Wem. The hills appeared as we entered Powys and there was a steady climb to Lake Vyrny where we stopped for lunch. The BBC, as they are known locally, have a fantastic group of supporters. We were cheered and filmed as we went and at lunch out came tables, chairs, drinks and food.
After lunch, we climbed up into the hills on small minor roads as we headed for Bala. It was slow steady progress but going downhill on the other side was another matter. One cyclist reached 47mph but he had to be brave to dodge the potholes and stray sheep.